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Bad News for Terraforming: The hopes of turning Mars into a more Earth-like planet have just taken a hit.
New Species Of Duckbilled Dinosaur: Probrachylophosaurus bergei, a previously undiscovered dinosaur species, showcases an evolutionary transition from an earlier duckbilled species to that group's descendants. The findings highlight how the new species of duckbilled dinosaur neatly fills a gap that had existed between an ancestral form with no crest and a descendant with a larger crest.
How The Shell Of Ancient Earth Cracked: \Today, Earth’s surface is a mosaic of shifting tectonic plates that give us moving continents and mountain ranges and may even have made life possible. However, it hasn’t always been this way.n";
Volcanic Rock Hints at Source of Earth's Water: New research provides evidence that water has been around since the Earth formed, trapped on grains of dust that aggregated to make our planet. Measurements of volcanic rock suggest that at least some of Earth's water might have such primordial origins.
Earth’s Water Originated Close To Home: Molecules entombed inside pristine magmas suggest that Earth’s water came from soggy dust, not icy comets.
Pluto Continues To Deliver Surprises: The New Horizons spacecraft, which buzzed the dwarf planet on July 14, has so far sent back only about 20 percent of the data it acquired from the Pluto system. And every new nugget continues a story that’s pretty familiar by now: Pluto is a weird place.
The Future Is Bright for Exoplanet Science: Astronomers have now confirmed the existence of nearly 2,000 planets beyond our own solar system. With new telescopes on the way, exoplanet discoveries and science are just getting started.
Methane From Fracking Sites Can Flow To Abandoned Wells: Abandoned oil and gas wells near fracking sites can be conduits for methane escape not currently being measured, a significant finding given the current debate over new EPA rules regulating fracking-related release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
What Smacks Into Ceres Stays On Ceres: New findings suggest that the surface of Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt and the nearest dwarf planet to Earth, could consist largely of a mish-mash of meteoritic material collected over billions of years of bombardment.
Mound Near Lunar South Pole Formed By Unique Volcanic Process: Within a giant impact basin near the moon's south pole, there sits a large mound rich in high-calcium pyroxene of mysterious origin. Research by geologists suggests that the mound was formed by unique volcanic processes set in motion by the impact that formed the basin.
Mystery Solved: How Basalt Columns Get Their Strange Hexagonal Shape: In many places worldwide, such as Devils Tower in Wyoming and the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, ancient lavas cooled into hexagonal blocks or columns. The big geological mystery: Why that particular shape?
Did Life on Earth Really Start 4.1 Billion Years Ago? Not So Fast: Don’t rewrite the Earth’s history just yet...
4.1-Billion-Year-Old Zircon Crystal May Hold Earliest Signs Of Life: So far, geologists have uncovered possible traces of life as far back as 3.8 billion years. Now, a controversial new study presents potential evidence that life arose 300 million years before that, during the mysterious Hadean period following Earth’s formation.
Life May Have Started 300 Million Years Earlier Than Thought : Potentially ancient carbon sparks debate about when the first microorganisms appeared on Earth.
Five Surprising Discoveries About Pluto: Pluto is still mysterious and exciting.
Searching For Life In Martian Water Will Be Very, Very Tricky: The easiest way to find life on Mars, it turns out, may be to import bacteria from Cape Canaveral - contamination that could sabotage the search for native Martians. The need to protect any possible Martian biosphere from Earthly contamination could prevent humans from landing in or entering areas where Martian life might thrive.
NASA Confirms Evidence That Liquid Water Flows On Today’s Mars: New findings from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars. Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet.
Volcanic Lightning Turns Ash Into Glass: Within the ash plumes of explosive volcanic eruptions, collisions among countless pyroclastic particles sometimes lead to the buildup of static charges that discharge dramatically as volcanic lightning. In a new study, researchers have found that this lightning can, in turn, melt and fuse ash particles into distinctive glassy grains called spherules.
American Volcanoes: Complacency, Uncertainty Contribute To Risks: Today, volcanoes rarely make the news in the United States, even though the western half of the country is dotted with volcanic systems that could unleash eruptions many times more powerful than the Mount St. Helens disaster.
Meet Pentecopterus, A Giant Sea Scorpion: You don't name a sea creature after an ancient Greek warship unless it's built like a predator. That's certainly true of Pentecopterus, a giant sea scorpion with the features of a penteconter, one of the first Greek galley ships. Researchers say Pentecopterus lived 467 million years ago and could grow to nearly six feet. It is the oldest described eurypterid - a group of aquatic arthropods that are ancestors of modern spiders and ticks.
Earth's First Mass Extinction Was Caused By Critters Not Catastrophe: The Earth's first mass extinction event 540 million years ago was caused not by a meteorite impact or volcanic super-eruption but by the rise of early animals that dramatically changed the prehistoric environment.
The Wait For More Pluto Data Is Almost Over: Get ready, we're about to be inundated with postcards from Pluto. On September 5, the New Horizons spacecraft, now more than 62 million kilometers beyond Pluto, will begin a roughly year-long download of all the data it acquired during its brief visit with the dwarf planet in July.
Images of Pluto: 'Houston, We Have Geology': Pluto is being revealed as an intriguing new world with distinct surface features in images captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft as it flies by.
Discovery Of Ancient Stone Tools Challenges Story Of Mankind: Found in desert badlands near Lake Turkana in Kenya, the 3.3 million year old tools include sharp-edged flakes that could have been used for cutting meat from animal carcasses and rudimentary hammers perhaps used to pound open nuts or tubers. They are 700,000 years older than any other such stone tools ever found.
Deciphering Clues To Prehistoric Climate Changes Locked In Cave Deposits: It turns out that the steady dripping of water deep underground can reveal a surprising amount of information about the constantly changing cycles of heat and cold, precipitation and drought in the turbulent atmosphere above.
First Dinosaur Fossil Discovered In Washington State: The first dinosaur fossil discovered in Washington state is a 16.7 inch long portion of a femur leg bone from a theropod. Researchers discovered the fossil while collecting ammonite fossils along the shores of Sucia Island State Park in the San Juan Islands from a marine rock unit known as the Cedar District Formation.
Killer Cockroach Trapped In Amber: Beautifully preserved in amber collected in Myanmar, the 'Crane Giraffe' cockroach lived 100 million years ago during the age of the dinosaurs. A predator, Manipulator modificaputis was like no other cockroach, past or present.
Is There Life Out There?: Researchers who have modeled planetary systems far beyond our own solar system have found that massive moons larger than Mars might be the best bet in the search for life beyond Earth.
Storms And Microbes Are Behind The Mystery Of The Wandering Stones: The 'sailing' stones of Death Valley in California are famous for apparently moving by themselves. Researchers theorize that wind from winter storms generates currents that can push the stones over a slickened surface colonized by microbes.
Sudden Onset Of Ice Loss In Antarctica: Multiple glaciers along a vast coastal expanse, measuring some 750km in length, have suddenly started to shed ice into the ocean at a rate of 60 cubic km, or about 55 trillion litres of water, each year.
Mercury Was Magnetic Four Billion Years Ago: Scientists have found evidence of a four billion year old ancient magnetic field on Mercury, according to new data from NASA's Messenger mission. The scientists made their discovery by examining data from a series of low altitude orbital passes undertaken by Messenger at heights often less than 50 kilometres above Mercury's crater-strewn surface.
Great Dying Caused By Ocean Acidification: The Great Dying - the largest mass extinction of all time - was likely triggered by a massive volcanic event that resulted in the acidification of the world's oceans, according to new research.
Early Earth Collision Could Clear Up Two Geological Mysteries: Two outstanding, seemingly unconnected geology problems - the unexpected ratio of two neodymium isotopes in terrestrial rocks and the energy source for the dynamo that creates Earth's magnetic field - could be solved by a single new theory.
Curiosity Sniffs Out History of Martian Atmosphere: Curiosity is using a new experiment to better understand the history of the Martian atmosphere by analyzing isotopes of xenon.
Curiosity Finds Biologically Useful Nitrogen on Mars: A team using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite aboard Curiosity rover has made the first detection of nitrogen on the surface of Mars from release during heating of Martian sediments.
Rover Arm Delivers Rock Powder Sample: Curiosity used its robotic arm to sieve and deliver a rock-powder sample to an onboard instrument. The sample was collected before mission managers temporarily suspended rover arm movement pending analysis of a short circuit.
Historic Colour Images Of Pluto And Charon: They may still look like fuzzy balls, but these are the first colour images of Pluto and its largest moon Charon captured by the New Horizons spacecraft on its historic mission to visit the dwarf planet.
A Journey To Pluto And Beyond With New Horizons: On July 14, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, which was launched in 2006, will fly within 10,000 kilometers of the surface of Pluto. Once the primary mission is complete, project scientists hope to have the spacecraft visit a few other large icy objects - thought to be similar to Pluto - that lie in the Kuiper Belt.
China Rising - a Burgeoning Industrial Superpower Built on Coal: The People’s Republic now produces more than three billion tons of coal a year, and the fossil fuel has played a key role in accelerating the nation’s growth, along with its carbon dioxide emissions. China surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide in 2007.
Meteorites Key To The Story Of Earth's Layers: A new analysis of the chemical make-up of meteorites has helped scientists work out when the Earth formed its layers.The research by an international team of scientists confirmed the Earth's first crust had formed around 4.5 billion years ago.
Dating The Moon-Forming Impact Event With Meteorites: Through a combination of data analysis and numerical modeling work, researchers have found a record of the ancient moon-forming giant impact observable in stony meteorites
Sixth Extinction, Rivaling That Of The Dinosaurs, Should Join The Big Five: Earth has seen its share of catastrophes, the worst being the "big five" mass extinctions scientists traditionally talk about. Now, paleontologists are arguing that a sixth extinction, 260 million years ago, at the end of a geological age called the Capitanian, deserves to be a member of the exclusive club.
New Species of Terror Bird Discovered: Paleontologists have unearthed one of the most complete fossils of a phorusrhacid to date. The 3.5 million year old fossilized skeleton of the new species, dubbed Llallawavis scagliai, is approximately 95% complete, giving scientists the ability to study a terror bird’s anatomy in unprecedented detail.
Moon's Magnetic Heart Still A Mystery: Today, the Moon has no global magnetic field. But billions of years ago the Moon had a magnetic field much stronger than the Earth does now.
Prehistoric Platypus-like Reptile Uncovered: A bizarre 248-million-year-old fossil of a prehistoric platypus-like species of marine reptile with a short neck and duck-like beak has been discovered by paleontologists in China. Although it's a very different animal, Eohupehsuchus brevicollis had a skull and beak like a duck without teeth, a very heavily built body with thick bones, and paddles to swim through the water.
Researchers Confirm That Fracking Caused Ohio's Earthquake Swarm: Poland Township, in northeastern Ohio, never used to experience any seismic activity. But that was before the fracking started.
The Geology Of Middle-Earth: Since the release of "The Fellowship of the Ring" in 2001, millions of tourists have flocked to the Southern Hemisphere to see "The Lord of the Rings" movie backdrops for themselves. Just as enthralling as Tolkien’s mythical prehistory is another, considerably longer epic tale of the geology of New Zealand's landscape, which formed over hundreds of millions of years.
New, Tighter Timeline Confirms Ancient Volcanism Aligned With Dinosaurs' Extinction: A definitive geological timeline shows that a series of massive eruptions 66 million years ago in a primeval volcanic range in western India known as the Deccan Traps played a role in the extinction event that claimed Earth's non-avian dinosaurs, and challenges the dominant theory that a meteorite impact was the sole cause of the extinction.
Where In the World Are The Fossil Fuels That Cannot Be Burned To Restrain Global Warming?: Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. cannot burn much of the coal, oil and gas located within their national territories if the world wants to restrain global warming.
Which Fossil Fuel Reserves Must Stay In The Ground To Avoid Dangerous Climate Change?: According to new research, a third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80% of current coal reserves globally should remain in the ground and not be used before 2050 if global warming is to stay below the 2°C target agreed by policy makers.
Study Casts Doubt On Mammoth-killing Cosmic Impact: New research indicates that rock soil droplets formed by heating most likely came from Stone Age house fires and not from a disastrous cosmic impact 12,900 years ago. A study of soil from Syria is the latest to discredit the controversial theory that a cosmic impact triggered the Younger Dryas cold period.
Eight New Planets Found In 'Goldilocks' Zone: Astronomers have announced the discovery of eight new planets in the "Goldilocks" zone of their stars, orbiting at a distance where liquid water can exist on the planet's surface, doubling the number of small planets believed to be in the habitable zone of their parent stars. Among these eight, two are the most similar to Earth of any known exoplanets to date.
Fly-By View Of Europa's Stunning Surface: Located deep under the frozen crust of Jupiter's moon Europa is a global ocean containing more water than on all of Earth. On Earth whereever there's water there is life, and the question that fascinates scientists is whether the same could be true on Europa.
NASA Goddard Instrument Makes First Detection of Organic Matter on Mars: The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Curiosity rover has made the first definitive detection of organic molecules at Mars. The organic molecules were detected in a drilled sample of the Sheepbed mudstone in Gale crater, the landing site for the Curiosity rover.
Curiosity Finds Clues to How Water Helped Shape Martian Landscape: Observations by Curiosity indicate Mars' Mount Sharp was built by sediments deposited in a large lake bed over tens of millions of years. This interpretation of Curiosity's finds in Gale Crater suggests ancient Mars maintained a climate that could have produced long-lasting lakes at many locations on the Red Planet.
World’s Oldest Engraving Upends Theory Of Homo sapiens Uniqueness: Researchers have discovered a shell engraved with a geometric pattern at a Homo erectus site known as Trinil, on the Indonesian island of Java, that dates to between 540,000 and 430,000 years ago. The find is at least 300,000 years older than the oldest previously known engravings, which come from South Africa.
Researchers Contend Golden Fleece Myth Based On Real Events: Jason and the Argonauts' mythic quest for the Golden Fleece took inspiration from the use of sheepskins to collect gold grains and flakes from mountain streams.
Tail Discovered On Asteroid 62412: Astronomers have discovered a new active asteroid in the Solar System's main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is the first comet-like object seen in the Hygiea family of asteroids.
Infant Worlds Carve Gaps In Planet-Forming Disk: Dark rings in a disk of gas and dust encircle a young star in the clearest image yet of an infant planetary system.
How To Repurpose Your Old Radio To Listen To Meteor Showers: Can you hear the sweet music of ionized meteor trails?
Geophysicists Are Turning Peanut Butter Into Diamond Gemstones: The world's simplest sandwich is actually a diamond in the rough.
'Sailing Stones' Mystery of Death Valley Solved: Racetrack Playa is home to an enduring Death Valley mystery. Littered across the surface of this dry lake are hundreds of rocks - some weighing as much as 700 pounds - that seem to have been dragged across the ground, leaving synchronized trails that can stretch for hundreds of meters. The rare combination of events causing the rocks to move is now known.
Exceptionally Well Preserved Insect Fossils From The Rhône Valley Found: Now, for the first time, researchers have found fossil insects in the French equivalent of the Tithonian Konservat-Lagerstätte lithographic limestone - discoveries which include a new species representing the oldest known water treader.
World’s Largest Dinosaur Discovered: The newly discovered dinosaur species Dreadnoughtus schrani makes Tyrannosaurus rex look like a munchkin. The towering behemoth, which stretched a bit longer than a 25-meter swimming pool and as tall as a two-story building, weighed more than seven T. rexes. And the animal was still growing.
What Happens When A Volcano Erupts Under A Glacier?: Nobody will really know the answer to that until Bárðarbunga actually erupts.
Neanderthal 'Hashtag' Carving Found In Cave: The hashtag may be a symbol of modern life, but its origins can be traced back to Neanderthal carvings. Scientists have discovered the first evidence of artwork by this species etched into the walls of a cave in Gibraltar.
Peru's Petrified Forest: Tucked high in the Andes Mountains of northern Peru is a remarkable fossil locality: a 39-million-year-old petrified forest preserved in nearly pristine condition. Since its discovery, scientists and other concerned citizens have been working to study and preserve the spectacular site and its unusual and diverse fossils.
World's Biggest-ever Flying Bird Discovered: Scientists have identified the fossilized remains of an extinct giant bird that could be the biggest flying bird ever found. Pelagornis sandersi was an extremely efficient glider, with long slender 20-24 foot wings that helped it stay aloft despite its enormous size.
Rare Fossil Eggs Reveal How Pterosaurs Lived: The spectacular discovery of three dimensional 120-million year old pterosaur eggs provides a unique insight into the ancient flying reptiles' lifestyle. Until now, only four pterosaur eggs had ever been found, and all were flattened during the process of fossilisation.
Original 'Early Bird' Really Could Fly: Archaeopteryx - considered Earth's oldest-known bird - was completely capable of flying, a new analysis of fossil remains has found. The findings dispel suggestions the creature's feathers were too weak to support flight.
Animals Built Reefs 550 Million Tears Ago: Researchers have discovered that one of the world's oldest reefs - now located on dry land in Namibia - was built almost 550 million years ago by the first animals to have hard shells.
Salt Water On Titan: Scientists analyzing data from NASA's Cassini mission have firm evidence the ocean inside Saturn's largest moon, Titan, might be as salty as Earth's Dead Sea.
Staking a claim: Deep-sea mining nears fruition: Deep sea hydrothermal vent systems contain untapped mineral wealth that would have been beyond any prospector’s wildest dreams just decades ago.
Antarctic Ice Sheet Unstable At End Of Last Ice Age: A new study has found that the Antarctic Ice Sheet began melting about 5,000 years earlier than previously thought coming out of the last ice age - causing rapid sea level rise. The study is particularly important coming on the heels of recent studies that suggest destabilization of part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has begun.
First Mass Extinction: Ancient volcanic eruptions in Australia 510 million years ago significantly affected the climate, causing the first known mass extinction in the history of complex life.
New Ichthyosaur Graveyard Found: Geoscientists have documented the discovery of forty-six ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs in southern Chile. Among them are numerous articulated and virtually complete skeletons of adults, pregnant females, and juveniles. Preservation is excellent and occasionally includes soft tissue and embryos.
Kapteyn B May Be Wet: Astronomers have discovered two new planets orbiting a red dwarf that is only 13 light years distant to our own sun. One of these planets orbits Kapteyn's Star at the right distance to allow liquid water to exist on its surface, a key ingredient to support life.
Habitable Planets Search Deflated By Stellar Wind: The hunt for habitable planets beyond the Solar System just became more difficult. A recent study suggests that the same factors that make planets near M-dwarf stars easy to probe for potential life also diminish the chances that life could actually exist on those planets.
Mars Rocks Wear Manganese Coats: Several rocks on the surface of Mars are coated with distinctive dark-colored surface layers enriched in manganese. Given proposed links between microbial activity and terrestrial manganese coatings, the evidence for high surface concentrations of manganese is an intriguing twist for researchers looking for signs of life on Mars.
Saturn-Like Rings Spotted Around Asteroid: The ring system around the icy asteroid Chariklo is the first found encircling anything in our solar system other than a gas giant.
Icy Planetoid Found Lurking At Edge Of Solar System: Newly found 2012 VP113 joins the dwarf planet Sedna as the only two worlds known to orbit beyond the Kuiper belt, where Pluto resides along with hordes of ice boulders left over from the formation of the solar system.
Tiny, Ancient Crustacean Preserved In Fool’s Gold, Legs, Eggs And All: Inside her cozy little fortress, she lived together with her children. There were nearly a dozen, some hatched, some not. Together, they lived in the deep center of a quiet, soft-bottomed marine basin, near some nice trilobites called Triarthrus. Their days were all numbered.
Diamond Reveals The Oceans That Lie Beneath: The first direct evidence of the vast quantities of water deep in the Earth's mantle has been uncovered by scientists studying a tiny diamond. The water was found in ringwoodite included in the diamond taken from Juina, Brazil.
Great Oxidation Event 'A Misnomer': Oxygen levels in Earth's atmosphere varied much more over the history of the planet than previously thought.
How Snails, Clams Survived The Great Dying: The most catastrophic mass extinction in the history of Earth had little effect on the lowliest of beasts living in the bottom-dwelling muck on the sea floor.
Earth's Oldest Crystals Found: Ancient zircon crystals discovered in Western Australia have been positively dated to 4.374 billion years, confirming their place as the oldest piece of Earth ever found.
Stuck In Slime For A Billion Years: Researchers have revealed ancient conditions that almost ended life on Earth, using a new technique they developed to hunt for mineral deposits.
Warring Trolls Explanation For Mysterious Basalt Pillars Revised: Peculiar basalt pillars found in Iceland - attributed in local lore to a pair of angry trolls hurling projectiles at each other - are having their origin story updated.
Water Detected On A Planet Outside Our Solar System: Water has been detected in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting the nearby star tau Boötes with a new technique that could help researchers to learn how many planets with water, like Earth, exist throughout the universe.
Volcanoes Contribute To Recent Global Warming 'Hiatus': Volcanic eruptions in the early part of the 21st century have cooled the planet, according to a study led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This cooling partly offset the warming produced by greenhouse gases.
Corals Find A Way To Adapt: In the past few decades, corals around the world have become endangered because of rising water temperatures. However, a new study suggests that corals may be able to adapt to some of that warming.
World's Largest Deep Earthquake Recorded: The magnitude 8.3 earthquake occurred at a depth of 609 kilometers beneath the Sea of Okhotsk, between the Kamchatka Peninsula and Russian mainland. Scientists are still puzzling over how such a large event could occur so deep.
Missing Piece Of Long-Neck Dinosaur Finally Discovered: A small roadside quarry west of Denver, site of some of the infamous "Bone Wars" of the 19th century, has revealed a new treasure: the snout of the long-necked dinosaur Apatosaurus ajax. The specimen, nicknamed Kevin, is the first Apatosaurus ajax muzzle ever found.
Freakish Asteroid Discovered, Resembles Rotating Lawn Sprinkler: Astronomers have discovered a "weird and freakish object" resembling a rotating lawn sprinkler in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The find has left them scratching their heads and searching for an explanation for the strange asteroid's out-of-this-world appearance.
Evidence Of 3.5-Billion-Year-Old Bacterial Ecosystems Found In Australia: A new study has revealed the well-preserved remnants of a complex ecosystem in a nearly 3.5 billion-year-old sedimentary rock sequence in Australia, extending the geological record of microbially induced sedimentary structures by almost 300 million years
Boy Scouts Toss 2 Leaders Who Knocked Over Goblin: A northern Utah Boy Scouts council has announced that former Boy Scout leaders Glenn Taylor and Dave Hall will no longer be allowed to lead scouting troops as a result of their vandalism of Goblin Valley State Park.
Boy Scout Leaders Destroy Ancient Formation In Utah's Goblin Valley: Boy Scout and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints youth leaders Dave Hall, Glenn Taylor and Dylan Taylor are potentially facing felony charges for destroying a rock formation nearly 200 million years old. The trio of vandals was adventuring in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park when they decided to film themselves knocking over one of the formations, known as "Goblins."
High School Student Discovers Skeleton Of Baby Dinosaur: A chance find within Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah by a high school student Kevin Terris led to the youngest, smallest and most complete fossil skeleton yet known from the iconic tube-crested dinosaur Parasaurolophus.
Hominin Skull Discovery Fuels Debate About Early Human Evolution: Hailed as a find for the ages, a rare skull of a 1.8-million-year-old human relative could provide answers to longstanding questions about the lineage of our species. It also fuels debate over what differentiates one hominin species from another.
Extinct 'Mega Claw' Creature Had Spider-Like Brain: Researchers have discovered the earliest known complete nervous system exquisitely preserved in the fossilized remains of a never-before described creature that crawled or swam in the ocean 520 million years ago.
U.S. Shale-Oil Boom May Not Last as Fracking Wells Lack Staying Power: Shale wells start strong and fade fast, and producers are drilling at a breakneck pace to hold output steady. In the fields, this incessant need to drill is known as the Red Queen, after the character in Through the Looking-Glass who tells Alice, "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place."
First Ever Evidence Of A Comet Striking Earth: The first ever evidence of a comet entering Earth's atmosphere and exploding, raining down a shock wave of fire which obliterated every life form in its path, has been discovered.
Iron in Earth's Core Weakens Before Melting: The iron in the Earth's inner core weakens dramatically before it melts, explaining the unusual properties that exist in the moon-sized solid centre of our planet that have, up until now, been difficult to understand.
New Type of Impact Crater Discovered On Mars: Lessons from underground nuclear tests and explosive volcanoes may hold the answer to how a category of unusual impact craters - Low-Aspect-Ratio Layered Ejecta Craters - formed on Mars.
Water Seen In Rubble Around Star: For the first time, astronomers have discovered the watery building blocks of Earth-like planets orbiting another star - GD 61 - a white dwarf 170 light years distant. The discovery shows how planets might get their oceans.
Early Mars Rich In Key Ingredient Of Life: A new study suggests that phosphate - one of the essential building blocks of life - may have been far more abundant on early Mars than on Earth, and that the dominant minerals that contain phosphate on Mars are different than those on Earth.
Clay Capacitors: Clay, an abundant and cheap natural material, is a key ingredient in a supercapacitor that can operate at very high temperatures, with applications for powering devices used in extreme environments, such as oil drilling, the military and space.
Oldest Terrestrial Animal From Gondwana Found: A scentist has discovered a 350-million-year-old fossilised scorpion, the oldest known terrestrial animal from Gomdwana, in rocks of the Devonian Witteberg Group near Grahamstown, South Africa. This unique specimen, a new species, has been named Gondwanascorpio emzantsiensis.
Observations Indicate Water On Exoplanet Gilese 1214 b: A research team of astronomers and planetary scientists using the 8.2 meter Subaru Telescope's two optical cameras, Suprime-Cam and the Faint Object Camera and Spectrograph, to observe 40 light-year distant Exoplanet Gilese 1214 b have found evidence of a water-rich atmosphere.
Massive Storm Pulls Ices from Saturn's Depths: Spectral measurements taken by NASA's Cassini orbiter have revealed particles at the top of the great storm cloud are composed of a mix of three substances: water ice, ammonia ice, and an uncertain third constituent that is possibly ammonium hydrosulfide.
Big Canyon Entombed Beneath Greenland's Ice: Glaciologists mapping Greenland’s subglacial terrain with ice-penetrating radar have discovered that Greenland has its very own Grand Canyon.
Breakups Maintain Barchan Dune Fields, Somehow: Two new theories try to explain how the crescent-shaped sand mountains persist. But they don’t agree on what kind of interactions matter.
Alaskan Volcano Doesn't Just Huff And Puff, It Screams: Alaska’s Mount Redoubt awoke from two decades of silence with something to say: A series of small earthquakes leading up to the eruption produced a seismic sound that staff at the USGS Alaska Volcano Observatory nicknamed "the screams".
Fossil of History's Most Successful Mammal: A 160 million-year-old fossil of an extinct rodent-like creature from China is helping to explain how multituberculates - the most evolutionarily successful and long-lived mammalian lineage in the fossil record - achieved their dominance.
Slow Earthquakes May Foretell Larger Events: Monitoring slow earthquakes may provide a basis for reliable prediction in areas where slow quakes trigger normal earthquakes.
NASA Gives Up On Fixing Kepler: The planet-hunting Kepler space telescope, hobbled by the breakdown of two crucial parts, is beyond repair.
Bird Brains Appeared Before Birds: New evidence has emerged that puts a dent into the reputation of the famous 'first bird' - Archaeopteryx, a feathered descendant of the dinosaurs, which lived around 150 million years ago.
Quakes Trigger Undersea Methane Belch: Earthquakes can rip open sub-sea pockets of methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas.
Cool Heads Won't Prevail In A Hotter, Wetter World: Should climate change trigger the upsurge in heat and rainfall that scientists predict, people will face another threat just as perilous and volatile as extreme weather - each other.
Corn Syrup Model Splits Yellowstone's Plume In Two: Yellowstone is renowned for its hot springs, geysers and for hosting one of the world’s most volatile supervolcanoes. Despite Yellowstone's popularity, the origin of all that volcanic activity remains poorly understood.
