State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Mercury

  • As the Greenland Ice Sheet Retreats, Mercury is Being Released From the Bedrock Below

    As the Greenland Ice Sheet Retreats, Mercury is Being Released From the Bedrock Below

    Scientists have found that Greenland’s bedrock is rich with mercury in some areas — and as the ice sheet rapidly melts, that mercury is being released into local waters.

  • Study Shows Forests May Take in Far More Toxic Mercury Than Thought

    Study Shows Forests May Take in Far More Toxic Mercury Than Thought

    Atmospheric mercury in gaseous form appears to be adding heavily to the load.

  • MESSENGER Data Reveal That Mercury’s Inner Core Is Solid

    MESSENGER Data Reveal That Mercury’s Inner Core Is Solid

    The new findings offer clues about how the solar system formed and how rocky planets change over time.

  • Exploring Mercury in a New Book

    Exploring Mercury in a New Book

    Scientists from NASA’s MESSENGER mission share some of its top discoveries — and lingering mysteries — in a new compendium.

  • MESSENGER Data Reveal Evidence of Ancient Carbon-Rich Crust on Mercury

    MESSENGER Data Reveal Evidence of Ancient Carbon-Rich Crust on Mercury

    Mercury’s dark surface is revealing intriguing new clues about the formation of the solar system, including evidence announced today that the planet closest to the Sun may have formed in part from carbon, a key component of life.

  • MESSENGER

    MESSENGER

    Alien orbits you plied, While we vicariously spied A distant globe …

  • Soon-to-End Mercury Mission May Hold Clues to Earth’s Evolution

    Soon-to-End Mercury Mission May Hold Clues to Earth’s Evolution

    NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft has been orbiting Mercury for the last four years, giving scientists an unprecedented look at our solar system’s innermost planet. But now the craft’s fuel supply is exhausted; inexorably drawn in by Mercury’s gravity, it is scheduled to crash in April. Sean Solomon, director of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has been…

  • Lamont-Doherty Director Awarded National Medal of Science

    Lamont-Doherty Director Awarded National Medal of Science

    Sean Solomon, director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and a geophysicist who has spent much of his career studying Earth’s neighboring planets as well as the Earth itself, will receive the National Medal of Science.

  • Frozen Water on Mercury, NASA Confirms

    Frozen Water on Mercury, NASA Confirms

    Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun, may hold at least 100 billion tons of ice in permanently shaded craters near its north pole, NASA scientists announced Thursday. The findings come as NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft nears its second year of orbit around Mercury. MESSENGER’s lead investigator, Sean Solomon, is director of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth…

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  • As the Greenland Ice Sheet Retreats, Mercury is Being Released From the Bedrock Below

    As the Greenland Ice Sheet Retreats, Mercury is Being Released From the Bedrock Below

    Scientists have found that Greenland’s bedrock is rich with mercury in some areas — and as the ice sheet rapidly melts, that mercury is being released into local waters.

  • Study Shows Forests May Take in Far More Toxic Mercury Than Thought

    Study Shows Forests May Take in Far More Toxic Mercury Than Thought

    Atmospheric mercury in gaseous form appears to be adding heavily to the load.

  • MESSENGER Data Reveal That Mercury’s Inner Core Is Solid

    MESSENGER Data Reveal That Mercury’s Inner Core Is Solid

    The new findings offer clues about how the solar system formed and how rocky planets change over time.

  • Exploring Mercury in a New Book

    Exploring Mercury in a New Book

    Scientists from NASA’s MESSENGER mission share some of its top discoveries — and lingering mysteries — in a new compendium.

  • MESSENGER Data Reveal Evidence of Ancient Carbon-Rich Crust on Mercury

    MESSENGER Data Reveal Evidence of Ancient Carbon-Rich Crust on Mercury

    Mercury’s dark surface is revealing intriguing new clues about the formation of the solar system, including evidence announced today that the planet closest to the Sun may have formed in part from carbon, a key component of life.

  • MESSENGER

    MESSENGER

    Alien orbits you plied, While we vicariously spied A distant globe …

  • Soon-to-End Mercury Mission May Hold Clues to Earth’s Evolution

    Soon-to-End Mercury Mission May Hold Clues to Earth’s Evolution

    NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft has been orbiting Mercury for the last four years, giving scientists an unprecedented look at our solar system’s innermost planet. But now the craft’s fuel supply is exhausted; inexorably drawn in by Mercury’s gravity, it is scheduled to crash in April. Sean Solomon, director of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has been…

  • Lamont-Doherty Director Awarded National Medal of Science

    Lamont-Doherty Director Awarded National Medal of Science

    Sean Solomon, director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and a geophysicist who has spent much of his career studying Earth’s neighboring planets as well as the Earth itself, will receive the National Medal of Science.

  • Frozen Water on Mercury, NASA Confirms

    Frozen Water on Mercury, NASA Confirms

    Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun, may hold at least 100 billion tons of ice in permanently shaded craters near its north pole, NASA scientists announced Thursday. The findings come as NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft nears its second year of orbit around Mercury. MESSENGER’s lead investigator, Sean Solomon, is director of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth…