News articles tagged with "planetary_science"

05/07/2014 15:18:53
Douglas Smith
In 1964, Caltech astronomy professor Guido Münch and Jet Propulsion Laboratory space scientists Lewis Kaplan and Hyron Spinrad pushed the world's second-largest telescope to its limits and dashed—at least for the next few decades—any hopes of finding liquid water on Mars.
Guido Münch
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.

05/09/2012 17:00:00
Katie Neith

Last year, images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured sand dunes and ripples moving across the surface of Mars—observations that challenged previously held beliefs that there was not a lot of movement on the red planet's surface. Now, technology developed by a team at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has allowed scientists to measure these activities for the very first time. 

04/19/2012 07:00:00
Katie Neith

An entirely new globe of the moon—the first in over 40 years—is now available, thanks, in part, to Caltech alumni. Using images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, a team at Sky & Telescope magazine, including senior contributing editor Kelly Beatty (BS '73), developed the updated model. 

03/06/2012 08:00:00
Marcus Woo

Many of us see a man in the moon—a human face smiling down at us from the lunar surface. The "face," of course, is just an illusion, shaped by the dark splotches of lunar maria (smooth plains formed from the lava of ancient volcanic eruptions). Like a loyal friend, the man is always there, constantly gazing at us as the moon revolves around Earth. But why did the moon settle into an orbit with the man facing Earth?



02/10/2012 08:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

With the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) well on its way to Mars, the newest members of its science team have been announced. Two Caltech professors—Kenneth Farley and Bethany Ehlmann—are among 18 researchers who have been selected as funded participating scientists on the mission.

01/04/2012 18:00:00
Marcus Woo

Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is an intriguing, alien world that's covered in a thick atmosphere with abundant methane. Titan boasts methane clouds and fog, as well as rainstorms and plentiful lakes of liquid methane. The origins of many of these features, however, remain puzzling to scientists. Now, Caltech researchers have developed a computer model of Titan's atmosphere and methane cycle that, for the first time, explains many of these phenomena in a relatively simple and coherent way.

12/02/2011 08:00:00
Marcus Woo

Discoveries of new planets just keep coming and coming. A team of astronomers led by scientists at Caltech have found 18 Jupiter-like planets in orbit around massive stars.

11/01/2011 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

The best place to look for signs of past life on Mars may be underground. According to a new interpretation of the distribution of clay minerals on Mars, warm water may have stayed mostly confined to the planet's subsurface for hundreds of millions of years.

10/20/2011 07:00:00
Marcus Woo

Astronomers have detected massive quantities of water in a planet-forming gas disk around a young star. The water—which is frozen in the icy outer regions of the disk—could fill Earth's oceans several thousand times over. The discovery could help explain how Earth got its oceans and suggests that our planet may not be the only watery world in the cosmos.

10/12/2011 07:00:00
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.

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