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Mission to Mars

Kimm Fesenmaier

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)—the most capable robotic mission ever sent to the Red Planet—is quickly approaching its destination. A feature-length story about this Mission to Mars appears in the Summer issue of E&S magazine.


An Earthquake in a Maze

Kimm Fesenmaier

The powerful magnitude-8.6 earthquake that shook Sumatra on April 11, 2012, was a seismic standout for many reasons, not the least of which is that it was larger than scientists thought an earthquake of its type could ever be. Now, Caltech researchers report on their findings from the first high-resolution observations of the underwater temblor.


Geological Society of America Awards Eiler

Allison Benter

John Eiler, Robert P. Sharp Professor of Geology and professor of geochemistry at Caltech, has been awarded the 2012 Arthur L. Day Medal by the Geological Society of America (GSA).


Caltech Scientists Find New Primitive Mineral in Meteorite

Katie Neith

Caltech scientists recently discovered a new mineral embedded in the Allende meteorite—one they believe to be among the oldest minerals formed in the solar system.


Notes from the Back Row: "The Isotope Time Machine"

Douglas Smith

Were dinosaurs slow and stupid, as used to be the prevailing wisdom, or nimble and smart enough to eat an attorney, as in the 1993 film Jurassic Park? The answer depends largely on whether the T. Rex in question is cold blooded, like an alligator, or warm blooded, like a bird. 


Put a Seismometer in Your Living Room

Douglas Smith

Back in the 1960s, Charlie Richter (PhD '28) installed a seismometer in his living room. Now, if you live in the Pasadena area, you can have one, too.


Closing In On Mount Sharp, Mars Rover Gets Narrower Landing Target

Kimm Fesenmaier

Upon landing onMars at around 10:31 p.m. PDT on August 5, the Curiosity rover will be much closer than originally planned to the primary science target—a layered mountain called Mount Sharp in honor of the late Caltech geologist Robert Sharp (BS '34, MS '35).


Caltech Astronomer Mike Brown Awarded Kavli Prize in Astrophysics

Marcus Woo

Mike Brown, the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor and professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), has been named a co-winner of the 2012 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics for his efforts to understand the outer solar system—work that led to the demotion of Pluto.


Caltech Researchers Gain Greater Insight into Earthquake Cycles

Katie Neith

Researchers at Caltech have developed the first computer model of an earthquake-producing fault segment that reproduces, in a single physical framework, the available observations of both the fault's seismic (fast) and aseismic (slow) behavior.


Technology Developed at the Institute Measures Martian Sand Movement

Katie Neith

Last year, images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured sand dunes and ripples moving across the surface of Mars. Now, technology developed by a team at Caltech has allowed scientists to measure these activities for the very first time.