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Fire and Brimstone: Why Earth Isn't Like Venus

Both planets have abundant sulfur, but Earth life has a way of cycling it for good.

Moon, Mercury, and Magnetic Fields

After the crash of MESSENGER, magnetic fields in the solar system have become a key topic for planetary science.

Solar System Reversals

The planets keep going around, but theories about them often stop and go backward or sideways. When nothing else works, send in the impactors!

Astrobiology Hopes Diminish

Recent findings both near and far create challenges for beliefs that life is common in the universe.

Saturn Rescues Earth: Outer Planet Wonders

How Saturn saved the Earth, and other news from the ringed planet, its family, and other bodies in the outer solar system.

Comet Lander Working, But Not Optimal

Rosetta's Philae lander hopped twice before landing in the shade in a tilted position, but the instruments are working.

Lunar Impact: Major Moon Basin Was Not a Big Hit

The theory of how the largest impact basin on the moon was formed has been turned upside down.

Of Planets and People

Here's a quick tour of the planets to see what's newsworthy.

Planets Don't Fit Evolutionary Models

Secular planetary scientists are surprised by almost every object they observe in the solar system. Their models cannot reproduce our system of planets.

Planet Rotation Limits Habitability

Life can't exist on a planet that rotates too fast or slow. This is another Goldilocks problem for astrobiologists to consider.

Every Planet Surprises Secular Astronomers, I: Inner Planets

"Surprise" or "puzzling" are the most common words in news reports about bodies in the solar system. Here are recent examples that discuss the inner planets.

The Spin on Planets

As the orbs whirl around Sol, human understanding of our space neighborhood rises and falls.

Venus: 80% of Its History Is Missing

In spite of being called Earth's twin, Venus is vastly different. Scientists are struggling to fit its young surface to 4.5 billion years.

Cosmic Whacks as Creative Forces

Asteroid impacts are some astronomers' answer to everything, except when they are shown to be unworkable.

Extrasolar Planets: Bigger and More Mortal

Many of the stars and planets found by the Kepler spacecraft are not earthlike. Also, astronomers have seen planets destroyed by their stars.
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