Related topics: nasa · solar system · comet

Formation of the moon brought water to Earth

The Earth is unique in our solar system: It is the only terrestrial planet with a large amount of water and a relatively large moon, which stabilizes the Earth's axis. Both were essential for Earth to develop life. Planetologists ...

Jupiter's movements made way for Earth

There's something about our solar system that appears to be unusual. For some reason, most of our bigger planets are far away from our host star, while closer in are smaller, rocky worlds, including Earth itself.

Mercury sole survivor of close orbiting planets

The vast quantity of planets and planetary candidates identified by NASA's Kepler spacecraft has revealed an array of systems. Some have Jupiter-sized planets close to the Sun, while others show only a handful of planets. ...

Comet Wild 2: A window into the birth of the solar system?

Our solar system, and other planetary systems, started as a disk of microscopic dust, gas, and ice around the young Sun. The amazing diversity of objects in the solar system today - the planets, moons, asteroids, and comets ...

Dating the moon-forming impact event with meteorites

Through a combination of data analysis and numerical modeling work, researchers have found a record of the ancient Moon-forming giant impact observable in stony meteorites. Their work will appear in the April 2015 issue of ...

Wandering Jupiter accounts for our unusual solar system

Long before Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars formed, it seems that the inner solar system may have harbored a number of super-Earths—planets larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. If so, those planets are long gone—broken ...

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