Iowa Impact Crater Confirmed: An airborne geophysical survey mapping mineral resources in the Midwest has confirmed that a 470-million-year-old impact crater nearly five times the size of Barringer (Meteor) Crater in Arizona lies buried several hundred meters beneath the town of Decorah, Iowa.
Today's Climate Change Proves Much Faster Than Changes in Past 65 Million Years: If the Earth stays on its current course without reversing greenhouse gas emissions, the pace of change will be at least 50 times and possibly 100 times swifter than what's occurred in the past.
Astronomers Discover A Comet Graveyard: A team of astronomers from have discovered a graveyard of comets. They describe how some of these objects, inactive for millions of years, have returned to life leading them to name the group the 'Lazarus Comets'.
Under Leaden Skies: Where Heavy Metal Clouds the Stars: Astronomers report the discovery of two unusual stars with extremely high concentrations of lead in their atmospheres - 10,000 times more lead than is present on the surface of our Sun.
Express Elevator From Hell: Molten rock spewing forth in volcanic eruptions may have risen dozens of kilometers through Earth’s crust in a few months rather than over millennia.
Magma Can Speed To The Surface, Powering Volcanoes: Molten magma can cruise at high speeds from deep in the Earth to the surface, triggering volcanic eruptions. The discovery suggests that advance warning of an eruption might come from monitoring seismic action deeper in the crust than scientists usually look.
Oxygen Boost Aided Carnivore Evolution In Cambrian Explosion: A rise in oxygen more than half a billion years ago paved the way for the origin of the first carnivores. The meat eaters in turn triggered the Big Bang of animal evolution.
Mars Meteorite Reveals Its Age: Providing a tool for unlocking secrets of the early solar system, a new technique accurately determines the age of meteorites.
Microbes To Inherit The Earth: Two billion years from now, an ever-hotter Sun will have cooked the Earth, leaving microbes confined to pockets of water in caves as the last survivors.
Russian Meteor's Impact Circled Earth, Twice: An analysis of data gathered by global detectors used to detect ultra-low frequency acoustic waves has revealed the February 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor's shock wave travelled all the way around the globe, twice. The Chelyabinsk event's explosive energy is estimated at 460 kilotons of TNT - equivalent to nearly 30 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs.
Variation Between Hot Extrasolar Planet Atmospheres Revealed: First results from the analysis of eight 'hot Jupiter' exoplanets suggest that winds and clouds play an important role in the atmospheric make up of these exotic planets.
'Parrot Dinosaur' Switched from Four Feet to Two as It Grew: Using a combination of biomechanical analysis and bone histology, palaeontologists have shown how Psittacosaurus, one of the best-known Cretaceous dinosaurs, switched from four feet to two as it matured.
Noble Gases Hitch A Ride On Hydrous Minerals: The six noble gases do not normally dissolve into minerals, leaving earth scientists to wonder how they are subducted back into the Earth. Researchers have discovered that the lattice structure of minerals such as amphibole provides a way.
NASA's Grand Challenge: There may be killer asteroids headed for Earth, and NASA has decided to do something about it. The space agency has announced a new "Grand Challenge" to find all dangerous space rocks and figure out how to stop them from destroying Earth.
New 'Embryonic' Subduction Zone Found: A new subduction zone forming off the coast of Portugal heralds the beginning of a cycle that will see the Atlantic Ocean close as continental Europe moves closer to America.
Ancient Egyptians Accessorized With Meteorites: Researchers have found conclusive proof that Ancient Egyptians used meteorites to make symbolic accessories for their dead. Meteorite iron had profound implications for the Ancient Egyptians, both in their perception of the iron in the context of its celestial origin and in early metallurgy attempts.
Exo-Planet Hunting Kepler Spacecraft Malfunctions: NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has been shut down by the failure of one of the reaction wheels that keep it pointed, robbing it of the ability to point precisely enough to detect Earth-size planets. Mission engineers characterize a possible fix as a 'long-shot'.
Fossil Muddies The Origin Of Birds: A birdlike fossil that dates to roughly 155 million years ago is ruffling the feathers of some paleontologists. At issue is whether the fossil is a dinosaur, an early bird or something in between.
Dog-sized Dino Shows Prehistoric Diversity: The discovery of a new thick-skulled dinosaur the size of a large dog may challenge our image of a prehistoric Earth dominated by supersized lizards. About 1.8 metres from nose to tail and weighing in at 40 kilograms, the animal had a ridge of solid bone more than 10 centimetres thick on the top of the skull - possibly used in head-butting contests.
Earth's Core Moves To Its Own Beat: The Earth's core is out of sync with the outer crust of the planet, frequently speeding up and slowing down from decade to decade.
Moon and Earth Have Common Water Source: Researchers using a multicollector ion microprobe to study hydrogen-deuterium ratios in lunar rock and on Earth have concluded the Moon's water did not come from comets but was already present on Earth 4.5 billion years ago, when a giant collision sent material from Earth to form the Moon.
Kansas Was Unbearably Hot 270 Million Years Ago: The Permian period was hot, hot, hot. Microscopic bubbles of saltwater included in Kansas halite crystals provide evidence that air temperatures near the equator may have soared to 165° Fahrenheit.
Origin of Life: Power Behind Primordial Soup Discovered: A new study shows how a chemical, similar to one now found in all living cells and vital for generating the energy that makes something alive, could have been created when meteorites containing phosphorus minerals landed in hot, acidic pools of liquids around volcanoes, which were likely to have been common across the early Earth.
'Rosetta Stone' For Tropical Ice Cores Discovered: Two annually dated ice cores drawn from the tropical Peruvian Andes reveal Earth's climate history in unprecedented detail - year by year, for nearly 1,800 years.
How Life May Have First Emerged On Earth: New research has yielded data supporting the idea that 10 amino acids believed to exist on Earth around 4 billion years ago were capable of forming foldable proteins in a high-salt (halophile) environment. Such proteins would have been capable of providing metabolic activity for the first living organisms to emerge on Earth between 3.5 and 3.9 billion years ago.
Io's Volcanoes Are In The Wrong Place: Jupiter's moon Io is the most volcanically active world in the Solar System, with hundreds of volcanoes, some erupting lava fountains up to 250 miles high. However, concentrations of volcanic activity are significantly displaced from where they are expected to be based on models that predict how the moon's interior is heated.
Travels in Geology: Of all the famous fossil localities in the world, perhaps none is as widely celebrated as British Columbia’s ancient Burgess Shale. Visiting the Burgess Shale requires some preparation - but for a fossil enthusiast, the payoff is worth every step.
Megavolcanoes Tied To Pre-Dinosaur Mass Extinction: Scientists examining evidence across the world from New Jersey to North Africa say they have linked the abrupt disappearance of half of Earth's species 200 million years ago to a precisely dated set of gigantic volcanic eruptions. The extinction opened the way for dinosaurs to evolve and dominate the planet for the next 135 million years.
Landslides Detected From Afar: A computer and a comfortable chair may be all that's necessary to investigate catastrophic landslides in the farthest reaches of the world.
Distant Planets' Atmospheres Revealed: Astronomers have gotten the most detailed look yet at the atmosphere of a planet outside the solar system. The study is among the first to directly analyze the chemical makeup of an exoplanet.
