Planetary geology
Overview
 
Planetary geology, alternatively known as astrogeology or exogeology, is a planetary science
Planetary science
Planetary science is the scientific study of planets , moons, and planetary systems, in particular those of the Solar System and the processes that form them. It studies objects ranging in size from micrometeoroids to gas giants, aiming to determine their composition, dynamics, formation,...

 discipline concerned with the geology
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

 of the celestial bodies such as the planet
Planet
A planet is a celestial body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals.The term planet is ancient, with ties to history, science,...

s and their moon
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

s, asteroid
Asteroid
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

s, comet
Comet
A comet is an icy small Solar System body that, when close enough to the Sun, displays a visible coma and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are both due to the effects of solar radiation and the solar wind upon the nucleus of the comet...

s, and meteorite
Meteorite
A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the Earth's surface. Meteorites can be big or small. Most meteorites derive from small astronomical objects called meteoroids, but they are also sometimes produced by impacts of asteroids...

s. Although the geo- prefix typically indicates topics of or relating to the Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

, planetary geology is named as such for historical and convenience reasons. Due to the types of investigations involved, it is also closely linked with Earth-based geology.

Planetary geology includes such topics as determining the internal structure of the terrestrial planets, and also looks at planetary volcanism
Volcanism
Volcanism is the phenomenon connected with volcanoes and volcanic activity. It includes all phenomena resulting from and causing magma within the crust or mantle of a planet to rise through the crust and form volcanic rocks on the surface....

 and surface processes such as impact crater
Impact crater
In the broadest sense, the term impact crater can be applied to any depression, natural or manmade, resulting from the high velocity impact of a projectile with a larger body...

s, fluvial
Fluvial
Fluvial is used in geography and Earth science to refer to the processes associated with rivers and streams and the deposits and landforms created by them...

 and aeolian processes.
Encyclopedia
Planetary geology, alternatively known as astrogeology or exogeology, is a planetary science
Planetary science
Planetary science is the scientific study of planets , moons, and planetary systems, in particular those of the Solar System and the processes that form them. It studies objects ranging in size from micrometeoroids to gas giants, aiming to determine their composition, dynamics, formation,...

 discipline concerned with the geology
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

 of the celestial bodies such as the planet
Planet
A planet is a celestial body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals.The term planet is ancient, with ties to history, science,...

s and their moon
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

s, asteroid
Asteroid
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

s, comet
Comet
A comet is an icy small Solar System body that, when close enough to the Sun, displays a visible coma and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are both due to the effects of solar radiation and the solar wind upon the nucleus of the comet...

s, and meteorite
Meteorite
A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the Earth's surface. Meteorites can be big or small. Most meteorites derive from small astronomical objects called meteoroids, but they are also sometimes produced by impacts of asteroids...

s. Although the geo- prefix typically indicates topics of or relating to the Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

, planetary geology is named as such for historical and convenience reasons. Due to the types of investigations involved, it is also closely linked with Earth-based geology.

Planetary geology includes such topics as determining the internal structure of the terrestrial planets, and also looks at planetary volcanism
Volcanism
Volcanism is the phenomenon connected with volcanoes and volcanic activity. It includes all phenomena resulting from and causing magma within the crust or mantle of a planet to rise through the crust and form volcanic rocks on the surface....

 and surface processes such as impact crater
Impact crater
In the broadest sense, the term impact crater can be applied to any depression, natural or manmade, resulting from the high velocity impact of a projectile with a larger body...

s, fluvial
Fluvial
Fluvial is used in geography and Earth science to refer to the processes associated with rivers and streams and the deposits and landforms created by them...

 and aeolian processes. The structures of the giant planets and their moons are also examined, as is the make-up of the minor bodies of the solar system, such as asteroid
Asteroid
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

s, the Kuiper Belt
Kuiper belt
The Kuiper belt , sometimes called the Edgeworth–Kuiper belt, is a region of the Solar System beyond the planets extending from the orbit of Neptune to approximately 50 AU from the Sun. It is similar to the asteroid belt, although it is far larger—20 times as wide and 20 to 200 times as massive...

, and comet
Comet
A comet is an icy small Solar System body that, when close enough to the Sun, displays a visible coma and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are both due to the effects of solar radiation and the solar wind upon the nucleus of the comet...

s.

Eugene Shoemaker is credited with creating the Branch of Astrogeology (now called the Astrogeology Research Program
Astrogeology Research Program
The USGS Astrogeology Science Center has a rich history of participation in space exploration efforts and planetary mapping, starting in 1963 when the Flagstaff Science Center was established by Gene Shoemaker to provide lunar geologic mapping and assist in training astronauts destined for the...

) within the U.S. Geological Survey. He made important contributions to the field and the study of impact crater
Impact crater
In the broadest sense, the term impact crater can be applied to any depression, natural or manmade, resulting from the high velocity impact of a projectile with a larger body...

s, Lunar Science, asteroids, and comets.

The Visitor Center at Barringer Meteor Crater near Winslow
Winslow, Arizona
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 9,520 people, 2,754 households, and 1,991 families residing in the city. The population density was 773.1 people per square mile . There were 3,198 housing units at an average density of 259.7 per square mile...

, Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

 includes a Museum of Astrogeology.

Major centers for planetary science research include the Lunar and Planetary Institute
Lunar and Planetary Institute
The Lunar and Planetary Institute is a scientific research institute dedicated to study of the solar system, its formation, evolution, and current state. The Institute is part of the Universities Space Research Association and is supported by the Science Mission Directorate of the National...

, the Applied Physics Laboratory
Applied Physics Laboratory
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory , located in Howard County, Maryland near Laurel and Columbia, is a not-for-profit, university-affiliated research center employing 4,500 people. APL is primarily a defense contractor. It serves as a technical resource for the Department of...

, the Planetary Science Institute
Planetary Science Institute
The Planetary Science Institute is a research institute based in Tucson, Arizona, focusing on planetary science.Founded in 1972 on a non-profit basis, it is involved in many NASA missions, the study of Mars, asteroids, comets, interplanetary dust, the formation of the Solar System, extrasolar...

, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center located in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County, California, United States. The facility is headquartered in the city of Pasadena on the border of La Cañada Flintridge and Pasadena...

, Southwest Research Institute
Southwest Research Institute
Southwest Research Institute , headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organizations in the United States...

, and Johnson Space Center. Additionally, several universities conduct extensive planetary science research, including Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

, the University of Arizona
Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is a research center for planetary science located in Tucson, Arizona. It is also a graduate school, constituting the Department of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona...

, CalTech, MIT, and Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university located in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853, and named for George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all fifty U.S. states and more than 110 nations...

.

See also

  • Geology of Mercury
    Geology of Mercury
    The surface of Mercury is dominated by impact craters, and lava plains similar in some respects to the lunar maria. Other notable features include scarps and mineral deposits inside craters at the poles. Currently, the surface is presumed to be geologically inactive...

  • Geology of Venus
    Geology of Venus
    Venus is a planet with striking surface characteristics. Most of what is known about its surface stems from radar observations, mainly images sent by the Magellan probe between August 16, 1990 and the end of its sixth orbital cycle in September 1994...

  • Geology of the Moon
    Geology of the Moon
    The geology of the Moon is quite different from that of the Earth...

  • Geology of Mars
    Geology of Mars
    The geology of Mars is the scientific study of the surface, crust, and interior of the planet Mars. It emphasizes the composition, structure, history, and physical processes that shape the planet. It is fully analogous to the field of terrestrial geology. In planetary science, the term geology is...

  • Geology of Callisto
  • Geology of Europa
  • Geology of Ganymede
  • Geology of Io
  • Geology of Titan
  • Geology of Triton
  • Geology of Pluto

See also

  • Geological features of the solar system
    Geological features of the solar system
    Recommendation- Geology of solar terrestrial planetsThis is a directory of lists of geological features on other planets, moons and asteroids :- Mercury :* List of craters on Mercury...

  • Planetary science
    Planetary science
    Planetary science is the scientific study of planets , moons, and planetary systems, in particular those of the Solar System and the processes that form them. It studies objects ranging in size from micrometeoroids to gas giants, aiming to determine their composition, dynamics, formation,...

  • Geological history of Earth
    Geological history of Earth
    The geological history of Earth follows the major events in Earth's past based on the geologic time scale, a system of chronological measurement based on the study of the planet's rock layers...

  • Impact gardening
    Impact gardening
    Impact gardening is the process by which impact events stir the outermost crusts of moons and other celestial objects with no atmospheres. In the particular case of the Moon, this is more often known as lunar gardening...

  • Astrogeology Research Program
    Astrogeology Research Program
    The USGS Astrogeology Science Center has a rich history of participation in space exploration efforts and planetary mapping, starting in 1963 when the Flagstaff Science Center was established by Gene Shoemaker to provide lunar geologic mapping and assist in training astronauts destined for the...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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