Planetary science

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Hayabusa2 mission impact experiment on asteroid Ryugu formed a crater larger than expected. Here, the authors show numerical impact simulations and find that the target cohesion may be very low, indicating the Hayabusa2 impact experiment probably occurred in the transitional cratering regime.

    • Martin Jutzi
    • , Sabina D. Raducan
    •  & Masahiko Arakawa
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors report photolytic H atom transfer reactions of HOSO• in astronomical CO & CO2 ices, forming reactive acyl radicals & molecular complexes with SO & SO2. Connecting the photochemistry of S oxides & C oxides in cold molecular clouds in the interstellar medium.

    • Xiaolong Li
    • , Bo Lu
    •  & Xiaoqing Zeng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Electrification is a decarbonization strategy that has the potential to reduce pollutant emissions and improve air quality. Here the authors evaluate CO2 and air quality co-benefits of electrification scenarios in the United States and find that electrification can substantially lower CO2 and improve ozone and fine particulate matter regionally.

    • John E. T. Bistline
    • , Geoffrey Blanford
    •  & Greg Yarwood
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Combining 13 years of satellite measurements led to the discovery of 300 global hotspots of atmospheric ethylene (C2H4). They are found to be linked to heavy industries and megacities, and are currently misrepresented in emission inventories.

    • Bruno Franco
    • , Lieven Clarisse
    •  & Pierre-François Coheur
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Distinguishing biotic compounds from abiotic ones is critical to the search for life in the universe. Here, the authors demonstrate that the abiotic ethane has distinctively low 13C-13C abundances compared to biotic ethane.

    • Koudai Taguchi
    • , Alexis Gilbert
    •  & Yuichiro Ueno
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Lunar soils returned by China’s Chang’E−5 (CE5) mission record the unique information of solar wind essential to understanding the preservation and distribution of lunar surficial water. Here the authors report abundant water formed by solar wind implantation in minerals of CE5 lunar soils; the water content in CE5 lunar soils is estimated to be ~ 170 ppm.

    • Chuanjiao Zhou
    • , Hong Tang
    •  & Yuanyun Wen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Phosphate is critical for all life on Earth but its origins have remained enigmatic. Experiments indicate that phosphate may have been abundant in ancient Fe-rich seawater, providing a crucial ingredient for the origins of life on Earth.

    • Matthew P. Brady
    • , Rosalie Tostevin
    •  & Nicholas J. Tosca
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Juno spacecraft experienced unknown accelerations near the closest approach to Jupiter. Here, the authors show that Jupiter’s axially symmetric, north-south asymmetric gravity field measured by Juno is perturbed by a time-variable component, associated to internal oscillations.

    • Daniele Durante
    • , Tristan Guillot
    •  & Scott J. Bolton
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Large impacts can create deep lying porosity far away from the crater. This result explains GRAIL’s findings and suggests impacts could support widespread fluid circulation, which has implications for habitable environments on early Earth and Mars.

    • Sean E. Wiggins
    • , Brandon C. Johnson
    •  & Simone Marchi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    We show cryovolcanic eruptions released sufficient methane to source volatile products on Charon. Irradiated methane products are found on other Kuiper belt objects, so endogenically sourced volatiles could be important across the Kuiper belt.

    • Stephanie M. Menten
    • , Michael M. Sori
    •  & Ali M. Bramson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Polysulfur compounds have been ascribed as the unknown near-UV absorbers in Venusian atmosphere and play a key role in the sulfur chemical cycle of this planet. Here, authors establish their production from (SO)2 on the grounds of quantifications of photochemical and thermal pathways involved in the sulfur chemical cycle of the planet.

    • Antonio Francés-Monerris
    • , Javier Carmona-García
    •  & Daniel Roca-Sanjuán
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Earth’s largest dune fields are set to become less dynamic on average over this century due to anthropogenic climate change, with no future action able to mitigate this effect, as predicted by the newest iteration of CMIP models.

