Science News

Iron rich meteorites retain record of core crystallization in Solar System’s oldest planetary objects

A back-scattered electron image showing one of the products of Chabot’s lab at APL mimicry of the core crystallization process. Liquid metal is on the right and solid metal is on the left. Image is courtesy of Nancy Chabot and Peng Ni.

 New work led by Carnegie’s Peng Ni and Anat Shahar uncovers new details about our Solar System’s oldest planetary objects, which broke apart in long-ago collisions to form iron-rich meteorites.

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NSF Awards More Than $1.6M to Six Studies at Earth and Planets Laboratory

 Glowing coiled filament used as a source of energetic electron

In early 2020, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded more than $1.6M to six projects from the Carnegie Institution for Science Earth and Planets Laboratory. Many of the projects are collaborative and together they span a broad range of topics, from deep Earth dynamics to how microbes survive in extreme conditions. 
 

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How does Earth sustain its magnetic field?  

Earth's magnetic field protects our atmosphere from solar radiation.

New work from an international team of researchers, including current and former Carnegie scientists Alexander Goncharov, Nicholas Holtgrewe, Sergey Lobanov, and Irina Chuvashova examines how the presence of lighter elements in the predominately iron core could affect the geodynamo’s genesis and sustainability.

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Elucidating how asymmetry confers chemical properties

Stock image of the transition metals section of the periodic table

New research by Carnegie’s Olivier Gagné and collaborator Frank Hawthorne of the University of Manitoba categorizes the causes of structural asymmetry, some surprising, which underpin useful properties of crystals, including ferroelectricity, photoluminescence, and photovoltaic ability. Their findings are published this week as a lead article in the International Union of Crystallography Journal.

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Most Of Earth’s Carbon Was Hidden In The Core During Its Formative Years

Comparing carbon's compatibility with the silicates that comprise the Earth’s mantle (outer circle) to its compatibility with the iron that comprises the planet’s core (inner circle)

New work published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals how carbon behaved during Earth’s violent formative period. The findings can help scientists understand how much carbon likely exists in the planet’s core and the contributions it could make to the chemical and dynamic activity occurring there—including to the convective motion powering the magnetic field that protects Earth from cosmic radiation.

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Peeking at the plumbing of one of the Aleutian's most-active volcanoes

Carnegie’s Diana Roman collecting samples from Alaska’s Cleveland volcano, one of the most-active volcanoes in the Aleutians.  Tana Volcano on Chuginadak Island isn in the background. Photo is courtesy of Anna Barth of Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.

A new approach to analyzing seismic data reveals deep vertical zones of low seismic velocity in the plumbing system underlying Alaska’s Cleveland volcano, one of the most-active of the more than 70 Aleutian volcanoes. The findings are published in Scientific Reports by Helen Janiszewski, recently of Carnegie, now at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and Carnegie’s Lara Wagner and Diana Roman. 

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