Moons

An explanation for the scarce presence of gold and other rare elements on the Moon

An article published in the journal “Nature” offers a possible explanation of the remarkable difference in the presence of some chemical elements on the Earth and on the Moon still accepting the theory of their common origin following an impact with the primordial Earth. A team of researchers carried out a series of simulations of the impacts that could have happened on the Moon during the first phase of its history, concluding that the retention of the elements classified as highly siderophilous began 4.35 billion years ago, at the time when most of the magma that covered the lunar surface solidified.

Possible moons in formation around the exoplanet PDS 70 c

An article published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal Letters” reports the observation of what is interpreted as a circumplanetary disk in the system of the young star PDS 70. A team of researchers led by Andrea Isella of Rice University in Houston, Texas, used the ALMA radio telescope to detect the emissions of that disk that surrounds the exoplanet PDS 70 c and according to the astronomers is of the type that controls the formation of planets and of a system of moons such as those around the planet Jupiter.

Titan northern hemisphere (Image NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute)

At the 2019 Astrobiology Science Conference being held in Bellevue, Washington, Morgan Cable of NASA’s JPL presented the results of a study conducted with other researchers on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. This team recreated in lab some conditions existing in the lakes of methane and other hydrocarbons of Titan, discovering that a co-crystal of solid acetylene and butane could be produced with the formation of ring-shaped deposits around those lakes similarly to salt deposits which are produced when water evaporates in the Earth’s seas. Those co-crystals could be used by exotic life forms in a way similar to carbon dioxide on Earth.

Saturn rings sculpted by nearby moons

An article published in the journal “Science” reports new details on Saturn rings and the moons that orbit embedded in them, in particular Daphnis, in the space inside the Ring A called Keeler Division. A team of researchers used data collected by the Cassini space probe during the last months of its mission to better understand their composition and how the nearby moons sculpt them generating a greater complexity than expected. A second article written by Shigeru Ida comments on this new study.

The differences between the two faces of the Moon could be due to the impact of a dwarf planet

An article published in the “Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets” reports the results of computer simulations generated to explain the asymmetry of the two faces of the Moon. A team of researchers used data from NASA’s GRAIL mission as a reference to try to reproduce the Moon’s situation, concluding that the best explanation comes from the simulation of the impact of a dwarf planet with a diameter of about 780 kilometers on the current Earth-facing Moon’s side at about 22,500 km/h.