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DFG Funds New Collaborative Research Center at Freie Universität Berlin: Project to Study the Late Growth History of the Earth, Its Moon, and Other Terrestrial Planets

Joint Project with Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Technische Universität Berlin, Museum für Naturkunde, and German Aerospace Center in Berlin

№ 370/2015 from Nov 20, 2015

A new Collaborative Research Center (CRC) at Freie Universität aims to provide insights on the late growth history of the Earth, its moon, and other terrestrial planets. The research will be done jointly with scientists at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Technische Universität Berlin, the Museum of Natural History Berlin, and the German Aerospace Center in Berlin. The project is one of 15 new CRCs to be funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The funding will begin in January 2016 for an initial period of four years. The spokesperson for the CRC is Professor Dr. Harry Becker from the Geochemistry Group at the Department of Earth Sciences, Freie Universität. As of January 2016 the DFG will be funding a total of 249 Collaborative Research Centers. Freie Universität is the host university for eleven of them and participates in ten additional ones. Freie Universität is also involved in six other CRCs through Charité, the medical school that is operated jointly by Freie Universität and Humboldt-Universität.

The late growth history of the terrestrial planets, which include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, is essential for understanding the early evolution and the formation processes of metallic cores, silicate shells, and atmospheres of the terrestrial planets. The scientists working in the Collaborative Research Center/Transregio "Late Accretion onto Terrestrial Planets" (TRR 170) aim to improve the understanding of the growth of the Earth and its moon and other terrestrial planets for the period between 4.5 and 3.8 billion years ago. To do so, they aim to investigate processes such as late planetary growth and the role of planetary collisions during core formation. Another focus will be on the formation and evolution of magma oceans.

According to the DFG, CRCs facilitate scientifically ambitious, complex, long-term research by concentrating and coordinating the resources available at a university. The CRC program is intended to contribute to the profile formation of the participating universities. Within this context, promoting young scientists and gender equality are also important.

Further Information

Prof. Dr. Harry Becker, Institute of Geological Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-70668, Email: