We explore & discover

Scientists at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) bring the perspective of several disciplines to broad questions about nature. DTM's name comes from its original role to chart the Earth's magnetic field. This goal was largely accomplished by 1929. Since then, DTM has evolved to reflect the growing multi-disciplinary nature of the Earth, planetary, and astronomical sciences. Today, the historic goal remains to understand the physical Earth and the universe that is our home.

About our research

Upcoming Events

"Young Walvis Ridge, South Atlantic: Insights into plume shape, source zonation and generation at the African LLSVP"
Cornelia Class (DTM Weekly Seminar Series)
Thursday, October 2, 2014

"The Geology of Diamonds and Why Yours Is Remarkable!"
Steve Shirey (Neighborhood Lecture Series)
Thursday, October 9, 2014

More events

Latest articles and news

Earth’s Water is Older than the Sun

Conel Alexander

Water was crucial to the rise of life on Earth and is also important to evaluating the possibility of life on other planets. Identifying the original source of Earth’s water is key to understanding how life-fostering environments come into being and how likely they are to be found elsewhere. New work from a team including Carnegie’s Conel Alexander found that much of our Solar System’s water likely originated as ices that formed in interstellar space. Their work is published in Science.

Most Stars Are Born in Clusters, Some Leave “Home”

Alan Boss

New modeling studies from DTM’s Alan Boss demonstrate that most of the stars we see were formed when unstable clusters of newly formed protostars broke up. These protostars are born out of rotating clouds of dust and gas, which act as nurseries for star formation. Rare clusters of multiple protostars remain stable and mature into multi-star systems. The unstable ones will eject stars until they achieve stability and end up as single or binary stars. The work is published in The Astrophysical Journal.

More articles...

Image Gallery

DTM scientists regularly explore our planet and the universe. Along the way they capture images of stunning landscapes, geophysical processes and data visualizations.

Browse DTM’s online image gallery to share in the journey of scientific exploration and discovery.

Browse Gallery


Christoph Popp

Christoph Popp discussed his work on, "Satellite Remote Sensing of Volcanic Gas Emissions," as part of DTM seminar series.

John Platt

John Platt (Harvard) discussed, "How pore fluid effects drive strain localization and rapid weakening during earthquakes," at this week's DTM seminar.

Carnegie Institution of Washington logo

DTM has job openings for both postdoctoral fellowships and a staff scientist in geophysics. Click here for more information.