The NASA THEMIS and ARTEMIS missions drew an impressive crowd at the 4th annual Exploring Your Universe outreach event, held at UCLA in Los Angeles, on Nov. 17, 2013. Representing two of UCLA's active space missions, the exhibit exposed the public to "space weather," the study of the sun's activity and influence on Earth's protective magnetic shield, the magnetosphere. Visitors were intrigued by informative posters and stunning videos on the electrical connection between our sun and the planets, and had the opportunity to ask questions from real space scientists and student researchers-in-training. Visitors also witnessed the debut of a specially built display called the Planeterrella, an up-close demonstration of the solar wind and famed Northern Lights.

The story has been reported by multiple outlets.

Los Angeles Times:,0,4090489.story#axzz2k0QzCPVr


National Geographic:


CBS News:


Scientific American:


Popular Science:




Reuters/Yahoo News:;_ylt=AwrSyCPAB3xS0W8AajLQtDMD


Fox News:




Discovery News:


AFP/Yahoo News:;_ylt=AwrSyCPAB3xS0W8AgDLQtDMD




Voice of America:




Sky News:




Canadian Broadcasting Corp./Yahoo News Canada:




Business Insider/Yahoo Finance:;_ylt=AwrSyCUMJnxSK2IAlJjQtDMD


Business Insider Australia:


UC Newsroom:




EurekAlert (American Association for the Advancement of Science):


Times of Malta:


Borneo Post:


Innovations Report (Germany):


Headlines and Global News:




České noviny:

ESS Professor Axel Schmitt has been named a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America. Designation as MSA Fellow recognizes "significant scientific contributions in the fields of crystallography, mineralogy, geochemistry, petrology, or allied sciences" and is limited to 0.5% of membership in any year

Graduate student Chris Snead was honored on October 15, 2013 in a ceremony held by UCLA’s Academic Senate Committee on Teaching.  Only five teaching assistants are selected each year for this prestigious teaching award, and Chris is the first from the Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences department.

Watch the video below to hear how Chris challenged his undergraduate students with activities such as building their own telescopes, visiting Griffith Observatory, and charting the phases of the Moon.

A 9,000-year-old painting of an exploding volcano, the oldest ever found, can now be linked to a real-life eruption in Turkey. The towering Hasan Dag volcano erupted 8,970 years ago, plus or minus 640 years, according to Axel Schmitt's analysis of the zircons at the location.

Faculty Position in Geobiology

Posted on Oct. 8, 2013

The Department of Earth and Space Sciences seeks applications for a tenure-track or tenured faculty appointment in geobiology or paleobiology. Applications for all levels will be considered, but preference will be given for appointment at the assistant professor level. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the study of the interrelated evolution of Earth and life; the links between phylogeny and the fossil record; life in extreme environments; controls on biotic activity, diversity, and evolution; biogenic mineralization; astrobiology; and biogeochemical cycling through time.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent in geobiology, paleobiology, or a related field. Submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, list of publications, statement of research and teaching interests, and names and contact information of three referees on UCLA Academic Recruit. Questions regarding this position can be directed to Review of applications will commence November 15, 2013.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, and has a commitment to enhance diversity in the geosciences at UCLA. Women and underrepresented minorities are especially encouraged to apply. For more information about UCLA's policies on hiring and academic diversity see here.

New research published today increases our understanding of Earth's space environment and how space weather develops. 

Some of the energy emitted by the sun during solar storms is temporarily stored in Earth's stretched and compressed magnetic field. Eventually, that solar energy is explosively released, powering Earth's radiation belts and lighting up the polar skies with brilliant auroras. And while it is possible to observe solar storms from afar with cameras, the invisible process that unleashes the stored magnetic energy near Earth had defied observation for decades.
In the Sept. 27 issue of the journal Science, researchers from the UCLA College of Letters and Science, the Austrian Space Research Institute (IWF Graz) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) report that they finally have measured the release of this magnetic energy close up using an unprecedented alignment of six Earth-orbiting spacecraft and NASA's first dual lunar orbiter mission, ARTEMIS.