The Center for Atmospheric Sciences | » Hampton/LSU Research Duo Find Key to Earth’s Earliest Rocks Orbiting Jupiter as Published in Nature Magazine

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      Description The Hampton University (HU) Department of Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (APS) invites nominations and applications for two tenure-track faculty positions at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor beginning January 2023. Founded in 1868, Hampton University is a leading historically black university (HBCU) located on the Virginia Peninsula in the City of Hampton.  It […]

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      Jonathan Nash at HMT2

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      November 5, 2019 : Prof. Sayanagi Part of Team Studying Severe Weather on Saturn to Better Understand Storms on Earth
      Saturn Storm

      Hampton University Press Release Click Here to Read the Full Study HAMPTON, Va. (Nov. 5, 2019) — Kunio Sayanagi, associate professor in the Hampton University Department of Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, is a part of a team of researchers whose latest study of stormy weather on Saturn has been published in “Nature Astronomy,” a leading international […]

  • Hampton/LSU Research Duo Find Key to Earth’s Earliest Rocks Orbiting Jupiter as Published in Nature Magazine

    In an article published Sept. 26th in Nature magazine, Hampton University planetary scientist William Moore and LSU geologist A. Alex Webb reveal new evidence for a period of Earth’s history that lacked plate tectonics and instead featured much greater volcanic activity.  Calling this period “Heat-Pipe Earth,” the researchers show how frequent volcanic eruptions alter the surface and interior of the planet, creating a cold and strong lithosphere.  Such a thick layer of cold rocks has been revealed by an analysis of Earth’s most ancient rocks and minerals, resulting in the long-standing “archaean paradox,” in which a young Earth which should have been hotter was instead found to be colder near the surface. A similar paradox was discovered at Jupiter’s moon Io, the most volcanically active body in the solar system. Despite Io’s record-breaking volcanism, many parts of its surface are cold and strong enough to support mountains up to 20 kilometers high. This coincidence of high volcanic heat flow and a cold, strong lithosphere lead Moore and Webb to apply a similar concept to the early Earth. This is how a key to Earth’s ancient history was found orbiting Jupiter!

    Articles describing this finding have been posted at Space.com, New Scientist, phys.org, LiveScience, and HuffPost UKNature also interviewed Dr. Moore to discuss this research at their weekly podcast.