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

A helping hand for Mars

The mission to return Martian samples back to Earth will see a European 2.5 meter-long robotic arm pick up tubes filled with precious soil from Mars and transfer them to a rocket for an historic interplanetary delivery.

China is considering a nuclear-powered mission to Neptune

One look at the Planetary Decadal Survey for 2023–2032, and you will see some bold and cutting-edge mission proposals for the coming decade. Examples include a Uranus orbiter and probe (UOP) that would study Uranus' interior, ...

Simultaneous extreme weather created dangerous cascades in US

Intense heat in the southwestern United States broke records last summer partly because it hit in tandem with an unusually severe drought, finds a new Johns Hopkins study measuring for the first time how the two extreme weather ...

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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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