UCR’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences focuses on research and education about Earth dynamics and history, planets inside and outside or our solar system, and life in the universe. Students and faculty investigate geological processes operating at a wide range of spatial and temporal scales and our research interests span many disciplines within the Earth and Planetary Sciences.

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Latest News Articles

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New study dramatically narrows the search for advanced life in the universe
"RVERSIDE, CA – Scientists may need to rethink their estimates for how many planets outside our solar system could host a rich diversity of life.  In a new study, a UC Riverside–led team discovered that a buildup of toxic gases in the atmospheres of most planets makes them unfit for complex life as we know it."   Read More
Read More »aboutToxic gases limit the types of life we could find on habitable worlds
planets
Meteor magnets in outer space
"Astronomers believe planets like Jupiter shield us from space objects that would otherwise slam into Earth. Now they’re closer to learning whether giant planets act as guardians of solar systems elsewhere in the galaxy.  A UCR-led team has discovered two Jupiter-sized planets about 150 light years away from Earth that could…
Read More »aboutUCR-led study finds elusive giant planets
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Pioneering UC Riverside geoecologist elected to the National Academy of Sciences
"Marilyn Fogel, a University of California, Riverside endowed geoecology professor, received one of the highest honors in science this week with her election to the National Academy of Sciences, or NAS. Membership in the NAS is rare. According to the Congressional Research Service, there are 6.9 million scientists in the U.S.…
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proxima centauri nasa
Carbon monoxide detectors could warn of extraterrestrial life
Carbon monoxide detectors in our homes warn of a dangerous buildup of that colorless, odorless gas we normally associate with death. Astronomers, too, have generally assumed that a build-up of carbon monoxide in a planet’s atmosphere would be a sure sign of lifelessness. Now, a UC Riverside-led research team is arguing the…
Read More »aboutFor some distant worlds, carbon monoxide may actually be compatible with a robust microbial biosphere

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