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]

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]

jul 132012
 
The Source of Earth’s Water is... Solar System Ice

  Scientists have long believed that comets and, or a type of very primitive meteorite called carbonaceous chondrites were the sources of early Earth’s volatile elements—which include hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon—and possibly organic material, too. Understanding where these volatiles came from is crucial for determining the origins of both water and life on the planet. [continue reading]

mei 042012
 
Lightning Signature Could Help Reveal Solar System's Origins

  Every second, lightning flashes some 50 times on Earth. Together these discharges coalesce and get stronger, creating electromagnetic waves circling around Earth, to create a beating pulse between the ground and the lower ionosphere, about 60 miles up in the atmosphere. This electromagnetic signature, known as Schumann Resonance, had only been observed from Earth’s [continue reading]