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News from the Earth Sciences

new-fossil

Reef built by animals 550 million years ago discovered.

The animals – called Cloudina – were the first in the world to have a hard shell and are believed to have built the reefs to protect themselves from predators, or to get a competitive advantage in acquiring food or living space. More...


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Planetary Ices Group



The Planetary Ices Group carries out world leading research into the structure, dynamics and astrobiological potential of icy planetary bodies, with a particular focus on determining the properties of their constituent icy ‘minerals’. Planetary bodies are essentially crystalline aggregates: the structure and evolution of all such bodies are thus fundamentally due to the microscopic behaviour of the component crystals – equilibrium structures, elasticity, and transport properties for example. In determining the magnitudes of these properties for different ices and for the highly hydrated phases thought to exist in the interiors of outer solar-system moons we employ a coordinated multidisciplinary approach involving a combination of experimental and computational techniques.