Planetary Science


Course Objective

The main aim of this course is to provide an in-depth overview of state-
of-the-art knowledge about the formation and evolution of the large and
small bodies in our solar system. This overview serves to compare and
contrast processes that are important on Earth with processes active on
other planetary bodies.

Course Content

A series of lectures will examine the bodies that make up our solar
system, how they formed and differentiated and over what timescale they
geologically active. The role of
water in shaping both internal and external structures of planetary
bodies will be examined. The course will include discussion of recent
advances in
astrobiology and exoplanetary science. The course will conclude with a
visit to ESTEC where there will be presentations to and from ESTEC

Teaching Methods

Lectures plus a day long visit to ESTEC where each student will make a
critical review of a recent planetary science paper and groups will
present a Space mission concept developed during the course. The course
counts for 6 EC = 160 SBU, which are divided between the different
components of this course in the following way (1) 14 * 3 hour lectures
= 115 SBU, (2) Background reading and preparation of ESTEC presentations
= 36 SBU (3) Excursion to ESTEC = 9 SBU, total 160 SBU = 6 EC

Method of Assessment

The final mark for this course consists of the following components:
Written exam (60%), Individual poster and presentation at ESTEC (20%),
Group poster and presentation at ESTEC (20%).


Recommended background literature: Peter Bond – Exploring the solar
The text book is augmented with recent scientific papers that will be
made available at the start of the

Additional Information

Guest lectures may be provided by colleagues from Utrecht University, TU
Delft, and UvA

Recommended background knowledge

Background in geology / geochemistry is recommended but not required

General Information

Course Code AM_450273
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. W. van Westrenen
Examiner prof. dr. W. van Westrenen
Teaching Staff prof. dr. W. van Westrenen
dr. P.Z. Vroon
prof. dr. G.R. Davies
prof. dr. B.H. Foing

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

This course is also available as: