Solar System Archives - State of the Planet

In Ancient Rocks, Scientists See a Climate Cycle Working Across Deep Time

A gradual shift in Earth’s orbit that repeats every 405,000 years plays a role in natural climate swings.

by |May 7, 2018
Data from MESSENGER was used to map the rugged landforms and spectral variations on Mercury’s surface. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

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.

by |March 7, 2016

A Talk with Sean Solomon, Lamont-Doherty’s New Director

“The Observatory has remained a powerhouse in Earth science research and a very special place. The scientists here are true explorers—creative and fiercely independent.”

by |September 21, 2012