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planetary science

Abstractions blog

A Close Look at Newborn Planets Reveals Hints of Infant Moons

Astronomers have discovered a complex planetary system still swirling into existence.

Art for "As Planet Discoveries Pile Up, a Gap Appears in the Pattern"
Abstractions blog

As Planet Discoveries Pile Up, a Gap Appears in the Pattern

Astronomers are puzzling over a paucity of planets in the galaxy measuring between 1.5 and two times Earth’s size.

Art for "Black, Hot Ice, Newly Seen in the Lab, May Be Nature's Commonest Form of Water"
chemistry

Black, Hot Ice May Be Nature’s Most Common Form of Water

A new experiment confirms the existence of “superionic ice,” a bizarre form of water that might comprise the bulk of giant icy planets throughout the universe.

PHOTO: Sarah Hörst in her lab at JHU
Q&A

The Scientist Who Cooks Up the Skies of Faraway Worlds

Astronomers will soon take their first glance at the atmosphere of a distant exoplanet. Sarah Hörst is writing the guidebook for these exoplanetary explorers, one that will reveal what a distinctive atmosphere says about the world underneath.

planetary science

Asteroid Rate Jumped in Solar System’s Past

An analysis of lunar craters has found that we’ve been living in a relatively violent period in cosmic history.

Q&A

The Woman Who Gets Called When a Piece of Mars Falls From the Sky

Planetary geologist Meenakshi Wadhwa uses Martian meteorites to trace the history of our solar system.

Ewine van Dishoeck at Noordwijk beach in the Netherlands.
Thinking Places

Ewine van Dishoeck, the Netherlander Who Traced Water’s Origin

The astrochemist and winner of the 2018 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics has wondered about the cosmic origin of water while enjoying Noordwijk beach near her hometown of Leiden.

Art for "Interstellar Visitor Found to Be Unlike a Comet or an Asteroid"
astronomy

Interstellar Visitor Found to Be Unlike a Comet or an Asteroid

The mystery of ’Oumuamua, the first interstellar object ever observed, continues to deepen.

Art for "Planets Found to Be Larger Than the Disks They Come From"
astrophysics

Planets Found to Be Larger Than the Disks They Come From

The new finding is challenging established theories of how planets come to be.