Planetary Science Research Discoveries

Planetary scientists sharing ideas and discoveries.

Planetary Science Research Discoveries (PSRD) is an educational site sharing the latest research by NASA-sponsored scientists on meteorites, asteroids, planets, moons, and other materials in our Solar System. The website is supported by the Planetary Science Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate and by Hawai'i Space Grant Consortium and is a vital link for planetary and space sciences, and for learning how science works.

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Archive of Origins Articles

Articles listed by publication date.

DATE POSTED

HEADLINE ARTICLES

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MARCH 2017 Ceres Has Organics
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Scientists make the first unambiguous detection of organic compounds on a main asteroid belt body from Dawn orbital data.
pdf link, Ceres Has Organics
NOV 2016 Modeling the Effects of a Giant Planet Instability in the Early Solar System
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Numerical model shows how primordial planetesimals that once existed beyond the orbit of Neptune may be found in the inner asteroid belt. Could the Tagish Lake meteorite be such a sample?
pdf link, Modeling Giant Planet Instability
18 MAR 2016 Primordial Molecular Cloud Material in Metal-Rich Carbonaceous Chondrites
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Dust from the molecular cloud that gave birth to the Sun may be preserved in objects formed in the outer reaches of the Solar System.
pdf link, Primoridal Molecular Cloud Material in Metal-rich CC
30 NOV 2015 Primeval Water in the Earth
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Hydrogen isotopes in lavas derived from the deep mantle suggest the presence of a component inside the Earth that came directly from the primordial solar nebula.
pdf link, Primeval Water in the Earth
31 JULY 2015 Making and Differentiating Planets
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A detailed study forming Earth and differentiating it into core and mantle shows that it accreted heterogeneously and most water is added after 60% of the Earth had formed.
pdf link, Making and differentiating planets
29 JUNE 2015 Chondritic Asteroids–When Did Aqueous Alteration Happen?
by Patricia M. Doyle
New dates determined for aqueous alteration on chondritic parent bodies, based on a new mineral standard, have big implications on the timing and location of accretion.
pdf link, Chondritic Asteroids--When did Aqueous Alteration Happen?
MAY 2015 Modeling Water Adsorption on Olivine Crystals in the Solar Nebula
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Modeling results suggest a pathway for the formation of phyllosilicates, which could have been accreted into Earth.
pdf link, adsorption on olivine in the solar nebula
10 APRIL 2015 Ancient Jets of Fiery Rain
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A new idea suggests that chondrules could have formed as the result of impact jetting caused when large planetesimals collided during planet formation.
pdf link, Ancient Jets of Fiery Rain
NOV 2014 Extraordinary View of a Star and its Protoplanetary Disk
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array image captures protoplanetary disk.
pdf link, Protoplanetary disk image
OCT 2014 Presolar Graphite Grain Isolated from a Carbonaceous Chondrite
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Isotopic and microstructural investigations of a unique low-density supernova graphite grain.
pdf link, Presolar graphite grain
JULY 2014 Investigating Particle Clumping in Microgravity
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Educational demonstrations on the International Space Station are relevant to studies of the growth of asteroids and planets.
pdf link, Investigating Particle Clumping in Microgravity
APRIL 2014 Investigating Q and Noble Gases in Meteorites
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Nano-scale analyses on a carbon-rich, acid-resistant residue of the Saratov (L4) meteorite.
pdf link, Q and noble gases in meteorites
APRIL 2014 Laboratory Experiments to Understand the Chemical Origin of the Solar System
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Looking at lithium concentration and isotope fractionation in augite grains.
pdf link, Lithium isotope fractionation
FEB 2014 Presolar Oxide Grains: A Study of Spinels
