Formation of the moon brought water to earth

The rising Earth from the perspective of the moon
© NASA Goddard

Planetologists from Münster explain how the Earth became a habitable planet / Publication in "Nature Astronomy"

The Earth is unique in our solar system: It is the only terrestrial planet with a large amount of water and a relatively large moon, which stabilizes the Earth's axis. Both were essential for Earth to develop life. Planetologists at the University of Münster have now been able to show, for the first time, that water came to Earth with the formation of the Moon some 4.4 billion years ago. The Moon was formed when Earth was hit by a body about the size of Mars, also called Theia. Until now, scientists had assumed that Theia originated in the inner solar system near the Earth. However, researchers from Münster can now show that Theia comes from the outer solar system, and it delivered large quantities of water to Earth. The results are published in the current issue of "Nature Astronomy".


Geologists discover previously unknown region of the Earth’s mantle

The studied volcanic rock under the microscope: Thin section image in cross polarized light showing clinopyroxene crystals which were used to calculate water concentrations of the magma.
© Sarah Mazza (WWU)

The Mystery of Bermuda – Researchers explore volcanic rock / Study in "Nature"

The Bermuda Islands – a very special terrain in the middle of the western Atlantic Ocean, not only for its white beaches, but also because the archipelago is at the top of a 4,570-metre high volcano that died out about 30 million years ago. An international team of researchers has now taken a closer look at this geological peculiarity and geochemically examined the magma rock under Bermuda for the first time. The aim of the researchers was to draw conclusions about the inner composition of the Earth. The result: The geologists discovered a yet unknown region of the Earth’s mantle – the shell of the Earth’s interior, which begins under the outermost crust of the Earth and descends 2,900 kilometres into the Earth's interior.


Graduation of Timo Hopp

© WWU

Timo Hopp successfully defended his PhD thesis. Hearty congratulations!

Timo's thesis was "Ruthenium isotope fractionation in meteorites and the late accretion history of Earth.". Members of the committee were Prof. Harald Strauss (WWU), Thorsten Kleine (WWU), Stefan Weyer (University of Hannover), Klaus Mezger (University of Bern) and Stephan Klemme (WWU).


Ein Gruß aus dem All

Teil 1 der Serie "Unter Verschluss an der WWU": Die Meteoritensammlung am Institut für Planetologie zählt zu den größten der Welt
Addi Bischoff in der Meteoritensammlung
© WWU - Peter Grewer

Ein Schlüsselbund klimpert in der Hand von Addi Bischoff, während er den langen Flur in einem Gebäude der Universität entlanggeht. Vor einer Tür bleibt er plötzlich stehen. Ein kurzer Blick nach links und rechts – niemand ist zu sehen. Er zückt einen Schlüssel, öffnet die Tür und schaltet das Licht ein. Auf den ersten Blick dominieren mehrere weiße Hochschränke mit verglasten Doppeltüren den kleinen fensterlosen Raum. Der Wissenschaftler macht einen Schritt nach vorn und schließt die Tür von innen schnell wieder ab. „Nur wenige Personen wissen, was sich hier befindet“, erklärt er. Erst ein Blick in das Innere der Schränke offenbart ihr kostbares Geheimnis: Auf zahlreichen herausziehbaren Einlegeböden, die in einem Abstand von wenigen Zentimetern in den Schränken angeordnet sind, lagern hunderte Meteoritenbruchstücke.

Planetologen untersuchen Meteoritenfund von Renchen

Das fast ein Kilogramm schwere Stück des Renchen-Meteoriten
© Dieter Heinlein (Augsburg)

Münsteraner liefern erste Forschungsergebnisse nach seltenem Fund in Baden-Württemberg

Für rund vier Sekunden erleuchtete eine kleine Feuerkugel am 10. Juli 2018 den Nachthimmel über Süddeutschland – ein fußballgroßer Meteoroid drang in die Erdatmosphäre ein und leuchtete dabei hell auf. Die ersten vier Bruchstücke des kosmischen Festkörpers wurden in der Nähe des Ortes Renchen in Baden-Württemberg gefunden. Prof. Dr. Addi Bischoff vom Institut für Planetologie der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU) und sein Doktorand Markus Patzek haben nun eine Probe des Fundes untersucht und klassifiziert.


