University of Texas at Austin

Archive for the ‘geoscience’ Category


Friday, August 23, 2013

Longhorns in Space, by Jupiter!

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics helped develop a blueprint for a possible future NASA lander mission to Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter that has a global ocean covered by an ice shell.

Europa’s large reservoir of liquid water has long enchanted planetary scientists with the possibility of harboring life. Many experts believe it to be the most likely place in our solar system besides Earth to host life today. The proposed mission is designed
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Monday, October 10, 2011

A gallery of GRACE images

The twin satellites of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) constantly beam information back to Earth.

(See the full story on the University of Texas at Austin Web site).

The data arrives in scientists’ computers as screens full of numbers. The scientists transform the bit and bytes into images to help them, other researchers and policymakers better understand the information.

The principal investigator of the GRACE misson is Byron Tapley, director of the Center for Space Research and professor in the Cockrell School of
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Research Roundup Spring 2011: Black holes, subsurface fjords, early mammal brains and more

In the last few months, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin dealt with black holes, dead zones and ice kilometers under the surface of Antarctica.

They found that early mammals evolved bigger brains for the sense of smell. They found that alcohol helps a brain to remember.

They made a carbon “sponge” that could store energy and a $1 biosensing diagnostic device that’s self-powered.

They found that teenagers who don’t fit in are less likely to go for higher education.

To help
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Scientific teamwork revealed new penguin’s colors

Worldwide collaboration discovers, elucidates ancient species found in Peru

Prof. Julia Clarke, paleontologist studying the origin and evolution of birds and related dinosaurs..

Prof. Julia Clarke, paleontologist studying the origin and evolution of birds and related dinosaurs..

The discovery process started with the eagle eye of a young fossil hunter in the Peruvian desert, continued with the meticulous work of fossil experts from Texas, Peru and North Carolina in a Lima laboratory and incorporated techniques recently developed in Connecticut and Ohio.

The result was the identification of a new species of giant penguin from 36 million years
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Research Round Up: Fall 2010

Penguin fossil found in Peru showed surprising evidence of feathers and their colors.

Penguin fossil found in Peru showed surprising evidence of feathers and their colors.

During the fall semester of 2010, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin revealed:

An ancient penguin with surprising colors

Honey bees with a failure to communicate

Criminal virus spreaders using evolutionary forensics

An electron switch between molecules with cool battery potential

That as biological clock ticks down, libido rises

A dinosaur who thrived when its competition died

Ways the earth moves

That’s not all.

A team of students launched two satellites, which they built, into
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Friday, September 3, 2010

Getting on the cover of Science

From 27 August 2010 Vol 329, Issue 5995, Pages 985-1112. Reprinted with permission from AAAS.

From 27 August 2010 Vol 329, Issue 5995, Pages 985-1112. Reprinted with permission from AAAS.

It’s not the same as getting your picture on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, but getting an image you created on the cover of Science is still cool.

Georg Stadler’s computer-generated image of a brand-new way to more accurately show plate tectonics in a computer simulation was featured on the cover of the journal’s Aug. 27 edition.

“We heard about the interest of Science in featuring our
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Simulating how the Earth works deep down

Several members of the Mantle Convection PetaApps project: Omar Ghattas, Lucas Wilcox, Carsten Burstedde, Georg Stadler, all of The University of Texas at Austin, and Michael Gurnis of Caltech.

Several members of the Mantle Convection PetaApps project: Omar Ghattas, Lucas Wilcox, Carsten Burstedde, Georg Stadler, all of The University of Texas at Austin, and Michael Gurnis of Caltech.

Plate tectonics was a revolutionary theory at one time. But over the years, it was accepted to explain the movements of the Earth that pulls continents apart and shoves them together.

An interdisciplinary and multi-institutional team of scientists is trying to understand how these plates move by creating the most detailed simulation of
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Time Scales: A billion years? That’s so yesterday

Recent, for Sharon Mosher, is just a billion years ago.

Recent, for Sharon Mosher, is just a billion years ago.

Further Findings talked to several researchers at The University of Texas at Austin about the time scales in which they work, ranging from millions and billions of years to fractions of a second.

Sharon Mosher, a geologist and dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences, talks about working in geologic time.

Sharon Mosher explains what she does as a geologist:

“I’m a structural geologist and I tackle tectonic problems,” she says. “I study everything from
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Perspective on the Deepwater Horizon spill

Paul Bommer

Paul Bommer

No one yet knows what really happened to cause the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent release of millions of gallons of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico.

But Paul Bommer, a senior lecturer in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas, presented a good view of what might have gone wrong when he spoke May 18 at the “Oil in Troubled Waters” forum on causes and consequences of the spill. The university’s Energy Institute sponsored the
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Updated: Research round up: Spring 2010

The northern ice cap of Mars, showing spiral troughs and Chasma Boreale.

The northern ice cap of Mars, showing spiral troughs and Chasma Boreale.

Catch up on University of Texas at Austin research from the spring 2010 semester when these questions were answered.

How were two curious features in the northern ice cap of Mars — a chasm larger than the Grand Canyon and a series of spiral troughs formed?

Jack Holt and Isaac Smith of The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics and their colleagues used radar data collected by NASA’s Mars
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