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

  • Research |

    The oldest known minerals from Mars have no strong shock features, indicating early cessation of giant impacts there, according to microanalysis of zircon and baddeleyite grains in meteorites.

    • D. E. Moser
    • , G. A. Arcuri
    • , D. A. Reinhard
    • , L. F. White
    • , J. R. Darling
    • , I. R. Barker
    • , D. J. Larson
    • , A. J. Irving
    • , F. M. McCubbin
    • , K. T. Tait
    • , J. Roszjar
    • , A. Wittmann
    •  & C. Davis
    Nature Geoscience 12, 522-527
  • Research |

    Highly sensitive measurements of the atmosphere of Mars with the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter do not detect any methane over a range of latitudes in both hemispheres, in contrast to previous local or remote detections.

    • Oleg Korablev
    • , Ann Carine Vandaele
    • , Franck Montmessin
    • , Anna A. Fedorova
    • , Alexander Trokhimovskiy
    • , François Forget
    • , Franck Lefèvre
    • , Frank Daerden
    • , Ian R. Thomas
    • , Loïc Trompet
    • , Justin T. Erwin
    • , Shohei Aoki
    • , Séverine Robert
    • , Lori Neary
    • , Sébastien Viscardy
    • , Alexey V. Grigoriev
    • , Nikolay I. Ignatiev
    • , Alexey Shakun
    • , Andrey Patrakeev
    • , Denis A. Belyaev
    • , Jean-Loup Bertaux
    • , Kevin S. Olsen
    • , Lucio Baggio
    • , Juan Alday
    • , Yuriy S. Ivanov
    • , Bojan Ristic
    • , Jon Mason
    • , Yannick Willame
    • , Cédric Depiesse
    • , Laszlo Hetey
    • , Sophie Berkenbosch
    • , Roland Clairquin
    • , Claudio Queirolo
    • , Bram Beeckman
    • , Eddy Neefs
    • , Manish R. Patel
    • , Giancarlo Bellucci
    • , Jose-Juan López-Moreno
    • , Colin F. Wilson
    • , Giuseppe Etiope
    • , Lev Zelenyi
    • , Håkan Svedhem
    • , Jorge L. Vago
    • , Gustavo Alonso-Rodrigo
    • , Francesca Altieri
    • , Konstantin Anufreychik
    • , Gabriele Arnold
    • , Sophie Bauduin
    • , David Bolsée
    • , Giacomo Carrozzo
    • , R. Todd Clancy
    • , Edward Cloutis
    • , Matteo Crismani
    • , Fabiana Da Pieve
    • , Emiliano D’Aversa
    • , Natalia Duxbury
    • , Therese Encrenaz
    • , Thierry Fouchet
    • , Bernd Funke
    • , Didier Fussen
    • , Maia Garcia-Comas
    • , Jean-Claude Gérard
    • , Marco Giuranna
    • , Leo Gkouvelis
    • , Francisco Gonzalez-Galindo
    • , Davide Grassi
    • , Sandrine Guerlet
    • , Paul Hartogh
    • , James Holmes
    • , Benoît Hubert
    • , Jacek Kaminski
    • , Ozgur Karatekin
    • , Yasumasa Kasaba
    • , David Kass
    • , Igor Khatuntsev
    • , Armin Kleinböhl
    • , Nikita Kokonkov
    • , Vladimir Krasnopolsky
    • , Ruslan Kuzmin
    • , Gaétan Lacombe
    • , Orietta Lanciano
    • , Emmanuel Lellouch
    • , Stephen Lewis
    • , Mikhail Luginin
    • , Giuliano Liuzzi
    • , Manuel López-Puertas
    • , Miguel López-Valverde
    • , Anni Määttänen
    • , Arnaud Mahieux
    • , Emmanuel Marcq
    • , Javier Martin-Torres
    • , Igor Maslov
    • , Alexander Medvedev
    • , Ehouarn Millour
    • , Boris Moshkin
    • , Michael J. Mumma
    • , Hiromu Nakagawa
    • , Robert E. Novak
    • , Fabrizio Oliva
    • , Dmitry Patsaev
    • , Arianna Piccialli
    • , Cathy Quantin-Nataf
    • , Etienne Renotte
    • , Birgit Ritter
    • , Alexander Rodin
    • , Frédéric Schmidt
    • , Nick Schneider
    • , Valery Shematovich
    • , Michael D. Smith
    • , Nicholas A. Teanby
    • , Ed Thiemann
    • , Nicolas Thomas
    • , Jean Vander Auwera
    • , Luis Vazquez
    • , Geronimo Villanueva
    • , Matthieu Vincendon
    • , James Whiteway
    • , Valérie Wilquet
    • , Michael J. Wolff
    • , Paulina Wolkenberg
    • , Roger Yelle
    • , Roland Young
    • , Ludmila Zasova
    •  & Maria Paz Zorzano
    Nature 568, 517-520
  • Research |

