4.5 billion years ago, a Mars-sized body was believed to have impacted a young Earth, and this planetesimal’s obliterated remains coalesced into what is now our Moon. However, certain striking similarities between the Earth and Moon question the likelihood of this event. Two recent papers investigated the giant impact scenario, only to come to opposite conclusions. Read on to hear more about this lunar enigma.
Planets seem to occur all over the place in the universe. However, it is still unknown how they form. The growth of objects larger than meter size is difficult because objects of this size quickly fall into the central star. This Astrobite gives a small overview of the meter-size barrier as found by Stuart J. Weidenschilling in 1977.
Earth’s oceans may have originated mainly from accreted impactors. But do planets in other systems experience the same water delivery mechanism? Or do they even get more water than our world? Find out why you would want to think about this and what the consequences might be.
Hot Jupiters are weird and lonely. Is gravitational perturbation to blame?
Could the properties of an M-dwarf that might make it inhospitable also give it transformative powers? Could the star’s gravity and violence strip away a planet’s thick atmosphere, or envelope, to reveal a habitable core?
Why do planetary disks fade away so fast? A leading candidate as villain in this story is turbulence. Using the combined strengths of sophisticated theoretical models and observations, we might be able to find out if this is true!