Discoveries in Planetary Science

The Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society just released several short sets of slides summarizing recent important discoveries in planetary science that aren’t yet in textbooks. They are very nice, easy to understand summaries so I encourage you to check them out. The topics so far are: Mars Methane, Extrasolar Planet Imaging, The Chaotic Early Solar System, Mars Sulfur Chemistry, and Mercury Volcanism. Follow those links to PDF files for each topic, or click here to go to the DPS “Discoveries in Planetary Science” page.

Explore posts in the same categories: Current Research, exoplanets, Planets in General

6 Comments on “Discoveries in Planetary Science”

  1. […] Discoveries in Planetary Science – The Martian Chronicles Links to resources profiling a number of recent discoveries in planetary science. […]

  2. Alice Says:

    Wow – those are useful!

    • Ryan Says:

      Yeah, and it sounded like there’s an open invitation for other scientists to contribute their results, so a few more topics might show up.

  3. Those are really nice, not least because they give a good sense of what’s gaining acceptance in the community.

    I didn’t fully understand the sulphur on Mars slides, though, at least as far as the comparison with Earth is concerned: it makes sense that SO2 would acidify water and inhibit carbonate formation; I just don’t see why that doesn’t (or didn’t) happen on Earth, too. The slide mentions oxygen and water vapour, but why doesn’t that lead to sulphuric acid and sulphates as on Mars?

    • Ryan Says:

      That’s a good question! Because when SO2 reacts with water, it makes acid, so why didn’t Earth suffer the same acidic fate as Mars? I’m not 100% sure, but I think that some Mars geophysicists believe that Mars has more sulfur than the Earth. Mars also had/has less water. So with more sulfur and less water than Earth, Mars ended up with acidic water, while Earth had so much water and so much carbonate available to dilute and neutralize the acid it didn’t have as big an effect.

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