Life-friendly Environment Confirmed On Mars: Microbial life could have thrived on Mars billions of years ago. An analysis of the Curiosity Mars rover's first drill sample on the Red Planet revealed a nonacidic, slightly salty aquatic environment with plenty of energy-rich minerals. The sample revealed the most hospitable environment ever detected beyond Earth.
Moon Could Have Formed From Earth After All: Scientists are revisiting the age-old question of how Earth’s moon formed. New models indicate that it could have been born from the Earth following a giant collision after all.
Moderate Climate Warming Could Melt Permafrost: A stalagmite’s past may help reveal Earth’s future. By studying Siberian cave formations as old as 500,000 years, researchers have found that even moderate climate warming may set off significant thawing of permafrost.
Smallest Planet Found Orbiting Distant Star: Mercury may be the runt of the solar system, but it still can beat up on the newly discovered Kepler-37b, the smallest planet known.
Major Asteroid Impact Site Found in Aussie Outback: One of the largest ancient asteroid impact zones on Earth has been discovered in outback Australia. The impact zone in north-eastern South Australia, was caused by an asteroid up to 20 kilometres-wide that slammed into Earth between 298 and 360 million years ago
How to Kill an Asteroid?: Get out a paint spray gun.
Missing Crust Feeds New Theory On Earth's Lumps: Scientists studying a bulge on the Earth's surface where the crust is missing have found the exposed mantle contains more magnesium than usual making it lighter. The discovery suggests the Earth's mantle is not as uniform in composition as previously believed.
Future Evidence For Extraterrestrial Life Might Come From Dying Stars: Even dying stars could host planets with life - and if such life exists, we might be able to detect it within the next decade. This encouraging result comes from a new study of Earth-like planets orbiting white dwarf stars.
New Micro-Continent Detected: The islands Reunion and Mauritius are hiding a micro-continent, which has now been discovered. The continent fragment known as Mauritia detached about 60 million years ago while Madagascar and India drifted apart, and had been hidden under huge masses of lava.
Contender For World’s Oldest Dinosaur Identified: Nyasasaurus parringtoni may be the most ancient dinosaur ever found, pushing their appearance back to 243 million years ago during the Anisian age of the Middle Triassic period, about 10 million to 15 million years earlier than the oldest confirmed dinosaurs.
Chemistry That Sparked Origin Of Life: Some say it's equivalent to a tornado blowing through a junkyard and assembling the random pieces of metal and plastic into a Boeing 747. However, recent mathematical research sheds light on a possible mechanism by which life may have gotten a foothold in the chemical soup that existed on the early Earth.
Greenland Ice Melt Accelerating: Greenland has had an average net loss of 200 million tonnes of ice every year since 2003, confirm scientists who are studying the changing mass of the island using satellite data. The latest analysis backs up the previously reported trend without even including the last two summers of record-breaking ice melts.
Vast Emissions Of CO2, Methane From Permafrost: Permafrost covering almost a quarter of the northern hemisphere contains 1,700 gigatonnes of carbon, twice that currently in the atmosphere, and could significantly amplify global warming should thawing accelerate as expected.
Rocky Exoplanets May Be 'Squishy' Worlds: According to a new study, 'Super-Earths' may contain hot minerals that morph into liquid metals, potentially generating life-protecting magnetic shields. The discovery not only complicates models for understanding how planets form and evolve, but also blurs the distinction between a planet's core and its mantle.
Magnesium Oxide: From Earth To Super-Earth: New work by researchers studied how magnesium oxide behaves under the extreme conditions deep within planets and found evidence that alters our understanding of planetary evolution.
USArray: EarthScope Now Online: Big science often requires big tools. Geoscientists can now conduct research using a network of 400 transportable broadband seismometers that are simultaneously deployed in a tight grid, with approximately 70 kilometers between stations.
Dark Matter Mystery May Soon Be Solved: Experiments to detect dark matter, which scientists believe makes up about a quarter of the universe, are underway and may yield direct evidence within a decade.
Fossil Rhino Skull Preserved By Instant Cooking: Less than 2% of Earth's fossils are preserved in volcanic rock, but researchers have identified a new one - the skull of a rhino that perished in a volcanic eruption in Turkey 9.2 million years ago.
New Evidence On Dinosaurs' Role In Evolution Of Bird Flight: A new study looking at the structure of feathers in bird-like dinosaurs has shed light on one of nature's most remarkable inventions - how flight might have evolved.
How Does A Volcanic Crater Grow?: Grab some TNT and find out.
Rogue Planet Found Among Gang Of Stars: Not all planets are content to dutifully circle a star. A new rogue planet has been spied roaming free among a pack of young stars about 115 to 160 light-years from Earth.
Antarctic Trees Surprise Scientists: Scientists have retrieved fossils of pollen and leaf wax from 15 to 20-million-year-old sediments that indicate Antarctica not only received more rain during the Middle Miocene than previously thought, but was also home to trees, albeit stubby ones.
Curbing Coal Mine Methane Could Cool Global Warming: Capturing methane emissions from coal mines around the world could significantly reduce the amount of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, as well as lead to improvements in mine safety and local air quality.
Dinosaur Die Out Was Second Of Two Closely Timed Extinctions: The most-studied mass extinction in Earth history happened 65 million years ago and is widely thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs. New research indicates that a separate extinction came shortly before that, triggered by volcanic eruptions that warmed the planet and killed life on the ocean floor.
New World Record For Scientific Ocean Drilling Depth: Scientific deep sea drilling vessel Chikyu has set a new world record by drilling down and obtains rock samples from deeper than 2,111 meters below the seafloor off Shimokita Peninsula of Japan.
Hadley Crater Provides Deep Insight Into Martian Geology: Observations of 120 km wide Hadley Crater by ESA's Mars Express orbiter are providing a tantalising insight into the Martian crust. Images captured by Mars Express reveal multiple subsequent impacts within the main crater wall, reaching depths of up to 2600 m below the surrounding surface.
How A Supervolcano Can Threaten Earth: 'Supervolcano' describes a geological phenomenon never witnessed by man. Three cataclysmic Yellowstone super eruptions have already occurred about approximately 800,000 years apart. The next one may be due.
Walls of Lunar Crater May Hold Patchy Ice: Scientists using the Mini-RF radar on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have estimated the amount of ice likely to be found inside a permanently shadowed lunar crater located near the moon's South Pole to be as much as five to ten percent by weight.
Feathered Dinosaur Feasted On Flying Food: A paleontology team has discovered the fossilized remains of three flying dinosaurs in the belly of a feathered, Early Cretaceous raptor-like predator named Sinocalliopteryx gigas. Sinocalliopteryx's flying meals were three Confuciusornis sanctus, one of the earliest birds with a primitive version of a modern bird's skeleton and muscles.
Oldest Occurrence Of Arthropods Preserved In Amber: An international team of scientists has discovered the oldest record of arthropods - invertebrate animals that include insects, arachnids, and crustaceans - preserved in amber. The specimens are about 100 million years older than any other amber arthropod ever collected.
Another Potentially Habitable World Emerges: A potentially habitable planet has been discovered orbiting the star Gliese 163, 50 light-years away.
Starlight Could Signal Planets: Rocky planets orbiting distant stars may reveal themselves in the chemical elements missing from their host star.
