If you ask Andy Ingersoll how Caltech has contributed to our understanding of the universe, he'll tell you, "Caltech invented planetary science!" Since the field's origins 50 years ago, Caltech has become one of the top planetary-science research centers.
Since the magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake 20 years ago, researchers at Caltech have learned much more about where earthquakes are likely to happen, and how danger to human life and damage to property might be mitigated when they do occur.
Bruce Churchill Murray, Caltech Professor of Planetary Science, Emeritus, and former head of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), succumbed to complications of Alzheimer's disease on August 29, 2013. He was 81.
A team led by geobiologists at Caltech has found evidence of a photosystem involving manganese that predates cyanobacteria, the first group of organisms to release oxygen into Earth's environment via photosynthesis.