Magnesium oxide: From Earth to super-Earth

The mantles of Earth and other rocky planets are rich in magnesium and oxygen. Due to its simplicity, the mineral magnesium oxide is a good model for studying the nature of planetary interiors. New work from a team led by ...

Does a planet need plate tectonics to develop life?

Plate tectonics may be a phase in the evolution of planets that has implications for the habitability of exoplanets, according to new research published this month in the journal Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors.

Distant planet's interior chemistry may differ from our own

As astronomers continue finding new rocky planets around distant stars, high-pressure physicists are considering what the interiors of those planets might be like and how their chemistry could differ from that found on Earth. ...

The Ring Nebula

The diversity of colours, shapes, and sizes of planetary nebulae make them fascinating objects. In this photo release Calar Alto presents a rather unique view combining both optical and near-infrared data of the Ring Nebula ...

Under pressure: Ramp-compression smashes record

In the first university-based planetary science experiment at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), researchers have gradually compressed a diamond sample to a record pressure of 50 megabars (50 million times Earth's atmospheric ...

Ocean's journey towards the center of the Earth

A Monash geoscientist and a team of international researchers have discovered the existence of an ocean floor was destroyed 50 to 20 million years ago, proving that New Caledonia and New Zealand are geographically connected.

Probing methane's secrets: From diamonds to Neptune

Hydrocarbons from the Earth make up the oil and gas that heat our homes and fuel our cars. The study of the various phases of molecules formed from carbon and hydrogen under high pressures and temperatures, like those found ...

Thermal conductivity of argon at high pressures and temperatures

Diamond anvil cells (DACs) are used routinely in laboratories to apply extreme pressure to materials, recreating conditions that normally only occur deep in planetary interiors or during certain industrial manufacturing techniques. ...

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