Dawn Spacecraft Glitches: A mechanical glitch on NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, currently orbiting the asteroid Vesta, will delay the next leg of its voyage through the asteroid belt. But the defect shouldn’t keep the probe from completing its mission with a visit to the dwarf planet Ceres.
The Rocks Don't Lie: In his new book, "The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood", geomorphologist David Montgomery advances the proposition that the idea that scientific reason and religious faith are somehow at odds with each other is a false dichotomy. Say What\?
Ice Sheet Melting Shatters Previous Records: Melting over the Greenland ice sheet has shattered the seasonal record - a full four weeks before the close of the melting season. In most years, the ice and snow at high elevations in southern Greenland melt for a few days at most. This year it has already gone on for two months.
Kepler Spots 'Perfectly Aligned' Alien Worlds: Astronomers have confirmed that our solar system isn't unique, after the discovery of a planetary system orbiting the sun-like star Kepler-30 that is as flat and orderly as our own.
Martian Polygons And Deep-Sea Polygons On Earth: Debate over the origin of large-scale polygons (hundreds of meters to kilometers in diameter) on Mars remains active even after several decades of detailed observations. Similarity in geometric patterns on Mars and Earth has long captured the imagination. Understanding these processes may in turn fuel support for the idea of ancient oceans on Mars.
Research Team Discovers Eating Habits Of Jurassic Age Dinosaur: A team of researchers has discovered the eating habits of Diplodocus using a three-dimensional model of the dinosaur's skull. The eating habits of the herbivore have been uncertain since its discovery more than 130 years ago.
Five Outstanding Questions In Earth Science: Where are the big magma chambers that produce huge super-eruptions? How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and what does it mean for global sea levels? Is there life on any other planetary body in our solar system? How will climate change affect forests and dry-land vegetation and, in turn, affect atmospheric composition? So we know a lot about dinosaur fossils, what about dinosaur biology?
World’s Greatest Plant Diversity For The Paleogene: Scientists have investigated an extensive collection of previously unstudied fossil fruits and seeds from the Messel pit in Germany. They found 140 different plant species, 65 of which were previously unknown.
Magnetic Field, Mantle Convection And Tectonics: On a time scale of tens to hundreds of millions of years, the geomagnetic field may be influenced by currents in the mantle. The frequent polarity reversals of Earth's magnetic field can also be connected with processes in the mantle.
Undressing Vesta: NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is orbiting the asteroid Vesta and sending back images and other data to the delight and amazement of researchers.
Billions Of Rocky Planets Orbiting Red Dwarfs In Habitable Zones: A new result from ESO's HARPS planet finder shows that rocky planets not much bigger than Earth are very common in the habitable zones around faint red stars. Researchers estimate there are tens of billions of such planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone, and probably about one hundred in the Sun's immediate neighbourhood.
Titanium Paternity Test Fingers Earth As Moon's Sole Parent: A new chemical analysis of lunar material collected by Apollo astronauts in the 1970s conflicts with the widely held theory that a giant collision between Earth and a Mars-sized object gave birth to the moon 4.5 billion years ago.
Exploding Dinosaur Hypothesis Implodes: The pregnant ichthyosaur female from Holzmaden, Germany that perished 182 million years ago puzzled researchers for quite some time: The skeleton of the extinct marine reptile is almost immaculately preserved and the fossilized bones of the mother animal lie largely in their anatomical position. The bones of the ichthyosaur embryos, however, are a different story.
Crocodilians Bit Harder Than T. Rex: The bite forces of the largest extinct crocodilians exceeded 23,000 pounds, a force two times greater than the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex.
Volcanic 'Plumbing Systems' Exposed: Two new studies into the location and behaviour of magma chambers on Earth's mid-ocean ridge system could bring scientists closer to predicting large eruptions.
Lucy Was Not Alone: The discovery of a remarkably rare partial foot from an ancient primate suggests that more than one kind of human ancestor walked upright in Africa when Lucy's species, Australopithecus afarensis, was alive. The primitive traits in this 3.4-million-year-old partial right foot also show that there was more than one way for early human ancestors to walk upright for at least a million years.
Lucy Lived Among Close Cousins: The Burtele partial foot clearly shows that at 3.4 million years ago, Lucy’s species, which walked upright on two legs, was not the only hominin species living in Ethiopia.
New Hominid Ancestor Grasped At Walking: A 3.4 million-year-old partial fossil foot unearthed in Ethiopia comes from a previously unknown hominid species that deftly climbed trees but walked clumsily.
Life’s Building Blocks Grow Close To Home: In a new study, scientists suggest that complex organic molecules - such as the amino acids that build proteins and the ringed bases that form nucleic acids - grow on the icy dust grains that lived in the infant solar system.
Survey Suggests Billions Of Planets In Galaxy: A new study suggests each star in the Milky Way galaxy is most likely orbited by a planet - and there's a good chance that planet is closer in size to Earth, than to Jupiter.
Setting Off A Supervolcano: Supervolcanoes are one of nature’s most destructive forces, but given that there are no recorded observations of super-eruptions - the last occurred 74,000 years ago in Indonesia - scientists don’t fully understand how they work.
Moon-Walk Mineral Discovered In Western Australia: Tranquillityite - the last mineral thought to have been unique to the Moon, has been discovered in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Calibrating A Rock Clock: New research will improve the accuracy of estimates of the time of geological events. The work centres on the calibration of one of the world's slowest clocks, known as the 'argon-argon clock'.
Prehistoric Predators With Supersized Teeth Had Beefier Arm Bones: The toothiest prehistoric predators also had beefier arm bones. Fossil studies reveal this killer combination arose repeatedly in different saber-toothed predators over time, presumably because it gave them an advantage when catching and killing prey.
'Lost World' Discovered Around Antarctic Vents: Communities of species previously unknown to science have been discovered on the seafloor near Antarctica, clustered in the hot, dark environment surrounding hydrothermal vents.
How Did Insects Get Their Hearing?: A new study of 50 million year-old cricket and katydid fossils - sporting some of the best preserved fossil insect ears described to date - help trace the evolution of the insect ear.
Afghanistan's Mineral Resources Laid Bare: Each donning about 10 kilograms of protective gear, including helmets and Kevlar, scientists trudged up the rugged, rocky volcanic terrain of southern Afghanistan, slowing now and then to catch an extra breath of thin air. Some carried rock hammers. Others carried guns.
Vertebrate Evolution Is Head First: By analyzing the physical features of fossil fish that diversified around the time of two separate extinction events, scientists found that head features diversified before body shapes and types.
New Theory Emerges For Origins Of Amphibians: A small fish crawling on stumpy limbs from a shrinking desert pond is an icon of can-do spirit, emblematic of a leading theory for the evolutionary transition between fish and amphibians. However, this theorized image of such a drastic adaptation to changing environmental conditions may be evolving into a new picture.
100 Years Of Continental Drift Theory: 100 years ago Alfred Wegener presented his theory of continental drift to the public for the first time. The classical concept of tectonics as a quasi mechanical process of the movement and collision of rigid plates is now in disarray.
Strange Crystals Reveal Rock To Be Ancient Meteorite: Rather than a simple ratio of, say, 2:1, the ratio of atoms in a quasicrystal is based on an irrational number, such as the square root of 2:1... Any symmetry thought to be forbidden is possible for quasicrystals.
