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.

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Upcoming Events

The Mystery of Planet Formation
John Chambers (Neighborhood Lecture Series)
Thursday, October 26, 2017

Astro-elastodynamics: Cracking moons and spin and obliquity evolution in tidal evolving and migrating satellite and planetary systems
Alice Quillen (DTM Weekly Seminar Series)
Thursday, October 26, 2017

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Latest articles and news

New Experiments to Model Mars’s Thermal Evolution

New Experiments to Model Mars’s Thermal Evolution

The Geophysical Laboratory’s Alex Goncharov and DTM's Peter van Keken were awarded a Venture Grant to apply a novel flash-heating method for high- pressure/high-temperature experiments to measure the thermal conductivity of Mars.

Large Magnitude Eruption Expected for Bali's Mount Agung

Mount Agung, seen on April 28, 2010 from Bali. Photo by Jesse Wagstaff via CC License.

As people in Indonesia prepare for a large-magnitude eruption of Mount Agung, DTM volcanologist Hélène Le Mével explains what scientists know—and don’t know—about volcanoes, and how scientific observations contribute to risk assessments and alert systems.

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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


Former Postdoc Elizabeth Frank highlighted as Senior Planetary Scientist at Planetary Resources, an asteroid mining company.

Peter van Keken

Peter van Keken and former DTM Postdoc Catherine Johnson were invited speakers at special Geological Society conference for 50th anniversary of plate tectonics discovery.

Work by new DTM fellow Meredith MacGregor featured as Astronomy Picture of the Day.