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First Planet Under Three Suns Is Discovered
07/13/2005

First Planet Under Three Suns Is Discovered

Robert Tindol
An extrasolar planet under three suns has been discovered in the constellation Cygnus by a planetary scientist at the California Institute of Technology using the 10-meter Keck I telescope in Hawaii. The planet is slightly larger than Jupiter and, given that it has to contend with the gravitational pull of three bodies, promises to seriously challenge our current understanding of how planets are formed.
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Research on Sumatran Earthquakes Uncovers New Mysteries about Workings of Earth
05/19/2005

Research on Sumatran Earthquakes Uncovers New Mysteries about Workings of Earth

Robert Tindol
The Sumatra-Andaman earthquake of December 26 was an unmitigated human disaster. But three new papers by an international group of experts show that the huge data return could help scientists better understand extremely large earthquakes and the disastrous tsunamis that can be associated with them.
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Seismic experiments provide new clues to earthquake wave directionality and growth speed
04/25/2005

Seismic experiments provide new clues to earthquake wave directionality and growth speed

In recent years, seismologists thought they were getting a handle on how an earthquake tends to rupture in a preferred direction along big strike-slip faults like the San Andreas. This is important because the direction of rupture has a profound influence on the distribution of ground shaking. But a new study could undermine their confidence a bit.
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The Science behind the Aceh Earthquake
12/30/2004

The Science behind the Aceh Earthquake

Kerry Sieh, the Robert P. Sharp Professor of Geology at the California Institute of Technology and a member of Caltech's Tectonics Observatory, has conducted extensive research on both the Sumatran fault and the Sumatran subduction zone. Below, Sieh provides scientific background and context for the December 26, 2004 earthquake that struck Aceh, Indonesia.

More Stormy Weather on Titan
12/21/2004

More Stormy Weather on Titan

Jill Perry
Titan, it turns out, may be a very stormy place. In 2001, a group of astronomers led by Henry Roe, now a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology, discovered methane clouds near the south pole of Saturn's largest moon, resolving a debate about whether such clouds exist amid the haze of its atmosphere.
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Observing the Roiling Earth
10/27/2004

Observing the Roiling Earth

Marcus Woo

Thanks to a $13,254,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Caltech has established the Tectonic Observatory, under the direction of Avouac, with the ultimate goal, he says, of "providing a new view of how and why the earth's crust is deforming over timescales ranging from a few tens of seconds, the typical duration of an earthquake, to several tens of million of years."

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NSF Awards $6.75 Million to Caltech for Geodynamics Computational Facility
09/14/2004

NSF Awards $6.75 Million to Caltech for Geodynamics Computational Facility

Robert Tindol
The National Science Foundation has awarded $6.75 million to the California Institute of Technology to house the central activities of a major new community-based, software engineering effort to revolutionize scientific computing in geophysics. The NSF initiative, which will involve at least 24 other American universities and research institutions and four foreign affiliates, is intended to allow scientists studying such fields as seismology, plate tectonics, volcanism, and geomagnetism to take full advantage of recent advances and extraordinary opportunities available in scientific computation.
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Farley Named Chair of Geological and Planetary Sciences
08/31/2004

Farley Named Chair of Geological and Planetary Sciences

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Geobiologists create novel method for studying ancient life forms
08/22/2004

Geobiologists create novel method for studying ancient life forms

Robert Tindol
Geobiologists are announcing today their first major success in using a novel method of "growing" bacteria-infested rocks in order to study early life forms. The research could be a significant tool for use in better understanding the history of life on Earth, and perhaps could also be useful in astrobiology.
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San Andreas Earthquakes Have Almost Always Been Big Ones, Paleoseismologists Discover
07/21/2004

San Andreas Earthquakes Have Almost Always Been Big Ones, Paleoseismologists Discover

Robert Tindol
A common-sense notion among many Californians is that frequent small earthquakes allow a fault to slowly relieve accumulating strain, thereby making large earthquakes less likely. New research suggests that this is not the case for a long stretch of the San Andreas fault in Southern California.
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