Module Identifier  PH28720  
Module Title  PLANETARY AND ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS  
Academic Year  2007/2008  
Coordinator  Dr Andrew R Breen  
Semester  Semester 2  
Other staff  Dr Martin C Wilding, Balazs Pinter, Dr David Barnes  
PreRequisite  Satisfactory completion of part 1 of the degree scheme  
Mutually Exclusive  PH29610  
Course delivery  Lecture  30 Hours.  
Seminars / Tutorials  3 seminars and 1 poster presentation workshop.  
Practical  6 practicals  
Assessment 

Planetary science is one of the fastestdeveloping fields of solar system science. In particular, recent years have seen rapid advances in studies of planetary atmospheres. The changes to the module add a section discussing planetary exploration and introduce a series of workshops in interpreting the results of modelling planetary atmospheres  an important introduction to the use of computational modelling and data visualisation.
Orbits, resonances. NonKeplerian orbits.
Tides, moons and rings.
Condensation and accretion of planetismals.
Planetary interiors  self compression and density structure in terrestrial planets and gas giants. Gravity fields and planetary shape.
Planetary thermodynamics, heat sources and variation of temperature with depth.
Planetary magnetic fields  movement of material inside planets and the dynamo mechanism.
Planetary exploration: control and communication, timelag and bandwidth.
Introduction to atmospheres. Structure of the Earth's atmosphere. Heating and layer formation.
Atmospheric energy balance. "Greenhouse effect". Convection and atmospheric dynamics.
Vertical structure. Hydrostatic equilibrium and scale heights. Atmospheric layers.
Planetary atmospheres  differences from Eath
Atmospheric flow  fluid mechanics as applied to atmospheres
Modelling planetary atmpospheres  approaches and constraints
Interpreting model results for flow over a planetary surface.
Problem solving  Students are required to apply theoretical concepts covered in lectures to specific science problems.  
Research skills  Students are required to plan the best path for an aerobot on a research mission over terrain on another planet.  
Communication  Students are required to present the results of the modelling section of the module via a poster.  
Improving own Learning and Performance  Reflection on poster results  
Team work  Students will work in pairs or small groups during the computational modelling section of the course.  
Information Technology  Use of a computational fluid flow suite to simulate the interaction of a planet's atmosphere with its surface. Use of visualisation facilities to view the results. Use of presentation software to generate posters.  
Application of Number  Solve quantitative problems will naturally involve application of number. Use of a computational modelling. 
This module is at CQFW Level 5