No longer bone dry

In 2011, Erik Hauri led research that discovered water in the Moon's interior using our state-of-the-art geochemical facilities.

Origins of Our Solar System

Cosmochemists study the formation and early evolution of our Solar System, of meteorites and asteroids, and larger bodies like Mars, Mercury, and the Moon. 

At the Earth and Planets Laboratory, we use specialized equipment to precisely measure the chemical and isotopic compositions in minuscule samples of rocks, space dust, solar wind, and more—sometimes down to counting individual atoms. Then we fit each new isotopic marker or molecule into the complex chemical equation that makes up the cosmos. The goal? To create a timeline of our Solar System's early development. 

Top Questions

Jianhua Wang With NanoSIMS

Tools of the Trade

We maintain six mass spectrometers for analyzing trace elements and isotope ratios at high sensitivity, high precision, and/or high spatial resolution. Our scientists share four electron beam instruments for the characterization of sample surfaces and elemental compositions, as well as for focused ion beam lift out for additional characterization such as transmission electron microscopy. We also utilize solid-state NMR, Raman, and FTIR spectroscopy to characterize natural and experimental samples.

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