Showing posts from March, 2021

Remains of impact that created the Moon may lie deep within Earth Source:    By  Paul Voosen .  Excerpt: Scientists have long agreed that the Moon formed when a protoplanet, called Theia, struck Earth in its infancy some 4.5 billion years ago. Now, a team of scientists has a provocative new proposal: Theia’s remains can be found in two continent-size layers of rock buried deep in Earth’s mantle. For decades, seismologists have puzzled over these two blobs, which sit below West Africa and the Pacific Ocean and straddle the core like a pair of headphones. Up to 1000 kilometers tall and several times that wide, “they are the largest thing in the Earth’s mantle,” says Qian Yuan, a Ph.D. student in geodynamics at Arizona State University (ASU), Tempe. Seismic waves from earthquakes abruptly slow down when they pass through the layers, which suggests they are denser and chemically different from the surrounding mantle rock. ...Evidence from Iceland and Samoa sug

The Water on Mars Vanished. This Might Be Where It Went Source:  By  Kenneth Chang , The New York Times.  Excerpt: Mars once had rivers, lakes and seas. Although the planet is now desert dry, scientists say most of the water is still there, just locked up in rocks. ...most of the water, a new study concludes, went down, sucked into the red planet’s rocks. And there it remains, trapped within minerals and salts. Indeed, as much as 99 percent of the water that once flowed on Mars could still be there, the researchers estimated in  a paper published this week in the journal Science.  Data from the past two decades of robotic missions to Mars, including NASA’s Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, showed a wide distribution of what geologists call hydrated minerals....