mei 222013
Cosmic Impact Just After the Latest Ice Age Confirmed?

  About 12,800 years ago when the Earth was warming and emerging from the last Ice Age, a dramatic and anomalous event occurred that abruptly reversed climatic conditions back to near-glacial state. According to James Kennett, UC Santa Barbara emeritus professor in earth science, this climate switch fundamentally –– and remarkably –– occurred in only [continue reading]

apr 032013
Lunar Crater Contains Traces of Before it was Formed

  Large impacts on the Moon can form wide craters and turn surface rock liquid. Geophysicists once assumed that liquid rock would be homogenous when it cooled. Now researchers have found  evidence that pre-existing mineralogy can survive impact melt.    Pre-existing mineral deposits on the Moon (sinuous melt, above) survived impacts powerful enough to melt [continue reading]

jan 052013
Carbon, a Building Block for Organic Molecules, in Vesta's Craters

  Large impacts of asteroids may have transferred carbonaceous material to the protoplanet and inner Solar System   The protoplanet Vesta has been witness to an eventful past: images taken by the framing camera onboard NASA’s space probe Dawn show two enormous craters in the southern hemisphere. The images were obtained during Dawn’s year-long visit [continue reading]

okt 182012
Moon was Formed in Massive Planetary Collision

  New study traces Moon evaporation and leads to questions about why Earth has so much water   Fresh examinations of lunar rocks gathered by Apollo mission astronauts have yielded new insights about the Moon’s chemical makeup as well as clues about the giant impacts that may have shaped the early beginnings of Earth and [continue reading]

okt 182012
Giant Impacts Explain the Unusual Moons of Saturn

  Among the oddities of the outer Solar System are the middle-sized moons of Saturn, a half-dozen icy bodies dwarfed by Saturn’s massive moon Titan. According to a new model for the origin of the Saturn system, these middle-sized moons were spawned during giant impacts in which several major satellites merged to form Titan. Saturn’s [continue reading]

jun 232012
Asteroid is Twice As Big As First Believed

  Using the planetary radar system at Arecibo Observatory, astronomers have determined that asteroid 2012 LZ1 is twice as large as originally estimated based on its brightness, and large enough to have serious global consequences if it were to hit the Earth. However, a new orbit solution also derived from the radar measurements shows that [continue reading]