Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences News

WVLT: UT Students Roam Planet Mars with New Glasses

WVLT-TV Local 8 Now reported that UT students can now roam the planet Mars with new glasses. Using new Hololens designed by Microsoft, students can actually virtually walk on the planet, while studying the sandy, rocky terrain. Linda Kah, a UT carbonate sedimentology and geochemistry professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said

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National, International Media Feature Drumheller-Horton Prehistoric Croc Identification

Stephanie Drumheller-Horton, an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, was part of a team that identified a new species of delta crocodile. These giant prehistoric crocodiles roamed the coasts and waterways of what’s now north-central Texas about 95 million years ago. Scientists say the Deltasuchus motherali, named after a dig

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UT Professor Comments in Science News on History of Edrioasteroid Tube Feet

Science News reports that like sea stars, ancient echinoderms used to eat, breathe and scuttle around the seafloor with tiny tube feet. Scientists suspected that the ancient marine invertebrates, called edrioasteroids, had tube feet. A set of unusually well-preserved fossils from around 430 million year ago–described September 13 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B–provides

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Decades of Growth and Discovery Mark NASA Research at UT

Through that Apollo 17 mission 45 years ago, geoscientist Lawrence “Larry” Taylor—who would go on to establish UT’s Earth and Planetary Sciences program—formed a longtime friendship and collaboration with astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt that would come to shape the collaboration between the university and NASA.

In Memoriam: Lawrence “Larry” Taylor

Lawrence “Larry” Taylor, a faculty member who was founder and director of UT’s Planetary Geosciences Institute, passed away September 18. He was 79. A prolific researcher, Taylor had a career at UT that spanned 46 years. He was one of the geoscientists based at the Johnson Space Center during Apollo 17, NASA’s last manned mission to the moon, in December 1972.

UT’s Engel Co-Investigator on Grant Funded Through Oil Spill Penalties

A UT earth and planetary sciences professor is co-principal investigator on a project that will study how practices to restore coastal marshes and lands are impacting marsh food webs. The project recently received a $2 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s RESTORE Science Program. NOAA disbursed a total of $16.7 million to fund various research projects from penalties paid by parties responsible for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Burr Co-Authors Paper Examining Electric Sands of the Moon Titan

Turns out that the grains covering the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, act like clingy packing peanuts—they become electrically charged and cause particles to stick to them. The study describing this finding, co-authored by UT researcher Devon Burr, was published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.