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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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26 February 2019

New map reveals geology and history of Pluto’s moon Charon

What a difference a planetary flyby makes. Pluto’s moon Charon — once no more than a fuzzy blob of pixels beside a larger blob — now has its first geological map, published in AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

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30 January 2019

New study estimates amount of water in near-Earth space rocks

The study’s authors estimate there are between 400 and 1200 billion kilograms (440 to 1.3 billion U.S. tons) of water that could be extracted from the minerals in these asteroids. In liquid terms, that’s between 400 billion and 1,200 billion liters (100 billion and 400 billion U.S. gallons) of water. That’s enough to fill between 160,000 and 480,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

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18 September 2018

Mercury and its depressions

One of the most surprising discoveries of the NASA’s Messenger mission was the presence of unusual, bright, irregular and rimless flat-floored depressions on the surface of Mercury. These depressions, called hollows, are usually found on crater walls, rims, floors and central peaks. Since the hollows appear fresh, they may be actively forming today through a mechanism that could involve the loss of volatile compounds, but understanding how the hollows formed is still a major challenge for scientists.

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6 September 2018

Mysterious ‘lunar swirls’ point to moon’s volcanic, magnetic past

The mystery behind lunar swirls, one of the solar system’s most beautiful optical anomalies, may finally be solved thanks to a joint Rutgers University and University of California Berkeley study. The solution hints at the dynamism of the moon’s ancient past as a place with volcanic activity and an internally generated magnetic field. It also challenges our picture of the moon’s existing geology.

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18 July 2018

Martian atmosphere behaves as one

New research using a decade of data from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express mission has found clear signs of the complex Martian atmosphere acting as a single, interconnected system, with processes occurring at low and mid levels significantly affecting those seen higher up.

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10 July 2018

Scientists discover “ghost dunes” on Mars

Scientists have discovered hundreds of crescent-shaped pits on Mars where sand dunes stood billions of years ago. The curves of these ancient dune impressions record the direction of prevailing winds on the Red Planet, providing potential clues to Mars’s past climate, and may hold evidence of ancient life.

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6 June 2018

Scientists solve lunar mystery with aid of missing Moon tapes

After eight years spent recovering lost Moon data from the Apollo missions, scientists report in a new study they’ve solved a decades-old mystery of why the Moon’s subsurface warmed slightly during the 1970s. Scientists have wondered about the cause of the warming since soon after the Apollo missions started, when astronauts deployed probes on the Moon to measure the heat coming from its interior. The lost data tapes recovered by the scientists filled in a record gap during the 1970s and helped the researchers pinpoint the source of the warming as the Apollo astronauts themselves.

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