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Wet and Mild: Caltech Researchers Take the Temperature of Mars's Past
10/12/2011

Wet and Mild: Caltech Researchers Take the Temperature of Mars's Past

Marcus Woo

Researchers at the Caltech have directly determined the surface temperature of early Mars for the first time, providing evidence that's consistent with a warmer and wetter Martian past.

Caltech Named World's Top University in New Times Higher Education Global Ranking
10/05/2011

Caltech Named World's Top University in New Times Higher Education Global Ranking

Kathy Svitil

Caltech has been rated the world's number one university in the 2011–2012 Times Higher Education global ranking of the top 200 universities, displacing Harvard University from the top spot for the first time in the survey's eight-year history. 

Caltech Geobiologist Receives Presidential Early Career Award
09/30/2011

Caltech Geobiologist Receives Presidential Early Career Award

Kathy Svitil

Victoria Orphan, professor of geobiology at Caltech, is one of 94 winners of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.

Out-of-this-world researchers join GPS faculty
09/18/2011

Out-of-this-world researchers join GPS faculty

Katie Neith

The latest faculty to join the ranks as assistant professors in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences spend a lot of time gazing toward the heavens. Bethany Ehlmann has been working on understanding environmental conditions early in Mars's history, while Heather Knutson focuses on characterizing the properties of the planets that orbit stars other than our sun.

 

 

Using Technology Designed for Mars to Look at Earth's Deserts
09/16/2011

Using Technology Designed for Mars to Look at Earth's Deserts

Kimm Fesenmaier

An international team led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has used radar sounding technology developed to explore the subsurface of Mars to create high-resolution maps of freshwater aquifers buried deep beneath a desert on Earth.

NASA's GRAIL Mission Shoots for the Moon
09/14/2011

NASA's GRAIL Mission Shoots for the Moon

Katie Neith

After a successful lift off on Saturday, September 10, NASA's twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecrafts are headed toward the moon to study its gravity field. The two solar-paneled spacecrafts are expected to reach lunar orbit at the end of the year. 

 

A Wave of New Earth-Science Faculty Joins GPS Division
08/29/2011

A Wave of New Earth-Science Faculty Joins GPS Division

Katie Neith

For Andrew Thompson, assistant professor of environmental science and engineering who joined GPS in August, growing up in Rhode Island gave him a natural affinity for the ocean. Now, he studies physical ocean science, focusing on eddies. While Thompson studies the way sea storms move things around, new faculty member and alum Victor Tsai, assistant professor of geophysics, is busy measuring the seismic noise produced by the movements of the ocean—partly from the crashing of waves onto the shore.

Astronomers Find Ice and Possibly Methane on Snow White, a Distant Dwarf Planet
08/22/2011

Astronomers Find Ice and Possibly Methane on Snow White, a Distant Dwarf Planet

Marcus Woo

Astronomers at Caltech have discovered that the dwarf planet 2007 OR10—nicknamed Snow White—is an icy world, with about half its surface covered in water ice that once flowed from ancient, slush-spewing volcanoes. The new findings also suggest that the red-tinged dwarf planet may be covered in a thin layer of methane, the remnants of an atmosphere that's slowly being lost into space.

Caltech Researcher Granted Precious Observation Time at NASA's Hubble Space Telescope
08/18/2011

Caltech Researcher Granted Precious Observation Time at NASA's Hubble Space Telescope

Katie Neith

For many astronomers, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is considered the crème de la crème of research tools—one of the best observatories available for their studies. This being the case, competition for time with the telescope can be fierce. But Heather A. Knutson, a recent addition to the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at Caltech, will soon get the chance to spend some quality time with the telescope.

 

New Data Shows El Mayor—Cucapah Earthquake Was Simple on Surface, Complicated at Depth
08/11/2011

New Data Shows El Mayor—Cucapah Earthquake Was Simple on Surface, Complicated at Depth

Katie Neith

Like scars that remain on the skin long after a wound has healed, earthquake fault lines can be traced on Earth's surface long after their initial rupture. Typically, this line of intersection between the area where the fault slips and the ground is more complicated at the surface than at depth. But a new study by Caltech researchers of the April 4, 2010, El Mayor–Cucapah earthquake in Mexico reveals a reversal of this trend.