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
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DTM Staff Scientist Alycia Weinberger made her maiden voyage on NASA’s SOFIA airborne observatory on 12 June to practice making observations with the same instrument she’ll be using on her own approved airborne observation program early next year.
SOFIA is the “largest airborne observatory in the world and is capable of making observations that are impossible for even the largest and highest ground-based telescopes.” (NASA) It consists of an extensively modified Boeing 747SP aircraft and carries a reflecting telescope with an effective diameter of 2.5 meters. While SOFIA was in development, Weinberger served on the Science Council from 2007 to 2012 and chaired its science advisory committee from 2010-2011.
This past week, DTM hosted the 5th National Capital Area Disks (NCAD) annual meeting on campus where researches from Washington D.C. and the surrounding area came together to investigate topics related to the origins and formation of planets and exoplanets in a semi-informal, collaborative mini conference. The goal of this meeting, as in previous years, is to bring together experts in the fields of circumstellar disks, exoplanets, and solar system bodies to discuss their work in an open environment.
Although the main focus of the conference is on circumstellar disks located around young stars of forming planets, the conference also welcomed presentations on planets, exoplanets, meteorites, comets, asteroids, and a variety of other topics that may shed light on the origins of planetary systems.
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
Brad Foley discussed the "Initiation of plate tectonics on the early Earth: Insights from numerical convection models" at this week's DTM seminar.
John A. Johnson, an Astronomy Professor at Harvard-Smithonian for Astrophysics, presented his work "Hot on the Trail of Warm Planets Orbiting Cool Stars" at DTM this week.
Scott Sheppard details his work on "Beyond the Kuiper Belt Edge: The Inner Oort Cloud Population" at the 5th National Capital Area Disks (NCAD) Meeting hosted by DTM this week.