Los Alamos National LaboratoryBradbury Science Museum
Your Window into Los Alamos National Laboratory
Bradbury Science Museum


Using science and technology to understand our planet

May 31, 2017
pop chlorophyll slide

Pop chlorophyll

Earth research at Los Alamos

Los Alamos National Laboratory occupies thirty-six square miles of mesas and canyons, from the Rio Grande to the Pajarito Plateau in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. The laboratory is committed to the stewardship of this land and its wealth of wildlife as well as archaeological resources. Los Alamos is also engaged in national and global security work ranging from local impacts of climate change, to geological nuclear test treaty verification, to the study of solar weather and its impacts on Earth and civilization.

Earth questions to ponder

Where did the Earth come from?

Earth formed from a ring of dust and debris orbiting around our sun. This stuff, and all the other stuff in our solar system, were left over from the explosion of a star or several stars that existed before our sun. Except for the hydrogen in us, we are literally “stardust.”

Learn more about how the earth formed (pdf).

How big was the mountain that formed the Valles Caldera?

A supervolcano does not necessarily come from a super mountain. A caldera is not an explosion crater, that is, it is not created by an explosion. A caldera forms when the magma body beneath a landscape recedes, allowing the land to drop.

Learn more about how a caldera forms (pdf).

What is a good way or place to start a rock collection?

The best place to start may be your local library, where you will find books about rocks, minerals, and rock collecting. You can also look up your local geology club for information about talks and field trips.

Learn more about rock collecting (pdf).

Earth activity

Play a rock game, start a rock collection! Download the rock collecting PDF.

Cool Earth links