Washington, DC— Brown dwarfs are sometimes called failed stars. They’re stars’ dim, low-mass siblings and they fade in brightness over time. They’re fascinating to astronomers for a variety of reasons, but much about them remains unknown. New work from a Carnegie-led team reports the distances of a...
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  • Astronomers have believed since the 1960s that a galaxy dubbed UGC 1382 was a relatively boring, small elliptical galaxy. Now, using a series of multi-wavelength surveys, astronomers, including Carnegie’s Mark Seibert, Barry Madore and Jeff Rich, have discovered that it is really a colossal Giant Low Surface Brightness disk galaxy that rivals the champion of this elusive class—a galaxy known as Malin 1. Malin 1 is some 7 times the diameter of the Milky Way.

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    Carnegie’s Mark Seibert, Barry Madore, Jeff Rich, and team have discovered that what was believed since the 1960s to be a relatively boring, small elliptical galaxy dubbed UGC 1382 is really a colossal Giant Low Surface Brightness disk galaxy. Watch a series of multi-wavelength images that the team used to reveal this behemoth.

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Stanford, CA— With a growing world population and a changing climate, understanding how agriculturally important plants respond to drought is crucial. New work from a team led by Carnegie’s José Dinneny discovers a strategy employed by grasses in drought conditions that could potentially be harnessed to improve crop productivity.

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Washington, DC— New work from Carnegie’s Peter Driscoll suggests Earth’s ancient magnetic field was significantly different than the present day field, originating from several poles rather than the familiar two. It is published in Geophysical Research Letters.

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Washington, DC— Hydrogen is the most-abundant element in the universe. It’s also the simplest—sporting only a single electron in each atom. But that simplicity is deceptive, because there is still so much we have to learn about hydrogen.

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Baltimore, MD— As we age, the function and regenerative abilities of skeletal muscles deteriorate, which means it is difficult for the elderly to recover from injury or surgery. New work from Carnegie’s Michelle Rozo, Liangji Li, and Chen-Ming Fan demonstrates that a protein called b1-integrin is crucial for muscle regeneration. Their findings, published by Nature Medicine, provide a promising target for therapeutic intervention to combat muscle aging or disease.

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Superdeep diamonds are  tiny time capsules carrying unchanged impurities made eons ago and providing researchers with important clues about Earth’s formation.  Diamonds derived from below the continental lithosphere, are most likely from the transition zone (415 miles, or 670km deep) or the top of...
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The Anglo-Australian Planet Search (AAPS) is a long-term program being carried out on the 3.9-meter Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) to search for giant planets around more than 240 nearby Sun-like stars. The team, including Carnegie scientists,  uses the "Doppler wobble" technique to search for...
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SUMMER 2016 AWARDS Coral calcification and the future of reefs—Art Grossman of Plant Biology is teaming up with Global Ecology’s Rebecca Albright, Ken Caldeira and others to develop a new model for understanding how coral calcification works at the cellular/molecular and community levels. This...
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With the proliferation of discoveries of planets orbiting other stars, the race is on to find habitable worlds akin to the Earth. At present, however, extrasolar planets less massive than Saturn cannot be reliably detected. Astrophysicist John Chambers models the dynamics of these newly found giant...
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Scientists simulate the high pressures and temperatures of planetary interiors to measure their physical properties. Yingwei Fei studies the composition and structure of planetary interiors with high-pressure instrumentation including the multianvil apparatus, the piston cylinder, and the diamond...
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Peter van Keken studies the thermal and chemical evolution of the Earth. In particularly he looks at the causes and consequences of plate tectonics; element modeling of mantle convection,  and the dynamics of subduction zones--locations where one tectonic plate slides under another. He also studies...
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July 19, 2016

Washington, DC— It is imperative that society learn more about how climate change contributes to episodic and very severe water quality impairments, such as the harmful algal bloom that caused Florida to declare a state of emergency earlier this month, says Carnegie’s Anna Michalak in a commentary published by Nature.

“The scientific community has made remarkable progress in understanding the role of climate in the occurrence and intensity of droughts, storms, and other extreme events relating to water quantity,” Michalak writes. “It is time for a similar examination of extremes in water quality.”

These severe and periodic water quality issues are a growing problem around

Carnegie, Carnegie Science, Carnegie Institution for Science, plant biology, crown roots, Jose Sebastian
July 11, 2016

Stanford, CA— With a growing world population and a changing climate, understanding how agriculturally important plants respond to drought is crucial. New work from a team led by Carnegie’s José Dinneny discovers a strategy employed by grasses in drought conditions that could potentially be harnessed to improve crop productivity. It is published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Plants obtain most of their water through their roots. But there are different kinds of roots in different kinds of plants. This study focused on grasses, a family that includes maize, sorghum, and sugarcane and also represents key species used for human food, animal feed, and renewable

July 11, 2016

Pasadena, CA—Astronomers have believed since the 1960s that a galaxy dubbed UGC 1382 was a relatively boring, small elliptical galaxy. Ellipticals are the most common type of galaxy and lack the spiral structure of disks like the Milky Way we call home. Now, using a series of multi-wavelength surveys, astronomers, including Carnegie’s Mark Seibert, Barry Madore and Jeff Rich, have discovered that it is really a colossal Giant Low Surface Brightness disk galaxy that rivals the champion of this elusive class—a galaxy known as Malin 1. Malin 1 is some 7 times the diameter of the Milky Way. The research is published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Giant Low Surface Brightness galaxies

July 6, 2016

Pasadena, CA— The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) has announced that the Carnegie Observatories’ postdoctoral associate Rachael Beaton will receive the 2016 Robert J. Trumpler Award. In addition, the Observatories’ Carnegie-Princeton Fellow Eduardo Bañados received the Otto Hahn Medal from Germany’s Max Planck Society. Beaton’s Trumpler Ward is for a recent Ph.D. thesis “considered unusually important to astronomy.” The Otto Hahn Medal honors young researchers for outstanding scientific achievements. 

Beaton studies the structure of galaxies to probe their evolution and formation. In particular she investigates the outer halos of galaxies because they are billions of

Carnegie's Larry Nittler, deputy principal investigator for the MESSENGER mission, talks to BBC News about its crash into Mercury and all we've learned from the mission. More

Stanford, CA—The National Academy of Sciences has awarded Arthur Grossman, of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Plant Biology, the 2009 Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal “in recognition of excellence in published research on marine or freshwater algae.” The award was established through the Helen P. Smith Fund.

 Grossman is a pioneer in studying a broad range of topics about Chlamydomonas, a tiny green alga affectionately called Chlamy, which is present in soil and freshwater. He also brought Chlamy into the age of genomics by leading the project that helped to define its full genome sequence

Contacts: Robert Sanders, University of California, Berkeley: (510) 643-6998, (email)

M. Mitchell Waldrop, NSF: (703) 292-7752, (email)

Tim Stephens, University of California, Santa Cruz: (831) 459-4352, (email)

Susanne Garvey, Carnegie Institution of Washington: (202) 939-1128, (email)

 

Arlington, VA – Taking a major step forward in the search for Earth-like planets beyond our own solar system, a team of astronomers has announced the discovery

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu visited Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) on Friday, June 3. Russell Hemley, Director of Carnegie's Geophysical Laboratory, presented an overview of the High Pressure Collaborative Access Team (HPCAT) and led the tour for the delegation, which also included Robert J. Zimmer, President of the University of Chicago and Eric Isaacs, Director of ANL. The Secretary was visiting ANL to participate in the new Energy Sciences Building (ESB) groundbreaking ceremony.

HPCAT was established to advance cutting-edge, multidisciplinary, high-pressure science and technology using synchrotron radiation at Sector 16 of the Advanced Photon Source (APS

The Carnegie-Spitzer-IMACS (CSI) survey, currently underway at the Magellan-Baade 6.5m telescope in Chile, has been specifically designed to characterize normal galaxies and their environments at a distance of about 4 billion years post Big Bang, expresses by astronomers as  z=1.5.

