Mars Global Surveyor already bringing in scientific payoff

Despite a 12-month delay in aerobraking into a circular orbit, the Mars Global Surveyor is already returning a wealth of data about the atmosphere and surface of the Red Planet.

Biological Activity the Likely Culprit of Atmospheric Nitrous Oxide Increases

New research suggests that the changing concentration of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere is largely a result of biological activity.

Geophysicists Develop Model to Describe Huge Gravity Anomaly of Hudson Bay Region

Using a new approach to analyzing planetary gravity fields, two geophysicists, Mark Simons at the California Institute of Technology and Bradford Hager at M.I.T., have shown that incomplete glacial rebound can account for a substantial portion of the Hudson Bay gravity anomaly. Geophysicists Develop Model to Describe Huge Gravity Anomaly of Hudson Bay Region December 1997 97

Caltech Scientists Find Evidence For Massive Ice Age When Earth Was 2.4 billion Years Old

PASADENA— Those who think the winter of '97 was rough should be relieved that they weren't around 2.2 billion years ago. Scientists have discovered evidence for an ice age at the time that was severe enough to partially freeze over the equator. In today's new issue of Nature, California Institute of Technology geologists Dave Evans and Joseph Kirschvink report evidence that glaciers came within a few degrees of the equator's latitude when the planet was about 2.4 billion years old.

State-of-the-Art Seismic Network Gets First Trial-by-Fire During This Morning's 5.4-magnitude Earthquake

PASADENA—Los Angeles reporters and camera crews responding to a 5.4-magnitude earthquake this morning got their first look at the new Caltech/USGS earthquake monitoring system.

The look was not only new but almost instantaneous. Within 15 minutes of the earthquake, Caltech seismologists had already printed out a full-color poster-sized map of the region to show on live TV, and had already posted the contour map on the Internet. Moreover, they were able to determine the magnitude of the event within five minutes — a tremendous improvement over the time it once took to confirm data.

Researchers Establish Upper Limit of Temperature at the Core-mantle Boundary of Earth

PASADENA— Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have determined that Earth's mantle reaches a maximum temperature of 4,300 degrees Kelvin. The results are reported in the March 14, 1997, issue of the journal Science.

Caltech Geologists Find New Evidence That Martian Meteorite Could Have Harbored Life

PASADENA—Geologists studying Martian meteorite ALH84001 have found new support for the possibility that the rock could once have harbored life.

Moreover, the conclusions of California Institute of Technology researchers Joseph L. Kirschvink and Altair T. Maine, and McGill University's Hojatollah Vali, also suggest that Mars had a substantial magnetic field early in its history.

Finally, the new results suggest that any life on the rock existing when it was ejected from Mars could have survived the trip to Earth.

State-of-the-Art Seismic Network Receives New Funding

PASADENA—Real-time earthquake monitoring, a boon to seismic study and public safety, took a significant step forward with the recent announcement that funding had been approved for the TriNet Project, a state-of-the-art seismic monitoring network for Southern California.

Caltech Geophysicist Offers Evidence For New View of Earth's Inner Workings

SAN FRANCISCO—In two closely related presentations today at the annual American Geophysical Union conference, Caltech geophysicist Don Anderson will describe work suggesting a radical new interpretation of how Earth operates inside. The work is based on recently declassified satellite imagery as well as a revisiting of the issue of primordial helium (the 3He isotope) within Earth.

Memorial Set For Inventor of Richter Scale

PASADENA— The late Charles Richter, whose eponymous earthquake measuring scale has long been a household term the world over, will be honored with a memorial ceremony at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 9.

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