Astrogeology: November 2016

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.