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Wired

Research scientist Clara Sousa-Silva speaks with Wired reporter Abigail Beall about phosphine, a molecule that she has spent the past decade investigating. “Phosphine is a horrific molecule, it’s foul in every way,” she says. “It’s almost immoral, if a molecule can be.”

New York Times

Prof. Kerry Emanuel speaks with New York Times reporter Veronica Perrey about the impact of climate change on hurricanes. “Potential intensity is going up,” says Emanuel. “We predicted it would go up 30 years ago, and the observations show it going up.”

The Conversation

Writing for The Conversation, graduate student Craig Robert Martin delves into his research exploring how the Himalayas were created. “By decoding the magnetic records preserved inside them, we hoped to reconstruct the geography of ancient landmasses – and revise the story of the creation of the Himalayas,” writes Martin.

CBS Boston

CBS Boston reporter Juli McDonald spotlights how NASA's ORISIS-Rex spacecraft carried a key imagine instrument, designed and built by students from MIT and Harvard, on its mission to sample the surface of the asteroid Bennu. Prof. Richard Binzel, co-investigator for the mission, explains that, the device was developed to “measure the asteroid in X-ray light, which is part of the process of figuring out what the asteroid is made out of.”

The Boston Globe

When NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft touched down on the asteroid Bennu, onboard was the REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS), a device built by students from MIT and Harvard, write Breanne Kovatch and Andrew Stanton for The Boston Globe. “We as scientists feel the drive of curiosity and the thrill of exploration and it’s humbling and satisfying to think that we can share that sense of exploration with the world,” explains Prof. Richard Binzel, a co-investigator for the mission.

New York Times

Institute Professor Emeritus Mario Molina, who former Vice President Al Gore called a “trailblazing pioneer of the climate movement,” has died at age 77, reports John Schwartz for The New York Times. Molina shared a “Nobel Prize for work showing the damage that chemicals used in hair spray and refrigerators wreak on the ozone layer, which led to one of the most successful international efforts to combat environmental risk.”

The Guardian

Guardian reporter Fiona Harvey memorializes the life and work of Institute Professor Emeritus Mario Molina, known for his research uncovering the impact of CFCs on the ozone layer. Harvey notes that Molina’s work, “will also help to avert ruin from that other dire emergency, the climate crisis.”

The Washington Post

Institute Professor Emeritus Mario Molina, known for his work demonstrating the risk of CFCs to the ozone layer, has died at age 77, reports Emily Langer for The Washington Post. Langer notes that Molina was also “a prominent voice in debates about how best to combat climate change.” 

Fox News

Fox News reporter Chris Ciaccia writes that a team of astronomers, including MIT researchers, has found an exoplanet that has a 3.14-day orbit. “The ‘pi planet’ known as K2-315b is relatively close to Earth at 186 light-years away,” writes Ciaccia.

The Washington Post

Prof. Sara Seager speaks with Washington Post reporter Joel Achenbach about the Breakthrough Initiative she is leading aimed at exploring the feasibility of sending an exploration mission to Venus. “We just want to do something small and fast and focused,” says Seager. “Can we send a microscope and look for life directly?” 

Forbes

MIT researchers have discovered an Earth-sized planet, named K2-315b, which is being referred to as the “pi planet” for its 3.14 day orbit, reports Allison Gasparini for Forbes. “Having planets like K2-315b will help us to further understand the diverse planet bodies out there,” says graduate student Prajwal Niraula.

The Guardian

 “At our best, scientists are explorers and what I’ve discovered is that life can change in the blink of an eye,” writes Prof. Sara Seager in an excerpt from her new book, “The Smallest Lights in the Universe” published by The Guardian. “We need to hold on to the glimmers of hope – however small – and to continue to search for what really matters.”

Space.com

A team of researchers, led by Prof. Sara Seager, is planning to investigate why phosphine has been found on Venus and the discovery’s potential implications, reports Mike Wall for Space.com. “We are thrilled to push the envelope to try to understand what kind of life could exist in the very harsh Venus atmosphere and what further evidence for life a mission to Venus could search for,” says Seager.

The Washington Post

Research scientist Clara Sousa-Silva speaks with Washington Post reporters Joel Achenbach and Marisa Iati about her work trying to determine whether phosphine in the clouds of Venus could be a potential indicator of life. “We did our very best to show what else would be causing phosphine in the abundance we found on Venus,” says Sousa-Silva. “And we found nothing. We found nothing close.”

CNN

Writing for CNN, Prof. Sara Seager explores the significance of the paper she co-authored detailing the discovery of phosphine on Venus. “Our finding of phosphine gas now raises Venus as just one more place to take seriously in the search for life beyond Earth,” writes Seager, “maybe not so crazy after all.”