Latest Terrestrial planets Stories
After spending the last year-and-a-half orbiting Mercury, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft is revealing new information about the planet that lies closest to the sun.
Mimicking the intense vibrations experienced by a satellite during launch, the engineering model of the BepiColombo mission to Mercury has been subjected to similar forces at ESA’s spacecraft test facilities.
On a summer's day, the sun dominates the sky looking for all the world like a big, round ball of light. Round is exactly what it is, it turns out. It is nearly the roundest object ever measured.
Eight years ago this month, in 2004, the MESSENGER space probe was launched on a six-and-a-half year, 4.9-billion mile journey to be the first spacecraft to orbit the planet Mercury.
Scientists collaborated recently to produce simulations of Earth-like planets being vaporized in order to help astronomers have a better grasp of what to look for in the atmosphere of candidate super-Earths.
While scientists tend to accept the theory that the Moon was formed following a collision between a young Earth and a second planet, new research suggests that the impactor might have been larger and traveling faster than previous believed.
Astronomers have detected a new exoplanet 33 light-years away that is two-thirds the size of Earth, making it the nearest known world to our solar system that is smaller than our home planet.
Mineral evolution posits that Earth's near-surface mineral diversity gradually increased through an array of chemical and biological processes.
Astronomers around the world looked to the sky last night and this morning to observe Venus as it passed across the face of the Sun for the last time this century. ESA’s Sun-watching space missions also tuned in for the solar spectacular.
Terrestrial Planet -- A terrestrial planet is a planet that is mostly composed of silicate rocks and may or may not have a relatively thin atmosphere. The term is derived from the Greek word for Earth, so an alternate definition would be those planets that are more Earth-like than not. Terrestrial planets are very different from gas giants, which may or may not have solid surfaces and are composed mostly of hydrogen and helium in various physical states. Only one terrestrial planet,...
The Planet Venus is the second planet from the sun. It is often called the evening star or morning star and is brighter than any object in the sky except the sun and the moon. Because its orbit lies between the sun and the orbit of the earth, Venus passes through phases like those of the moon, varying from a large bright crescent when the planet is near inferior conjunction (nearest the earth) to a smaller silvery disk when it is at superior conjunction (farthest from the earth). Since...
The Planet Mercury -- in astronomy, nearest planet to the sun, at a mean distance of 36 million mi (58 million km); its period of revolution is 88 days. Mercury passes through phases similar to those of the moon as it completes each revolution about the sun, although the visible disk varies in size with respect to its distance from the earth. Because its greatest elongation is 28, it is seen only for a short time after sunset or before sunrise. Since observation of Mercury is...
The Planet Mars -- in astronomy, 4th planet from the sun, with an orbit next in order beyond that of the earth. Physical Characteristics Mars has a striking red appearance, and in its most favorable position for viewing, when it is opposite the sun, it is twice as bright as Sirius, the brightest star. Mars has a diameter of 4,200 mi (6,800 km), just over half the diameter of the earth, and its mass is only 11% of the earth's mass. The planet has a very thin atmosphere consisting...
Earth -- in geology and astronomy, fifth largest planet of the solar system and the only planet definitely known to support life. Gravitational forces have molded the earth, like all celestial bodies, into a spherical shape. However, the earth is not an exact sphere, being slightly flattened at the poles and bulging at the equator. The equatorial diameter is c.7,926 mi (12,760 km) and the polar diameter 7,900 mi (12,720 km); the circumference at the equator is c.24,830 mi (40,000 km)....
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