Planetary Science (PPS)
Prof. Sara Seager, Chair
Degrees Offered: S.M., Sc.D., Ph.D.
The EAPS Program in Planetary Science (PPS) offers students the opportunity to explore the solar system and beyond by examining the physical and chemical processes that shape the surfaces and interiors of planets and small bodies. PPS research ranges from early Earth geology and geochemistry to predictions of future states. Using theory, telescopic observation, spacecraft data, numerical modeling, experimentation, and analysis, our students also learn about the structure, chemistry, and dynamics of planetary atmospheres, culminating in a richer understanding of solar systems, solar-system bodies, and their individual and collective evolutionary histories.
PPS students are encouraged to draw upon the expertise of EAPS faculty as well as faculty in other disciplines with planetary applications. For modeling activities, our students also have access to high-tech computing instruments at MIT and national supercomputer centers. Solid planet petrological, geochemical, and rock mechanics laboratories are available for experimental analyses of planetary materials, and new data from spacecraft and telescopic observations are received continuously. For observation and remote sensing applications, students can take advantage of the facilities and technical expertise available at numerous MIT and NASA observatories and laboratories.