Possible Planet-Forming Disk imaged by Caltech Radio Astronomers

A giant disk of gas and dust over 10 times the size of our own solar system has been detected rotating around a young star in the constellation of Auriga. Possible Planet-Forming Disk imaged by Caltech Radio Astronomers August 1997 97

Caltech Question of the Week: Will Future Mars Colonies Utilize Local Martian Rocks and Soil for Building Materials?

Question of the Month Submitted through e-mail by Dave Cooley, Costa Mesa, California, and answered by Albert Yen, Caltech grad student in planetary science; and Peter Goldreich, professor of astrophysics and planetary physics.

Caltech Named Recipient of Federal Computational Science and Simulation Contract

The California Institute of Technology has been awarded a multimillion-dollar contract as part of a major new Department of Energy (DOE) effort to advance computational modeling. Caltech Named Recipient of Federal Computational Science and Simulation Contract July 1997 97

Caltech Question of the Week: How does molten lava in the center of Earth replenish itself?

Question of the Month Submitted by Greg McNeil, Monrovia, California.

Answered by Thomas Ahrens, professor of geophysics, Caltech.

The replenishment of lava—the molten rock which flows out on the surface from the rocky silicate mantle of the Earth, back into the Earth—is a key process that appears to be unique to our planet (relative to the other silicate mantle planets with iron cores: Mars, Venus, and Mercury).

Caltech Installs New High-Performance HP Exemplar System at Center for Advanced Computing Research

PASADENA—At a dedication ceremony to be held Monday, June 9, the California Institute of Technology will showcase the most powerful technical computing system developed by the Hewlett-Packard Company, a 256-CPU Exemplar technical server. The Exemplar system, which features peak performance of 184 gigaflops, 64 gigabytes of memory, and one terabyte of attached disk capacity, will serve as the premiere computing resource for Caltech's Center for Advanced Computing Research (CACR) and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Caltech Question of the Week: What Would Be the Effect If All Plate Tectonics Movement Stopped Forever?

Submitted by Jack Collins, Duarte, California, and answered by Kerry Sieh, Professor of Geology, Caltech.

Caltech Question of the Week: Why Does There Need To Be Water On a Planet or Moon To Have Life?

Question of the Month Submitted by Traci Salazar, 13, Alhambra, California, and answered by Richard Terrile, scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech.

Water is a tremendously important ingredient in that it's a very good solvent and a very good medium for chemical reactions. It's also very common.

Water is nearly everywhere in the solar system, it's easy to make from two ingredients (hydrogen and oxygen) that are both very common throughout the solar system and the universe, and it can exist in some truly harsh environments.

Caltech Question of the Week: How Can Different Kinds of Vegetables Contain Different Vitamins When Grown in the Same Soil?

Question of the Month Submitted by Doris Bower, Arcadia, Calif., and answered by Dr. Elliot Meyerowitz, Professor of Biology, Caltech.

Caltech Astronomers Crack the Puzzle of Cosmic Gamma-Ray Bursts

A team of Caltech astronomers has pinpointed a gamma-ray burst several billion light-years away from the Milky Way. The team was following up on a discovery made by the Italian/Dutch satellite BeppoSAX.

Question of the Week: Does the earth keep a constant distance from the sun? If not, will the earth get closer to the sun and become more warm?

Question: Does the earth keep a constant distance from the sun? If not, will the earth get closer to the sun and become more warm?

Submitted by Steven S. Showers Newbury Park, California

Answered by Andrew Ingersoll, professor of planetary science, Caltech.

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