News articles tagged with "planetary_science"

04/03/2014 11:00:06
Kimm Fesenmaier
In 2005, NASA's Cassini spacecraft sent pictures back to Earth depicting an icy Saturnian moon spewing water vapor and ice from fractures, known as "tiger stripes," in its frozen surface. It was big news that tiny Enceladus—a mere 500 kilometers in diameter—was such an active place. Since then, scientists have hypothesized that a large reservoir of water lies beneath that icy surface, possibly fueling the plumes. Now, using gravity measurements collected by Cassini, scientists have confirmed that Enceladus does in fact harbor a large subsurface ocean near its south pole, beneath those tiger stripes.
10/14/2012 19:21:52
Shayna Chabner McKinney

Andrew Ingersoll, Earle C. Anthony Professor of Planetary Sciences, has been a leader in the investigation of planetary weather and climate for nearly five decades.

09/27/2012 13:12:18
Kimm Fesenmaier

An ankle- or hip-deep stream once flowed with force across the surface of Mars in the very spot where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring.

09/12/2012 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

Several hypotheses have been proposed to explan how clay minerals detected on the surface of Mars were formed. Now, publishing in the journal Nature Geoscience, a team of French and American scientists including Caltech's Bethany Ehlmann, has suggested a new possibility. The Los Angeles Times recently spoke to Ehlmann about the paper and its implications.

08/10/2012 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

When Curiosity touched down safely on Mars on August 5, John Grotzinger, the mission's chief scientist and the Fletcher Jones Professor of Geology at Caltech, was given the "keys" to the car-sized rover. Since then, most of Curiosity's time has been taken up by a series of checkouts, but she has relayed hundreds of images back to Earth, giving the science team plenty to study and discuss.

08/07/2012 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

The mood in von Karman Auditorium at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) late Sunday night was overwhelmingly, almost deliriously, celebratory. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, touched down safely on Mars at 10:32 p.m. PDT and minutes later relayed its first black-and-white thumbnail images back to Earth, showing one of its wheels firmly planted on Martian soil.

08/05/2012 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

The "seven minutes of terror" are over, and members of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team have finally let out a collective sigh of relief.

 

08/02/2012 07:00:00
Marcus Woo

On Sunday, August 5, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, known as Curiosity, will make its dramatic descent onto Mars's surface. Once it lands, the rover will check its instruments to make sure everything's functioning properly—and then it will get right to work. Caltech's Ken Farley and Bethany Ehlmann will be among the 300 scientists working here on Earth, taking the information Curiosity sends home and trying to figure out what it all means.

07/27/2012 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

After journeying more than 340 million miles over the course of eight months, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)—the most capable robotic mission ever sent to the Red Planet—is quickly approaching its destination. The spacecraft is scheduled to touch down on the evening of August 5. A feature-length story about this Mission to Mars appears in the Summer issue of E&S magazine.

 

06/26/2012 07:00:00
Katie Neith

In 1969, an exploding fireball tore through the sky over Mexico, scattering thousands of pieces of meteorite across the state of Chihuahua. More than 40 years later, the Allende meteorite is still serving the scientific community as a rich source of information about the early stages of our solar system's evolution. Recently, scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) discovered a new mineral embedded in the space rock—one they believe to be among the oldest minerals formed in the solar system.

05/31/2012 13:15:00
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.

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