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Measurements of elemental and isotopic compositions and microstructural properties of presolar grains.
pdf link, presolar spinel grains
JULY 2013 Dmisteinbergite: Refractory Mineral in Allende FUN CAI
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Hexagonal CaAl2Si2O8 likely crystallized from a silicate melt at high temperature by rapid cooling.
pdf link, dmisteinbergite
MARCH 2013 Studying the Most Primitive Extraterrestrial Dust
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Isotopic compositions and presolar grain abundances from interplanetary dust particles.
pdf link, Studying the Most Primitive Extraterrestrial Dust
JAN 2013 Chondrule Formation
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Data from oxygen-isotopic compositions and oxidation states of chondrule olivines in CR chondrites.
pdf link, Chondrule Formation
16 NOV 2012 Dating Transient Heating Events in the Solar Protoplanetary Disk
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Startlingly precise dating of components in primitive meteorites indicate contemporaneous formation of calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) and chondrules.
pdf link, Dating Transient Heating Events in the Solar Protoplanetary Disk
JUNE 2012 Olympic-caliber Mineral Finder
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - A new mineral, panguite, formed during the birth of our Solar System has been found in the Allende meteorite.
pdf link, Olympic-caliber Mineral Finder
21 FEB 2012 Chronicle of a Chondrule's Travels
by Linda M. V. Martel
Isotopic measurements of a chondrule in a Comet Wild 2 grain tell the story of outward migration of solar nebula solids, helping to set the formation age of Jupiter.
pdf link, Chronicle of a Chondrule's Travels
JAN 2012 Soluble Organics of the Bells Meteorite
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - An inventory of prebiotic, soluble organic compounds in an anomalous CM chondrite.
pdf link, Soluble Organics of the Bells Meteorite
30 NOV 2011 Festival on the Formation of the First Solids in the Solar System
by G. Jeffrey Taylor and Linda M. V. Martel
Cosmochemists, astronomers, and astrophysical modelers shared data and ideas about the formation of the materials making up the Solar System.
pdf link, Formation of the First Solids
SEPT 2011 Cosmochemical Building Blocks called GEMS
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - The unfolding story of grains of Glass with Embedded Metal and Sulfides found in interplanetary dust particles.
pdf link, Cosmochemical Building Blocks called GEMS
22 JUNE 2011 A Traveling CAI
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Oxygen isotopes show that a calcium-aluminum-rich inclusion wandered throughout the inner Solar System before being incorporated into an asteroid.
pdf link, A Traveling CAI
JUNE 2011 Looking After and Preserving NASA's Extraterrestrial Samples
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - The work of NASA's Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office.
pdf link, Looking After and Preserving NASA's Extraterrestrial Samples
MAY 2011 Discovery of New Mineral, Krotite, in a CAI
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - CaAl2O4 named after Alexander N. Krot.
pdf link, Discovery of New Mineral, Krotite, in a CAI
30 NOV 2010 Supernova Confetti in Meteorites
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Pre-solar grains carrying anomalous chromium-54 show evidence for formation in a supernova.
pdf link, Supernova Confetti in Meteorites
OCT 2010 Stardust--Snapshots of Stars
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Automated NanoSIMS Measurements of Spinel Stardust.
pdf link, Stardust--Snapshots of Stars
SEPT 2010 Brownleeite: The First New Mineral Identified From a Comet
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Manganese silicide discovered in an IDP named after Dr. Donald E. Brownlee.
pdf link, Brownleeite: The First New Mineral Identified From a Comet
25 AUG 2010 New View of Gas and Dust in the Solar Nebula
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The current view holds that gas and dust in the solar nebula began with the same oxygen isotopic composition, then changed by processes in the nebula. A new view suggests that dust and gas had vastly different mixtures of oxygen isotopes in the first place.
pdf link, New View of Gas and Dust in the Solar Nebula
10 JUNE 2010 Formation of Stony-Iron Meteorites in Early Giant Impacts
by Edward Scott, Joseph Goldstein, and Jijin Yang
