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

Muddied waters: Sinking organics alter seafloor records

The remains of microscopic plankton blooms in near-shore ocean environments slowly sink to the seafloor, setting off processes that forever alter an important record of Earth's history, according to research from geoscientists, ...

Why does Mercury have such a big iron core? Magnetism!

A new study disputes the prevailing hypothesis on why Mercury has a big core relative to its mantle (the layer between a planet's core and crust). For decades, scientists argued that hit-and-run collisions with other bodies ...

To understand the future of hurricanes, look to the past

The historic 2020 hurricane season, with its record-breaking 30 tropical storms and hurricanes, left in its wake hundreds of deaths in the United States, tens of billions of dollars in damages, and one important question: ...

Rise of the diatoms—a new timeline

Diatoms—tiny phytoplankton that are responsible for a fifth of all energy converted into matter by plants—may have become important much earlier in the development of Earth's ocean ecosystems and carbon cycle than previously ...

Research finds 'fool's gold' not so foolish after all

Curtin University research has found tiny amounts of gold can be trapped inside pyrite, commonly known as "fool's gold," which would make it much more valuable than its name suggests.

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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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