Recently in the Astrogeology Category


For centuries, humans have mined materials to build the tools we use every day, from batteries and cell phones to airplanes and refrigerators. While the process of obtaining these important minerals used to rely entirely on heavy machinery, fire, and human labor, scientists have learned how to harness the natural power of microbes to do some of the work.

Carbonaceous chondrite meteorites are so far the only available samples representing carbon-rich asteroids and in order to allow future comparison with samples returned by missions such as Hayabusa 2 and OSIRIS-Rex, is important to understand their physical properties.

The Earth Has A Pulse

Geologic activity on Earth appears to follow a 27.5-million-year cycle, giving the planet a "pulse," according to a new study published in the journal Geoscience Frontiers.

Scientists led by Michael Ackerson, a research geologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, provide new evidence that modern plate tectonics, a defining feature of Earth and its unique ability to support life, emerged roughly 3.6 billion years ago.

Where On Earth Is All The Water?

High-temperature and high-pressure experiments involving a diamond anvil and chemicals to simulate the core of the young Earth demonstrate for the first time that hydrogen can bond strongly with iron in extreme conditions.

Astronomers have identified more than 4,000, and counting, confirmed exoplanets -- planets orbiting stars other than the sun -- but only a fraction have the potential to sustain life.

Carbon is an essential element for life but its behavior during Earth's accretion is not well understood.

A vast global ocean may have covered early Earth during the early Archean eon, 4 to 3.2 billion years ago, a side effect of having a hotter mantle than today, according to new research.

The tectonic regime of rocky planets fundamentally influences their long-term evolution and cycling of volatiles between interior and atmosphere. Earth is the only known planet with active plate tectonics, but observations of exoplanets may deliver insights into the diversity of tectonic regimes beyond the solar system.

We discuss the current state of knowledge of terrestrial planet formation from the aspects of different planet formation models and isotopic data from 182Hf-182W, U-Pb, lithophile-siderophile elements, 48Ca/44Ca isotope samples from planetary building blocks, 36Ar/38Ar, 20Ne/22Ne, 36Ar/22Ne isotope ratios in Venus' and Earth's atmospheres, the expected solar 3He abundance in Earth's deep mantle and Earth's D/H sea water ratios that shed light on the accretion time of the early protoplanets.