Diamonds are beautiful and enigmatic. Though chemical reactions that create the highly coveted sparkles still remain a mystery, a professor at UT is studying a rare rock covered in diamonds that may hold clues to the gem’s origins.
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences News
LiveScience and the Knoxville News Sentinel featured findings by Earth and Planetary Science Professor Larry Taylor. Taylor studied a rock that contained 30,000 tiny diamonds and shades of red and green. According to Taylor, the astonishing amount of diamonds, and the rock’s unusual Christmas coloring, will provide important clues to Earth’s geologic history as well
Several media outlets including the LA Times and Motherboard featured the work of Earth and Planetary Sciences Associate Professor Devon Burr and her colleagues. Research led by Burr solves a puzzle on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. It shows that winds on Titan must blow faster than previously thought to move sand. The discovery may explain
Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, is a peculiar place. Unlike any other moon, it has a dense atmosphere.
The Knoxville News Sentinel interviewed Devon Burr, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences, who will be traveling to Antarctica to hunt for meteorites. View the story here. The paper also interviewed Chancellor’s Professor Harry “Hap” McSween who has done the same mission.
WATE-TV interviewed Jeffrey Moersch, earth and planetary sciences professor, about his research which is laying the groundwork for the next NASA Mars rover mission set for 2020. Visit the WATE-TV website for the story. The Tennessean also featured the professor’s work.
Over the next five years, Jeffrey Moersch will be traveling to faraway places—from the Arctic to the Chilean desert—in a quest to learn more about a place even farther away—Mars. The earth and planetary sciences professor is part of a new NASA-funded research team helping prepare for the Mars 2020 rover mission. The interdisciplinary team is a member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute and is one of seven to receive a five-year grant of about $8 million.
National Geographic featured the research of Stephanie Drumheller, an earth and planetary sciences lecturer. Drumheller’s work involved giving alligators n pig bones or cow legs. Through understanding the damage modern alligators leave on bones, Drumheller and other paleontologists can follow the depredations of alligators and their crocodile cousins through time. “In order to see the
National Geographic featured an in-depth story on the research of Stephanie Drumheller, an earth and planetary sciences lecturer. She and her Virginia Tech colleagues examined 220-million-year-old bite marks in the thigh bones of an old reptile and found evidence that two predators at the top of their respective food chains interacted—with the smaller potentially having
At the beginning of the age of dinosaurs, gigantic reptiles—distant relatives of modern crocodiles—ruled the earth. Some lived on land and others in water and it was thought they didn’t much interact. But a tooth found by a UT researcher in the thigh of one of these ancient animals is challenging this belief.