Recently in the Astrogeology Category


Mountain ranges, volcanoes, trenches, and craters are common on rocky bodies throughout the Solar System, and we might we expect the same for rocky exoplanets.

The planetary building blocks that formed in the terrestrial planet region were likely very dry, yet water is comparatively abundant on Earth. We review the various mechanisms proposed for the origin of water on the terrestrial planets.

Plate tectonics is a geophysical process currently unique to Earth, has an important role in regulating the Earth's climate, and may be better understood by identifying rocky planets outside our solar system with tectonic activity.

Earth's tectonic processes regulate the formation of continental crust, control its unique deep water and carbon cycles, and are vital to its surface habitability.

Water and hydroxyl, once thought to be found only in the primitive airless bodies that formed beyond roughly 2.5-3 AU, have recently been detected on the Moon and Vesta, which both have surfaces dominated by evolved, non-primitive compositions. In both these cases, the water/OH is thought to be exogenic, either brought in via impacts with comets or hydrated asteroids or created via solar wind interactions with silicates in the regolith or both.

ESA astronauts Pedro Duque and Matthias Maurer have completed geology training to prepare them to be effective partners of planetary scientists and engineers in designing future exploration missions.

The classical theory of grain nucleation suffers from both theoretical and predictive deficiencies. We strive to alleviate these deficiencies in our understanding of dust formation and growth by utilizing an atomistic model of nucleation.

Traces of 2-3 Myr old 60Fe were recently discovered in a manganese crust and in lunar samples. We have found that this signal is extended in time and is present in globally distributed deep-sea archives.

The elemental compositions of planets define their chemistry, and could potentially be used as beacons for their formation location if the elemental gas and grain ratios of planet birth environments, i.e. protoplanetary disks, are well understood.

Small-crater counts on Mars light-toned sedimentary rock are often inconsistent with any isochron; these data are usually plotted then ignored.