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

Shocked zircon find a 'one-off gift' from Mars

Curtin University researchers studying a Martian meteorite have found the first evidence of high-intensity damage caused by asteroid impact, in findings that have implications for understanding when conditions suitable for ...

Near-earth asteroid might be a lost fragment of the moon

A near-Earth asteroid named Kamo`oalewa could be a fragment of our moon, according to a new paper published in Nature Communications Earth and Environment by a team of astronomers led by the University of Arizona.

Samples returned by Chang'e-5 reveal key age of moon rocks

A lunar probe launched by the Chinese space agency recently brought back the first fresh samples of rock and debris from the moon in more than 40 years. Now an international team of scientists—including an expert from Washington ...

Dwarf planet Vesta serves as a window to the early solar system

The dwarf planet Vesta is helping scientists better understand the earliest era in the formation of our solar system. Two recent papers involving scientists from the University of California, Davis, use data from meteorites ...

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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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