Bombardments from outer space shaped the atmosphere

For the first few billion years of the Earth’s existence, the weather forecast was cloudy with a chance of asteroid. Geochemists have presumed for some time that this flurry of strikes altered the chemistry of the nascent atmosphere, but new research now offers clues as to how. In a paper published in Nature Geoscience, a … Continue reading Bombardments from outer space shaped the atmosphere

Let’s rock: Happy International Asteroid Day!

Dinosaurs might not share our enthusiasm, but here at Cosmos we thought we’d take the opportunity to celebrate International Asteroid Day and those cool hunks of space rock whizzing through our solar system. We’ve reported a lot on asteroids over the years, but the last year has been especially interesting. It saw the culmination of … Continue reading Let’s rock: Happy International Asteroid Day!

Asteroid reward

There’s nothing quite as pleasurable as exceeding expectations. Japanese scientists have peeked inside the sample capsule from Japan’s Hayabusa2 sample-return mission and found it to contain 5.4 grams of material from asteroid 162173 Ryugu.  “[That’s] far above the target of one-tenth of a gram,” said Hitoshi Kuninaka, vice-president of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), … Continue reading Asteroid reward

Grains of dust revise Solar System history

Asteroids that formed far out in the Solar System appear to contain dust grains that themselves condensed from the infant Solar System’s protoplanetary disc much closer to the Sun, scientists say. That means this dust was somehow transported from the inner reaches of the disc to its outer reaches, says Curtis Williams, a geochemist at … Continue reading Grains of dust revise Solar System history