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 Cosmochemistry Program 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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Complete listing of articles by publication date.

DATE POSTED

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23 JUNE 2014 The Importance of When
by G. J. Taylor
Isotopic analyses at the microscopic scale indicate an ancient age for an impact mixture from Mars and appear to confirm a young age for a group of basaltic lava flows.
pdf link, Mars, The Importance of When
17 JAN 2014 ICP-MS and Planetary Geosciences
by Jesse D. Davenport
ICP-MS techniques provide acurrate and rapid elemental analyses.
pdf link, ICP-MS and Planetary Geosciences
11 DEC 2013 The Igneous SPICEs Suite: Old Programs with a New Look
by Jesse D. Davenport
Long-established, reliable programs for calculating how magmas evolve have been given a facelift and used for modeling the crystallization of the lunar magma ocean.
pdf link, The Igneous SPICEs Suite of Programs
16 SEPT 2013 Discovery of a New Garnet Mineral, Hutcheonite, in the Allende Meteorite
by Linda M. V. Martel
A new titanium-rich garnet mineral discovered in a CAI in Allende is named in honor of Ian D. Hutcheon.
pdf link, New Mineral Hutcheonite in Allende
30 MAY 2013 Magnesium-rich Basalts on Mercury
by Linda M. V. Martel
Crystallization modeling using the MELTS computer code with MESSENGER-derived compositions finds Mg-rich lavas on Mercury.
pdf link, Magnesium-rich Basalts on Mercury
30 APRIL 2013 Meteoritic Minerals Tell a Story of Multistage Cooling, Break-up, and Reassembly of an Asteroid
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Compositional variations in minerals in H-chondrites indicate at least two vastly different cooling rates at different temperatures, suggesting fragmentation, cooling of the fragments, and reassembly into a second-generation rubble pile.
pdf link, Meteoritic Minerals Tell a Story of Multistage Cooling, Break-up, and Reassembly of an Asteroid
20 FEB 2013 Remembering David S. McKay (1936-2013)
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Over his distinguished and creative five-decade career Dave made significant contributions to planetary science.
 
30 JAN 2013 New Martian Meteorite is Similar to Typical Martian Crust
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A newly-identified Martian meteorite from Northwest Africa is not like other Martian meteorites, but has a chemical composition similar to the average Martian crust.
pdf link, New Martian Meteorite is Similar to Typical Martian Crust
10 DEC 2012 Zinc Isotopes Provide Clues to Volatile Loss During Moon Formation
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Ratios of zinc isotopes indicate evaporation of zinc (and other volatiles) during formation of the Moon.
pdf link, Zinc Isotopes Provide Clues to Volatile Loss During Moon 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
26 OCT 2012 Exploring the Mantle of Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor and Linda M. V. Martel
Cosmochemistry and geophysics experts meet to discuss what we know and do not yet know about the composition, structure, and evolution of the Martian mantle.
pdf link, Exploring the Mantle of Mars
31 JULY 2012 How Much Water is Inside Mars?
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The interior of Mars appears to be as wet as the interior of Earth.
pdf link, How Much Water is Inside Mars?
28 JUNE 2012 Leftovers from Ancient Lunar Impactors
by Linda M. V. Martel and G. Jeffrey Taylor
A systematic search for meteorite fragments in ancient regolith breccias confirms chondritic impactors on the Moon.
pdf link, Leftovers from Ancient Lunar Impactors
30 MAY 2012 Titanium Isotopes Provide Clues to Lunar Origin
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The titanium isotopic mix is essentially identical in Earth and Moon, important new information with implications for the origin of the planets.
pdf link, Titanium Isotopes Provide Clues to Lunar Origin
15 MAR 2012 Young Tectonic Events in Martian Chaotic Terrain
by Linda M. V. Martel
Study of a faulted landslide in Aureum Chaos and its ramifications.
pdf link, Young Tectonic Events in Martian Chaotic Terrain
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
15 DEC 2011 Formation of Carbonate Minerals in Martian Meteorite ALH 84001 from Cool Water Near the Surface of Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A new approach to thermometry using isotopic compositions of carbon and oxygen indicates that carbonate minerals in Martian meteorite ALH 84001 formed at 18 ± 4 oC.
pdf link, Formation of Carbonate Minerals in ALH 84001
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
27 OCT 2011 Remembering Ronald Greeley (1939-2011)
by Linda M. V. Martel
Ron, an exceptional mentor and researcher, focused on understanding planetary surface processes and geological histories.
