Planetary science

  • Article |

    Oxygen isotope compositions of dated magmatic zircon show that the Pilbara Craton in Western Australia, Earth’s best-preserved Archaean continental remnant, was built in three stages initiated by a giant meteorite impact.

    • Tim E. Johnson
    • , Christopher L. Kirkland
    •  & Michael I. H. Hartnady
  • Article |

    Binarity and multiplicity in general strongly affect the properties of emerging stars, as well as the physical and chemical structures of protoplanetary disks and therefore potentially any emerging planetary systems.

    • Jes K. Jørgensen
    • , Rajika L. Kuruwita
    •  & Edwin A. Bergin
  • Article |

    Dynamical simulations of the early Solar System show that the giant planets’ instability was triggered by the dispersal of the Sun’s gaseous disk, constrained by astronomical observations to be a few to ten million years after the birth of the Solar System.

    • Beibei Liu
    • , Sean N. Raymond
    •  & Seth A. Jacobson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Using data gathered from the microphones of the Perseverance rover, the first characterization of the acoustic environment on Mars is presented, showing two distinct values for the speed of sound in CO2-dominated atmosphere.

    • S. Maurice
    • , B. Chide
    •  & P. Willis
  • Article |

    A modelling study describing the formation of the polygonal surface structures in Sputnik Planitia on Pluto shows that convection driven by ice sublimation can generate planetary-scale surface patterns.

    • Adrien Morison
    • , Stéphane Labrosse
    •  & Gaël Choblet
  • Article |

    Through an idealized set of simulations, with a model that incorporates key physics, research reveals dramatic swings between massive rainfall events and extended dry periods in hothouse climates.

    • Jacob T. Seeley
    •  & Robin D. Wordsworth
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Water abundance and hydrogen isotope compositions of two-billion-year-old basalt samples returned from the Moon by the Chang’e-5 mission suggest that the samples came from a relatively dry mantle source.

    • Sen Hu
    • , Huicun He
    •  & Ziyuan Ouyang
  • Article |

    The authors show not only that planetary bodies around white dwarfs can survive but also that more than half of white dwarfs might have Jovian planetary companions.

    • J. W. Blackman
    • , J. P. Beaulieu
    •  & J. B. Marquette
  • Article |

    Cloud-top thermal images obtained by the Akatsuki orbiter show that Venus has almost null mean meridional circulation at the cloud top, because poleward circulation on the dayside is offset by equatorward circulation on the nightside.

    • Kiichi Fukuya
    • , Takeshi Imamura
    •  & Masato Nakamura
  • Article |

    Observations of 13CO in the atmosphere of a young, accreting super-Jupiter indicate a 13C-rich atmosphere, which is attributed to the accretion of carbon from ices enriched in 13C through fractionation.

    • Yapeng Zhang
    • , Ignas A. G. Snellen
    •  & Frans Snik
  • Article |

    A revised date for the Laacher See eruption using measurements of subfossil trees shifts the chronology of European varved lakes relative to the Greenland ice core record, synchronizing the onset of the Younger Dryas across the North Atlantic–European sector.

    • Frederick Reinig
    • , Lukas Wacker
    •  & Ulf Büntgen
  • Article |

    A model for eruptions resulting in caldera collapse reconciles observations of quasi-periodic stick–slip events along annular faults and the large erupted volumes characteristic of such events, highlighting the role of topography-generated pressures.

    • Alberto Roman
    •  & Paul Lundgren
  • Article |

    Sulfur isotope and iron–sulfur–carbon systematics on marine sediments indicate that permanent atmospheric oxygenation occurred around 2.22 billion years ago, about 100 million years later than currently estimated.

    • Simon W. Poulton
    • , Andrey Bekker
    •  & David T. Johnston
  • Article |

    Unexpected intervals of low 230Th concentration in marine sediment cores are explained by considering that during at least two such periods, the Arctic Ocean and Nordic seas were composed entirely of fresh water and covered by a thick ice shelf.

    • Walter Geibert
    • , Jens Matthiessen
    •  & Ruediger Stein
  • Article |

    X-ray diffraction measurements of solid carbon compressed to pressures of about two terapascals (approximately twenty million atmospheres) find that carbon retains a diamond structure even under these extreme conditions.

    • A. Lazicki
    • , D. McGonegle
    •  & J. S. Wark
  • Article |

    The architecture of planetary systems is shown to be strongly affected by stellar clustering in position-velocity phase space; hot Jupiters occur preferentially at high density, suggesting that their extreme orbits originate from environmental perturbations.

    • Andrew J. Winter
    • , J. M. Diederik Kruijssen
    •  & Mélanie Chevance
  • Article |

    A giant planet candidate roughly the size of Jupiter but more than 14 times as massive is observed by TESS and other instruments to be transiting the white dwarf star WD 1856+534.

    • Andrew Vanderburg
    • , Saul A. Rappaport
    •  & Liang Yu
  • Article |

    Simulations using machine-learning-based interatomic potentials in dense hydrogen overcome system size and timescale limitations, providing evidence of a supercritical behaviour of high-pressure liquid hydrogen and reconciling theoretical and experimental discrepancies.

    • Bingqing Cheng
    • , Guglielmo Mazzola
    •  & Michele Ceriotti
  • Article |

    Observations of TOI-849b reveal a radius smaller than Neptune’s but a large mass of about 40 Earth masses, indicating that the planet is the remnant core of a gas giant.

    • David J. Armstrong
    • , Théo A. Lopez
    •  & Zhuchang Zhan
  • Article |

    The high obliquity and low rotation period of the Kuiper belt object (2014) MU69 and other similar contact binaries is successfully reproduced from the collision and post-collision characteristics of initially wide binaries.

    • Evgeni Grishin
    • , Uri Malamud
    •  & Christoph M. Schäfer
  • Article |

    Absorption lines of iron in the dayside atmosphere of an ultrahot giant exoplanet disappear after travelling across the nightside, showing that the iron has condensed during its travel.

    • David Ehrenreich
    • , Christophe Lovis
    •  & Filippo Zerbi
  • Article |

    Analyses of microbial communities that live 10–750 m below the seafloor at Atlantis Bank, Indian Ocean, provide insights into how these microorganisms survive by coupling energy sources to organic and inorganic carbon resources.

    • Jiangtao Li
    • , Paraskevi Mara
    •  & Virginia P. Edgcomb
  • Article |

    Spectral analysis of the VIRTIS dataset shows two opposite seasonal colour cycles in the coma and on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, indicating an orbital water-ice cycle.

    • Gianrico Filacchione
    • , Fabrizio Capaccioni
    •  & Stefano Mottola
  • Article |

    Observations of an accretion disk around a hot white dwarf star reveal that the chemical abundances in its disk are similar to those thought to exist deep in icy giant planets, so the white dwarf must be accreting a giant planet.

    • Boris T. Gänsicke
    • , Matthias R. Schreiber
    •  & Christopher J. Manser
  • Letter |

    A global dataset of river longitudinal profiles shows that river profiles become straighter with increasing aridity and numerical modelling suggests that this can be explained by rainfall–runoff regimes in different climate zones.

    • Shiuan-An Chen
    • , Katerina Michaelides
    •  & Michael Bliss Singer