Related topics: earth · nasa · orbit · solar system · mars

Wow! mystery signal from space finally explained

(—A team of researchers with the Center of Planetary Science (CPS) has finally solved the mystery of the "Wow!" signal from 1977. It was a comet, they report, one that that was unknown at the time of the signal ...

First evidence of planet-wide groundwater system on Mars

Mars Express has revealed the first geological evidence of a system of ancient interconnected lakes that once lay deep beneath the Red Planet's surface, five of which may contain minerals crucial to life.

Researchers discover a piece of America in northern Australia

Curtin University researchers have discovered rocks in northern Queensland that bear striking similarities to those found in North America, suggesting that part of northern Australia was actually part of North America 1.7 ...

Squeezing out mountains, mathematically, on Jupiter's moon Io

Mountains aren't the first thing that hit you when you look at images of Jupiter's innermost moon, Io. But once you absorb the fact that the moon is slathered in sulfurous lava erupted from 400 active volcanoes, you might ...

Major volcanic eruption seen on Jupiter's moon Io

Recent observations of Jupiter's moon Io has revealed a massive volcanic eruption taking place 628,300,000 km (390,400,000 miles) from Earth. Io, the innermost of the four largest moons around Jupiter, is the most volcanically ...

NASA's plans to explore Europa and other "ocean worlds"

Earlier this week, NASA hosted the "Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop" at their headquarters in Washington, DC. Running from Monday to Wednesday – February 27th to March 1st – the purpose of this workshop was to ...

New study proves Moon was created in massive planetary collision

(—It's a big claim, but Washington University in St. Louis planetary scientist Frédéric Moynier says his group has discovered evidence that the Moon was born in a flaming blaze of glory when a body the size of ...

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Planetary science

Planetary science is the scientific study of planets, moons, and planetary systems, in particular those of the Solar System. It studies objects ranging in size from micrometeoroids to gas giants, aiming to determine their composition, dynamics, formation, interrelations and history. It is a strongly interdisciplinary field, originally growing from astronomy and earth science, but which now incorporates many disciplines, including planetary astronomy, planetary geology (together with geochemistry, geophysics and geomorphology as applied to planets), atmospheric science, theoretical planetary science, and the study of extrasolar planets. Allied disciplines include space physics, when concerned with the effects of the Sun on the bodies of the Solar System, and astrobiology.

There are interrelated observational and theoretical branches of planetary science. Observational research can involve a combination of space exploration, predominantly with robotic spacecraft missions using remote sensing, and comparative, experimental work in Earth-based laboratories. The theoretical component involves considerable computer simulation and mathematical modelling.

Planetary scientists are generally located in the astronomy and physics or earth sciences departments of universities or research centres, though there are several purely planetary science institutes worldwide. There are several major conferences each year, and a wide range of peer-reviewed journals.

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