 
21 SEPT 2011 Remembering Michael J. Drake (1946-2011)
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Mike was a great researcher in cosmochemistry and planetary geology.
 
31 AUG 2011 Samples from Asteroid Itokawa
by G. Jeffrey Taylor and Linda M. V. Martel
Samples returned from asteroid Itokawa by the Hayabusa mission provide ground truth for astronomical observations and reveal that the little asteroid is eroding at a rate of tens of centimeters per million years.
pdf link, Samples from Asteroid Itokawa
8 AUG 2011 Crystallizing the Lunar Magma Ocean
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Lab experiments help test ideas for the Moon's chemical composition and how its crust formed.
pdf link, Crystallizing the Lunar Magma Ocean
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
27 MAY 2011 Timeline of Martian Volcanism
by Linda M. V. Martel
High-resolution images allow a larger range of crater sizes to date calderas and the last major periods of volcanic activity on Mars.
pdf link, Timeline of Martian Volcanism
7 APRIL 2011 Wet, Carbonaceous Asteroids: Altering Minerals, Changing Amino Acids
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Aqueous alteration in asteroids containing organic compounds leads to formation of hydrous minerals and changes in the mix of amino acids.
pdf link, Wet, Carbonaceous Asteroids: Altering Minerals, Changing Amino Acids
31 JAN 2011 Mineral Abundances in Martian Soils
by Linda M. V. Martel
Mineral abundances calculated from a trio of datasets reveal mixtures of unrelated igneous and alteration minerals in Martian dark soils.
pdf link, Mineral Abundances in Martian Soils
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
30 SEPT 2010 Unraveling the Origin of the Lunar Highlands Crust
by Linda M. V. Martel
Lunar meteorites contain clasts that may plausibly be samples of post-magma-ocean plutons that helped build the highlands crust.
pdf link, Unraveling the Origin of the Lunar Highlands Crust
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
1 JULY 2010 Damp Moon Rising
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Cosmochemists find more evidence for water inside the Moon, showing that it is not the bone-dry place we thought.
pdf link, Damp Moon Rising
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
21 MAY 2010 A Younger Age for the Oldest Martian Meteorite
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
New isotopic analyses show that famous Martian meteorite ALH 84001 formed 4.09 billion years ago, not 4.50 billion years ago as originally reported.
pdf link, A Younger Age for the Oldest Martian Meteorite
30 APRIL 2010 Asteroid, Meteor, Meteorite
by Linda M. V. Martel
Detected in space less than a day before hitting Earth, the Almahata Sitta meteorite from asteroid 2008 TC3 gives clues to the complex evolution of small asteroids.
pdf link, Asteroid, Meteor, Meteorite
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
17 FEB 2010 How Young is the Lunar Crater Giordano Bruno?
by Linda M. V. Martel
High-resolution images are used to determine how recently this crater formed, a mere 832 years ago or over a million years ago.
pdf link, How Young is the Lunar Crater Giordano Bruno?
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
21 DEC 09 Celebrated Moon Rocks
by Linda M. V. Martel
Overview and status of the Apollo lunar collection: A unique, but limited, resource of extraterrestrial material.
pdf link, Celebrated Moon Rocks
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
26 OCT 09 Kaidun--A Meteorite with Everything but the Kitchen Sink
by Linda M. V. Martel
This unique breccia is called a single-stone meteorite collection.
pdf link, Kaidun Meteorite
18 SEPT 09 The Growing Diversity of Lunar Basalts
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A lunar basaltic meteorite adds complexity to the already complicated story of mare basalt volcanism on the Moon.
pdf link, The Growing Diversity of Lunar Basalts
10 AUG 09 Space Weathering Agent: Solar Wind
by Linda M. V. Martel
Bombardment of helium ions on olivine in the laboratory simulates space weathering of asteroids and other airless bodies.
pdf link, Space Weathering Agent: Solar Wind
6 JULY 09 Better Know A Meteorite Collection: Natural History Museum in London, United Kingdom
by Linda M. V. Martel
PSRD highlights places and people around the world who play central roles in caring for and analyzing meteorites.
pdf link, Natural History Museum in London
25 JUNE 09 The Complicated Geologic History of Asteroid 4 Vesta
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Meteorites from asteroid 4 Vesta show that it contains patches of granite-like rock.
pdf link, The Complicated Geologic History of Asteroid 4 Vesta
11 MAY 09 Better Know A Meteorite Collection: Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria
by Linda M. V. Martel
PSRD highlights places and people around the world who play central roles in caring for and analyzing meteorites.
pdf link, Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria
8 MAY 09 Mars Crust: Made of Basalt
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Chemical analyses of rocks on the Martian surface indicate that the Martian crust was built of basalt lava flows not much different from those on Earth.
pdf link, Mars Crust: Made of Basalt
25 MAR 09 Time to Solidify an Ocean of Magma
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A small mineral grain places limits on how long it took the lunar magma ocean to solidify.
pdf link, Time to Solidify an Ocean of Magma
19 FEB 09 More Evidence for Multiple Meteorite Magmas
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Cosmochemists show that a pair of meteorites formed in an asteroid that erupted a newly-recognized type of asteroidal magma.
pdf link, More Evidence for Multiple Meteorite Magmas
27 JAN 09 The Crazy Mixed-Up Lunar Crust
by Linda M. V. Martel
The horizontal and vertical distribution of well-mixed basin ejecta has lunar-wide geochemical ramifications.
pdf link, The Crazy Mixed-Up Lunar Crust
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
22 SEPT 08 The Bone-Dry Moon Might be Damp
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Cosmochemists have written in stone that the Moon is almost totally devoid of water, but new analyses of volcanic glasses suggest that they need to do some editing.
pdf link, The Bone-Dry Moon Might be Damp
8 JULY 08 Heating, Cooling, and Cratering: One Asteroid's Complicated Story
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Cooling rate data indicate that the H-chondrite parent asteroid was deeply cratered as it cooled slowly.
pdf link, Heating, Cooling, and Cratering: One Asteroid's Complicated Story
30 MAY 08 Meteorites Found on Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
No surprise that there are meteorites on other planets. Now that we've seen them on Mars, what do we know about them and what does their geochemistry tell us about the environment where they landed?
pdf link, Meteorites Found on Mars
29 APRIL 08 A Farside Geochemical Window into the Moon
by Linda M. V. Martel
Findings show geochemical enhancements in the Dewar region are caused by thorium-rich mare basalt fragments in the regolith.
pdf link, Farside Geochemical Window into the Moon
22 FEB 08 Compositional Balancing Before Moon Formation
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The identical oxygen isotopic composition of Earth and Moon might be explained by exchange of material between the proto-Earth and the surrounding proto-lunar disk.
pdf link, Compositional Balancing Before Moon Formation
8 FEB 08 Remembering Gordon A. McKay (1945-2008)
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Gordon was a great researcher who focused on experimental cosmochemistry.
 
19 DEC 07 Chips Off an Old Lava Flow
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Lunar meteorite Kalahari 009 contains fragments of basalt about 4.35 billion years old, a record-breaking old age for mare basalt.
pdf link, Chips Off an Old Lava Flow
27 NOV 07 Getting to Know Vesta
by Linda M. V. Martel
Scientists are primed with geochemical data from HED meteorites for Dawn's encounter with asteroid 4 Vesta.
pdf link, Getting to Know Vesta
30 OCT 07 Did an Impact Make the Mysterious Microscopic Magnetite Crystals in ALH 84001?
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Tiny crystals of magnetite in Martian meteorite ALH 84001 might have been made when shock waves decomposed iron carbonate.
pdf link, Microscopic Magnetite Crystals in ALH 84001
17 SEPT 07 Melted Crumbs from Asteroid Vesta
by Linda M. V. Martel
Researchers studying some of the rarest of the smallest meteorites call them melted crumbs from asteroid Vesta.
pdf link, Melted Crumbs from Asteroid Vesta
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
19 JUNE 07 Oxidants from Pulverized Minerals
by Linda M. V. Martel
Laboratory measurements of hydrogen peroxide produced from crushed basaltic minerals immersed in water have important implications for Martian and lunar dust.
pdf link, Oxidants from Pulverized Minerals
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
3 APRIL 07 Two Views of the Moon's Composition
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
There is a striking dichotomy in estimates of the abundance of refractory elements in the Moon.
pdf link, Two Views of the Moon's Composition
29 JAN 07 Did Martian Meteorites Come From These Sources?
by Linda M. V. Martel
Researchers find large rayed craters on Mars and consider the reasons why they may be launching sites of Martian meteorites.
pdf link, Did Martian Meteorites Come From These Sources?
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
19 DEC 06 Squeezing Meteorites to Reveal the Martian Mantle
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Experiments at high temperature and pressure give clues to the composition of the interior of Mars.
pdf link, Squeezing Meteorites to Reveal the Martian Mantle
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
8 NOV 06 Recent Gas Escape from the Moon
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Gases may have escaped from the Moon as recently as a million years ago, implying that the lunar interior is not as lethargic as conventional wisdom dictates.
pdf link, Recent Gas Escape from the Moon
26 OCT 06 LIBS: Remote Chemical Analysis
by Linda M. V. Martel
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is an active remote sensing technique used for the rapid characterization of elemental compositions of materials.
pdf link, LIBS: Remote Chemical Analysis
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
14 JUNE 06 Fossil Meteorite Unearthed From Crater
by Linda M. V. Martel
A meteorite of unusual chondritic composition was found in a highly unlikely place, challenging how we think about colossal impact events on Earth.
pdf link, Fossil Meteorite Unearthed From Crater
26 MAY 06 Interstellar Organic Matter in Meteorites
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Carbonaceous chondrites contain organic compounds with high deuterium/hydrogen ratios, suggesting they formed in interstellar space.
pdf link, Interstellar Organic Matter in Meteorites
30 APRIL 06 Finding Basalt Chips from Distant Maria
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Tossed chips of lava help fill in blanks in our knowledge of lunar basalts.
pdf link, Finding Basalt Chips from Distant Maria
31 MAR 06 A Primordial and Complicated Ocean of Magma on Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Geophysical and geochemical calculations indicate that total melting of Mars during its formation could have led to large-scale heterogeneities in its mantle.
pdf link, Primordial and Complicated Ocean of Magma on Mars
28 FEB 06 Ion Microprobe
by Linda M. V. Martel and G. Jeffrey Taylor
Instrument of Cosmochemistry
pdf link, Ion Microprobe
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
27 DEC 05 Magma and Water on Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Martian meteorites tell us part of the fascinating story about when volcanoes erupted and water flowed.
pdf link, Magma and Water on Mars
22 NOV 05 Gamma Rays, Meteorites, Lunar Samples, and the Composition of the Moon
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Lunar meteorites provide ground truth to help calibrate orbital geochemical data, allowing an estimate of the composition of the entire Moon.
pdf link, Composition of the Moon
21 OCT 05 Little Chondrules and Giant Impacts
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Chondrules in metal-rich meteorites formed a couple of million years after most other chondrules, possibly by impact between moon-sized or larger objects.
pdf link, Little Chondrules and Giant Impacts
30 SEPT 05 Portales Valley: Not Just Another Ordinary Chondrite
by Alex Ruzicka and Melinda Hutson
A melted meteorite gives a snapshot of the heat and shock that wracked an asteroid during the first stages of differentiation.
pdf link, Portales Valley Meteorite
29 JULY 05 Martian Meteorites Record Surface Temperatures on Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Gases trapped in Martian meteorites indicate that Mars has been a cold desert for a long, long time.
pdf link, Martian Meteorites Record Surface Temperatures on Mars
7 JULY 05 Squeezing and Heating Rock to Scope Out How Metallic Iron Dribbled to the Center of the Earth
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Experiments showing how cobalt and nickel concentrate in molten metal shed light on the formation of Earth's metallic core.
pdf link, Squeezing and Heating Rock
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
13 APRIL 05 Antarctic Guide to Martian Weathering
by Linda M. V. Martel
Soils in the Antarctic Dry Valleys contain traces of silicate alteration products and secondary salts much like those found in Martian meteorites.
pdf link, Antarctic Guide to Martian Weathering
31 JAN 05 Recent Activity on Mars: Fire and Ice
by Linda M. V. Martel
New images from Mars Express show evidence of recent volcanic and glacial activity on Mars, consistent with what we know from Martian meteorites and previous evaluations of the planet's internal heat production and climate.
pdf link, Recent Activity on Mars: Fire and Ice
23 DEC 04 Cosmochemistry and Human Exploration
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Cosmochemistry plays an important role in developing local resources on the Moon and Mars, essential to sustained human presence in space.
pdf link, Cosmochemistry and Human Exploration
10 DEC 04 Composition of the Moon's Crust
by Linda M. V. Martel
New empirical calibrations of Lunar Prospector and Clementine data yield improved global maps of Th, K, and FeO.
pdf link, Composition of the Moon's Crust
31 OCT 04 New Lunar Meteorite Provides its Lunar Address and Some Clues about Early Bombardment of the Moon
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A newly discovered meteorite from the Moon provides a detailed record of its history, allowing scientists to make a reasonable guess about where it came from on the Moon and to test ideas for the timing of early impact bombardment.
pdf link, New Lunar Meteorite
28 SEPT 04 Lunar Crater Rays Point to a New Lunar Time Scale
by Linda M. V. Martel
Optical maturity maps of rays, derived from Clementine multispectral data and calibrated with lunar sample analyses, provide a new way to define the two youngest time stratigraphic units on the Moon.
