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Curiosity to Explore Gale Crater
07/22/2011

Curiosity to Explore Gale Crater

Marcus Woo

When Curiosity, the next Mars rover, arrives at the Red Planet next summer, it will be exploring Gale Crater, NASA announced today.

Stolper Elected to Great Britain's Royal Society
07/14/2011

Stolper Elected to Great Britain's Royal Society

Katie Neith

Edward M. Stolper, provost of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and William E. Leonard Professor of Geology, has been named a Foreign Member of Great Britain's Royal Society. He is one of eight scientists elected in 2011. Stolper’s election brings to six the number of foreign members of the Royal Society currently on the Caltech faculty.

Rover Landing Site Narrowed Down
07/11/2011

Rover Landing Site Narrowed Down

Marcus Woo

The landing site for Curiosity, the next Mars rover, has been narrowed down to two choices. Curiosity will either explore Eberswalde crater, an ancient river delta, or Gale crater, the home of a three-mile high mountain. 

Genesis samples reveal new clues about sun's chemical makeup
06/28/2011

Genesis samples reveal new clues about sun's chemical makeup

Katie Neith

Ever since a crash landing on Earth grounded NASA's Genesis mission in 2004, scientists have been gathering, cleaning, and analyzing solar wind particles collected by the spacecraft. Now, two new studies published in Science reveal that Earth's chemistry is less like the sun's than previously thought. 

New Study of Moon's Roughness Offers Insight into Its History
06/27/2011

New Study of Moon's Roughness Offers Insight into Its History

Kathy Svitil

Like the faces of veterans comparing war wounds, the surface of our moon is scarred by a lifetime of damage—impact craters pockmarked with even more craters, sprayed ejecta, discolored regions laid down by volcanic flows. Studying these characteristics can reveal much about the processes that formed them, say Caltech graduate student Meg Rosenburg and her advisor Oded Aharonson, who have created the first comprehensive sets of maps revealing the roughness of the moon's surface.

Caltech-led Researchers Measure Body Temperatures of Dinosaurs for the First Time
06/23/2011

Caltech-led Researchers Measure Body Temperatures of Dinosaurs for the First Time

Marcus Woo

Were dinosaurs slow and lumbering, or quick and agile? It depends largely on whether they were cold or warm blooded. Now, a team of researchers led by Caltech has developed a new approach to take body temperatures of dinosaurs for the first time, providing new insights into whether dinosaurs were cold or warm blooded.

Going with the Flow: Caltech Researchers Find Compaction Bands in Sandstone are Permeable
06/06/2011

Going with the Flow: Caltech Researchers Find Compaction Bands in Sandstone are Permeable

Katie Neith

When geologists survey an area of land for the potential that gas or petroleum deposits could exist there, they must take into account the composition of rocks that lie below the surface. Previous research had suggested that compaction bands might act as barriers to the flow of oil or gas. Now, researchers led by José Andrade have analyzed X-ray images of Aztec sandstone and revealed that compaction bands are actually more permeable than earlier models indicated.

 

 

Caltech-led Team Debunks Theory on End of "Snowball Earth" Ice Age
05/25/2011

Caltech-led Team Debunks Theory on End of "Snowball Earth" Ice Age

Lori Oliwenstein

A team of scientists led by researchers from Caltech report in this week's issue of the journal Nature that the rocks on which much of a theory on how the "Snowball Earth" ice age ended was based were formed millions of years after the ice age ended, and were formed at temperatures so high there could have been no living creatures associated with them. 

Caltech Researchers Release First Large Observational Study of 9.0 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake
05/18/2011

Caltech Researchers Release First Large Observational Study of 9.0 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake

Katie Neith

When the magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake and resulting tsunami struck off the northeast coast of Japan on March 11, they caused widespread destruction and death. Using observations from a dense regional geodetic network (allowing measurements of earth movement to be gathered from GPS satellite data), globally distributed broadband seismographic networks, and open-ocean tsunami data, researchers have begun to construct numerous models that describe how the earth moved that day.

Seek, Secure, Silence, Stay: Shelter in Place
05/09/2011

Seek, Secure, Silence, Stay: Shelter in Place

Lori Oliwenstein

On Wednesday, May 11, Caltech will be holding a shelter-in-place drill, beginning at approximately 1:10 p.m. The purpose behind the drill is to ready the campus for those types of emergencies in which a shelter-in-place response might be needed: a chemical or biological spill, severe weather, or an armed individual on campus, for instance. In these situations, being or heading outside is likely to be more hazardous than remaining indoors.