New simulations show that planets around young, massive stars may have been captured or stolen rather than homegrown.
orbits & rotations
Shake, Rattle, and Probe
Helioseismology allows scientists to study the interior of the Sun, solve some basic physics mysteries, and forecast space weather.
Precession Helped Drive Glacial Cycles in the Pleistocene
By studying bits of rock scooped up by ancient glaciers, researchers have pinned down that recent glacial variability was driven, in part, by changes in the direction of Earth’s axis of rotation.
Dynamics of Ocean Worlds Likely Controlled by Their Rotation
New simulations suggest that subsurface oceans on icy moons with small natural Rossby numbers may be dominated by rotational effects.
Tidally Locked and Loaded with Questions
Tidally locked planets always present the same face to their host stars. What does this mean for their potential to support life?
Peculiar Planets Prefer Perpendicular Paths
Some exoplanets orbit their stars from pole to pole instead of across the equator. Why do they do that?
Fifteen Years of Radar Reveal Venus’s Most Basic Facts
Venus’s heavy atmosphere tugs the planet’s surface enough to change the length of its day by up to 21 minutes.
Martian Meteorites Shed Light on Solar System’s Early Dynamics
Chemical compositions of rocks from Mars indicate that the earliest orbits of Jupiter and Saturn were more circular than they are today.
Better Thermospheric Monitoring is Vital to Space Safety
Better real-time estimates of thermospheric density are vital to the safe management of satellite traffic in Low Earth orbit, ensuring those satellites continue to deliver critical services.