Planetary Science TWDK Planetary Science (Planetology) doodle by Giles Meakin

Planetary Science, or Planetology, is a rapidly growing branch of science which describes the study of planets, celestial objects that are like planets, and anything which affects their shape, composition, appearance, or behaviour. As the study of planets includes the study of their structure and composition, atmosphere and climate cycles, their natural satellites and their interactions and relations with them and their star, planetary science overlaps greatly with some of the more traditional scientific disciplines.

The planet we know best is, of course, the one we are living on. Other planets can be studied remotely, using telescopes to observe them from a distance, while Space agencies around the world send robotic spacecraft to orbit, fly past or land on our planetary neighbours, and a dozen men have visited the moon.

We've published 15 articles and 22 specialist blog posts about planetology so far, featuring 179 unanswered planetology questions! But we're not done yet as we still have another 80 planetology research areas in our database to write about, so come back soon!

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Starwatch: moon draws close to Jupiter in retrograde
3rd October, 2022
Planet is shining brightly and travelling westward – a backward motion that will be reversed on 23 November
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Earthlike Worlds With Oceans and Continents Could be Orbiting red Dwarfs, Detectable by James Webb
2nd October, 2022
“Go then, there are other worlds than these.” Or so Stephen King said in his famous Dark Tower series. As of yet, none of those worlds are known to be like Earth. But, according to some new simulations by researchers at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), finding a genuinely Earth-like world might be … Continue reading "Earthlike Worlds With Oceans and Contine…
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How Does NASA Plan to Keep Samples From Mars Safe From Contamination (and Contaminating) Earth?
2nd October, 2022
NASA’s Mars Sample Return Mission is inching closer and closer. The overall mission architecture just hit a new milestone when Perseverance collected the first sample that will be sent back. But what happens once that sample actually gets here? NASA and its partner, ESA, are still working on that, but recently they released a fact … Continue reading "How Does NASA Plan to Keep Samples…
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Bitcoin’s beefy environmental costs are worse than those of gold or red meat production
30th September, 2022
It can be hard to notice the real-world impact of digital assets – but they can be immense.

Our latest planetology articles

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Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Mars
Mars. An alien landscape. But could it – does it – or has it ever supported life?
Image credit: ©via Wikipedia Commons
Lightning
We don’t know what causes lightning, how much of it there is, nor how to predict it. As global temperatures increase, so does lightning; as lightning increases, so do global temperatures. Its impact on atmospheric chemistry is still being explored.
Image credit: ©Courtesy: The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, IPECHE
Geoengineering
Geoengineering the climate would mean venturing into new technology with huge consequences. But what might those consequences be and is there an alternative solution to anthropogenic climate change?
Image credit: ©Photo: R Fletcher-Wood, Artist: Jason Heppenstall
Ambient chemistry
Chemists are exploring ways to mimic nature’s selective, low-temperature biochemical reactions that make delicate and reactive structures. Previously, chemists had copied high temperature geological reactions.
Image credit: ©Photo by Crisco 1492 [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia
Volcanoes
Volcanic eruptions can be hugely devastating events, wiping out towns and villages in the wake of the magma flows or ash clouds.

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Our latest planetology blog posts

Our blog posts focus on a specialist topic.
Many are written by scientists about their ongoing research, others by the TWDK team.

TWDK red science flask
TWDK red science flask
Is there a ninth planet in our Solar System?
Thursday 22nd of September 2016
TWDK red science flask
How were Mars’ moons formed?
Friday 1st of July 2016
TWDK red science flask
100,000 Years Later
Saturday 6th of February 2016
TWDK red science flask
Location, Location, Location
Monday 21st of September 2015
TWDK red science flask
Collapsing Ice Shelves
Friday 5th of December 2014
More blog posts about planetology...

Delve deeper into Planetology

Can't find what you're looking for? Browse the branches of planetology that interest you most.

TWDK magnifying glassAtmospheric Science is a catch-all term for the study of planetary atmospheres, including the climate and weather.

TWDK magnifying glassExoplanetology is the study of planets orbiting stars other than our Sun.

TWDK magnifying glassGeochemistry is the use of Chemistry to study the composition and mechanisms of major geological systems such as Earth.

TWDK magnifying glassGeology is the study of terrestrial structures and the processes acting upon them.

TWDK magnifying glassGeophysics refers to the study of the physics of the Earth and its environment in space, including its gravitational and magnetic fields, and its atmosphere.

TWDK magnifying glassHydrology is the study of water in the environment.

TWDK magnifying glassPlanetary Astronomy is the study of planets, moons, and planetary systems through measurements taken from afar.

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