Karen Meech Awarded 2023 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics

The Heineman Foundation, AIP, and AAS are pleased to announce Karen Meech, astronomer at the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai’i, as the winner of the 2023 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics. Meech was selected “for her pioneering work in expanding and pushing boundaries in the field of small body solar system observational science, and for making transformative contributions to shape the broader field of planetary science in general.” She will be awarded $10,000 and a certificate and invited to give a talk at a future AAS meeting.

Secrets from space: Advanced Photon Source helps illuminate the journey of a 4 billion-year-old asteroid

An international collaboration of scientists has published results of their studies into the makeup and history of asteroid 163173 Ryugu. These results tell us more about the formation of our solar system and the history of this nearby neighbor.

Department of Energy Announces $8.3 Million for Research on High Energy Density Plasmas

Today, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (SC) and DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced $8.3 million for 20 research projects in High-Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas (HEDLP).

What a martian meteorite can teach us about Earth’s origins

Astronomy postdoc Valerie Payré is on an international team that discovered the origin of the martian meteorite known as Black Beauty, one of the most-studied meteorites in the world. It may hold clues to the development of Earth and other terrestrial planets and help explain why Earth sustains life when its closest neighbor does not.

New model shows Earth’s deep mantle was drier from the start

By analyzing noble gas isotope data, a scientist determined that the ancient plume mantle had a water concentration that was a factor of 4 to 250 times lower when compared with the water concentration of the upper mantle. The resulting viscosity contrast could have prevented mixing within the mantle, helping to explain certain long-standing mysteries about Earth’s formation and evolution.

Space odyssey: Argonne scientists among the first to study asteroid fragments

Argonne scientists at the Advanced Photon Source are among the first to study tiny fragments of near-Earth asteroid 162173 Ryugu, collected by a Japanese space mission. These fragments could tell us long-hidden secrets about how our planet and solar system were formed.

Unlocking the secrets of Earth’s early atmosphere

Research partly conducted at the Advanced Photon Source helped scientists discover the composition of Earth’s first atmosphere. What they found raises questions about the origin of life on Earth.

Washington University to develop lunar resource utilization technology for NASA

Power and in-situ resources are two things humans will need as they explore deep space. How future astronauts use these commodities depends on the technology at hand. That’s why NASA is looking to U.S. universities — including Washington University in St. Louis — for lunar-focused research to bring about advancements in in-situ resource utilization and sustainable power solutions.

Purported phosphine on Venus more likely to be ordinary sulfur dioxide, new study shows

A University of Washington-led team has revisited and comprehensively reinterpreted radio telescope observations underlying a 2019 claim of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus. They report that sulfur dioxide, a common gas in the atmosphere of Venus, is likely what was detected instead of phosphine.

Mira’s Last Journey: exploring the dark universe

Scientists used a supercomputer to perform one of the five largest cosmological simulations ever — the Last Journey. This simulation will provide crucial data for sky maps to aid leading cosmological experiments.

Powerful electrical events quickly alter surface chemistry on Mars and other planetary bodies

Thinking like Earthlings may have caused scientists to overlook the electrochemical effects of Martian dust storms. On Earth, dust particles are viewed mainly in terms of their physical effects, like erosion. But, in exotic locales from Mars to Venus to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, electrical effects can affect the chemical composition of a planetary body’s surface and atmosphere in a relatively short time, according to research from Washington University in St. Louis.

High-impact research: How meteorite strikes may change quartz on the Earth’s surface

Scientists using a unique combination of capabilities at the Advanced Photon Source have learned more about how meteorites affect one of the most abundant materials in the Earth’s crust.

‘Cold Neptune’ and two temperate super-Earths found orbiting nearby stars

Washington, DC– A “cold Neptune” and two potentially habitable worlds are part of a cache of five newly discovered exoplanets and eight exoplanet candidates found orbiting nearby red dwarf stars, which are reported in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series by a team led by Carnegie’s Fabo Feng and Paul Butler.

One step closer to living on Mars: NAU scientists contribute to NASA’s ‘treasure map’ of widespread water ice near planet’s surface

Northern Arizona University professor Christopher Edwards and postdoc Jennifer Buz are co-authors of a study published this week in Geophysical Research Letters that mapped several locations on Mars at high and mid-latitudes where water ice exists at a depth as little as an inch below the planet’s surface.