Cosmochemical studies and dynamical models of hit-and-run planetary collisions suggest a new origin for the stony-iron meteorites called pallasites.
pdf link, Formation of Stony-Iron Meteorites in Early Giant Impacts
31 MAR 2010 Dynamics and Chemistry of Planet Construction
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Planetary compositions allow us to test computer models of planet formation.
pdf link, Dynamics and Chemistry of Planet Construction
21 JAN 2010 A Complication in Determining the Precise Age of the Solar System
by Gregory A. Brennecka
The presence of short-lived isotope Curium-247 in the early Solar System complicates the job of dating the earliest events in the solar nebula.
pdf link, A Complication in Determining the Precise Age of the Solar System
6 JAN 2010 Violent Adolescent Planet Caught Infrared Handed
by David Trang and Eric Gaidos
Infrared telescopic observations may have observed dust from an impact between protoplanets in the disk surrounding young star HD172555.
pdf link, Violent Adolescent Planet Caught Infrared Handed
13 NOV 09 An Even More Precise View of Aluminum-26 in the Solar Nebula
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
New, precise analyses of the short-lived isotope aluminum-26 indicate it was distributed uniformly throughout the early solar system, an important clue to its origin.
pdf link, An Even More Precise View of Aluminum-26 in the Solar Nebula
14 DEC 08 Wee Rocky Droplets in Comet Dust
by G. Jeffrey Taylor and Linda M. V. Martel
Tiny flash-melted objects in dust collected from comet Wild 2 were transported from the inner Solar System to the outer reaches where comets formed.
pdf link, Wee Rocky Droplets in Comet Dust
20 NOV 08 Tiny Molten Droplets, Dusty Clouds, and Planet Formation
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Roughly constant sodium concentration during chondrule crystallization suggests that these molten droplets formed in regions of the solar nebula that were enriched in rocky dust.
pdf link, Tiny Molten Droplets, Dusty Clouds, and Planet Formation
6 JULY 07 The Sun's Crowded Delivery Room
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Isotopes in meteorites suggest that the Sun formed in a dense cluster of stars.
pdf link, The Sun's Crowded Delivery Room
18 APRIL 07 When Worlds Really Did Collide
by Edward Scott, Jijin Yang, and Joseph Goldstein
Cosmochemical studies and dynamical models of protoplanetary collisions suggest a new origin for iron meteorites.
pdf link, When Worlds Really Did Collide
25 JAN 07 Organic Globules from the Cold Far Reaches of the Proto-Solar Disk
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Hollow organic globules in the Tagish Lake meteorite probably formed far from the proto-Sun, maybe even in interstellar space before our Solar System formed.
pdf link, Organic Globules from the Proto-Solar Disk
27 NOV 06 Hit-and-Run as Planets Formed
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Collisions between large protoplanets as the planets formed may have ripped some of them to shreds, producing molten asteroid-sized bodies, driving off water and other volatiles, and scrambling partially molten protoplanets.
pdf link, Hit-and-Run as Planets Formed
24 AUG 06 Wandering Gas Giants and Lunar Bombardment
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Outward migration of Saturn might have triggered a dramatic increase in the bombardment rate on the Moon 3.9 billion years ago, an idea testable with lunar samples.
pdf link, Wandering Gas Giants and Lunar Bombardment
21 JULY 06 Iron Meteorites as the Not-So-Distant Cousins of Earth
by William F. Bottke and Linda M. V. Martel
Numerical simulations suggest that some iron meteorites are fragments of the long lost precursor material that formed the Earth and other terrestrial planets.
pdf link, Iron Meteorites as the Not-So-Distant Cousins of Earth
31 JAN 06 Cosmochemistry from Nanometers to Light-Years
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Cosmochemists and astronomers test theories on the formation of stars and planets.
pdf link, Cosmochemistry from Nanometers to Light-Years
31 MAY 05 Making Sense of Droplets Inside Droplets
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The vexing presence of chondrules inside supposedly older calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) in chondrites makes sense if the CAIs were remelted.
pdf link, Making Sense of Droplets Inside Droplets
1 JUNE 04 Silicate Stardust in Meteorites
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Silicates are the most abundant solids in disks around growing stars, but presolar silicates have not been found in even the most primitive meteorite--until now.
pdf link, Silicate Stardust in Meteorites
29 AUG 03 A New Type of Stardust
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Interplanetary dust particles contain rare grains that formed in stars older than the Sun.
pdf link, A New Type of Stardust
21 MAY 03 Triggering the Formation of the Solar System
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
New data from meteorites indicates that formation of the Solar System was triggered by a supernova.
pdf link, Triggering the Formation of the Solar System
12 DEC 02 Tagish Lake -- A Meteorite from the Far Reaches of the Asteroid Belt
by David W. Mittlefehldt
A new type of primitive meteorite with much to tell us about the formation of the solar system.
pdf link, Tagish Lake Meteorite
24 OCT 02 The First Rock in the Solar System
by Steven B. Simon
An aggregate of corundum, hibonite, and perovskite may be among the first rocks to form in the Solar System.
pdf link, The First Rock in the Solar System
30 SEPT 02 Using Aluminum-26 as a Clock for Early Solar System Events
by Ernst Zinner
Correspondence between 26Al and Pb-Pb ages shows that 26Al records a detailed record of events in the early solar system.
pdf link. Using Al-26 as a Clock for Early Solar System Events
25 SEPT 02 Dating the Earliest Solids in our Solar System
by Alexander N. Krot
Lead isotopic analyses give absolute formation ages of Ca-Al-rich inclusions and chondrules.
pdf link, Dating the Earliest Solids in our Solar System
3 DEC 01 Oxygen Isotopes Give Clues to the Formation of Planets, Moons, and Asteroids
by Edward R. D. Scott
As they formed from gas and dust near the Sun, grains in some meteorites acquired oxygen that originated in numerous other stars that shone long before our solar system was born.
pdf link, Oxygen Isotopes
21 AUG 01 Uranus, Neptune, and the Mountains of the Moon
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The tardy formation of Uranus and Neptune might have caused the intense bombardment of the Moon 3.9 billion years ago.
pdf link, Uranus, Neptune, and the Mountains of the Moon
2 MAR 01 Relicts from the Birth of the Solar System
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Rapidly cooled silicate droplets found in unusual meteorites may have formed directly from the cloud of gas and dust surrounding the young Sun.
pdf link, Relicts from the Birth of the Solar System
30 SEPT 00 The Oldest Metal in the Solar System
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Grains of metallic iron in some chondritic meteorites condensed from hot clouds of gas and dust while the Sun was forming.
pdf link, The Oldest Metal in the Solar System
28 MAR 00 Supernova Debris in the Solar System
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Calculations suggest that a supernova explosion would distribute its debris uniformly throughout the cloud of gas and dust from which the Solar System formed.
pdf link, Supernova Debris in the Solar System
24 AUG 99 Honeycombed Asteroids
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Asteroids have lower densities than expected, probably because they have been disrupted and then reassembled into porous rubble piles.
pdf link, Honeycombed Asteroids
8 FEB 99 From a Cloud of Gas and Dust to an Asteroid with Percolating Hot Water
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Isotopes of manganese and chromium indicate that chemical reactions involving hot water altered minerals on water-bearing asteroids during the same time interval that other asteroids were melted, between 7 and 16 million years after the first solids formed in the Solar System.
pdf link, From a Cloud of Gas and Dust to an Asteroid
12 NOV 98 Dry Droplets of Fiery Rain
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Experiments test an idea for the origin of droplets of rocky material melted before the planets formed.
pdf link, Dry Droplets of Fiery Rain
8 JULY 97 Moving Stars and Shifting Sands of Presolar History
by Donald D. Clayton
Meteorites contain tiny grains of minerals cast off from ancient stars before the birth of our own Solar System. These grains tell a story of element formation, motions inside stars, and migration of stars in the Galaxy.
pdf link, Moving Stars and Shifting Sands of Presolar History
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