Carnegie Institution for Science Archive

Geoengineering versus a volcano

Washington, DC— Major volcanic eruptions spew ash particles into the atmosphere, which reflect some of the Sun’s radiation back into space and cool the planet. But could this effect be intentionally recreated to fight climate change? A new paper in Geophysical Research Letters investigates. Solar geoengineering is a theoretical approach to curbing the effects of

Dr. Eric D. Isaacs named 11th President of the Carnegie Institution for Science

Washington, D.C.—By unanimous vote of the Carnegie Board of Trustees, Dr. Eric D. Isaacs has been appointed the 11th president of the Carnegie Institution for Science. Isaacs joins Carnegie from the University of Chicago and will succeed Interim Co-Presidents John Mulchaey and Yixian Zheng on July 2, 2018. Dr. Isaacs is currently the Executive Vice

Amorphous diamond synthesized

  Washington, DC— A team of Carnegie high-pressure physicists have created a form of carbon that’s hard as diamond, but amorphous, meaning it lacks the large-scale structural repetition of a diamond’s crystalline structure. Their findings are reported in Nature Communications. Carbon is an element of seemingly infinite possibilities, because the configuration of its electrons allows

Our Solar System’s “shocking” origin story

Washington, DC— According to one longstanding theory, our Solar System’s formation was triggered by a shock wave from an exploding supernova. The shock wave injected material from the exploding star into a neighboring cloud of dust and gas, causing it to collapse in on itself and form the Sun and its surrounding planets. New work

Visualizing debris disk “roller derby” to understand planetary system evolution

Washington, DC—When planets first begin to form, the aftermath of the process leaves a ring of rocky and icy material that’s rotating and colliding around the young central star like a celestial roller derby. Analogs to our own Solar System’s Kuiper Belt, these disks of debris left over from planet formation can be detected by

Sagan Award Goes to Committee Chaired by Carnegie’s Alan Dressler

  Pasadena, CA—Over 20 years ago, Carnegie astronomer emeritus Alan Dressler chaired the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and Beyond Committee. It has been awarded the 2017 Carl Sagan Memorial Award presented at the meeting of the American Astronautical Society March 7-9 in Greenbelt, Maryland. In the mid-1990s,

Melting temperature of Earth’s mantle depends on water

Washington, DC—A joint study between Carnegie and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has determined that the average temperature of Earth’s mantle beneath ocean basins is about 110 degrees Fahrenheit (60 Celsius) higher than previously thought, due to water present in deep minerals. The results are published in Science.   Earth’s mantle, the layer just beneath

Hunting for giant planet analogs in our own backyard

  Washington, DC—There may be a large number of undetected bright, substellar objects similar to giant exoplanets in our own solar neighborhood, according to new work from a team led by Carnegie’s Jonathan Gagné and including researchers from the Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) at Université de Montréal. It is published by The Astrophysical

Team makes planet hunting a group effort, finds more than 100 candidates

  Washington, DC— An international team of astronomers released the largest-ever compilation of exoplanet-detecting observations made using a technique called the radial velocity method. They demonstrated how these observations can be used to hunt for planets by detecting more than 100 potential exoplanets, including one orbiting the fourth-closest star to our own Solar System, which

How fast will we need to adapt to climate change?

Stanford, CA— What would we do differently if sea level were to rise one foot per century versus one foot per decade? Until now, most policy and research has focused on adapting to specific amounts of climate change and not on how fast that climate change might happen. Using sea-level rise as a case study,