Science at the Bar!

Astronomy on Tap Tour in DC

This week, DTM postdoctoral fellow Jackie Faherty kick started the popular bar “talk” series, Astronomy on Tap (AoT), in Washington D.C. at the Science Club. AoT originally began in New York City, as a brainchild of Meg Schwamb when she was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University from 2010 to 2013. 

The esteemed panel at the inaugural D.C. AoT talk included Faherty herself, a Brown Dwarf Wrangler, NASA Goddard Space Center’s Planethunter Michael McElwain, and two of Faherty's DTM colleagues, Volcanologist Diana Roman and Dwarf Planet Expert Scott Sheppard. Over 45 people poured into the room and overtook every inch of the space, proving this series will thrive at future AoT satellite events in Washington D.C.

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Opening Day at Broad Branch Road, 1914

Opening day at BBR

The Carnegie Institution celebrates a century of science and discovery at its Washington, DC, campus this month. Learn about our campus history and join us at one of our events in commemeration of our centennial.

April 1, 1914 was cool and rainy, but spirits must have been high among the scientists and staff of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. After ten years quartered in rented rooms in the Ontario Apartment House near the National Zoo, the Department marked the start of its eleventh year on its own new campus “out in the country” on Washington’s northwest fringe.


Searching for Jobs Outside of Academia

Non-Academic Jobs Workshop

On Friday, 4 April 2014, DTM hosted a Non-Academic Scientific Jobs Workshop in the Abelson Collaboration Center (ACC) for current DTM and GL postdoctoral fellows and associates. Speakers included Winston Chan of Corvusys. Inc.Michelle Weinberger of the Schafer Corporation, David Applegate of the US Geological Survey (USGS), and Sonia Esperanca of the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

Each year, the search for academic jobs becomes more and more competitive. The search for jobs outside of academia is a big step for postdocs and they could use advice on why they should look into other options and how to proceed. Working in challenging, innovative, lucrative, and important non-academic scientific jobs can be as equally gratifying as academic jobs.


Mercury’s Contraction Much Greater Than We Thought

Mercury’s Contraction Much Greater Than We Thought

New global imaging and topographic data from MESSENGER show that the innermost planet has contracted far more than previous estimates. The results are based on a global study of more than 5,900 geological landforms, such as curving cliff-like scarps and wrinkle ridges, that have resulted from the planet’s contraction as Mercury cooled. The findings, published online March 16, 2014, in Nature Geoscience, are key to understanding the planet’s thermal, tectonic, and volcanic history, and the structure of its unusually large metallic core.

Byrne and his coauthors, Christian Klimczak, A. M. Celâl Şengör, Sean Solomon, Thomas Watters,  and Steven Hauk, II, identified a much greater number and variety of geological structures on the planet than had been recognized in previous research. They identified 5,934 ridges and scarps attributed to global contraction, which ranged from 5 to 560 miles (9 to 900 kilometers) in length. 


Scott Sheppard and Chad Trujillo Discover a Dwarf Planet on the Fringe of the Solar System

2012 VP 113

How big is the Solar System? After the discovery of the dwarf planet Sedna ten years ago, the question of what lies beyond the edge of the Solar System has been continuously sought out by the world’s brightest astronomers. This week, that question gets closer to an answer. DTM staff scientist Scott Sheppard and co-discoverer Chad Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory in Hilo, Hawaii, report in Nature their discovery of the dwarf planet 2012 VP113 orbiting the Sun far beyond Pluto in the most distant orbital trajectory around the Sun known.