feb 212013
 
Long Ago, Mercury Probably Harbored a Vast Magma Ocean

  Massive lava flows may have given rise to two distinct rock types on Mercury’s surface   By analyzing Mercury’s rocky surface, scientists have been able to partially reconstruct the planet’s history over billions of years. Now, drawing upon the chemical composition of rock features on the planet’s surface, scientists at MIT have proposed that [continue reading]

nov 282012
 
Experiment Shines New Light on Giant Planets and White Dwarfs

  An international team led by researchers from the University of Warwick and Oxford University is now dealing with unexpected results of an experiment with strongly heated graphite (up to 17,000 degrees Kelvin). The findings may pose a new problem for physicists working in laser-driven nuclear fusion and may also lead astrophysicists to revise our [continue reading]

nov 252012
 
Magnesium Oxide: From Earth to Super-Earth

  The mantles of Earth and other rocky planets are rich in magnesium and oxygen. Due to its simplicity, the mineral magnesium oxide is a good model for studying the nature of planetary interiors. New work from a team led by Carnegie’s Stewart McWilliams studied how magnesium oxide behaves under the extreme conditions deep within [continue reading]