Category archives: Planetary Science

Pluto: ‘recent’ volcanism raises puzzle – how can such a cold body power eruptions?

Pluto: ‘recent’ volcanism raises puzzle – how can such a cold body power eruptions?

AstronomyGeosciencesPlanetary Science

By Invited Researcher

Pluto, the Solar System’s largest dwarf planet, just became even more interesting with a report that icy lava flows have recently covered substantial tracts of its surface. In this context, “recently” means probably no more than a billion years ago. That’s old, of course – and there is no suggestion that volcanoes are still active […]

Heaven from hell

Heaven from hell

Planetary Science

By Santiago Pérez-Hoyos

So, do you think you can tell heaven from hell? Well, David Gilmour does not believe you and, to be honest, neither do I. We use to think always about the Goldilock’s limits, within which the habitability of a system is determined strictly by its parent star distance and temperature. But, even if very useful […]

The Sandia Z machine unveils the interior of gas-giant planets

The Sandia Z machine unveils the interior of gas-giant planets

Planetary Science

By Francisco R. Villatoro

The standard three-layer model for the interior of Jupiter and Saturn claims that an outer layer of molecular hydrogen surrounds an inner layer of liquid metallic hydrogen, with a probable rocky, molten core. The Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories has been used to explore the boundary between the insulator and metallic hydrogen layers. At […]