Articles about geology

An annotated version indicates features described in the text, and includes a reference globe showing Pluto’s orientation in the image, with the equator and central meridian in bold. Pic credit: NASA

PLUTO SPACE WHALE starts to give up its secrets

Excited NASA boffins have published yet more imagery of remote dwarf ice-planet Pluto – this time, however, with a bit more geology thrown in. The US space agency's New Horizons probe is now just three days away from its closest flyby of Pluto, having been on its deep space mission for nine and a half years. In the meantime, …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jul 2015

Glass door to the ancient past FOUND ON MARS

Rock-boffins have used data from satellites to scope out impact-crater glass on Mars for a glimpse into its past, based on the theory that glass formed during hypervelocity happenings can encapsulate and preserve earthly bio-signatures. A study lead by Brown University's Peter Schultz found that organic matter, including plant …
lava

Was Earth once covered in HELLFIRE? No – more like a wet Sunday night in Iceland

Early Earth may have been less like the hellish realm of molten magma previously suspected but also distinct from the sort of environment found in modern-day Iceland, according to research by geologists. The Earth had already formed oceans, continents and an active crustal plates by the time it was 500 million years old, …
John Leyden, 16 Sep 2014

Splash! Three times as much water as ALL of Earth's oceans found TRAPPED underground

A group of US researchers has discovered evidence that deep below the Earth's surface there may be as much as three times as much water as in all of our oceans combined. Schematic cross section of the Earth’s interior showing water trapped under the Earth's mantle Unfortunately, at such extreme depths, the new-found treasure …
Rik Myslewski, 13 Jun 2014
The two types of plastiglomerate

Plastic is the new rock, say Geologists

Geologists have identified what they say is a new class of rock. 'Plastiglomerates', as the new rocks are called, form when plastic debris washes up on beaches, breaks down into small pieces, becomes mixed in sand or sticks to other rocks and solidifies into an agglomerate mixing all of the above. Such rocks, say US and …
Mars

NASA agonizes over plan for Mars rock sample return mission

America's top rock hounds are gathering in Virginia to decide where on Mars they want NASA's next rover to land – not just so it can survey the Red Planet but also so that it can send back useful samples. NASA has already announced that it will send a newish rover to Mars in 2020. The probe will use the same body shell as the …
Iain Thomson, 15 May 2014

Ancient Earth asteroid strike that dwarfed dinosaur killer still felt today

Scientists say they have reconstructed an asteroid impact on Earth that was at least three times as massive as the strike that is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs and the new monster had effects that are still being felt today. Asteroid impact A massive headache for Earth (click to enlarge) The research, published …
Iain Thomson, 10 Apr 2014

The Solar System's second-largest volcano found hiding on Earth

Earth's largest volcano – and possibly the second largest volcano in the Solar System – has been discovered hiding deep beneath the waves about 1,000 miles east of Japan. How large is "largest"? According to a paper published in Nature Geoscience, the "immense shield volcano" spans about 120,000 square miles, making it equal …
Rik Myslewski, 5 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Whacked moon rocks yield up their secrets

Since NASA is trying to find the moon rock samples it once cheerfully scattered around the world, here’s a hint: some of it is over at Curtin University in Western Australia. However, the sample at Curtin has been put to good use: working out how to identify rocks that have suffered a meteor collision, by looking at formations …
The Register breaking news

Lunar mineral turns up in Oz

Until now, the mineral tranquillityite – consisting of iron, zirconium, yttrium, titanium, silicon and oxygen, and almost completely useless – has only been observed in rocks brought back from the glory days of the moon landings. Now, a team of scientists in Western Australia has found it for the first time in Earthbound samples …
The Register breaking news

Early Earth’s ‘golden shower’

Rocks from Isua in south-west Greenland have been hailed as providing evidence for what geologists believe is the source of complex and heavy elements on Earth: an asteroid shower that endowed our young planet with gold (as well as platinum, iridium, nickel and tungsten). The research to be published in Nature suggests that …
The Register breaking news

Antarctic meteorite yields exotic new mineral

NASA has announced the discovery of a new mineral inside a "historically significant"* meteorite recovered from Antarctica in December 1969. The exotic blend of sulphur and titanium was spotted in the 4.5bn-year-old Yamato 691 enstatite chondrite, which may have once formed part of an asteroid orbiting between Jupiter and Mars …
Lester Haines, 6 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Volcanic African 'unzipping' could see continent divided

An enormous 35-mile-long rift which "unzipped" in "just days" across the face of Ethiopia has now been confirmed by boffins as the beginning of a process which will see Africa split in two by a new ocean. Geologists around the world, including some at Leeds Uni in the UK, came together to analyse the startling event in which a …
Lewis Page, 3 Nov 2009
The Register breaking news

Martian volcano could harbour hot underground pondlife

American astrogeologists believe that there may be pockets of liquid water trapped in sediment layers beneath the slopes of Olympus Mons - the titanic 15-mile-high Martian volcano, three times as high as Mount Everest. Such underground ponds or puddles might be home, they speculate, to strange alien lifeforms. Contour mapping …
Lewis Page, 5 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

Expedition to probe cavern lake 3km beneath Antarctic ice

The UK government has given the go-ahead for a team of British boffins to mount an expedition to a dark, cold lake buried in a cavern three kilometres beneath the ice sheet of Antarctica. The Natural Environment Research Council (Nerc) is funding university researchers and the British Antarctic Survey to explore icy Lake …
Lewis Page, 3 Mar 2009

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