Many of the mysteries of planetary science must be investigated theoretically (or numerically) due to the limited availability of data. For example, probing planetary interiors, following the evolution of planetary objects, and investigating various physical processes relevant to planetary science (e.g., interior dynamics, convection) can be done only theoretically. Using analytical equations, semi-analytical models and numerical simulations, we can gain a better understanding of observations and in addition establish predictions.
At UCLA a big group concentrates on studying the dynamics of giant planet atmospheres and their deep interiors. Others investigate interior models of terrestrial planets and icy satellites, atmospheric circulation models for Titan, and the origin of metal abundance enhancement in the gas giants. Other make dynamical simulations aiming at understanding the formation of planets and minor bodies.
- Titan’s atmosphere by Jonathan Mitchell