planetary science

This tag is associated with 88 posts

Crowd-Sourcing Crater Identification

How good are citizen-scientists at characterizing crater densities and size distributions on the lunar surface? For that matter how good are the experts? Today’s study attempts to answer these questions by having a group of experts analyze images of the Moon from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera.

Life, the Universe and Everything Explained

Why resort to complicated theories that involve mysterious, unknown forces and states of matter? The geocentric model of the Universe nicely explains 1st century C.E. data.

Pluto’s Dusty Neighborhood

Pluto’s small satellites have very low escape velocities, which means that dust kicked up by impacts has a relatively easy time of escaping rather than settling back down to the little moon’s surface. Today’s paper looks at the fates of that dust.

Examining Martian Water With Hydrogen Isotopes

Even though we can’t see any liquid water on Mars today, we can still examine the history of water loss on the Martian surface.

Was Mars’ ancient magnetic field global or localized?

Strongly magnetized rocks on Mars are primarily concentrated in the southern hemisphere. This paper raises a serious objection to the hypothesis that localized dynamo action in the ancient martian core explains this puzzling observation.

Planets Get Heat With A Little Help From Their Friends

For planets too old for plate tectonics, a companion planet could drive tidal heating to keep conditions primed for life.

Water vapor found on dwarf planet Ceres

Large plumes of water vapor were recently found on the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt. Using Ceres’ rotation, astronomers have located two possible sources for the water vapor on the surface.

Unifying Planetary Atmospheres

A new model explains the common 0.1 bar temperature minimum in certain types of planetary atmospheres.

Flipping Orbits

How do so many hot jupiters come to orbit backwards?

Prevalence of Planets that Might be “Earth-like”, Maybe

A headline-grabbing paper calculated the prevalence of Earth-sized planets with long orbital periods around Sun-like stars. But are these planets anything like Earth?

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