Was man von einem der am besten erforschten Himmelskörper noch lernen kann

Dr. Mark Robinson und Dr. Carolyn van der Bogert in der ULB Münster mit einer Erstausgabe des "Sidereus Nuncius" von Galileo Galilei. Die Besichtigung des wertvollen Originals war ein Highlight für die Tagungsteilnehmer.
© WWU

Dr. Carolyn van der Bogert vom Institut für Planetologie der WWU gehört dem Team der „Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera“ (LROC) an. LROC ist eine Kamera an Bord der Raumsonde LRO der NASA. Gemeinsam mit ihrem US-amerikanischen Kollegen Dr. Mark Robinson berichtet die Planetologin über die aktuelle Mondforschung.

Graduation of Jaclyn Clark

© WWU

Jaclyn Clark successfully defended her PhD thesis. Hearty congratulations!

Jackie's thesis was "An investigation of lunar lobate fault scarps.". Members of the committee were Prof. Harald Strauss, Prof. Ralf Hetzel, Prof. Thorsten Kleine, Prof. Harald Hiesinger (all WWU) and Prof. Matteo Massironi (University of Padua).

Markus Patzek received Brian-Mason-Award

© WWU/Bischoff

Markus Patzek received the Brian Mason Award (1,500 $) for his abstract presented at the Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society in Moscow (July 22. – 27., 2018).
This award honors young PhD students and is sponsored by the “Meteorite Times Magazine” and the „International Meteorite Collectors Association (IMCA)“. Markus reports the discovery of volatile-rich fragments in brecciated meteorites that are different in their mineralogical and isotopical composition from CI chondrites. This result indicates a larger variability of primitive CI-like material in the early Solar System 4.5 billion years ago. The new discovered fragments are important to understand the composition of building blocks of terrestrial planets.

Graduation of Samuel Ebert

© Institut für Planetologie (WWU)

Samuel Ebert successfully defended his PhD thesis. Hearty congratulations!

Samuel's thesis was "The only constant is change: Identifying the fingerprints of primary material after secondary processes in the Early Solar System". Members of the committee were Prof. Thorsten Kleine, Prof. Alexander Deutsch, Dr. Greg Bennecka, and the thesis supervisor Prof. Addi Bischoff (all WWU).

NRW-Akademie nimmt vier neue Mitglieder aus den Reihen der WWU auf

© AWK NRW

Auszeichnungen für die Professoren Gerald Echterhoff, Thorsten Kleine, Armido Studer und Burkhard Wilking
Die Nordrhein-Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Künste hat zwölf neue Mitglieder aufgenommen. Darunter sind von der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU) der Psychologe Prof. Dr. Gerald Echterhoff, der Planetologe Prof. Dr. Thorsten Kleine, der Chemiker Prof. Dr. Armido Studer sowie der Mathematiker Prof. Dr. Burkhard Wilking.

Upcoming application deadlines

© shutterstock

PROMOS mobility programme of the DAAD

The PROMOS mobility programme, established in 2011 by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), finances short-term study visits abroad (up to six months). Students of the University of Münster can apply directly to the University to receive funding for specific foreign study-related purposes.

Please note that the PROMOS website is updated on a regular basis. This particularly applies to the application modalities and restrictions with regard to fundable expenditures on the part of the faculties.

+++ The next PROMOS application deadline for visits abroad starting between July and December 2018 is 15 April 2018. +++

With this application round the application procedure is changed to an online application. Please apply with this link: https://wwum.moveon4.de/form/5a9561df83fb96932919c8b7/deu.

Florine van de Loo (student assistant) can be contacted for general questions about PROMOS on Wednesdays between 9am and 11am (International Office, room 107).

NASA nimmt münstersche Planetologin in Wissenschaftlerteam auf

Foto of Carolyn van der Bogert
© Frank Bartschat

Dr. Carolyn van der Bogert vom Institut für Planetologie der WWU ist von der Raumfahrtorganisation NASA zum Mitglied des Wissenschaftlerteams für die „Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera“ (LROC) ernannt worden. LROC ist eine Kamera an Bord der Raumsonde LRO, die den Mond hochauflösend fotografiert.

