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!

Recent Planetology News

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Juno Reveals a Giant Lava Lake on Io
20th April, 2024
NASA’s Juno spacecraft came within 1,500 km (930 miles) of the surface of Jupiter’s moon Io in two recent flybys. That’s close enough to reveal new details on the surface of this moon, the most volcanic object in the Solar System. Not only did Juno capture volcanic activity, but scientists were also able to create … Continue reading "Juno Reveals a Giant Lava Lake on Io" The post …
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Radiating Exoplanet Discovered in “Perfect Tidal Storm”
20th April, 2024
Can tidal forces cause an exoplanet’s surface to radiate heat? This is what a recent study accepted to The Astronomical Journal hopes to address as a team of international researchers used data collected from ground-based instruments to confirm the existence of a second exoplanet residing within the exoplanetary system, HD 104067, along with using NASA’s … Continue reading "Radiating Ex…
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In New Jersey’s Ancient Rocks, Hunting for Clues to an Earthquake in 2024
17th April, 2024
Geologists are combing the New Jersey countryside for signs of earthquakes past and present.
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Historic court ruling says insufficient climate action violates people’s rights
12th April, 2024
The ruling is binding and unprecedented, and may trickle down to other countries as well.

Our 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.
Image credit: © ©John Fowler (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Extraterrestrial life
The search for alien life catches many people's imagination and has always been a very public branch of science. So with all this investigation, why has our search revealed nothing? Are we truly alone in the Universe?
Image credit: diego_torres (CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay)
Water
Water is vital for our survival, but how much do we really know about it?
Image credit: ©Wikimedia commons
Structure of the Earth
We still don't know a lot about what is right underneath our feet, let alone what’s lurking miles down.
Image credit: ©© Jurvetson (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Origin of life
The origins of life – where and how did life begin?
Image credit: gallery4share
Climate change
Scientists agree that human activities are causing climate change, but the finer details are still unknown.
Image credit: Giuliamar (CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay)
Weather
It affects our lives almost every day, and yet we still know very little about the causes and effects of our planet's weather systems.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Planetary systems
Learning about other planetary systems teaches us a lot about our own planet and could potentially lead us to finding extra-terrestrial life!
Image credit: NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute
Saturn
The second of the four Jovian planets is known for its magnificent collection of rings; Saturn intrigues us with it’s mysterious nature.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center)
Jupiter
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. It’s been observed since Babylonian times, yet we know little about what goes on inside this giant red planet.

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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