Major leaps in space technology during the past 40 years now allow us to view the splendour and diversity of the Solar Sytem in remarkable detail. This textbook presents a fascinating description of the origin of the Solar System and the evolution of the planets, and places our own planet earth within the context of other, more distant, worlds. The book starts with a tour of the Solar System and a brief overview of its formation. It then examines the composition and internal structure of the terrestrial planets ans descibes the major surface-shaping processes : planetary volcanism, impact cratering and wind processes. The atmospheres of the terrestrial planets are considered in detail, and this lead naturally on to a discussion of the giant planets and why they are compositionally different from the planets of the inner Solar System. Minor bodies, including comets, asteroids and Kuiper Belt objects are described, and the book concludes with an examination of theories for the origin of the Solar System and the evidence that has come from meteorites.