Harald Hiesinger berät Europäische Weltraumorganisation

Harald Hiesinger Esa
© © WWU/Peter Grewer

ESA-Generaldirektor beruft münsterschen Planetologen in Beratungsgremium

Prof. Dr. Harald Hiesinger vom Institut für Planetologie der WWU ist neues Mitglied des Beratungsgremiums "HESAC" der Europäischen Weltraumorganisation ESA. Unter anderem ist dieses Gremium zuständig für Belange der wissenschaftlichen Nutzung bemannter Raumflüge.

Graduation of Dustin Ward

© WWU

Dustin Ward successfully defended his PhD thesis. Hearty congratulations!
Dustin's thesis was "Trace Element Inventory of Meteoritic Ca-Phosphates". Members of the committee were Prof. Stephan Klemme (WWU), Prof. Martin Whitehouse (Swedish Museum of Natural History), Prof. Harald Hiesinger (WWU), and the thesis supervisor Prof. Addi Bischoff (WWU).

Graduation of Nadine Krabbe

© WWU

Nadine Krabbe successfully defended her PhD thesis. Hearty congratulations!

Nadine's thesis was on the tungsten stable isotope variations during planetary differentiation. Members of the committee were Prof. Thorsten Kleine (WWU), Prof. Andreas Stracke (WWU), Prof. Addi Bischoff (WWU), Prof. Erik Scherer (WWU) und Prof. Harald Strauß (WWU).

Marsforschung auf Spitzbergen

Foto vom Kongsfjord
© © KOP 132 SPLAM

Planetologen um Prof. Harald Hiesinger sind vom 12. bis 28. Juli auf Expedition im Nordpolarmeer

Auf den ersten Blick hat die Landschaft auf Spitzbergen mit dem Mars nichts gemeinsam. Für Geologen ist die Forschung auf der norwegischen Inselgruppe jedoch eine gute Gelegenheit, mehr über den Roten Planeten zu lernen. "Auf dem Mars ist es ähnlich wie auf Spitzbergen trocken und kalt, die Oberfläche ist eine Eiswüste", erklärt Harald Hiesinger, Professor für geologische Planetologie am Institut für Planetologie der WWU.
Zur offiziellen WWU Pressemitteilung
Zum Spitzbergen-Blog [de]

Jupiter is the oldest planet of the Solar System

© NASA

Cosmochemists from Münster precisely date Jupiter’s formation for the first time

Jupiter is not only the largest planet of the Solar System, but it is also the oldest, say researchers from the University of Münster...

Offcial WWU press release

Graduation of Gerrit Budde

© Thorsten Kleine

Gerrit Budde successfully defended his PhD thesis. Hearty congratulations!

Gerrit's thesis was on the origin of chondrules and the genetic heritage of meteorites. Members of the committee were Prof. Sara Russell (Natural History Museum London), Prof. Klaus Mezger (Univerity of Bern), Prof. Erik Scherer (WWU) und the thesis supervisor, Prof. Thorsten Kleine (WWU).

Graduation of Maximilian Matthes

© Max Matthes

Maximilian Matthes successfully defended his PhD thesis. Hearty congratulations!

The dissertation was on the chronology of differentiated planetesimals. Members of the committee were Prof. Harry Becker (FU Berlin), Prof. Ingo Leya (Univeristy of Bern), Prof. Erik Scherer (WWU) and the thesis supervisor Prof. Thorsten Kleine (WWU).

Graduation of Hannes Bernhardt

© Hannes Bernhardt

Hannes Bernhardt successfully defended his PhD thesis. Hearty congratulations!

The dissertation was on the Geology and History of the Hellas and Argyre basins and their Implications for the Geologic und Climatic Evolution of Mars. Members of the committee were Prof. Harry Hiesinger, Prof. Addi Bischoff (WWU) and Prof. Ralf Jaumann (DLR). Prof. Harry Hiesinger (WWU) and Dr. Dennis Reiss (WWU) were the thesis supervisors.

WWU-Planetologen erhalten Förderung für Merkur-Mission

© WWU - Peter Grewer

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt stellt 2,6 Millionen Euro für Infrarot-Spektrometer zur Verfügung

Die Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU) ist erneut an einer spektakulären Weltraumission beteiligt. Um die Rätsel des Merkur zu lösen, planen die Europäische Weltraumorganisation ESA und die Japanische Raumfahrtagentur JAXA den Planeten in der Weltraummission "BepiColombo" mit zwei Sonden zu erkunden. An Bord der Europäischen Sonde ist das thermale Infrarot-Spektrometer "MERTIS". Es wird unter der Federführung von Prof. Dr. Harald Hiesinger und seinem Team am Institut für Planetologie der WWU betreut.

