Planets & Moons

The origin and evolution of our solar system has preoccupied human observers for centuries. Various spacecraft missions have explored the planets and satellites of the Solar System, yielding information on surface composition, geological and geophysical evolution. Differences and similarities among the planets also enlighten our view of our home planet. Researchers within the School study Solar System objects with a variety of approaches including spacecraft data analysis, theoretical and computational modeling, and laboratory analysis.  Students and researchers participate in NASA missions to Mercury, the Moon, Mars, and on two teams in NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute.