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CBS News

Prof. Richard Binzel speaks with CBS News reporter David Pogue about asteroids and the Torino scale, a 10-point danger scale for asteroids that he created. "All the objects [asteroids] we know of today reside at zero or one, which simply means they're so small that they don't matter, or that we know for sure there's no impact possibility," says Binzel.

The Atlantic

Prof. Kerry Emanuel discusses the impact climate change has on hurricanes, reports Robinson Meyer for The Atlantic. “First of all, you can have more intense hurricanes in a warmer climate. That finding goes back well over 30 years now,” says Emanuel. “For that reason we expect to see more of the highest-category storms—the Cat 3s, Cat 4s, Cat 5s, more of the Ian-style storms.”

Newsweek

Prof. Kerry Emanuel speaks with Newsweek reporter Pandora Dewan about Hurricane Ian and its correlation to climate change, reports Pandora Dewan for Newsweek. “What worries people in my profession is the confluence of two trends," says Emanuel. "One is demographic, one is nature. The number of people exposed to hurricanes has tripled since 1970 [as] people are moving in droves to hurricane-prone regions. Then the climate is changing, and that is demonstrably increasing the incidence of high-end storms like Ian."

Science

Prof. Tanja Bosak speaks with Science reporter Eric Hand about how scientists plan to study rock samples from Mars for clues as to whether the planet once had a magnetic field and for signs of ancient life, such as the tough lipid molecules that can form cell walls. “You hope for an outline of a cell,” she says. “You will never find peptides and proteins, but lipids can persist.”

The Atlantic

Prof. Jack Wisdom and his colleagues have found that Saturn’s rings are comprised of debris from its former moon, reports Marina Koren for The Atlantic. “The researchers say the moon’s demise was mostly Titan’s fault. The big moon jostled the smaller one, putting the object on a very elongated track around Saturn,” writes Koren.

Forbes

 Scientists at MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have found that while albatross couples typically mate for life, shy wandering albatross males are more likely to be divorced, reports Forbes. “This link between personality and divorce could help scientists predict the resilience of an albatross population over time."

Forbes

Prof. Jack Wisdom and his colleagues have found that “Saturn’s rings are a result of a moon that was torn apart by the planet’s tidal forces about 160 million years ago,” reports Jamie Carter for Forbes. “Wisdom and his co-researchers have dubbed the moon Chrysalis after the process of Chrysalis transforming into a butterfly,” writes Carter.

Reuters

Reuters reporter Will Dunham writes that scientists from MIT and other institutions have found that the destruction of a large moon, called Chrysalis, that “strayed too close to Saturn would account both for the birth of the gas giant planet's magnificent rings and its unusual orbital tilt of about 27 degrees.” Prof. Jack Wisdom explained that "as a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, the rings of Saturn emerged from the primordial satellite Chrysalis.”

CNN

A new study co-authored by MIT scientists proposes that Saturn’s rings could have been created when a lost moon of Saturn’s became unstable and crashed into the planet, reports Katie Hunt for CNN. “While the gas giant likely swallowed 99% of the moon, the remainder became suspended in orbit, breaking into small icy chunks that ultimately formed the planet’s rings,” writes Hunt.

New Scientist

Prof. Jack Wisdom and his colleagues have found that Saturn may have acquired its tilt and rings from a lost moon that was destroyed, reports Leah Crane for New Scientist. “Simulations using data from the Cassini spacecraft shows that an additional moon between Titan and Iapetus, destroyed between 100 million and 200 million years ago, could explain both of these long-standing mysteries,” explains Crane.

Popular Science

Prof. Jack Wisdom is the lead author of a new study that proposes “Saturn and Neptune’s gravity may have once been in sync, but Saturn has since escaped Neptune’s pull due to a missing moon,” reports Laura Baisas for Popular Science.

The Hill

The Venus Life Finder (VLF) developed by scientists at MIT will be launched on a Rocket lab Electronic in May of 2023 to search for life in the upper atmosphere of Venus, reports Mark R. Whittington for The Hill. “When it plunges into Venus’ atmosphere it will use an instrument called the ‘autofluorescing nephelometer’ that will use a laser to illuminate organic molecules that may or may not exist 50 kilometers above the planet’s surface,” writes Whittington.

New Scientist

Prof. Wanying Kang and her colleagues have found that “the way ice covers the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus suggests that the oceans trapped beneath it may be only a little less salty than Earth’s oceans,” reports By Karmela Padavic-Callaghan for New Scientist. “The researchers found that saltier subsurface oceans correspond to thicker ice on a planet’s poles than over its equator and vice versa for less salty water,” writes Padavic-Callaghan.

The Boston Globe

Reporting for The Boston Globe, Hanna Kreuger highlights a graph documenting the atmospheric conditions of the exoplanet WASP-96b, which NASA included in its first release of images from the James Webb Space Telescope. Describing it as “perhaps the image that showcases Webb’s greatest triumph,” Krueger notes that the graph was created using an equation developed by Prof. Sara Seager. Seager and her team will use the telescope to peer into TRAPPIST-1e, an exoplanet widely considered to be potentially Earth-like and habitable, adds Krueger.

CBS Boston

As the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope were released on Tuesday, showcasing the deepest view of the universe ever, CBS Boston spoke with Prof. Julien de Wit about the importance of the moment. “It’s groundbreaking. It’s like going from listening to the radio to suddenly being able to watch television,” says de Wit. “Further down the road, we may be able to see if planets are habitable, if some of these planets have signs of life one way or the other. There are so many things we’re going to discover thanks to it.”