The volatile processes that shaped Earth

Based on observations of newly-forming stars, scientists know that the solar system began as a disc of dust and gas surrounding the centrally-growing sun. The gas condensed to solids which accumulated into larger rocky bodies like asteroids and mini-planets. Over a period of 100 million years these mini-planets collided with one another and gradually accumulated into the planets we see today, including the Earth._Oxford University

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Inner Earth Is Teeming With Exotic Forms of Life

Ancient bacteria from nearly two miles below Earth’s surface: that’s what first drew Tullis Onstott to begin his search for life in the most unlikely of places. The geomicrobiologist had just attended a 1992 U.S. Department of Energy meeting about rocks estimated to be more than 200 million years old—older than most dinosaurs. These prehistoric rocks had been unearthed from a gas exploration well, and they turned out to be teeming with bacteria. _Smithsonian magazine

Plate tectonics thanks to plumes?

It is common knowledge that the Earth’s rigid upper layer called lithosphere is composed of moving plates. But just what mechanism first set plate tectonics into motion still remains a mystery. A team of researchers led by ETH professor Taras Gerya has now come up with one possible answer by using simulations._ETH Zurich

Research may solve lunar fire fountain mystery

In addition to providing a potential answer to longstanding questions surrounding lunar fire fountains, the findings also serve as more evidence that some volatile reservoirs in the Moon’s interior share a common origin with reservoirs in the Earth, the researchers say._Carnegie Science