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…

The view from Hawai’i is always clear

I am a really big fan of PSRD – that’s Planetary Science Research Discoveries to give it its full title. PSRD was jointly founded by planetary geoscientists Jeff Taylor and Linda Martel, who are based at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. The aim of the site is to provide the public with a scientists’…

Cosmic Archaeology

The Earth is a very beautiful planet. If we hadn’t realised it before, this was made particularly clear in the images taken by Apollo astronauts. A blue and white jewel suspended in the immensity and darkness of space. But that beauty hides a violent past. To form a planet the size of Earth you need…

Not so ordinary after all

In a recent post we talked about ordinary chondrites. Why “ordinary”? Well that’s because we have so many of them, nearly 46,000 individuals according to the Meteoritical Bulletin database, or 87% of all officially classified meteorites. No wonder some people think they are a dull. But familiarity can and does breed contempt. They are important samples…