pdf link, Lunar Crater Rays Point to a New Lunar Time Scale
26 AUG 04 Meteorite Shower in Park Forest, Illinois
by Linda M. V. Martel
An L5 chondrite strewnfield is centered at Park Forest, Illinois, a southern suburb of Chicago.
pdf link, Meteorite Shower in Park Forest, Illinois
5 JULY 04 New Mineral Proves an Old Idea about Space Weathering
by Linda M. V. Martel
A newly discovered vapor-deposited iron silicide in a lunar meteorite has been named hapkeite.
pdf link, New Mineral Proves an Old Idea about Space Weathering
1 JULY 04 Carbonates in ALH 84001: Part of the Story of Water on Mars
by Catherine M. Corrigan
The study of multi-generational carbonate assemblages in Martian meteorite ALH 84001 reveals a complex history of crystal formation, growth, and alteration.
pdf link, Carbonates in ALH 84001
23 JUNE 04 The Multifarious Martian Mantle
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Detailed analyses of Martian meteorites reveal that the planet's interior preserves distinctive regions that formed 4.5 billion years ago.
pdf link, The Multifarious Martian Mantle
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
21 APRIL 04 The Oldest Moon Rocks
by Marc Norman
Rocks from the lunar crust provide new clues to the age and origin of the Moon and the terrestrial planets.
pdf link, The Oldest Moon Rocks
2 APRIL 04 Asteroid Heating: A Shocking View
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Mineral intergrowths in chondritic meteorites may indicate that some asteroids were heated by impact.
pdf link, Asteroid Heating: A Shocking View
9 MAR 04 Tiny Traces of a Big Asteroid Breakup
by Linda M. V. Martel
Fossil meteorites and chromite grains record a hundred-fold increase in the number of meteorites that fell 480 million years ago compared to the meteorite influx today.
pdf link, Tiny Traces of a Big Asteroid Breakup
28 NOV 03 Hafnium, Tungsten, and the Differentiation of the Moon and Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Experiments help us understand the timing of core formation and nature of initial melting in the Moon and Mars.
pdf link, Hf, W, and the Differentiation of the Moon and Mars
7 NOV 03 Pretty Green Mineral -- Pretty Dry Mars?
by Linda M. V. Martel
The discovery of olivine-bearing rocks on Mars underscores the need to understand weathering rates of silicates in the Martian environment.
pdf link. Pretty Green Mineral -- Pretty Dry Mars?
28 OCT 03 Show Me the Carbonates
by Linda M. V. Martel
Carbonate minerals intermingle with silicates in the Martian surface dust.
pdf link, Show Me the Carbonates
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
29 AUG 03 Gullied Slopes on Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
Do the Martian gullies tell us something about the stability and distribution of near-surface water?
pdf link, Gullied Slopes on Mars
16 JULY 03 Ancient Floodwaters and Seas on Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
Surface deposits within the northern lowlands support the oceans hypothesis.
pdf link, Ancient Floodwaters and Seas on Mars
4 JUNE 03 The Moon's Dark, Icy Poles
by Linda M. V. Martel
Permanently shadowed regions on the Moon--where frozen water could be trapped--are more abundant and more widely distributed than originally thought.
pdf link, The Moon's Dark, Icy Poles
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
28 APRIL 03 Asteroidal Lava Flows
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Meteorite studies indicate that we have pieces of lava flows from at least five asteroids.
pdf link, Asteroidal Lava Flows
13 MAR 03 Gray Iron Oxide in Meridiani, Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
A deposit of gray hematite in Terra Meridiani may suggest that water once circulated through the rock layers in this region of Mars.
pdf link, Gray Iron Oxide in Meridiani, Mars
23 JAN 03 QUE 93148: A Part of the Mantle of Asteroid 4 Vesta?
by Christine Floss
A tiny meteorite tells a story of melting in the deep mantle of a big asteroid.
pdf link, QUE 93148 Meteorite
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
25 NOV 02 Bands on Europa
by Linda M. V. Martel
Rifting at Earth's mid-ocean ridges is a good analogy for Europan band formation.
pdf link, Bands on Europa
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
8 OCT 02 The Moon Beyond 2002
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A meeting of lunar scientists to outline research questions and future exploration plans.
pdf link, The Moon Beyond 2002
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
30 AUG 02 The Wet, Oxidizing Crust of Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Analysis of isotopes and oxide minerals in Martian meteorites indicate that many magmas interacted with a wet, oxidizing crust as they oozed from the Martian mantle to its reddish surface.
