Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Professor, Dr. Jean-Luc Margot has generated interest all over the world regarding a recent publication he made that helps with the current definition of a planet. His proposed selection criteria simplifies and extends the International Astronomical Union (IAU)’s definition for planets and brilliantly categorizes exoplanets as well. Margot’s publication in the Astronomical Journal titled 'A Quantitative Criterion For Defining Planets’ can be found here:

There have been news articles written by various sources on Margot's publication which can be seen below. Congratulations to him for generating such interest all over the world in the scientific and public community alike! Pictured is Dr. Jean-Luc Margot as he delivers his talk titled ‘What Makes a Planet?’ at the 47th Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland on 13 November 2015.

Jean-Luc Margot at the 2015 DPS Meeting


The Los Angeles Times:


Astronomy Now (UK):

Astronomy Magazine:

Astrobiology Magazine:

R&D Magazine:

Fox News:

Discovery News:



University Of California:

EurekAlert (American Association for the Advancement of Science):


Universe Today:

New Scientist:

Today (Nov. 10) at an American Astronomical Society meeting, UCLA professor Jean-Luc Margot described a simple test that can be used to clearly separate planets from other bodies like dwarf planets and minor planets. - Full story from the UCLA Newsroom

EPSS Professor An Yin is part of an interview on YouTube about the joint meeting of the Geological Society of America and the Geological Society of China happening in Baltimore this week.

Here is a fun video featuring EPSS's very own Gary Glesener showing off our Augmented Reality Sandbox.

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Research published by Seulgi Moon in Science. "The study, by Seulgi Moon, a UCLA assistant professor of geology, and colleagues at MIT and the University of Wyoming, is published Oct. 30 in the journal Science. Their findings also could help predict the characteristics of reservoirs that hold groundwater, and identify hills and mountains that are unstable and could be prone to landslides."

Associate Professor Caroline Beghein is quoted today in the Huffington Post regarding a recent earthquake swarm in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science by EPSS postdoc Beth Ann Bell, graduate student Patrick Boehnke, and Professor T. Mark Harrison, along with Stanford geophysicist Wendy Mao, provides evidence suggesting the existence of life on Earth before 4.1Ga. Their article " Potentially biogenic carbon preserved in a 4.1 billion-year-old zircon" is garnering much attention from national and international news agencies*. A UCLA press release can be found here and the link to the PNAS article is here. Congratulations, Beth Ann, Patrick, and Mark.