Inner planets

Definition

Inner planets are the four planets closest to the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. They are collectively characterized by a solid surface and small size relative to the outer gas giants.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Unlike Earth, Venus lacks discrete, moving plates. Analogue model experiments suggest that observed hints at plate recycling do indeed indicate current, localized destruction of the Venusian surface.

    • Fabio Crameri
    Nature Geoscience 10, 330–331
  • News and Views |

    Variability of iron isotopes among planetary bodies may reflect their accretion or differentiation histories. Experiments suggest nickel may be the ingredient controlling iron isotope signatures, supporting fractionation during core formation.

    • Paolo A. Sossi
    Nature Geoscience 10, 249–251
  • News and Views |

    The twin isotopic signatures of the Moon and Earth are difficult to explain by a single giant impact. Impact simulations suggest that making the Moon by a combination of multiple, smaller moonlet-forming impacts may work better.

    • Gareth S. Collins
    Nature Geoscience 10, 72–73
  • News and Views |

    There is potential evidence for a stratified layer at the top of the Earth's core, but its origin is not well understood. Laboratory experiments suggest that the stratified layer could be a sunken remnant of the giant impact that formed the Moon.

    • Miki Nakajima
    Nature Geoscience 9, 734–735
  • News and Views |

    The two small satellites of Mars are thought to have accreted from a debris disk formed in a giant impact. Simulations suggest the moons were shepherded into formation by the dynamical influence of one or more short-lived massive inner moons.

    • Erik Asphaug
    Nature Geoscience 9, 568–569