Earth and Planets Laboratory Goes to Mars Again

Carnegie on Mars Perseverance Touchdown

Last week, NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover made it safely to Mars. Now, the fun begins! 


Postdoc Spotlight: Yanhao Lin Explores the Deep Earth Water Cycle

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Yanhao Lin finished up his postdoctoral position at the Earth and Planets Laboratory (EPL) in February 2021. While he was at EPL, Lin worked with Deputy Director Mike Walter to research how volatiles—chemical elements found in a planet’s interior like carbon dioxide and water—affect the interior dynamics of planets like the Moon, Mars, and Earth.  


"FarFarOut" officially added to count of dwarf sized planets in distant Solar System

(Photo credit: Roberto Molar Candanosa, Scott S. Sheppard from Carnegie Institution for Science, and Brooks Bays from University of Hawaiʻi.)

A team of researchers including Carnegie astronomer Scott Sheppard discovered the most distant object ever observed in our Solar System. The object is officially named 2018 AG37 but is nicknamed "FarFarOut" for just how far away from the Sun it is orbiting—about 132 AU, where 1 AU is the distance between the Earth and Sun. At that distance, it takes an entire millennium to orbit the Sun.


Can super-Earth interior dynamics set the table for habitability?

Illustration of mimicing planet formation in the lab

New research led by Carnegie’s Yingwei Fei provides a framework for understanding the interiors of super-Earths--rocky exoplanets between 1.5 and 2 times the size of our home planet--which is a prerequisite to assess their potential for habitability.  Planets of this size are among the most abundant in exoplanetary systems.  The paper is published in Nature Communications.


January 2021 - Letter from the Directors

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2021 is already off to an exciting start. In this month's email, you'll find stories about asteroids, massive volcanoes, and new materials discovered right here at the Earth and Planets Laboratory.