20 items with the tag “volatiles

  • Project 3: The Origin, Evolution, and Volatile Inventories of Terrestrial Planets
    NAI 2009 Carnegie Institution of Washington Annual Report

    The origin and Sustenance of life on Earth strongly depends on the fact that volatile elements H-C-O-N where retained in sufficient abundance to sustain an ocean-atmosphere. The research in this project involves studies of how terrestrial planets form, why differences exist among the terrestrial planets, how volatiles behave deep within the Earth, and how volatiles and life influence the large and small scale composition of the near surface Earth.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 3.1 4.1
  • Project 1: Looking Outward: Studies of the Physical and Chemical Evolution of Planetary Systems
    NAI 2009 Carnegie Institution of Washington Annual Report

    We study the origin of life through a wide variety of approaches, beginning here with theoretical investigations of protoplanetary disks, the environments in which simple organic molecules first appeared and were concentrated in planetary bodies. We also study the survival of this organic matter during subsequent evolution through observations of circumstellar disks around both young and mature stars, extrasolar planetary systems, and small bodies in our Solar System, and through detailed models of planetary system formation.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 2.2 3.1
  • Analytical and Theoretical Studies on Origin of Earth's Oceans and Atmosphere
    NAI 2009 University of Hawaii, Manoa Annual Report

    Origin of Earth’s oceans and atmosphere is an outstanding problem in Earth science. Given the importance of the oceans and atmosphere to Earth’s habitability, it is a critical question for astrobiology as well. Did these features of our planet, so critical for life, originate by regular processes that are likely to be duplicated frequently in other stellar systems, or was there a large element of chance involved? We are approaching this problem by investigating the occurrence of water in the interstellar medium, in the early solar system, and in the deep Earth, using a variety of chemical and isotopic techniques to characterize Earth’s water and to identify the processes that brought it here.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 3.1 3.2
  • Distant Comet Activity
    NAI 2009 University of Hawaii, Manoa Annual Report

    Observations of comets coming in to the solar system for the first time show that they are very active at distances beyond where water ice sublimation can create outgassing. Understanding the processes that drive comet activity provides us with an understanding of the comet chemistry and allows a glimpse at conditions in the early solar system. Comets impacted the early earth and delivered water, other volatiles and organic materials to the planet, including the ingredients necessary for life. Understanding the chemical and physical make up of comets is important for unraveling the story of what makes a world habitable.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 2.2 3.1
  • Planetary Surface and Interior Models and SuperEarths
    NAI 2009 VPL at University of Washington Annual Report

    In this project, we model the processes that continually reshape the interiors and the surfaces of terrestrial (rocky) planets. The models we develop and use give us insight into how these processes (e.g. weathering, volcanism, and plate tectonics) affect a planet’s habitability as the planet evolves. In addition to Earth- and Mars-like planets, we now seek to model two sorts of planets not observed in our Solar System: 1) “super-Earths” (rocky planets up to 10 times as massive as Earth) and 2) planets so close to their star that the tides actually heat the interior of the planet.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 4.1 5.2 6.1
  • Habitability of Water Rich Environments - Task 6 - Waterworld Habitability
    NAI 2010 Arizona State University Annual Report

    We explored effects of initial compositions, 26Al content and major collisions on the composition and abundance of C-H-O-N volatiles during the formation of solid extrasolar planets.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1
  • Project 3: The Origin, Evolution, and Volatile Inventories of Terrestrial Planets
    NAI 2010 Carnegie Institution of Washington Annual Report

    The origin and Sustenance of life on Earth strongly depends on the fact that volatile elements H-C-O-N where retained in sufficient abundance to sustain an ocean-atmosphere. The research in this project involves studies of how terrestrial planets form, why differences exist among the terrestrial planets, how volatiles behave deep within the Earth, and how volatiles and life influence the large and small scale composition of the near surface Earth.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 3.1 4.1
  • Project 1: Looking Outward: Studies of the Physical and Chemical Evolution of Planetary Systems
    NAI 2010 Carnegie Institution of Washington Annual Report

    We study the origin of life through a wide variety of approaches, beginning here with theoretical investigations of protoplanetary disks, the environments in which simple organic molecules first appeared and were concentrated in planetary bodies. We also study the survival of this organic matter during subsequent evolution through observations of circumstellar disks around both young and mature stars, extrasolar planetary systems, and small bodies in our Solar System, and through detailed models of planetary system formation.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 2.2 3.1
  • Planetary Surface and Interior Models and SuperEarths
    NAI 2010 VPL at University of Washington Annual Report

    We use computer models to simulate the evolution of the interior and the surface of real and hypothetical planets around other stars. Our goal is to work out what sorts of initial characteristics are most likely to contribute to making a planet habitable in the long run. Observations in our own Solar System show us that water and other essential materials are continuously consumed via weathering (and other processes) and must be replenished from the planet’s interior via volcanic activity to maintain a biosphere. The surface models we are developing will be used to predict how gases and other materials will be trapped through weathering over time. Our interior models are designed to predict how much and what sort of materials will come to a planet’s surface through volcanic activity throughout its history.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 4.1 5.2 6.1
  • Small Body Missions
    NAI 2011 University of Hawaii, Manoa Annual Report

    The team has been active in coordinating and executing Earth-based observations in support of two extended Discovery missions to comets: EPOXI and StardustNExT. These missions re-used the spacecraft from two previously successful missions to fly past new targets. The Earth-based observations were used for mission planning and development, and to give us a time baseline of observations with instruments and at wavelengths not possible during a fast flyby with limited instrumentation. The ground-based and Earth-orbital data plays a critical role in the interpretation and understanding of the in-situ data obtained by the spacecraft. The EPOXI flyby of comet 103P/Hartley 2 on 4 November 2010 revealed a small, highly active comet with CO2-driven jets and a swarm of icy chunks surrounding the nucleus, and the StardustNExT flyby of comet 9P/Tempel 1 on 14 February 2011 allowed us to visit a comet nucleus for the second time to look for changes on the surface after it had made one orbit around the sun.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 2.2
  • Ice Chemistry of the Solar System
    NAI 2011 University of Hawaii, Manoa Annual Report

    The overall goals of this project are to understand the chemical evolution of the Solar System, in particular leading to the development of astrobiologically important molecules. This is being achieved by investigation the formation of key organic carbon-, hydrogen-, oxygen-, and nitrogen-bearing (CHON) molecules in ices of Kuiper belt objects by reproducing the space environment experimentally in a unique ultra-high vacuum surface scattering machine. During this reporting period, our team worked on six projects towards our research goal to better understand the ice-based astrochemistry of chemical synthesis for carbon-containing compounds within the solar system. The Keck Astrochemistry Laboratory was also completed during this reporting period.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 2.2 3.1 3.2 3.3 6.2 7.1
  • Project 3: The Origin, Evolution, and Volatile Inventories of Terrestrial Planets
    NAI 2011 Carnegie Institution of Washington Annual Report

    This research project brings together a large team of scientists with a unified goal understanding the origin and evolution of volatiles (C, H, O, and N) in planetary interiors. It includes a theoretical study of planet formation with focus of addressing the abundance of volatiles in objects that ultimately combine to form the terrestrial planets. The project gains from information being currently revealed through the NASA Messenger mission in orbit around Mercury. The project has an experimental component that focuses on studying volatiles deep in planetary interiors using ultra-high pressure devices and molecular spectroscopy for species interrogation. Finally, it includes a systematic study of the chemistry of mineral inclusions in diamonds, where diamond serves to trap minerals in a natural high pressure container. These studies allow CIW NAI scientists probe the chemistry of Earth’s deep mantle and help reveal how Earth’s plate tectonics may have started.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 3.1 4.1
  • Project 1: Looking Outward: Studies of the Physical and Chemical Evolution of Planetary Systems
    NAI 2011 Carnegie Institution of Washington Annual Report