    High-resolution measurements of Martian atmospheric dust, water and semiheavy water, obtained by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter during a global dust storm on Mars, are reported.

    • Ann Carine Vandaele
    • , Oleg Korablev
    • , Frank Daerden
    • , Shohei Aoki
    • , Ian R. Thomas
    • , Francesca Altieri
    • , Miguel López-Valverde
    • , Geronimo Villanueva
    • , Giuliano Liuzzi
    • , Michael D. Smith
    • , Justin T. Erwin
    • , Loïc Trompet
    • , Anna A. Fedorova
    • , Franck Montmessin
    • , Alexander Trokhimovskiy
    • , Denis A. Belyaev
    • , Nikolay I. Ignatiev
    • , Mikhail Luginin
    • , Kevin S. Olsen
    • , Lucio Baggio
    • , Juan Alday
    • , Jean-Loup Bertaux
    • , Daria Betsis
    • , David Bolsée
    • , R. Todd Clancy
    • , Edward Cloutis
    • , Cédric Depiesse
    • , Bernd Funke
    • , Maia Garcia-Comas
    • , Jean-Claude Gérard
    • , Marco Giuranna
    • , Francisco Gonzalez-Galindo
    • , Alexey V. Grigoriev
    • , Yuriy S. Ivanov
    • , Jacek Kaminski
    • , Ozgur Karatekin
    • , Franck Lefèvre
    • , Stephen Lewis
    • , Manuel López-Puertas
    • , Arnaud Mahieux
    • , Igor Maslov
    • , Jon Mason
    • , Michael J. Mumma
    • , Lori Neary
    • , Eddy Neefs
    • , Andrey Patrakeev
    • , Dmitry Patsaev
    • , Bojan Ristic
    • , Séverine Robert
    • , Frédéric Schmidt
    • , Alexey Shakun
    • , Nicholas A. Teanby
    • , Sébastien Viscardy
    • , Yannick Willame
    • , James Whiteway
    • , Valérie Wilquet
    • , Michael J. Wolff
    • , Giancarlo Bellucci
    • , Manish R. Patel
    • , Jose-Juan López-Moreno
    • , François Forget
    • , Colin F. Wilson
    • , Håkan Svedhem
    • , Jorge L. Vago
    • , Daniel Rodionov
    • , Ann Carine Vandaele
    • , Jose-Juan López-Moreno
    • , Giancarlo Bellucci
    • , Manish R. Patel
    • , Gustavo Alonso-Rodrigo
    • , Shohei Aoki
    • , Francesca Altieri
    • , Sophie Bauduin
    • , David Bolsée
    • , Giacomo Carrozzo
    • , R. Todd Clancy
    • , Edward Cloutis
    • , Matteo Crismani
    • , Frank Daerden
    • , Fabiana Da Pieve
    • , Emiliano D’Aversa
    • , Cédric Depiesse
    • , Justin T. Erwin
    • , Giuseppe Etiope
    • , Anna A. Fedorova
    • , Bernd Funke
    • , Didier Fussen
    • , Maia Garcia-Comas
    • , Anna Geminale
    • , Jean-Claude Gérard
    • , Marco Giuranna
    • , Leo Gkouvelis
    • , Francisco Gonzalez-Galindo
    • , James Holmes
    • , Benoît Hubert
    • , Nicolay I. Ignatiev
    • , Jacek Kaminski
    • , Ozgur Karatekin
    • , Yasumasa Kasaba
    • , David Kass
    • , Armin Kleinböhl
    • , Orietta Lanciano
    • , Franck Lefèvre
    • , Stephen Lewis
    • , Giuliano Liuzzi
    • , Manuel López-Puertas
    • , Miguel López-Valverde
    • , Arnaud Mahieux
    • , Jon Mason
    • , Michael J. Mumma
    • , Hiromu Nakagawa
    • , Lori Neary
    • , Eddy Neefs
    • , Robert E. Novak
    • , Fabrizio Oliva
