Earth’s doppelganger

A new paper in Nature presents some very interesting ideas about the evolution of the inner Solar System and by implication the nature of the bodies that collided in the giant impact to form the Earth-Moon system. Martin Schiller, Martin Bizzarro and Vera Assis Fernandes have looked at the calcium isotope composition of various inner…

What came after the giant impact?

One of the nice things about our regular Wednesday research group meeting is that it provides a great opportunity to exchange information about what’s new and exciting in the field. It all helps to keep you up to date, in what is, a fast moving and exciting area of research. So it was last Wednesday,…

The Great Asteroid Race is on! – or is it?

Later this year two spacecraft will arrive at separate asteroids to map them, grab some samples and head home. It’s not really a race of course, their respective itineraries have been planned long in advance. If all goes well, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t, JAXA’s Hayabusa 2 will arrive at asteroid Ryugu in…

More about the Moon

The formation of the Moon remains a fascinating topic, with two recent papers providing some important new insights. A numerical modelling study by Nakajima and Stevenson indicates that, despite the very high temperatures involved in the giant impact, only a minor amount of water would have been lost from the newly-formed Moon. This is important…