nov 032012
 
Our Solar System Not as Unique as Once Thought

  Some 4.567 billion years ago, our Solar System’s planets spawned from an expansive disk of gas and dust rotating around the Sun. While similar processes are witnessed in younger solar systems throughout the Milky Way, the formative stages of our own Solar System were believed to have taken twice as long to occur. Now, [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 132012
 
A Dynamo on Asteroid Vesta

  A meteorite found in Antarctica holds evidence of a once-active dynamo on Vesta. About 4.6 billion years ago, the Solar System was little more than a tenuous disk of gas and dust. In the span of merely 10 million years, this soup evolved to form today’s massive, complex planets. In the intervening period, however, [continue reading]

okt 122012
 
Meteorite Reveals Martian Secrets

  A meteorite that landed in the Moroccan desert 14 months ago is providing more information about Mars, the planet where it originated.  Front vieuw of a piece of a piece of the Tissint meteorite that landed in Morocco last year. Image Credit: Michael Farmer University of Alberta researcher Chris Herd helped in the study [continue reading]

okt 042012
 
Nearby Planetary System Hosts Comet Crystals

  Pristine material that matches comets in our own Solar System have been found in a dust belt around the young star Beta Pictoris by ESA’s Herschel space observatory.   Close-up of olivine crystals seen inside a meteorite found on Earth that originated from a partly melted Solar System asteroid. The yellow olivine crystals are [continue reading]

sep 212012
 
Dawn Sees Hydrated Minerals on Asteroid Vesta (with Video)

  Volatiles, or easily evaporated materials, have colored Vesta’s surface in a broad swath around its equator. This has been reported in two new papers based on observations from the low-altitude mapping orbit of the Dawn mission.  Asteroid Vesta. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA Pothole-like features mark some of the asteroid’s surface where the volatiles, likely water, released [continue reading]