Looking for life in all the wrong places: How one project is flipping the script on the search for habitable worlds

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In the 1990s, scientists discovered the first planet orbiting another star. Just thirty years later, we know of a staggering 4000+ worlds outside of our own Solar System. With a solid spread of planets to choose from, some scientists have shifted focus from the discovery of planets to something even rarer than the planets themselves—they’re looking for life.

But it turns out that to find life from light-years away, we first have to know what isn’t life.


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

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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


Introducing Davemaoite: A Groundbreaking Mineral Discovery Named After Trailblazing Carnegie Geophysicist

Ho-kwang "Dave" Mao, for whom the newly recovered lower mantle silicate was named.

The first-ever silicate mineral recovered from the Earth’s lower mantle has been named after emeritus Carnegie scientist Ho-kwang “Dave” Mao, an experimental geophysicist whose work redefined our understanding of how materials behave under the extreme pressure and temperature conditions found inside Earth and other planets.


Deadline Extension

Deadline Extension
Due to a technical error, we are extending our submission deadline for Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellowship by one week to November 8.
Thank you to everyone who reached out to us to alert us to the issue. 
The application link can be found here. 
Please be assured that if you sent your application before October 31st that we do have it and there is no need for resubmission.

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


Three ways we’re exploring extreme materials at the Earth and Planets Laboratory

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Every day, the Earth and Planets Laboratory builds on the Geophysical Lab’s legacy to push the boundaries of high-pressure science. We develop techniques, probe new experimental questions, expand our computation capabilities, collaborate with colleagues, and fill our labs with top-tier instrumentation (and scientists).