Research Groups of the Planetary Science Department

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High-precision laboratory studies of meteorites as well as terrestrial and lunar rocks, which reveal tiny differences in isotopic composition, provide valuable insights into the formation and evolution of the early Solar System, enable dating important events, and help us understand how our Solar System with its planets, moons, and small bodies became what it is today. [more]
All planets in our solar system (with the exception of Mercury) have an atmosphere but their composition and wind circulation patterns are completely different, derived e.g. via cloud tracking. [more]
Comets and asteroids are relicts of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago, a time when the planets did not yet exist. Observing these objects with groundbased telescopes or with camera systems and spectrometer onboard spacecraft allow us to study the properties of the early solar system. [more]
Planetary surfaces are the boundary locations where the solid or liquid material of the outer crust on planetary bodies comes into contact with the atmosphere or outer space. [more]
The interplanetary space in the vicinity of planets and small bodies is filled with neutral and charged particles created during the interaction of the solar wind with planetary atmospheres, or created in sputtering processes of objects with solid surfaces without atmosphere, or created in volcanic processes existent. [more]
The interior of planets is a major research topic at MPS. Theoretical modelling and computer simulations in combination with the data analysis of instruments like seismometers or laser altimeters are used as tools to investigate the dynamics of rocky mantles or iron cores. [more]

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