Category Planet Formation

The trajectory of OSIRIS-REx as we pass through the Earth-Sun L4 region.

Searching for the Earth-Trojan Asteroids

The OSIRIS-REx mission will take advantage of our fortuitous trajectory to search for an elusive class of asteroids that may be the remnants of the building blocks of the Earth. Since our launch on September 8, 2016, spacecraft operations for OSIRIS-REx have gone well. We have exercised the propulsion system by performing regular momentum dumps […]

MeteorCrater1

What Would Happen if Asteroid Bennu Were to Impact the Earth?

Yesterday, the media reported widely on the upcoming launch of OSIRIS-REx. While many of these reports were accurate and informative, a few of the headlines were a little misleading. For example: NASA Spacecraft Set to Explore Giant Asteroid That Could Destroy Earth Fortunately, as the news cycle progressed, these inaccuracies were corrected: No, Asteroid Bennu […]

The bright spots on Ceres occur at the bottom of fresh impact craters - suggesting an icy subsurface layer.  Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Celebrating the Small Bodies of the Solar System – i C Ceres!

This past weekend, I had the chance to join colleagues from across the country to celebrate the arrival of the Dawn spacecraft at Dwarf Planet/Asteroid 1 Ceres – the largest object in the main asteroid belt. After more than seven years cruising through the solar system, including an amazing year exploring asteroid 4 Vesta, Dawn […]

OSIRIS-REx explores Astrobiology in this 321-Science video.

OSIRIS-REx – Seeking Answers to the Sweet Mystery of Life

Guest Blogger: Jason Dworkin   The nature of the origin of life is a topic that has engaged people since ancient times. Where did we come from? What was the first life? How are we related? Are we alone? The study of biologic remains and environments preserved in rocks (fossils) and biochemical pathways and structures […]

The UA College of Science presents seven free lectures on "Life in the Universe". This series explores our Universe at molecular, biological, planetary and cosmic scales to ask "What is life?" and how do we recognize it?

Planet Formation and the Origin of Life

On Monday, February 2, 2015, I will present the UA College of Science Lecture on “Planet Formation and the Origin of Life”. This is a research theme that I have pursued for most of my career. It is generally accepted that planets or their satellites are required for life to originate and evolve. Thus, in […]