Utah Planet Formation and Meteoritics Group

We are Smashing Rocks!


Welcome to our group's homepage. We are astronomers and and nanoscientists joined together to study the origins of planets in our solar system through analysis of meteorites. We work with meteorites—rocks from space that landed here on Earth—to find clues as to how planets formed. These rocks are older than the Earth itself! They may show us how the material that made the Earth and other planets came together.

The University of Utah has excellent programs in astronomy and nanoscience. Our project brings together expertise from these two seemingly unrelated fields. The Gerton Lab can perfom on-site Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microsopy to learn about the properties of meteorites. (The Gerton Lab can do something else with the samples, too, but that is a secret for now!) Our astronomy group brings to the nanoscience table an understand of conditions around young stars and the latest theories of how planets form. Together we will work to piece together outstanding mysteries of the origin of planets in the universe.