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You are browsing the archive for Planetary science Archives - Page 2 of 3 - AGU Blogosphere.

28 February 2018

New model suggests the Moon formed inside the vaporized Earth

A new explanation for the Moon’s origin has it forming inside the Earth when our planet was a seething, spinning cloud of vaporized rock, called a synestia.

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6 February 2018

Fossilized feature records Moon’s slow retreat from Earth

New research provides insight into the Moon’s excessive equatorial bulge, a feature that solidified in place over four billion years ago as the Moon gradually distanced itself from the Earth. A new study sets parameters on how quickly the Moon could have receded from the Earth and suggests the nascent planet’s hydrosphere was either non-existent or still frozen at the time, indirectly supporting the theory of a fainter, weaker Sun that at the time radiated around 30 percent less energy than it does today.

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5 January 2018

Scientists sift through lunar dirt for record of early Earth’s rocks

A team of scientists are examining crushed rocks brought back from the moon by Apollo astronauts for evidence of minerals that might have been formed in the presence of water to better understand the early formation of Earth. They presented the preliminary results of their work last month at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in New Orleans.

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18 December 2017

NASA Solves How a Jupiter Jet Stream Shifts into Reverse

Speeding through the atmosphere high above Jupiter’s equator is an east–west jet stream that reverses course on a schedule almost as predictable as a Tokyo train’s. Now, a NASA-led team has identified which type of wave forces this jet to change direction.

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15 December 2017

Lava-filled blocks on Venus may indicate geological activity

A global view of some well-known deformation features on Venus’s surface may indicate it’s capable of crustal motion, and that motion might even be happening today, scientists report.

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22 November 2017

Scientists discover evidence of recent water flows on Mars

Planetary scientists have discovered a rare ‘esker’ on Mars – a ridge of sediment deposited by meltwater flowing beneath a glacier in the relatively recent past (about 110 million years ago), despite the widely-held view that the recent climate was too cold for ice to melt.

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21 November 2017

Moon’s Crust Underwent Resurfacing after Forming from Magma Ocean

A research team took to the lab to recreate the magmatic melt that once formed the lunar surface and uncovered new insights on how the modern moonscape came to be. Their study found found that one of the great mysteries of the lunar body’s formation – how it could develop a crust composed largely of just one mineral – cannot be explained by the initial crust formation and must have been the result of some secondary event.

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3 October 2017

Reflections on World Space Week 2017

By Larry Paxton, AGU Space Physics and Aeronomy Section President and Head of Geospace and Earth Science Group at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory The human race is beginning to take its first tentative steps off the planet Earth. As we become a spacefaring civilization, we will not only explore space, but we will endeavor to use space, just as we use the resources of earth. We will, …

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13 September 2017

Early volcanic activity may have caused bumps to erupt across lunar plains

Scientists have discovered a new feature on the surface of the Moon: small mounds that grew on its dark plains, likely from volcanic activity.

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12 September 2017

Taking Radical Leaps in How We Train Early Career Scientists: A Cue from the 25-year Anniversary of Mae Jemison’s Space Journey

By Jasmine Crumsey, Ph.D., AGU Council Member, and Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. “The overwhelming challenges we need to face today can’t be solved through incrementalism . . . What actually holds us back? Why aren’t we doing bigger things? The first answer is people and the perception of who has the solution.” – Dr. Mae Jemison, TEDArchive Talk: Want Interstellar Travel? Build Interdisciplinary …

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5 September 2017

Discovery of boron on Mars adds to evidence for habitability

The discovery of boron on Mars gives scientists more clues about whether life could have ever existed on the planet, according to a paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

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Reflections on Voyager’s 40th Anniversary and the Future of Space Exploration

By Christina Cohen, Ph.D., AGU Council Member, AGU Space Physics and Aeronomy Section President-elect, and Member of the Professional Staff at the California Institute of Technology On the 40th anniversary of the Voyager mission it is impossible not to marvel at how far a human-built machine (with less computing power than the typical smart phone) has traveled. Voyager is the quintessential explorer, going into unknown realms and dutifully transmitting its …

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30 August 2017

Moon’s tidal stress likely responsible for causing deep moonquakes, new study confirms

The same gravitational force responsible for creating tides on Earth could be causing deep quakes on the moon, a new study confirms.

A new analysis of data gathered by the Apollo missions confirms that tidal stress – the gravitational pull of the moon on the Earth and of the Earth on the moon – is responsible for causing deep moonquakes, the lunar equivalent of earthquakes.

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23 August 2017

Elevated zinc and germanium levels bolster evidence for habitable environments on Mars

New data gathered by the Mars Curiosity rover indicates a potential history of hydrothermal activity at Gale Crater on the red planet, broadening the variety of habitable conditions once present there, scientists report in a new study. Researchers found concentrations of the elements zinc and germanium to be 10 to 100 times greater in sedimentary rocks in Gale Crater compared to the typical Martian crust.

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19 May 2017

Early Tanpopo mission results show microbes can survive in space

Clumps of microbes can survive in space for at least a year – and perhaps longer, according to Japanese researchers conducting an experiment on board the International Space Station (ISS).

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9 May 2017

Science Fares ‘OK’ in FY17 Omnibus; FY18 Remains Uncertain

As you may have heard, Congress recently passed a bipartisan omnibus spending bill (H.R. 244) to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2017, which ends on 30 September 2017. Overall the bill provides relatively flat funding for the NSF, roughly two percent increases for NASA and USGS, and a nearly two percent decrease in funding for NOAA. Some programs saw more extensive increases, for example, NASA’s …

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18 April 2017

Mercury’s craters offer clues to planet’s contraction

Craters serve as time-markers for the faults because they can be dated by how degraded they appear. The more degraded looking craters are older. Those that have sharper features are younger, and those with bright rays of debris radiating around them are youngest of all.

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22 March 2017

Ice in Ceres’ shadowed craters linked to tilt history

Researchers from NASA’s Dawn mission find that the axial tilt of Ceres — the angle at which it spins as it journeys around the sun — varies widely over the course of about 24,500 years. Astronomers consider this to be a surprisingly short period of time for such dramatic deviations.

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27 December 2016

Random temperature fluctuations may have made Earth habitable

Random temperature fluctuations in the mantle and on the planet’s surface could be the reason Earth is a habitable world with moving tectonic plates while other terrestrial planets in the solar system are inhospitable worlds, according to new research.

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3 November 2016

Rare molecule on Venus could shed light on planet’s weather

Scientists’ keen detective work may have solved one of Venus’s oldest secrets: why the planet’s atmosphere absorbs ultraviolet light of a specific frequency. The new findings could help scientists better understand Venus’s thick atmosphere and its heat-trapping clouds, according to the study’s authors.

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