Press Release

Revealed: Water Determines Magma Depth. Finding Upends Long-Held Understanding Of Volcanic Storage.

A view over Fisher Caldera in the foreground, looking out to Shishaldin Volcano, at a distance in 2015. The gray and gloomy tone of the photo is characteristic of the weather in the Aleutian Island. Photo is courtesy of Daniel Rasmussen of the National Mu

New work from a Smithsonian-led team, including Carnegie’s Diana Roman, revealed what could be the most-important factor controlling the depth at which magma is stored under a volcano, upending long-held theories about the molten material’s upward journey through the Earth’s crust. Their findings—which could inform the creation of detailed models that more accurately forecast volcanic eruptions—are published in Science.


Discovered: An Easier Way To Create Flexible Diamonds

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Recently, a team of scientists led by Carnegie’s Samuel Dunning and Timothy Strobel developed an original technique that predicts and guides the ordered creation of strong, yet flexible, diamond nanothreads, surmounting several existing challenges.  The innovation will make it easier for scientists to predict and synthesize the nanothreads—an important step toward applying the material to practical problems in the future. The work was recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.


What’s Happening In The Depths Of Distant Worlds?

Silicate minerals make up most of the Earth’s mantle and are thought to be a major component of the interiors of other rocky planets. On Earth, the structural changes induced in silicates under high pressure and temperature conditions define key boundarie

The physics and chemistry that take place deep inside our planet are fundamental to the existence of life as we know it. But what forces are at work in the interiors of distant worlds, and how do these conditions affect their potential for habitability?

New work led by Carnegie’s Earth and Planets Laboratory uses lab-based mimicry to reveal a new crystal structure that has major implications for our understanding of the interiors of large, rocky exoplanets. Their findings are published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Carnegie’s Hazen elected fellow of only professional society dedicated to origins of life research

Robert Hazen DCO Portrait

Carnegie mineralogist Robert Hazen—who advanced the concept that Earth’s geology was shaped by the rise and sustenance of life—was elected last month a fellow of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life – The International Astrobiology Society


How Do Ice Giants Maintain Their Magnetic Fields?

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A layer of “hot,” electrically conductive ice could be responsible for generating the magnetic fields of ice giant planets like Uranus and Neptune. New work from Carnegie and the University of Chicago’s Center for Advanced Radiation Sources reveals the conditions under which two such superionic ices form. Their findings are published in Nature Physics


Did Nature Or Nurture Shape The Milky Way’s Most Common Planets?

Artist’s conception of the Transiting Exoplanets Satellite Survey, or TESS, (left) which identified the planet candidates studied by the MTS team. Illustration is courtesy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

A Carnegie-led survey of exoplanet candidates identified by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanets Satellite Survey  (TESS) is laying the groundwork to help astronomers understand how the Milky Way’s most common planets formed and evolved, and determine why our Solar System’s pattern of planetary orbits and sizes is so unusual.