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Planetary Science: Exploring Other Worlds

15 Dec 2017, 16:22 UTC
Planetary Science: Exploring Other Worlds
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By Leanne Gunn
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit another planet?
What would it look like?
How high are its mountains?
Has life ever existed there?
Planetary scientists are the explorers of these other worlds. They spend their time studying other planets providing answers to these very questions.
Planetary scientists, Dr Matthew Balme and Dr Peter Fawdon explore Mars from The Open University in Milton Keynes.
But exploring a planet millions of miles away, without ever going there yourself is no easy task.
For the past year, we have been working closely with two planetary scientists from The Open University who spend most of their time exploring the planet Mars.
Dr Matthew Balme and Dr Peter Fawdon shared with us the fascinating techniques they use to study Mars, and through an STFC funded project we turned those secrets into a brand new science show all about our neighbouring planet.

How do you explore another planet?
Planetary scientists rely on space crafts, sent from Earth to orbit Mars. These orbiters circle the planet taking images of the Martian surface and sending them back to Earth.
Mars’ giant volcano Olympus Mons! cc-by-P.Fawdon

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