As the only terrestrial planet, the Earth has a large amount of water and a relatively large moon, which stabilizes the Earth's axis. Both are essential for life to develop on Earth. Planetologists from the University of Münster (Germany) have now been able to show for the first time that water came to Earth with the formation of the moon. The results are published in the current issue of the journal Nature Astronomy.
Chemistry Professor Ralf I. Kaiser and HIGP's Jeffrey Gillis-Davis designed the experiments to test the synergy between hydrogen protons from solar wind, lunar minerals, and micrometeorite impacts.
The stark difference between the moon's heavily-cratered farside and the lower-lying open basins of the Earth-facing nearside has puzzled scientists for decades. Now, new evidence about the moon's crust suggests the differences were caused by a wayward dwarf planet colliding with the moon in the early history of the solar system.
Computer simulations provide compelling evidence that an insulating layer of gas hydrates could keep a subsurface ocean from freezing beneath Pluto's icy exterior, according to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
In 2020, NASA and European-Russian missions will look for evidence of past life on Mars. But while volcanic, igneous rock predominates on the Red Planet, virtually the entire Earth fossil record comes from sedimentary rocks. Addressing the problem in Frontiers in Earth Science, Swedish scientists have begun compiling evidence of fossilized microbes in underexplored igneous rock environments on Earth, to help guide where to search for a Martian fossil record - and what to look for.
A lunar lander named for the Chinese goddess of the moon may have lessened the mystery of the far side of the moon. The fourth probe of Chang'E (CE-4) was the first mission to land on the far side of the moon, and it has collected new evidence from the largest crater in the solar system, clarifying how the moon may have evolved.
Small, hardy planets packed with dense elements have the best chance of avoiding being crushed and swallowed up when their host star dies, new research from the University of Warwick has found.
The study of a new water-cycle in the Martian summertime offers clues as to why Mars is a dusty barren land.
A years-long study that involved scientists and experiments at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley concludes that an odd assortment of particles found in beach sands in Japan are most likely fallout debris from the 1945 Hiroshima A-bomb blast.
A new analysis suggests that the moon is actively shrinking and producing moonquakes along thousands of cliffs called thrust faults spread over the moon's surface. The faults are likely the result of the moon's interior cooling and shrinking, causing the surface crust to shrivel and crack like a raisin's skin. The research, published in Nature Geoscience, combines data from NASA's Apollo and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter missions.