Latest News

Making sense of a ‘7.1’

The fault underneath the town of Ridgecrest, California, has no name because scientists did not discover it until the 7.1 magnitude earthquake it produced on July 5. Now, Abhijit Ghosh , an associate professor of geophysics at UC Riverside, is racing to understand everything he can about the unnamed fault to help officials prepare for...
| Earthquakes & Geophysics

NASA’s TESS mission finds ‘missing link’ planets

NASA’s newest planet-hunting satellite has discovered a type of planet missing from our own solar system. Launched in 2018 , the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, has found three new worlds around a neighboring star. Stephen Kane, a UC Riverside associate professor of planetary astrophysics, says the new star system, called TESS Object of...

Australia enables UCR to dig into Earth’s wild past

Australian officials signed an agreement last night allowing UC Riverside to continue its pioneering research on a government-owned goldmine for unusual fossils. Nilpena Station is city-sized plot of land in the Australian Outback. It harbors the richest collection on Earth of animal species around 550 million years old. Some of its fossil beds are the...

Campus to celebrate 50th anniversary of historic Moon landing

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 Moon mission. To celebrate, the University of California, Riverside, is hosting a free public event on Thursday, July 11, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about the Apollo 11 legacy, as well as current missions to our solar-system’s planets...

Star tours

Astronomers have a new tool in their search for extraterrestrial life – a sophisticated bot that helps identify stars hosting planets similar to Jupiter and Saturn. These giant planets’ faraway twins may protect life in other solar systems, but they aren’t bright enough to be viewed directly. Scientists find them based on properties they can...

Slime travelers

"New UC Riverside-led research settles a longstanding debate about whether the most ancient animal communities were deliberately mobile. It turns out they were, because they were hungry. “This is the first time in the fossil record we see an animal moving to get food,” said study lead Scott Evans, a UCR paleontology doctoral candidate. Evans’...

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...

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 reveal whether life is...

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. However, there...

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 opposite: celestial carbon...
| Astrobiology

Superbloom? If you say so

Southern California is having a great wildflower year but is it really a superbloom? "The term ‘superbloom’ is a media construct with no botanical or ecological origin,” said Cameron Barrows , an associate research ecologist at UC Riverside’s Center for Conservation Biology. Richard Minnich , a professor of earth sciences at UC Riverside, and author...

New NASA research consortium to tackle life's origins

Did life on Earth originate in Darwin's warm little pond, on a sunbaked shore, or where hot waters vent into the deep ocean? And could a similar emergence have played out on other bodies in our solar system or planets far beyond? These questions lie at the center of research in NASA's new Prebiotic Chemistry...
| Astrobiology

A warming world increases air pollution

Climate change is warming the ocean, but it’s warming land faster and that’s really bad news for air quality all over the world, says a new University of California, Riverside study. The study , published February 4 in Nature Climate Change, shows that the contrast in warming between the continents and sea, called the land-sea...

Oldest evidence for animals found by UCR researchers

"Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have found the oldest clue yet of animal life, dating back at least 100 million years before the famous Cambrian explosion of animal fossils. The study , led by Gordon Love , a professor in UCR’s Department of Earth Sciences, was published today in Nature Ecology & Evolution....

Special journal issue looks for new clues about old life

"Hundreds of millions of years before there was a chicken or an egg to debate, the first complex animals were evolving in parallel with Earth’s rising oxygen levels. But what came first — animals or oxygen? That question is the central theme of a special issue of Emerging Topics in Life Sciences published Sept. 28...

Global Warming, El Niño Could Cause Wetter Winters, Drier Conditions in Other Months

"RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( www.ucr.edu ) — So here’s the good news: Despite fears to the contrary, California isn’t facing a year-round drought in our warming new world. However, UC Riverside Earth Sciences Professor Robert Allen ’s research indicates that what precipitation the state does get will be pretty much limited to the winter months —...

Measuring Greenhouse Gases on the Go

"RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Two UC Riverside professors are taking to the road to pinpoint sources of air pollution across California. They’ll be traveling in the university’s new Mobile Isotope Laboratory, a Mercedes Benz transport van fitted with a suite of instruments that can measure the flux of greenhouse gases in the environment in real...

Omega Centauri Unlikely to Harbor Life

"Forthcoming in The Astrophysical Journal, the study was led by Stephen Kane , an associate professor of planetary astrophysics in UCR’s Department of Earth Sciences and a pioneer in the search for habitable planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets. Sarah Deveny, a graduate student at San Francisco State who is working with Kane,...

Scientists Honored by American Geophysical Union

Marilyn Fogel , the Wilbur W. Mayhew Endowed Chair in Geo-Ecology, and Timothy Lyons , Distinguished Professor of Biogeochemistry, will be honored at a ceremony and banquet during the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., in December. Both professors are faculty in the Department of Earth Sciences in UCR’s College of Natural and Agricultural...

UCR Team Among Scientists Developing Guidebook for Finding Life Beyond Earth

"If you’re looking for a manual on the hunt for alien life, you’re in luck. Some of the leading experts in the field, including a UC Riverside team of researchers, have written a major series of review papers on the past, present, and future of the search for life on other planets. Published in Astrobiology,...
Search