    This project five main objectives focused broadly on understand the origin and early evolution of our solar system. First, we have employed a new planet finding spectrometer to aid in detecting planetary systems surrounding neighboring stars. Second, we have begun the Carnegie Astrometric Planet Search project to detect giant planets around nearby loss mass dwarf stars. Third, we focused on understanding of radial transport and mixing of matter in protoplanetary disks. Fourth, we have continued to survey of small planetary size objects in the Kuiper belt. Fifth, we have continued our studies of the composition, structure, and ages of circumstellar disks.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 2.2 3.1
  • Planetary Surface and Interior Models and SuperEarths
    NAI 2011 VPL at University of Washington Annual Report

    We use computer models to simulate the evolution of the interior and the surface of real and hypothetical planets around other stars. Our goal is to work out what sorts of initial characteristics are most likely to contribute to making a planet habitable in the long run. Observations in our own Solar System show us that water and other essential materials are continuously consumed via weathering (and other processes) and must be replenished from the planet’s interior via volcanic activity to maintain a biosphere. The surface models we are developing will be used to predict how gases and other materials will be trapped through weathering over time. Our interior models are designed to predict how much and what sort of materials will come to a planet’s surface through volcanic activity throughout its history.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 4.1 5.2 6.1
  • Ice Chemistry of the Solar System
    NAI 2012 University of Hawaii, Manoa Annual Report

    We are currently in the process of establishing a research program at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa to investigate the evolution of Solar System and interstellar ices; these grains are chemically processed continuously by radiation from either our Sun, or galactic cosmic radiation (GCR). The nature of the chemistry that occurs here is an important component of understanding the origin of complex biomolecules that could have seeded the primordial Earth, helping to kick-start the origin of life. We have constructed one of the leading laboratory facilities in the world capable of carrying out this research, and we focus on establishing the underlying chemical pathways.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 2.2 3.1 3.2 3.3 4.1 7.1 7.2
  • Astrophysical Controls on the Elements of Life, Task 4: Model the Injection of Supernova Material Into Protoplanetary Disks
    NAI 2012 Arizona State University Annual Report

    The goal of this project is to determine whether supernova material could be injected into a protoplanetary disk, the disk of gas and dust from which planets form. A secondary issue is whether these materials would be mixed within the disk efficiently, and whether such an injection into our own protoplanetary disk can explain the isotopic evidence from meteorites that the solar system contained short-lived radionuclides like 26Al.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 3.1
  • Project 3: The Origin, Evolution, and Volatile Inventories of Terrestrial Planets
    NAI 2012 Carnegie Institution of Washington Annual Report

    Project 3 focuses on understanding the nature of volatiles (principally water and gase like carbon dioxide and methane) in planetary interiors. The origin of Earth’s oceans and the initiation of plate tectonics may have related through the retention of water deep in Earth’s mantle. In this project scientists study how volatiles behave in silicate melts and Earth’s deep interior. They also study other rock planets, e.g. Mars and Mercury to understand how the presence or absence of volatiles may have lead to such disparate outcomes relative to Earth.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 3.1 4.1
  • Project 1: Looking Outward: Studies of the Physical and Chemical Evolution of Planetary Systems
    NAI 2012 Carnegie Institution of Washington Annual Report

    This project integrates the work of Carnegie Institution Astronomers in the 1) the search for extrasolar planets, 2) understanding the flow of matter in protoplanetary disks around young stars, 3) understanding the origin of Near Earth Objects, in particular, their relationship with objects in the asteroid belt, and 4) understanding the composition of disks around young stars and the potential delivery of volatiles to terrestrial planets in other solar systems.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 2.2 3.1
  • Planetary Surface and Interior Models and SuperEarths
    NAI 2012 VPL at University of Washington Annual Report

    We use computer models to simulate the evolution of the interior and the surface of real and hypothetical planets around other stars. Our goal is to work out what sorts of initial characteristics are most likely to contribute to making a planet habitable in the long run. Observations in our own Solar System show us that water and other essential materials are continuously consumed via weathering (and other processes) and must be replenished from the planet’s interior via volcanic activity to maintain a biosphere. The surface models we are developing will be used to predict how gases and other materials will be trapped through weathering over time. Our interior models are designed to predict how much and what sort of materials will come to a planet’s surface through volcanic activity throughout its history.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 4.1 5.2 6.1