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Ancient gas cloud courtesy of the Max Planck Society.

The discovery of a 13 billion-year-old cosmic cloud of gas enabled a team of Carnegie astronomers to perform the earliest-ever measurement of how the universe was enriched with a diversity of chemical elements.  Their findings reveal that the first generation of stars formed more quickly than previously thought. 

Champion for wildlife conservation, arts, history and culture, and a Carnegie trustee from 1980 until 2014, Robert Guestier “Bobby” Goelet died at the age of 96 on October 8, 2019, at his home in New York.

Artist's conception by Robin Dienel, courtesy of the Carnegie Institution for Sc

What does a gestating baby planet look like? New research in Nature by a team including Carnegie’s Jaehan Bae investigated the effects of three planets in the process of forming around a young star, revealing the source of their atmospheres. “This could really help us understand how the architecture of a planetary system comes to be and maybe even unlock mysteries about the evolution of our own Solar System,” explained Bae.

Khanka image made by Norman Kuring, NASA’s Ocean Color web, and Lauren Dauphin.

The intensity of summer algal blooms has increased over the past three decades, according to a first-ever global survey of dozens of large, freshwater lakes. Carnegie’s Jeff Ho and Anna Michalak and NASA’s Nima Pahlevan used 30 years of data from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat 5 near-Earth satellite and created a partnership with Google Earth Engine to reveal long-term trends in summer algal blooms in 71 large lakes in 33 countries on six continents. Their findings are published in Nature

Artist's conception of lead selenide under pressure courtesy of Xiao-Jia Chen.

Pressure improves lead selenide's ability to turn heat into electricity and could potentially be used to create clean energy generators, according to new work from a team that includes Carnegie’s Alexander Goncharov and Viktor Struzhkin published in Nature Materials.

Saturn image is courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.

Move over Jupiter; Saturn is the new moon king. A team led by Carnegie's Scott S. Sheppard has found 20 new moons orbiting Saturn. This brings the ringed planet’s total number of moons to 82, surpassing Jupiter, which has 79. The discovery was announced Monday by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center. Studying the orbits of these moons can reveal their origins, as well as information about the conditions surrounding Saturn at the time of its formation.

Patrick McCarthy courtesy of GMTO

Carnegie astronomer and Vice President of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), Patrick McCarthy, has been appointed as the first Director of the National Science Foundation’s newly formed National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NSF’s OIR Lab). McCarthy has been a member of the GMT project since its inception 15 years ago, helping to bring it from a sketch on a napkin to a 100-plus person organization with 12 U.S. and international partners. In 2008, 20 years into his tenure at Carnegie, McCarthy officially expanded his role when he accepted his current leadership position at GMT.

Kamena Kostova, courtesy Navid Marvi, Carnegie Institution for Science

Carnegie biologist Kamena Kostova has been selected for the Director’s Early Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health, which is designed to provide “exceptional junior scientists” with the opportunity to “skip traditional post-doctoral training and move immediately into independent research positions.”

GDNF repairs aged muscle stem cells courtesy of Liangji Li.

An age-related decline in recovery from muscle injury can be traced to a protein that suppresses the special ability of muscle stem cells to build new muscles, according to work from a team of current and former Carnegie biologists led by Chen-Ming Fan and published in Nature Metabolism.

Simulation of a disk of gas and dust around a young star, courtesy of Alan Boss

There is an as-yet-unseen population of Jupiter-like planets orbiting nearby Sun-like stars, awaiting discovery by future missions like NASA’s WFIRST space telescope, according to new models of gas giant planet formation by Carnegie’s Alan Boss described in an upcoming publication in The Astrophysical Journal.  His models are supported by a new Science paper on the surprising discovery of a gas giant planet orbiting a low-mass star.

Illustration of a TDE by Robin Dienel, courtesy of Carnegie Science

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has for the first time seen the aftermath of a star that was violently ripped apart by a supermassive black hole. Catching such a rare event in action will help astronomers understand these mysterious phenomena.  The observation is reported by a team of astronomers led by Carnegie’s Thomas Holoien, who is a founding member of the international network of telescopes that made the discovery—the Ohio State University based All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN).

National Postdoc Appreciation Week logo

At Carnegie, we know it's crucially important to acknowledge the efforts of our postdocs throughout the year. We recognize that they bring creative energy, new opportunities for collaboration, and fresh research ideas to our campuses, and that their continued excellence burnishes Carnegie's reputation when they go out into the world. This is why we always celebrate National Postdoc Appreciation Week.

Carnegie’s Scott Sheppard and his long-time colleague Chad Trujillo of Northern Arizona University received The Europlanet Society’s 2019 Paolo Farinella Prize for “outstanding collaborative work for the observational characterization of the Kuiper belt and the Neptune-trojan population.” 

Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters cover

When considering the synthesis of new structures, some of the possible spatial configurations of atoms are energetically favorable—meaning they are easy to maintain—and others are more difficult. Picture these energy states as hills that must be surmounted and valleys that can be coasted through effortlessly. What if there were a kind of a GPS that would improve the ability of scientists to navigate through these different states and predict the best routes for obtaining a particular material?

Researchers in Tübingen courtesy of Moises Exposito-Alonso.

Plant genetic diversity in Central Europe could collapse due to temperature extremes and drought brought on by climate change, according to a new paper in Nature led by Moises Exposito-Alonso, who joins Carnegie next month. Because only a few individuals of a species are already adapted to extreme climate conditions, the overall species genetic diversity could be greatly diminished, according to the team's findings. 

Energy efficient house by Mikhail Grachikov, Shutterstock.

Taxing carbon emissions would drive innovation and lead to improved energy efficiency, according to a new paper from Carnegie and the University of Waterloo. It has long been theorized that raising carbon prices would provide an incentive to reduce emissions. To investigate this question, the research team looked at historical data to determine how cost increases have affected energy use efficiency in the past.