The study of comets
is a field that has seen tremendous advances in recent years, far surpassing the knowledge reflected in the original Comets
volume published as part of the Space Science Series in 1982. This new volume, with more than seventy contributing authors, represents the first complete overview of comet science in more than a decade and contains the most extensive collection of knowledge yet assembled in the field.
Comets II situates comet science in the global context of astrophysics for the first time by beginning with a series of chapters that describe the connection between stars and planets. It continues with a presentation of the formation and evolution of planetary systems, enabling the reader to clearly see the key role played in our own solar system by the icy planetesimals that were the seeds of the giant planets and transneptunian objects.
The book presents the key results obtained during the 1990s, in particular those collected during the apparition of the exceptional comets C/Hyakutake and C/Hale-Bopp in 1996-1997. The latest results obtained from the in situ exploration of comets P/Borrelly and P/Wild 2 are also discussed in detail.
Each topic of is designed to be accessible to students or young researchers looking for basic, yet detailed, complete and accurate, information on comet science. With its emphasis on the origin of theories and the future of research, Comets II will enable scientists to make connections across disciplinary boundaries and will set the stage for discovery and new understanding in the coming years.