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

“Shoreline-crossing Shear-velocity Structure of the Juan de Fuca Plate and Cascadia Subduction Zone from Surface Waves and Receiver Functions”
Helen Janiszewski (DTM Weekly Seminar Series)
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"Stellar Astrophysics: 100 Years after Russell"
Jason Kalirai (DTM Weekly Seminar Series)
Thursday, January 19, 2017

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Latest articles and news

Deep Mantle Chemistry Surprise: Carbon Content Not Uniform

Marion le Voyer

Even though carbon is one of the most-abundant elements on Earth, it is actually very difficult to determine how much of it exists below the surface in Earth’s interior. Analysis by Carnegie’s Marion Le Voyer and Erik Hauri of crystals containing completely enclosed mantle magma with its original carbon content preserved has doubled the world’s known finds of mantle carbon. The findings are published in Nature Communications.

Vera Rubin Who Confirmed "Dark Matter" Dies


Renowned astrophysicist and National Medal of Science awardee Vera Rubin passed away in Princeton N.J., the evening of December 25, 2016, at the age of 88. Rubin confirmed the existence of dark matter—the invisible material that makes up more than 90% of the mass of the universe. She was a retired staff astronomer at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism in Washington, D.C.

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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.

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Peter Driscoll

Peter Driscoll spoke to BBC Earth about how plate tectonics may have helped coax life into existence over 4 billion years ago.

Alan Boss

On Jan. 10, Alan Boss discussed the shocking story of the origin of the solar system at this week's DTM seminar.

Scott Sheppard

If you missed Scott Sheppard talking about the hunt for Planet X on 60 Minutes, you can watch it here.