    • , Arianna Piccialli
    • , Etienne Renotte
    • , Birgit Ritter
    • , Séverine Robert
    • , Frédéric Schmidt
    • , Nick Schneider
    • , Giuseppe Sindoni
    • , Michael D. Smith
    • , Nicholas A. Teanby
    • , Ed Thiemann
    • , Ian R. Thomas
    • , Alexander Trokhimovskiy
    • , Loïc Trompet
    • , Jean Vander Auwera
    • , Geronimo Villanueva
    • , Sébastien Viscardy
    • , James Whiteway
    • , Valerie Wilquet
    • , Yannick Willame
    • , Michael J. Wolff
    • , Paulina Wolkenberg
    • , Roger Yelle
    • , Juan Alday
    • , Francesca Altieri
    • , Konstantin Anufreychik
    • , Gabriele Arnold
    • , Lucio Baggio
    • , Denis A. Belyaev
    • , Jean-Loup Bertaux
    • , Natalia Duxbury
    • , Anna A. Fedorova
    • , François Forget
    • , Thierry Fouchet
    • , Davide Grassi
    • , Alexey V. Grigoriev
    • , Sandrine Guerlet
    • , Paul Hartogh
    • , Nikolay I. Ignatiev
    • , Yasumasa Kasaba
    • , Igor Khatuntsev
    • , Nikita Kokonkov
    • , Oleg Korablev
    • , Vladimir Krasnopolsky
    • , Ruslan Kuzmin
    • , Gaétan Lacombe
    • , Franck Lefèvre
    • , Emmanuel Lellouch
    • , Miguel López-Valverde
    • , Igor Maslov
    • , Mikhail Luginin
    • , Anni Määttänen
    • , Emmanuel Marcq
    • , Javier Martin-Torres
    • , Alexander Medvedev
    • , Ehouarn Millour
    • , Franck Montmessin
    • , Boris Moshkin
    • , Kevin S. Olsen
    • , Manish R. Patel
    • , Andrey Patrakeev
    • , Dmitry Patsaev
    • , Cathy Quantin-Nataf
    • , Daniel Rodionov
    • , Alexander Rodin
    • , Alexey Shakun
    • , Valery Shematovich
    • , Ian R. Thomas
    • , Nicolas Thomas
    • , Alexander Trokhimovsky
    • , Luis Vazquez
    • , Matthieu Vincendon
    • , Valérie Wilquet
    • , Colin F. Wilson
    • , Roland Young
    • , Ludmila Zasova
    • , Lev Zelenyi
    •  & Maria Paz Zorzano
    Nature 568, 521-525
  • Research |

    A methane spike 15.5 ± 2.5 parts per billion by volume was detected in the Martian atmosphere above Gale Crater on 16 June 2013 by Mars Express, independently confirming the debated in situ observation by the Curiosity rover a day earlier.

    • Marco Giuranna
    • , Sébastien Viscardy
    • , Frank Daerden
    • , Lori Neary
    • , Giuseppe Etiope
    • , Dorothy Oehler
    • , Vittorio Formisano
    • , Alessandro Aronica
    • , Paulina Wolkenberg
    • , Shohei Aoki
    • , Alejandro Cardesín-Moinelo
    • , Julia Marín-Yaseli de la Parra
    • , Donald Merritt
    •  & Marilena Amoroso
    Nature Geoscience 12, 326-332

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Although a major objective in Mars exploration is the search for life, there are many scenarios that could lead to the recovery of lifeless samples. What could lifeless samples tell us about Mars and its habitability?

    • Charles S. Cockell
    •  & Sean McMahon
    Nature Astronomy 3, 468-470
  • 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.