pdf link, The Wet, Oxidizing Crust of Mars
28 JUNE 02 Using Chondrites to Understand the Inside of Asteroid 433 Eros
by Linda M. V. Martel
Data from ordinary chondrite meteorites and from the NEAR mission suggest that asteroid 433 Eros is heavily fractured.
pdf link, Using Chondrites to Understand
 the Inside of Asteroid 433 Eros
5 JUNE 02 Dirty Ice on Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Instruments on the Odyssey spacecraft show that a lot of dirty ice sits within a meter of the surface in the south polar latitudes of Mars.
pdf link, Dirty Ice on Mars
22 MAY 02 The Tricky Business of Identifying Rocks on Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A new analysis of thermal emission spectra suggests a new interpretation for the composition of the Martian surface.
pdf link, The Tricky Business of Identifying Rocks on Mars
13 MAY 02 Resolution of a Big Argument About Tiny Magnetic Minerals in Martian Meteorite
by Edward R. D. Scott and David J. Barber
Magnetic minerals in Martian meteorite ALH 84001 formed as a result of impact heating and decomposition of carbonate. They were never used as compasses by Martian microorganisms.
pdf link, Resolution of a Big Argument ALH84001
28 FEB 02 Searching Antarctic Ice for Meteorites
by Linda M. V. Martel
Silver anniversary season: The vigorous life and times of the ANSMET team at Meteorite Hills resulted in a new set of 336 meteorites collected off the ice.
pdf link, Searching Antarctic Ice for Meteorites
26 FEB 02 The Composition of Asteroid 433 Eros
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
X-rays and reflected light suggest that asteroid 433 Eros is similar in composition to the most common type of meteorite--maybe.
pdf link, Composition of Asteroid 433 Eros
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
7 NOV 01 Meteorites on Ice
by Linda M. V. Martel
Antarctic meteorites provide a continuous and readily available supply of extraterrestrial materials, stimulating new research and ideas in cosmochemistry, planetary geology, astronomy, and astrobiology.
pdf link, Meteorites on Ice
22 OCT 01 New Data, New Ideas, and Lively Debate about Mercury
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A hundred scientists gathered to share new data and ideas about the important little planet closest to the Sun.
pdf link, New Data, New Ideas about Mercury
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
26 JUNE 01 If Lava Mingled with Ground Ice on Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
Planetary geologists use Icelandic volcanic formations called "rootless cones" to explain clusters of small cones on Mars.
pdf link, If Lava Mingled with Ground Ice on Mars
14 JUNE 01 Outflow Channels May Make a Case for a Bygone Ocean on Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter data have given scientists a new perspective of the dry channels in Chryse Planitia and a new approach to testing the Martian ancient ocean hypothesis.
pdf link, Outflow Channels May Make a Case for a Bygone Ocean on Mars
24 APRIL 01 Gullies and Canyons, Rocks and Experiments: The Mystery of Water on Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The combination of analyses of Martian meteorites and laboratory experiments helps scientists understand how water in magma has changed the Martian crust and surface.
pdf link, The Mystery of Water on Mars
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
28 FEB 01 Buckyballs and Gases May Mark Massive Extinction
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Helium and argon isotopes in fullerenes suggest an impact triggered the incredible extinction that marks the end of the Permian period.
pdf link, Buckyballs and Gases May Mark Massive Extinction
26 FEB 01 The Europa Scene in the Voyager-Galileo Era
by Linda M. V. Martel
Voyager and Galileo images provide a 20-year perspective on the geology of Europa's water-ice surface.
pdf link, Europa
24 JAN 01 Lunar Meteorites and the Lunar Cataclysm
by Barbara A. Cohen
Dating of impact melts in lunar meteorites supports the idea that the Moon was intensely bombarded about 3.9 billion years ago.
pdf link, Lunar Meteorites and the Lunar Cataclysm
5 DEC 00 Recipe for High-Titanium Lunar Magmas
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Experiments shed light on how high-titanium lunar magmas formed.
pdf link, Recipe for High-Ti Lunar Magmas
21 NOV 00 Mining the Moon, Mars, and Asteroids
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Applied cosmochemistry plays a key role in plans to use the resources of the Moon, Mars, and asteroids.
pdf link, Mining the Moon, Mars, and Asteroids
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
31 AUG 00 A New Moon for the Twenty-First Century
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Integrated studies of returned samples and remote sensing data reveal a Moon far different from the one scientists envisaged only a decade ago.
