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Articles on Planetary science

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Sand blown by wind into ripples within Victoria Crater at Meridiani Planum on Mars, as photographed by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on October 3, 2006. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Cornell/Ohio State University

What’s it like to be on Venus or Pluto? We studied their sand dunes and found some clues

There are many bodies in the solar system we can’t easily access. But observations of their winds and sediments reveal a surprising amount.
Earth’s interior 80 million years ago with hot structures in yellow to red (darker is shallower) and cold structures in blue (darker is deeper). Ömer Bodur/Nature

Volcanoes, diamonds, and blobs: a billion-year history of Earth’s interior shows it’s more mobile than we thought

Ancient blobs deep inside the Earth gather together and break apart like continents, according to new research.
Hubble: NASA, ESA, and Q.D. Wang (University of Massachusetts, Amherst); Spitzer: NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and S. Stolovy (Spitzer Science Center/Caltech)

Five of the most exciting telescope pictures of the universe

As we await the launch of the James Webb Space telescope, it’s timely to look back on what previous generations of telescopes have shown us.
New research suggests that Venus’ crust is broken into large blocks – the dark reddish–purple areas – that are surrounded by belts of tectonic structures shown in lighter yellow–red. Paul K. Byrne/NASA/USGS

The surface of Venus is cracked and moves like ice floating on the ocean – likely due to tectonic activity

Researchers used decades-old radar data and found that some low-lying areas of Venus’ crust are moving and jostling. This evidence is some of the strongest yet of tectonic activity on Venus.

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