Konstantin Batygin recently joined the Caltech faculty as assistant professor of planetary science, following graduate school at Caltech (PhD '12) and a postdoc at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Batygin shares the string of synchronicities that brought him to planetary astrophysics and to Caltech.
A team of astronomers, which includes several from Caltech, has discovered a dust-filled, massive galaxy churning out stars when the cosmos was a mere 880 million years old—making it the earliest starburst galaxy ever observed.
The mission: travel to one of Mars's two moons, explore its surface, collect some rocks, and return to Earth in one piece. Now plan it—in five days. Dozens of students from Caltech and around the world converged on campus recently to do just that.
In a paper published on March 16, 1963, Caltech astronomer Maarten Schmidt announced the discovery of the first quasar (he didn't call it that) and opened a new window through which we can see the very distant universe.
If you could lick the surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa, you would actually be sampling a bit of the ocean beneath. So says Mike Brown, an astronomer at Caltech. Brown and Kevin Hand from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have found the strongest evidence yet that water from the vast liquid ocean beneath Europa's frozen exterior actually makes its way to the surface.