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This is an archive of AGU's GeoSpace blog through 1 July 2020. New content about AGU research can be found on Eos and the AGU newsroom.

You are browsing the archive for Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

27 April 2020

New Mexico badlands help researchers understand past Martian lava flows (video)

Planetary scientists are using a volcanic flow field in New Mexico to puzzle out how long past volcanic eruptions on Mars might have lasted, a finding that could help researchers determine if Mars was ever hospitable to life. People don’t usually think of New Mexico as a volcanically active place, but it has some of the youngest (geologically speaking) large lava flows in the continental United States.

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12 November 2019

With Mars methane mystery unsolved, Curiosity serves scientists a new one: Oxygen

For the first time in the history of space exploration, scientists have measured the seasonal changes in the gases that fill the air directly above the surface of Gale Crater on Mars. As a result, they noticed something baffling: oxygen, the gas many Earth creatures use to breathe, behaves in a way that so far scientists cannot explain through any known chemical processes.

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16 October 2019

Ancient Moon rock provides evidence of giant lunar impact 4.3 billion years ago

An Apollo 16 lunar rock sample shows evidence of intense meteorite bombardment on the Moon 4.3 billion years ago, according to new research. The results provide new insights for the Moon’s early history, showing lunar impacts were common throughout the Moon’s formation than previously thought.

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1 October 2019

Water distribution affects exoplanets’ habitable zone

A new study finds land planets, which have equal to or less than 10 percent of the volume of Earth’s water, can remain habitable at a closer distance to their host star if most of their water is at the planet’s poles. This means the habitable zone for these types of planets may be different than previously assumed.

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23 September 2019

Ice islands on Mars and Pluto could reveal past climate change

Many of the craters of Mars and Pluto feature relatively small ice islands unattached to their polar ice caps. These ice islands could be records of past climate change on Mars and Pluto, and could also provide clues about the workings of Martian water and ice, according to a new study in AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

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3 September 2019

Mercury’s ancient magnetic field likely evolved over time

Mercury’s ancient magnetic poles were far from the location of its poles today, implying its magnetic field, like Earth’s, changed over time, a new study says.

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29 July 2019

Study suggests frozen Earthlike planets could support life

Icy planets once thought too cold to support life might have livable land areas above freezing, challenging the typical assumption of what kinds of planets might be habitable, a new study suggests.

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18 April 2019

The Moon’s crust is really cracked

The bombardment of asteroids and meteoroids that pockmarked the Moon’s surface over the eons also created fractures reaching deep into the lunar crust, report researchers in a new study in AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

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25 March 2019

Laser Blasts Show Asteroid Bombardment, Hydrogen Make Great Recipe for Life on Mars

A new study reveals asteroid impacts on ancient Mars could have produced key ingredients for life if the Martian atmosphere was rich in hydrogen. An early hydrogen-rich atmosphere on Mars could also explain how the planet remained habitable after its atmosphere thinned.

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1 March 2019

First evidence of planet-wide groundwater system on Mars

Mars Express has revealed the first geological evidence of a system of ancient interconnected lakes that once lay deep beneath the Red Planet’s surface, five of which may contain minerals crucial to life.

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