The survey selection is done using the Spitzer Space Telescope Legacy fields, which provides as close a selection by stellar mass as possible.

Using the IMACS infrared camera, the survey goal is to study galaxies down to low light magnitudes. The goal is to reduce the variance in the density of massive galaxies at these distances and times to accurately trace the evolution of the galaxy mass

Until now, computer models have been the primary tool for estimating photosynthetic productivity on a global scale. They are based on estimating a measure for plant energy called gross primary production (GPP), which is the rate at which plants capture and store a unit of chemical energy as biomass over a specific time. Joe Berry was part of a team that took an entirely new approach by using satellite technology to measure light that is emitted by plant leaves as a byproduct of photosynthesis as shown by the artwork.

The plant produces fluorescent light when sunlight excites the photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll. Satellite instruments sense this fluorescence yielding a direct

The recent discovery that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate has profoundly affected physics. If the universe were gravity-dominated then it should be decelerating. These contrary results suggest a new form of “dark energy”—some kind of repulsive force—is driving the universe. To get a grasp of dark energy, it is extremely important that scientists get the most accurate measurements possible of Type Ia supernovae. These are specific types of exploring stars with exceptional luminosity that allow astronomers to determine distances and the acceleration rate at different distances. At the moment, the reality of the accelerating universe remains controversial because of

The Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO), developed by GregAsner, is a fixed-wing aircraft that sweeps laser light across the vegetation canopy to image it in brilliant 3-D. The data can determine the location and size of each tree at a resolution of 3.5 feet (1.1 meter), a level of detail that is unprecedented. By combining field surveys with this airborne mapping and high-resolution satellite monitoring the team has been able to detail myriad ecological features of forests around the world.

As one example, Carnegie scientists with the Peruvian Ministry of Environment mapped the true extent of gold mining in the biologically diverse region of Madre de Dios in the Peruvian Amazon.

Anthony Piro is the George Ellery Hale Distinguished Scholar in Theoretical Astrophysics at the Carnegie Observatories. He is a theoretical astrophysicist studying compact objects, astrophysical explosions, accretion flows, and stellar dynamics. His expertise is in nuclear physics, thermodynamics, condensed matter physics, General Relativity, and fluid and magneto-hydrodanmics. He uses this background  to predict new observational phenomena as well as to understand the key underlying physical mechanisms responsible for current observations. He uses a combination of analytic and simple numerical models to build physical intuition for complex phenomena.

Piro recieved his  BS and Ph

Plants are essential to life on Earth and provide us with food, fuel, clothing, and shelter.  Despite all this, we know very little about how they do what they do. Even for the best-studied species, such as Arabidopsis thaliana --a wild mustard studied in the lab--we know about less than 20% of what its genes do and how or why they do it. And understanding this evolution can help develop new crop strains to adapt to climate change.  

Sue Rhee wants to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying adaptive traits in plants to understand how these traits evolved. A bottleneck has been the limited understanding of the functions of most plant genes. Rhee’s group is building genome-wide

Allan Spradling is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and director of the Department of Embryology. His laboratory studies the biology of reproduction particularly egg cells, which are able to reset the normally irreversible processes of differentiation and aging that govern all somatic cells—those that turn into non-reproductive tissues. Spradling uses the fruit fly Drosophila because the genes and processes studied are likely to be similar to those in other organisms including humans. In the 1980s he and his colleague, Gerald Rubin, showed how jumping genes could be used to identify and manipulate fruit fly genes. Their innovative technique helped establish Drosophila as

Cosmochemist Larry Nittler studies extraterrestrial materials, including meteorites and interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), to understand the formation of the Solar System, the galaxy, and the universe and to identify the materials involved. He is particularly interested in developing new techniques to analyze different variants of the same atom—isotopes—in small samples. In related studies, he uses space-based X-ray and gamma-ray instrumentation to determine the composition of planetary surfaces. He was part of the 2000-2001 scientific team to hunt for meteorites in Antarctica.

Nittler is especially interested in presolar grains contained in meteorites and in what they can tell