pdf link, A New Moon for the Twenty-First Century
23 JUNE 00 The Surprising Lunar Maria
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Global remote sensing data have given lunar scientists a startling new perspective of the titanium concentrations in the lava flows making up the lunar maria.
pdf link, The Surprising Lunar Maria
24 MAY 00 Liquid Water on Mars: The Story from Meteorites
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Martian meteorites may have reacted with liquid water on Mars intermittently during the past 650 million years.
pdf link, Liquid Water on Mars: The Story from Meteorites
26 APRIL 00 Analyzing Next to Nothing
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Cosmochemists can analyze astonishingly small particles, skills essential to the analysis of samples to be returned from comets, asteroids, Martian moons, and Mars.
pdf link, Analyzing Next to Nothing
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
10 MAR 00 Flash Heating
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Extremely rapid heating of rocky materials in a furnace is possible, making it feasible to study the formation of melted droplets in meteorites.
pdf link, Flash Heating
15 FEB 00 Jupiter's Hot, Mushy Moon
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Very high lava flow temperatures on Io lead some scientists to propose that the satellite's interior is a swirling cauldron of partially molten rock.
pdf link, Jupiter's Hot, Mushy Moon
17 DEC 99 Difficult Experiments on Weird Rocks
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Melting experiments on oxygen-depleted meteorites give clues about magma compositions and core formation in asteroids.
pdf link, Difficult Experiments on Weird Rocks
17 DEC 99 Zapping Mars Rocks with Gamma Rays
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
One way to sterilize samples from Mars is to zap them with gamma rays. Will this ruin the rock for other studies? Apparently not.
pdf link, Zapping Mars Rocks with Gamma Rays
24 NOV 99 Purple Salt and Tiny Drops of Water in Meteorites
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Two meteorites contain crystals of sodium chloride that have trapped tiny drops of ancient salty water.
pdf link, Purple Salt and Tiny Drops of Water in Meteorites
23 SEPT 99 The Moon at its Core
by Linda M. V. Martel
New evidence for a small lunar core strengthens the giant impact hypothesis for the origin of the Moon.
pdf link, The Moon at its Core
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
30 JULY 99 Fossils Blowing in the Wind: More Contamination of Antarctic Meteorites
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Terrestrial microfossils occur in cracks in Antarctic meteorites, making it difficult to search for extraterrestrial life in meteorites.
pdf link, Contamination of Antarctic Meteorites
20 JULY 99 An Adulterated Martian Meteorite
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Martian meteorite EETA79001 may have formed by impact melting and mixing of other Martian rocks, not by simple igneous activity as originally thought.
pdf link, An Adulterated Martian Meteorite
3 JUNE 99 Martian Organic Matter in ALH84001?
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Indigenous organic compounds in ALH84001 may be from meteorite bombardment of the surface of Mars.
pdf link, Martian Organic Matter in ALH84001?
21 APRIL 99 30th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference: Some Highlights
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The annual LPSC featured bacteria, new views of the Moon, and an intriguing new meteorite.
pdf link, 30th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference: Some Highlights
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
31 DEC 98 Origin of the Earth and Moon
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
First hand report of the December 1998 conference on the formation and very early history of the Earth and Moon.
pdf link, Origin of the Earth and Moon
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
24 SEPT 98 Europa's Salty Surface
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Jupiter's moon Europa has salt deposits on its surface that may be the products of evaporation of water erupted from an ocean beneath the satellite's icy crust.
pdf link, Europa's Salty Surface
24 SEPT 98 For a Cup of Water on Mars: Gusev Crater
by Linda M. V. Martel
Gusev crater's long history as a depositional site for water-laid sediments makes it a priority site for future biological explorations.
pdf link, For a Cup of Water on Mars: Gusev Crater
17 JULY 98 The Biggest Hole in the Solar System
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Recent missions have helped researchers determine the composition of one of the largest impact craters in the Solar System: South Pole-Aitken basin.
pdf link, The Biggest Hole in the Solar System
27 APR 98 Big Mountain, Big Landslide on Jupiter's Moon, Io
by Linda M. V. Martel
Thrust faulting and uplift of a large block of Io's crust may have created a mountain and the landslide on it.
pdf link, Io
17 FEB 98 Organic Compounds in Martian Meteorites May Be Terrestrial Contaminants
by A. J. T. Jull
Carbon-14 measurements indicate that most of the organic compounds in martian meteorite ALH84001 were acquired on Earth, not Mars, weakening the case for fossil martian life in the meteorite.
pdf link, Organic Compounds in Martian Meteorites May Be Terrestrial Contaminants
18 DEC 97 Fossils in Martian Meteorite: Real or Imagined?
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Some scientists suggest that the small, wormy structures in martian meteorite ALH84001 are features of the crystals in the rock, decorated with artifacts introduced during sample preparation, not nanofossils. The discoverers of the fossil-like objects disagree.
pdf link, Fossils in Martian Meteorite: Real or Imagined?
