Monthly Archives: August 2020

Formation of terrestrial planets from local materials

Credit: University of Copenhagen / Lars Buchave. Many planetary materials exhibit distinct isotopic compositions. For example, the isotopic compositions of oxygen differ between the terrestrial planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. These differences indicate that each planet formed from a separate isotopic reservoir, and possibly different regions, in the protoplanetary disc. Numerous attempts have been […]

Ceres: an oceanic world in the asteroid belt

The strange white spots of Ceres The Dawn mission was launched in 2007 with an unconventional ion engine that left it in orbit around Vesta, the second largest object in the asteroid belt, for 14 months before venturing into Ceres in 2012. No mission had ever put two alien worlds into orbit before. “Vesta is […]