Inner planets

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

  • Comments and Opinion |

    The surface of Mars has been well mapped and characterized, yet the subsurface — the most likely place to find signs of extant or extinct life and a repository of useful resources for human exploration — remains unexplored. In the near future this is set to change.

    • V. Stamenković
    • , L. W. Beegle
    • , K. Zacny
    • , D. D. Arumugam
    • , P. Baglioni
    • , N. Barba
    • , J. Baross
    • , M. S. Bell
    • , R. Bhartia
    • , J. G. Blank
    • , P. J. Boston
    • , D. Breuer
    • , W. Brinckerhoff
    • , M. S. Burgin
    • , I. Cooper
    • , V. Cormarkovic
    • , A. Davila
    • , R. M. Davis
    • , C. Edwards
    • , G. Etiope
    • , W. W. Fischer
    • , D. P. Glavin
    • , R. E. Grimm
    • , F. Inagaki
    • , J. L. Kirschvink
    • , A. Kobayashi
    • , T. Komarek
    • , M. Malaska
    • , J. Michalski
    • , B. Ménez
    • , M. Mischna
    • , D. Moser
    • , J. Mustard
    • , T. C. Onstott
    • , V. J. Orphan
    • , M. R. Osburn
    • , J. Plaut
    • , A.-C. Plesa
    • , N. Putzig
    • , K. L. Rogers
    • , L. Rothschild
    • , M. Russell
    • , H. Sapers
    • , B. Sherwood Lollar
    • , T. Spohn
    • , J. D. Tarnas
    • , M. Tuite
    • , D. Viola
    • , L. M. Ward
    • , B. Wilcox
    •  & R. Woolley
    Nature Astronomy 3, 116-120
  • Editorial |

    A careful analysis of data obtained from the IceCube telescope in Antarctica shows that atmospheric neutrinos can be used as a tomographic probe of the Earth.

  • News and Views |

    Using data from the IceCube telescope, a study presents the first attempt at obtaining geophysical information about Earth’s internal structure from the flux of neutrinos that pass through it.

    • Véronique Van Elewyck
    Nature Physics 15, 5-6
  • Editorial |

    Whether the climate of early Mars was warm and wet or cold and dry remains unclear, but the debate is overheated. With a growing toolbox and increasing data to tackle the open questions, progress is possible if there is openness to bridging the divide.