Tectonic plates started shifting earlier than previously thought

An enduring question in geology is when Earth's tectonic plates began pushing and pulling in a process that helped the planet evolve and shaped its continents into the ones that exist today. Some researchers theorize it happened ...

New models hint at longer timescale for Mars formation

The early solar system was a chaotic place, with evidence indicating that Mars was likely struck by planetesimals, small protoplanets up to 1,200 miles in diameter, early in its history. Southwest Research Institute scientists ...

Study shows that the Moon is older than previously believed

A new study spearheaded by Earth scientists at the University of Cologne's Institute of Geology and Mineralogy has constrained the age of the Moon to approximately 50 million years after the formation of the solar system. ...

Ultra-close stars discovered inside a planetary nebula

An international team of astronomers have discovered two stars in a binary pair that complete an orbit around each other in a little over three hours, residing in the planetary nebula M3-1. Remarkably, the stars could drive ...

Technique may reveal the age of moon rocks during spaceflight

Researchers are developing instruments and methods for measuring the ages of rocks encountered during space missions to the Moon or other planets. Many of the techniques used to date rocks on Earth are not practical in spaceflight, ...

Bricks to build an Earth found in every planetary system

Earth-like planets orbiting other stars in the Milky Way are three times more likely to have the same type of minerals as Earth than astronomers had previously thought. In fact, conditions for making the building blocks of ...

Astronomers use Hubble images for movies featuring space slinky

(Phys.org) —Astronomers have assembled, from more than 13 years of observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, a series of time-lapse movies showing a jet of superheated gas—5,000 light-years long—as it is ejected ...

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