Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Planetary science

Evolutionary dichotomy for rocky planets

A simple model shows that a rocky planet close to its star may solidify so slowly that its water is lost to space and the planet becomes desiccated, whereas a planet farther out may solidify quickly and retain its water. See Letter p.607

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Hamano and colleagues' evolutionary model for terrestrial planets1.


  1. 1

    Hamano, K., Abe, Y. & Genda, H. Nature 497, 607–610 (2013).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Abe, Y. & Matsui, T. J. Geophys. Res. 90, C545–C559 (1985).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Abe, Y. Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 100, 27–39 (1997).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Zahnle, K. J., Kasting, J. F. & Pollack, J. B. Icarus 74, 62–97 (1988).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Elkins-Tanton, L. T. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 271, 181–191 (2008).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Mukhopadhyay, S. Nature 486, 101–104 (2012).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Touboul, M., Puchtel, I. S. & Walker, R. J. Science 335, 1065–1069 (2012).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Donahue, T. M., Hoffman, J. H., Hodges, R. R. Jr & Watson, A. J. Science 216, 630–633 (1982).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Zahnle, K. J. & Kasting, J. F. Icarus 68, 462–480 (1986).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Hashimoto, G. L., Abe, Y. & Sugita, S. J. Geophys. Res. 112, E05010 (2007).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Linda T. Elkins-Tanton.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Elkins-Tanton, L. Evolutionary dichotomy for rocky planets. Nature 497, 570–572 (2013).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing