planetary science

Curiosity captures gravity wave shaped clouds on Mars

Curiosity captures gravity wave shaped clouds on Mars

This week, from March 20th to 24th, the 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference will be taking place in The Woodlands, Texas. Every year, this conference brings together international specialists in the fields of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, and astronomy to present the latest findings in planetary science. One of the highlights of the conference so far has been a presentation about Mars’ weather patterns.

Get ready for the >100 planet solar system

Get ready for the >100 planet solar system

Pluto’s status as a non-planet may be coming to an end. Professor Mike Brown of Caltech ended Pluto’s planetary status in 2006. But now, Kirby Runyon, a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University, thinks it’s time to cancel that demotion and restore it as our Solar System’s ninth planet.

'Space Tsunami' Causes the Third Van Allen Belt

'Space Tsunami' Causes the Third Van Allen Belt

Earth's magnetosphere, the region of space dominated by Earth's magnetic field, protects our planet from the harsh battering of the solar wind. Like a protective shield, the magnetosphere absorbs and deflects plasma from the solar wind which originates from the Sun. 

Study pinpoints timing of oxygen’s first appearance in Earth’s atmosphere

Study pinpoints timing of oxygen’s first appearance in Earth’s atmosphere

Today, 21 percent of the air we breathe is made up of molecular oxygen. But this gas was not always in such ample, life-sustaining supply, and in fact was largely absent from the atmosphere for the first 2 billion years of Earth’s history. When, then, did oxygen first accumulate in the atmosphere?

Scientists Find Evidence of a Real Ninth Planet!

Scientists Find Evidence of a Real Ninth Planet!

Researchers from the California Institute of Technology  have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system. The newly discovered world, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, is extimated to be 10 times more massive than earth and 4 times its size. It orbits about 20 times farther from the sun on average than Neptune (which orbits the sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles). It would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun.