space Archives - State of the Planet

Research engineer Ted Koczynski explains how rock surfaces representing the rock bed of a glacier put pressure on a block of ice from each side as the ice is pushed downward in the new cryogenic deformation apparatus. Depending on the configuration, sensors throughout the device can measure friction, viscosity and anelasticity. Image: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Crushing Ice to Learn About Glaciers & Icy Moons

To understand how quickly ice from glaciers can raise sea level or how moons far across the solar system evolved to hold vast, ice-covered oceans, we need to be able to measure the forces at work. A new instrument designed and built at Lamont does just that.

by |June 6, 2016

Goddard Institute to Aid Search for Life on Distant Worlds

Despite its name, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies has in recent years concentrated on planet Earth–mainly, its widely used computer models used by scientists around the world to measure and predict the impact of greenhouse gases on climate. This week NASA announced that the Earth Institute-affiliated center will also play a leading role in a new initiative to search for life on other planets.

by |April 22, 2015

Soon-to-End Mercury Mission May Hold Clues to Earth’s Evolution

NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft has been orbiting Mercury for the last four years, giving scientists an unprecedented look at our solar system’s innermost planet. But now the craft’s fuel supply is exhausted; inexorably drawn in by Mercury’s gravity, it is scheduled to crash in April. Sean Solomon, director of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has been leading the mission, and in this video, he talks about its implications.

by |March 27, 2015

Fresh Evidence of Life on Mars?

In a landscape shaped by wind and water, is it possible that microbial life was found on Mars in 1976? A new paper indicates life may be present, and a new mission to Mars may confirm the results.

by |May 30, 2012