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.
Larry Taylor 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
Larry Taylor, distinguished professor of earth and planetary sciences, has samples of the meteor which exploded over Russia. He is studying them to see what insight they can provide into the rare impact by a space rock, and other stories they may have to tell.
Three years ago UT researchers helped to discover water on the surface of the moon. Now, they are piecing together the origin of that water: solar wind. A new study published in this month’s “Nature Geoscience” confirms solar wind as a source for water embedded in the lunar surface.
For six weeks, a team of four UT students worked with old bicycle parts, scrap metals and little engineering expertise inside a garage to build a moonbuggy, a simulation of the lunar rovers used by the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 astronauts. The students raced their moonbuggy in NASA’s 19th annual moonbuggy race at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. The race was founded by their mentor Larry Taylor, distinguished professor of earth and planetary sciences.
The discovery of water on the moon by a team of researchers including UT Knoxville’s Larry Taylor has had global impact. Almost 1,000 news outlets around the world have reported on the discovery of water in the lunar soil, distributed across much of the surface of the moon.
When Apollo astronauts returned from the moon 40 years ago, they brought back souvenirs in the form of moon rocks to be used for scientific analysis, and one of the chief questions was whether there was water to be found in the lunar rocks and soils. The problem they faced was complicated by the fact that most of the rock boxes containing the lunar samples had leaked. This led the scientists to assume that the trace amounts of water they found came from Earth air that had entered the containers. Forty years later, a team of scientists including UT Knoxville’s Larry Taylor has found evidence that the old assumption may be wrong.