    • Andrew Gunn
    • , Amy East
    •  & Douglas J. Jerolmack
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Giant dunes—stunning landforms that grow in patterns as wind blows sand grains over thousands of years—are measured across the entire planet for the first time. With this data, it’s shown the dunes can, in principle, grow in scale indefinitely.

    • Andrew Gunn
    • , Giampietro Casasanta
    •  & Douglas J. Jerolmack
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Formation of the Haumea family, the only collisional group of icy bodies in the Kuiper Belt, is debated. Here, the authors show that Haumea family can be explained as a results of binary merging near the end of Neptune’s orbital migration.

    • Benjamin Proudfoot
    •  & Darin Ragozzine
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dunes may form on Jupiter’s moon Io. Despite a tenuous atmosphere, interactions between widespread lava and sulfur dioxide frost may produce vapor flows dense enough to mobilize sand grains. Ridge-like features may be evidence of this phenomenon.

    • George D. McDonald
    • , Joshua Méndez Harper
    •  & Laura Kerber
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The formation of double ridges on Europa is poorly understood. Here the authors analyze airborne radar observations of an analog feature on the Greenland Ice Sheet to show that the refreezing of shallow water sills may produce such ridges.

    • Riley Culberg
    • , Dustin M. Schroeder
    •  & Gregor Steinbrügge
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors detect 47 hitherto unreported low-frequency marsquakes originating from Cerberus Fossae at all times of the Martian day. The matched filter technique confirms repetitive events implying that the Martian mantle is dynamically active.

    • Weijia Sun
    •  & Hrvoje Tkalčić
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Giant icy volcanos (cryovolcanos) on Pluto are unique in the imaged solar system and provide evidence for unexpected, active geology late in Pluto’s history.

    • Kelsi N. Singer
    • , Oliver L. White
    •  & Kimberly Ennico-Smith
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors report the discovery of salts and fresh organic-rich exposures in the Urvara basin, possibly linked to a late resurfacing of the crater floor. These results are consistent with a deep-seated brine/salt reservoir in the crust of Ceres.

    • A. Nathues
    • , M. Hoffmann
    •  & J. H. Pasckert
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The pyroclast properties and features can provide insights into the dynamics of explosive eruptions of low viscosity magma. Here, the authors show how lava droplets, or pyroclasts are subject to melt removal and melt addition during transport in a gas jet and present a method to reconstruct eruption conditions from the pyroclast textures.

    • Thomas J. Jones
    • , James K. Russell
    •  & Lea Hollendonner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The co-evolution of oxygenation of the Earth’s atmosphere and lithosphere is still poorly constrained. However, the oxidation state of manganese minerals reveals that the redox state of Earth’s crust responds to changes in atmospheric oxygen following a ~66 million-year time lag.

    • Daniel R. Hummer
    • , Joshua J. Golden
    •  & Robert M. Hazen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ring currents have been observed in the magnetospheres of Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn. Here, the authors show observational evidence of Mercury’s ring current that is bifurcated because of the dayside off-equatorial magnetic minima.

    • J.-T. Zhao
    • , Q.-G. Zong
    •  & Y. Wei
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Yokoo et al. find the liquid immiscibility between H-rich and S-rich liquids Fe above 20 GPa. The separation of immiscible liquids could explain the disappearance of Mars’ magnetic field and the formation of low-velocity layer atop the Earth’s core.

    • Shunpei Yokoo
    • , Kei Hirose
    •  & Yasuo Ohishi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Delayed Antarctic sea-ice decline is linked to Southern Ocean eddies - and their explicit treatment in models is crucial. New multi-resolution climate change projections give a possible reason for low confidence in IPCC’s current 21st-century Antarctic sea-ice projections.

    • Thomas Rackow
    • , Sergey Danilov
    •  & Thomas Jung
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study finds that the Moon accreted from an initially liquid-rich silicate disk and that rocky and icy exoplanets whose radii are smaller than 1.6 Earth radii are ideal candidates for hosting large exomoons.

    • Miki Nakajima
    • , Hidenori Genda
    •  & Shigeru Ida