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

"The thermal and mechanical structure of ice stream shear margins"
John Platt (Weekly Seminar Series)
Thursday, May 7, 2015

"How and when did plate tectonics start on Earth, what came before, and why does it matter?"
Robert Stern (Tuve Lecture Series)
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

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Latest articles and news

MESSENGER Says Its Final Farewell


MESSENGER was the first spacecraft to orbit around Mercury. However on April 30, 2015, it also became the first spacecraft to make an impact crater on the rocky planet.

Yesterday, at 3:26 p.m., the MESSENGER spacecraft crashed into the surface of Mercury traveling at thousands of miles per hour after completing 4,104 orbits around Mercury during the past four years.

Mercury Crater-Naming Contest Winners Announced


The MESSENGER Education and Public Outreach (EPO) Team, coordinated through Carnegie Science, announces the winning names from its competition to name five impact craters on Mercury. The contest submissions had to be submitted by 15 January 2015, and the International Astronomical Union (IAU)—the governing body of planetary and satellite nomenclature since 1919—made the selections from a semi-final submission of 17 artists’ names.

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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


Mercury Messenger

Follow the descent of MESSENGER on the Messenger Twitter feed today


Sean Solomon reflects via The New York Times on MESSENGER being set to crash into Mercury on Thursday.

Nepal Earthquake

A DTM seismometer at our Broad Branch Road Campus registered Nepal's devasting earthquake on Saturday, 25 April 2015.