Zur offiziellen WWU Pressemitteilung

Early arrival of water on Earth - new publication in "Nature"

Water on Earth is the precondition for life as we know it. But where does it come from, and how long has it been here? Using precise isotope measurements researchers at the Institute for Planetology show that water arrived early during the main stages of Earth’s accretion, and not, as is often assumed, as part of the 'late veneer'. Their findings have been published in the latest issue of the journal "Nature".

The work was carried out as part of the Collaborative Research Centre TRR 170 entitled "Late accretion onto terrestrial planets" and was supported with funding from the German Research Foundation.

Official WWU press release

Earth contains more dust from red giant stars than primitive meteorites - publication in "Nature"

© WWW/Planetologie

All objects in our solar system are build from matter synthesized in previous generations of stars. Using high-precision isotope measurements of neodymium and samarium, scientists from Münster (Germany), Chicago and Livermore (USA) have now found that Earth contains more material from red giant stars than primitive meteorites (chondrites) located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Since their formation about 4.56 billion years ago, chondritic meteorites have not been modified substantially, and so have commonly been used to constrain the isotopic and chemical composition of bulk Earth. The accurate and precise knowledge of Earth’s composition is essential for determining its differentiation history, internal structure and geodynamic evolution. The study now published in Nature shows that chondritic meteorites - contrary to current assumptions – are not representative for Earth’ isotopic composition.

Official WWU press release


Victor-Moritz-Goldchmidt Award for Dr. Christoph Burkhardt

© WWW/Planetologie

Christoph Burkhardt is the recipient of the Victor-Moritz-Goldschmidt Award of the German Mineralogical Society. This award recognizes fundamental research by young scientists. Hearty congratulations!

From the laudatory speech (in German): "... Die Arbeiten von Herrn Dr. Burkhardt spannen einen thematisch weiten Bogen, der von der Elemententstehung in Sternen über die Datierung von Prozessen im frühen Sonnensystem bis hin zur Bildung und Differenzierung der terrestrischen Planeten reicht..."

Researchers report on findings from Dawn space mission

Ceres
© NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

In 2015 the Dawn spacecraft reached the asteroid Ceres, the largest celestial body in the so-called asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The data collected by Dawn will make it possible for scientists to analyse the geological properties of Ceres and understand its origins. The latest issue of the "Science" journal contains reports by several international teams of researchers on their findings. For the first time, they are able to provide a comprehensive description of the asteroid. One of the studies was carried out by a team headed by Prof. Harald Hiesinger from the Institute of Planetology at Münster University. The scientists involved examined the crater structures on the asteroid’s surface.
Official WWU Press Release

Nier Prize of the Meteoritical Society for Dr. Greg Brennecka

Greg Brennecka is the recipient of the 2016 Nier Prize of the Meteoritical Society. 

"The Nier Prize recognizes outstanding research in meteoritics and closely allied fields by young scientists. Greg is receiving this award for for his fundamental work on  the determination of high-precision U isotope compositions of meteoritic materials and their implications for early solar system conditions and chronology."

Hearty Congratulations!!

WWU-Planetologen liefern erste Forschungsergebnisse über Meteorit

Meteoritenfund

Anfang März machte ein Meteorit Schlagzeilen, der über Oberösterreich und Bayern niederging - der verglühende Himmelskörper sorgte für ein auffälliges Lichtschauspiel. Als erste Wissenschaftler haben nun Planetologen der WWU eines der Bruchstücke untersucht und den Meteoriten klassifiziert.

Zur offiziellen Pressemitteilung

Foto-Wettbewerb: "Der Mond im Münsterland"

Web-eaqvon21-webm

Die "Expedition Münsterland" ruft alle auf, ihre schönsten Mond-Bilder bis zum 15. Juli bei einem Foto-Wettbewerb einzureichen. Wichtig: Das Foto des Mondes muss im Münsterland aufgenommen worden sein.

Origin of chondrules

Chondrules

From dust to the first planetesimals - new study provides evidence that chondrule formation was a critical step toward making planetesimals

Official WWU press release (in German)

Original paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America