Our Solar System’s “Shocking” Origin

Gas and dust in outer space make up the Veil Nebula, the debris of a massive star explosion from about 8,000 years ago. Credit: NASA/ESA

According to one longstanding theory, our Solar System’s formation was triggered by a shock wave from an exploding supernova. New work offers fresh evidence supporting this theory, modeling the Solar System’s formation beyond the initial cloud collapse and into the intermediate stages of star formation.


DTM Visits Orbital ATK Headquarters to See NASA’s TESS Spacecraft

Tess Fieldtrip

On Tuesday, June 27, 2017, DTM astronomers and cosmochemists visited Orbital ATK’s headquarters in Dulles, Virginia, to tour their facilities and see NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which the company is building in Northern Virginia.  


Postdoc Spotlight: Astronomer Jonathan Gagné

Jonathan Gagne

What started as a fascination with understanding how things work has evolved into a career of discovery for DTM Sagan Fellow Jonathan Gagné. We talked to Gagné about what research projects he's currently working on at DTM and what he hopes to do in the future in our latest Postdoc Spotlight.


Jessica Arnold Joins DTM's Astronomy Group as a Postdoctoral Associate

Jessica Arnold

Jessica Arnold joins DTM's astronomy group as a postdoctoral associate from the University of Oxford's Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Planetary Physics in Oxford, England, where her research aimed to understand how the thermal environments characteristic of airless solar system objects impact estimates of surface composition gathered via remote thermal infrared spectroscopy.  


Two New Moons of Jupiter Discovered


In the hunt for a new massive planet beyond Pluto (sometimes called Planet X), DTM staff scientist Scott Sheppard has been continuing his survey of the night sky with David Tholen (University of Hawai’i) and Chadwick Trujillo (Northern Arizona University) looking for very distant objects in the outer solar system. During this search, Sheppard and his team pointed their telescopes near Jupiter and discovered two new, mile-wide, moons of Jupiter, S/2016 J 1 and S/2017 J 1 (“S” for satellite, “J” for Jupiter), both announced in early June of 2017.


Former DTM Predoc and Carnegie Trustee Sandy Faber Awarded Gruber Cosmology Prize

Sandy Faber

Former DTM predoctoral fellow and current trustee, astronomer Sandra Faber, has been awarded the 2017 Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize.