Fire and Brimstone: Why Earth Isn't Like Venus
June 28, 2015
Both planets have abundant sulfur, but Earth life has a way of cycling it for good.
Moon, Mercury, and Magnetic Fields
May 8, 2015
After the crash of MESSENGER, magnetic fields in the solar system have become a key topic for planetary science.
Solar System Reversals
February 9, 2015
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
December 6, 2014
Recent findings both near and far create challenges for beliefs that life is common in the universe.
Saturn Rescues Earth: Outer Planet Wonders
November 22, 2014
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
November 13, 2014
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
October 8, 2014
The theory of how the largest impact basin on the moon was formed has been turned upside down.
Of Planets and People
September 29, 2014
Here's a quick tour of the planets to see what's newsworthy.
Planets Don't Fit Evolutionary Models
September 8, 2014
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
August 15, 2014
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
May 3, 2014
"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
February 18, 2014
As the orbs whirl around Sol, human understanding of our space neighborhood rises and falls.
Venus: 80% of Its History Is Missing
January 2, 2014
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
October 17, 2013
Asteroid impacts are some astronomers' answer to everything, except when they are shown to be unworkable.
Extrasolar Planets: Bigger and More Mortal
June 10, 2013
Many of the stars and planets found by the Kepler spacecraft are not earthlike. Also, astronomers have seen planets destroyed by their stars.