Recently in the Astrogeology Category


A new study shows that rocks formed by the grinding together of other rocks during earthquakes are rich in trapped hydrogen -- a finding that suggests similar seismic activity on Mars may produce enough hydrogen to support life.

Solar photospheric abundances of refractory elements mirror the Earth's to within ~10 mol% when normalized to the dominant terrestrial planet-forming elements Mg, Si and Fe. This allows for the adoption of Solar composition as an order-of-magnitude proxy for Earth's.

The temperature and density profiles of protoplanetary discs depend crucially on the mass fraction of micrometre-sized dust grains and on their chemical composition.

UCLA geochemists have found evidence that life likely existed on Earth at least 4.1 billion years ago -- 300 million years earlier than previous research suggested.

Reproducing the large Earth/Mars mass ratio requires a strong mass depletion in solids within the protoplanetary disk between 1 and 3 AU.

The long-term carbon cycle is vital for maintaining liquid water oceans on rocky planets due to the negative climate feedbacks involved in silicate weathering.

Is Iron A Biological Element?

Think of an object made of iron: An I-beam, a car frame, a nail. Now imagine that half of the iron in that object owes its existence to bacteria living two and a half billion years ago.

Planet Earth is situated in what astronomers call the Goldilocks Zone -- a sweet spot in a solar system where a planet's surface temperature is neither too hot nor too cold.

Planets with volcanic activity are considered better candidates for life than worlds without such heated internal goings-on.

Understanding the collisional properties of ice is important for understanding both the early stages of planet formation and the evolution of planetary ring systems.