Ancient lunar ice indicates the moon’s axis slowly shifted by 125 miles, or 6 degrees, over 1 billion years. Earth’s moon is now a member of solar system’s exclusive “true polar wander” club, which includes just a handful of other planetary bodies. Planetary scientist Matt Siegler at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, and colleagues made the discovery while examining NASA data known to indicate lunar polar hydrogen.
SMU scientists and their research have a global reach that is frequently noted, beyond peer publications and media mentions. It was a good year for SMU faculty and student research efforts. Here's a small sampling of public and published acknowledgements during 2015, ranging from research modeling that made the cover of a scientific journal to research findings presented as evidence at government hearings.
Science Insider, the online news site for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, quoted SMU seismologist Brian Stump, saying seismic data confirms that an earthquake in North Korea was triggered by an explosion there Jan. 5. Richard Stone, who covers international news for Science quoted Stump in the Jan. 6 article, "Does North Korea really have an H-bomb?"
Science journalist Anna Kuchment with The Dallas Morning News covered the comments of SMU seismologists Heather DeShon and Beatrice Magnani speaking during the annual American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, Calif. DeShon and Magnani presented their latest research on North Texas ground shaking.
Physicists at Southern Methodist University have a new precise measurement of a key subatomic particle, opening the door to better understanding of our universe. The researchers calculated the new measurement for a critical characteristic — mass — of the Top Quark. The new value adds growing uncertainty to physics’ Standard Model.
Initial data from a new U.S.–based physics experiment indicates scientists are a step closer to understanding neutrinos, the second most abundant particle in the universe, says SMU physics professor Thomas Coan, a principal investigator on the project. Neutrinos are little understood, but indications are they hold clues to why matter overwhelmingly survived after the Big Bang instead of just energy in the form of light.
Southern Methodist University’s renowned SMU Geothermal Laboratory will host its seventh international energy conference and workshop on the SMU campus May 19-20. The conference is designed to promote transition of oil and gas fields to electricity-producing geothermal systems by harnessing waste heat and fluids from both active and abandoned fields.
SMU seismology team to cooperate with state, federal scientists in study of May 7 Venus, Texas earthquake
SMU’s seismology team was not surprised by the magnitude 4.0 earthquake that occurred near Venus, Texas, recently, having been aware of multiple smaller earthquakes identified nearby in recent months. The team has recommended to state lawmakers a permanent regional network of monitors, supplemented by portable instruments, to deploy in a time-sensitive manner.