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Icy Satellites: Interior Structure, Dynamics, and Evolution  

Francis Nimmo

Online publication date:
Jun 2018
This article consists of three sections. The first discusses how we determine satellite internal structures and what we know about them. The primary probes of internal structure are ... More

The Interiors of Jupiter and Saturn  

Ravit Helled

Online publication date:
Jun 2019
Probing the interiors of the gaseous giant planets in our solar system is not an easy task. It requires a set of accurate measurements combined with theoretical models that are used to ... More

International Geopolitics and Space Regulation  

Gianfranco Gabriele Nucera

Online publication date:
May 2019
Outer space has always assumed a relevant geopolitical value due to strategic and economic reasons. Since the beginning of the so-called space age, national space policies have pursued both ... More

International Satellite Law  

Frans von der Dunk

Online publication date:
Apr 2019
Space Law
International satellite law can best be described as that subset of international space law that addresses the operations of satellites in orbit around the Earth. Excluding, therefore, ... More

International Space Law and Satellite Telecommunications  

Elina Morozova and Yaroslav Vasyanin

Online publication date:
Dec 2019
Space Law
International space law is a branch of international law that regulates the conduct of space activities. Its core instruments include five space-specific international treaties, which were ... More

Jets in Planetary Atmospheres  

Timothy E. Dowling

Online publication date:
Apr 2019
Jet streams, “jets” for short, are remarkably coherent streams of air found in every major atmosphere. They have a profound effect on a planet’s global circulation and have been an enigma ... More

Legal Consequences of the Pollution of Outer Space with Space Debris  

Peter Stubbe

Space Law
This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Planetary Science. Please check back later for the full article. Space ... More

Lunar and Planetary Geology  

Alexander T. Basilevsky

Online publication date:
May 2018
Lunar and planetary geology can be described using examples such as the geology of Earth (as the reference case) and geologies of the Earth’s satellite the Moon; the planets Mercury, Mars ... More

The Magnetosphere of Saturn  

Sarah Badman

This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Planetary Science. Please check back later for the full article. ... More

The Magnetosphere of Uranus  

Xin Cao and Carol Paty

This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Planetary Science. Please check back later for the full article. A ... More

Mantle Convection in Terrestrial Planets  

Elvira Mulyukova and David Bercovici

Online publication date:
Mar 2020
All the rocky planets in our solar system, including the Earth, initially formed much hotter than their surroundings and have since been cooling to space for billions of years. The ... More

Martian Ionospheric Observation and Modelling  

Francisco González-Galindo

The Martian ionosphere is a plasma embedded within the neutral upper atmosphere of the planet. Its main source is the ionization of the CO2-dominated Martian mesosphere and thermosphere by ... More


Kun Wang and Randy Korotev

For thousands of years, people living in Egypt, China, Greece, Rome, and other parts of the world have been fascinated by shooting stars, which are the light and sound phenomena commonly ... More

The Moon and Planets in Indigenous California  

E.C. Krupp

Online publication date:
Apr 2019
Anthropologists distinguish the U.S. State of California as a primary zone of prehistoric and tribal North America—it was one of the most linguistically and cultural diverse regions on ... More

Noble Gases  

Mario Trieloff

Online publication date:
Sep 2018
Although the second most abundant element in the cosmos is helium, noble gases are also called rare gases. The reason is that they are not abundant on terrestrial planets like the Earth, ... More

Origins of Life: Open Questions and Debates  

André Brack

Online publication date:
Oct 2017
Stanley Miller demonstrated in 1953 that it was possible to form amino acids from methane, ammonia, and hydrogen in water, thus launching the ambitious hope that chemists would be able to ... More

The Outer Space Treaty  

Christopher Daniel Johnson

Online publication date:
Jan 2018
Space Law
Negotiated at the United Nations and in force since 1967, the Outer Space Treaty has been ratified by over 100 countries and is the most important and foundational source of space law. The ... More

Petrology and Geochemistry of Mercury  

Shoshana Z. Weider

Online publication date:
Jul 2019
Having knowledge of a terrestrial planet’s chemistry is fundamental to understanding the origin and composition of its rocks. Until recently, however, the geochemistry of Mercury—the Solar ... More

Planetary Magnetic Fields and Dynamos  

Ulrich R. Christensen

Online publication date:
Oct 2019
Since 1973 space missions carrying vector magnetometers have shown that most, but not all, solar system planets have a global magnetic field of internal origin. They have also revealed a ... More

Planet Formation  

Morris Podolak

Online publication date:
Apr 2018
Modern observational techniques are still not powerful enough to directly view planet formation, and so it is necessary to rely on theory. However, observations do give two important clues ... More