11 DEC 97 Damage by Impact: the case at Meteor Crater, Arizona
by Linda M. V. Martel
A look at the pre- and post-impact environments at Meteor Crater, Arizona provides insight into Earth's impact history. Just how often does this sort of impact event occur on Earth? We'll examine the potential hazards.
pdf link, Meteor Crater, AZ
20 OCT 97 Moonbeams and Elements
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The amount of light reflected off the Moon can be used to determine elemental abundances from orbit.
pdf link, Moonbeams and Elements
22 AUG 97 The Martian Interior
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Data from martian meteorites and high pressure experiments give us a glimpse of the interior of the planet Mars.
pdf link, The Martian Interior
22 AUG 97 Testing the Evidence for Life on Mars: NASA and NSF Fund New Studies of Martian Meteorite
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Newly awarded grants will fund 23 projects to further analyze martian meteorite ALH84001 and the details that led to last year's announcement of possible ancient martian life.
pdf link, Testing the Evidence for Life on Mars
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
22 MAY 97 Shocked Carbonates may Spell N-o L-i-f-e in Martian Meteorite ALH84001
by Edward R. D. Scott
Evidence for redistribution of carbonates by shock casts doubt on fossil life in martian meteorite.
pdf link, Shocked Carbonates may Spell No Life in Martian Meteorite ALH84001
22 MAY 97 Low-temperature Origin of Carbonates Consistent with Life in ALH84001
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Evidence from magnetism and isotopes consistent with life in martian meteorite.
pdf link, Low-temp Origin of Carbonates Consistent with Life in ALH84001
31 MAR 97 Life on Mars--The Debate Continues
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Scientists continue their search for answers to the question of fossil life in a martian meteorite. Have we found evidence for life, nonbiologic processes or contamination? The great debate is far from over.
pdf link, Life on Mars--The Debate Continues
31 MAR 97 Not Quite a Meeting of the Minds
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The debate about life in martian meteorite ALH 84001 at the 28th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference was vigorous. Some investigators will turn out to be right, others wrong, but there will be no losers.
pdf link, Not Quite a Meeting of the Minds
14 FEB 97 1997 Apparition of Comet Hale-Bopp
by Karen J. Meech
With its closest approach to Earth on March 22, 1997, comet Hale-Bopp gave a spectacular night time show. This article also covers the historical development of cometary science and the scientific importance of comets.
pdf link, 1997 Apparition of Comet Hale-Bopp
12 FEB 97 Explosive Volcanic Eruptions on the Moon
by Catherine M. Weitz
How did deposits of fine-grained volcanic beads form on the Moon? Could these deposits supply oxygen and rocket fuel to future lunar colonists?
pdf link, Explosive Volcanic Eruptions on the Moon
23 JAN 97 Mercury Unveiled
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
New analysis of 1970's data returned by the Mariner 10 mission reveals the nature of the surface of Mercury.
pdf link, Mercury Unveiled by Mariner 10
21 DEC 96 Ice on the Bone Dry Moon
by Paul D. Spudis
Deposits of ice in the permanently dark regions near the south pole of the Moon could bootstrap a self-sustaining lunar colony.
pdf link, Ice on the Bone Dry Moon
21 DEC 96 Life Underground
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Some bacteria live on nothing but rock and water, extracting energy from chemical reactions rather than from sunlight.
pdf link, Life Underground
21 DEC 96 Meteorites from Mars, Rocks from Canada
by Rachel C. Friedman
There is more to Mars rocks than suspected fossils. Scientists are using ancient lava flows in eastern Ontario to understand the formation of a group of meteorites from Mars.
pdf link, Meteorites from Mars, Rocks from Canada
18 OCT 96 Life on Mars?
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A group of scientists, headed by Dr. David McKay of Johnson Space Center, have made a case for ancient life on Mars based on features in a meteorite found in Antarctica. Do we indeed have evidence of life on Mars?
pdf link, Life on Mars?
18 OCT 96 Rules for Identifying Ancient Life
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Scientists seeking the oldest fossils on Earth have developed rules for establishing that they have found fossils and that the fossils formed in place.
pdf link, Rules for Identifying Ancient Life
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