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 12 articles and 22 specialist blog posts about planetology so far, featuring 148 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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This Is a Collapsed Pit on Mars, Not a Pimple
19th April, 2021
Mars has been in the news a lot lately, and for good reason. With the historic landing of the Perseverance Rover earlier in the year, and the successful flight of Ingenuity, the first-ever aircraft to fly in another atmosphere, earlier this morning (April 19, 2021), there’s no shortage of exciting stories of technical brilliance from … Continue reading "This Is a Collapsed Pit on Mars, No…
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Researchers create the “whitest paint” — it reflects 98% of sunlight
19th April, 2021
Buildings in hot areas could greatly benefit from this -- and the paint could become widely available very soon.
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“You Wouldn’t Believe What I Just Saw:” Ingenuity Helicopter Flies Successfully on Mars
19th April, 2021
NASA pulled off a Wright Brothers moment on Mars early today by successfully flying the tiny Ingenuity helicopter for approximately 40 seconds. “We can now say that human beings have flown a rotorcraft on another planet,” said MiMi Aung, Ingenuity’s lead engineer, speaking to her colleagues gathered at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California … Continue reading "“You Wo…
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Can a New Type of Glacier on Mars Aid Future Astronauts?
19th April, 2021
A recent publication identifies evidence of glacial activity and underground ice on Mars in an unusually flat and temperate area, which could serve as a future human landing site. The post Can a New Type of Glacier on Mars Aid Future Astronauts? appeared first on State of the Planet.

Our planetology articles

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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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