Volcanoes Slide Silently To Their Death: One of the largest trenches in the Earth's crust is slowly consuming undersea volcanoes, and to the surprise of geologists, it appears to lessen the risk of earthquakes.
Second Earth Found?: NASA's Kepler space telescope has confirmed its first planet in the "habitable zone," the region where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface. The newly confirmed planet, Kepler-22b, is the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun.
Fly-by Reveals Asteroid Lutetia's Primitive Side: 75-mile long Lutetia is believed to be a planetesimal - a fragment of the material that clumped together to make the planets at the birth of the solar system nearly four billion years ago.
Massive Rift Portends Antarctic Berg: Researchers flying over West Antarctica have spotted an actively growing rift that they expect will spawn an iceberg about 10 times the size of Manhattan.
Return Of The Dust Bowl: Over the next two or three decades, the American West could transition to an environment that may make the 1930s Dust Bowl seem mild and brief.
Where Coal Is King In China: Inner Mongolia has become the center of the coal industry in China - the nation that burns the most coal and, as a result, emits the most greenhouse gases in the world.
Wet Down: Mars has plenty of minerals that suggest a watery past, but that does not mean that the Red Planet once looked like Earth.
Life on Mars Driven Underground?: The key to Mars's water history is clay.
Mars' History Is A Fluid Situation: Four billion years ago, the Martian surface may have been cold and dry - not warm, watery and more Earthlike than it is today, as many scientists have suggested.
Meet the Saber-Toothed Squirrel: Scrat, the fictional saber-toothed squirrel from the Ice Age films, may not be so fictional after all.
'Saber-Toothed Squirrel':: Paleontologists have discovered two skulls from the first known mammal of the early Late Cretaceous period of South America. The fossils break a roughly 60 million-year gap in the currently known mammalian record of the continent and provide new clues on the early evolution of mammals.
A Plethora of Planets: There are now 685 exoplanets, or worlds orbiting distant stars, catalogued in the online Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia.
Health Problems Emerge Near Natural Gas Fields: Susan Wallace-Babb went out into a neighbor's field near her ranch in Western Colorado to close an irrigation ditch. She parked down the rutted double-track, stepped out of her truck into the low-slung sun, took a deep breath and collapsed, unconscious.
Mars Research Helps Find Buried Water On Earth: A NASA-led team has used radar sounding technology developed to explore the subsurface of Mars to create high-resolution maps of freshwater aquifers buried deep beneath an Earth desert, in the first use of airborne sounding radar for aquifer mapping.
Deep Oceans Can Mask Global Warming: Earth's deep oceans at times may absorb enough heat to flatten the rate of global warming for periods of as long as a decade even in the midst of longer-term warming.
New Technique Fills Gaps In Fossil Record: Evolutionary biologists have resolved a long-standing paleontological problem by reconciling the fossil record of species diversity with modern DNA samples.
'Dinofuzz' Found In Canadian Amber: Fluffy structures trapped in thumbnail-sized bits of ancient amber may represent some of the earliest evolutionary experiments leading to feathers. These filaments of "dinofuzz" are so well preserved that they even provide hints of color.
Earth's Ultimate Destruction - And Possible Reincarnation: The world may not end on 21 December 2012, but one thing is certain: Earth won't be around forever. And although Earth's own future isn't too bright, it looks like our planet could possibly reincarnate as a new world.
Return Of A Killer Volcano: What if one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recent history happened today? A new study suggests that a blast akin to one that devastated Iceland in the 1780s would waft noxious gases southwestward and kill tens of thousands of people in Europe.
On Kepler-16b, Shadows Come In Pairs: Once confined to science fiction, a planet circling two stars has left the cinema and landed in reality: Scientists have spied a Saturn-sized world, called Kepler-16b, orbiting a binary star system.
Pacific Volcanoes Share Split Personality: Hawaii’s scenic volcanoes come in two chemical flavors, and now scientists think the igneous peaks on several other Pacific island chains do, too.
Ancient Marsupial Had Lizard-Like Teeth: Fossil remains of a new type of extinct snail-munching marsupial identified by Australian palaeontologists, more closely resemble a modern-day lizard than a mammal.
Beams of Electrons Link Saturn With Its Moon Enceladus: Researchers have discovered that jets of gas and icy grains emanate from the south pole of Enceladus, which become electrically charged and form an ionosphere. The motion of Enceladus and its ionosphere through the magnetic bubble that surrounds Saturn acts like a dynamo, setting up the newly-discovered current system.
Huge Dry Ice Deposit Discovered On Mars: Researchers using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter ground-penetrating radar identified a large, buried deposit of frozen carbon dioxide, or dry ice, at the Red Planet's south pole. The newly found deposit has a volume similar to Lake Superior's nearly 3,000 cubic miles.
Jurassic Spider from China Is Largest Fossil Specimen Discovered: With a leg span of more than five inches, a recently named Jurassic period spider from China is the largest fossil specimen discovered, and one that has modern relatives in tropical climates today.
Earth Recovered From Prehistoric Global Warming Faster Than Previously Thought: When faced with high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and rising temperatures 56 million years ago, Earth increased its ability to pull carbon from the air. This led to a recovery that was quicker than anticipated by many models of the carbon cycle -- though still on the order of tens of thousands of years.
Volcanic Ash Gets Its Close-up: The most detailed visual study yet of volcanic ash from last year’s Icelandic eruption reveals just how sharp, abrasive and potentially dangerous the particles were.
First Image of Protein Residue in 50-Million-Year-Old Reptile Skin: Amides - organic compounds that serve as building blocks of life - are revealed in the fossilized skin of a reptile found in the 50-million-year-old rocks of the Green River Formation in Utah.
Tree Resin Captures Key Evidence of Current and Ancient Insect Invasions: Researchers have discovered that insects that bore into trees as long ago as 90 million years, or as recently as last summer, leave a calling card that's rich with information.
Rare Dinosaur Found In Canada's Oil Sands: The fossil is an Ankylosaur, a plant-eating dinosaur with powerful limbs, armor plating and a club-like tail. Finding it in this region of northern Alberta was a surprise because millions of years ago the area was covered by water.
Diamond Could Store Quantum Information: Could be that diamonds are a geek’s best friend.
Planets Take Shape In Embryonic Gas Clouds: A radical new theory that planets are born within a massive veil of gas may help explain how recently discovered extrasolar planets developed their stunning diversity of sizes and locations.
How Continents Do The Splits: In East Africa, continental crust is losing its battle for existence. Tugged by tectonic forces from either side, the crust here is destined to rip apart and create a new ocean.
Chilly Times For Chinese Dinosaurs: New findings show that during part of the Early Cretaceous, north-east China had a temperate climate with harsh winters, explaining the abundance of feathered dinosaurs in fossil deposits of that period.
MESSENGER Eases Into Mercury’s Orbit: MESSENGER will look for the chemical signature of those volcanic gases and make observations that could explain why the planet’s core accounts for so much of its mass. The craft could also provide details about Mercury’s atmosphere and reveal the presence of water frozen in permanently shadowed craters near the poles.
MESSENGER Spacecraft Begins Historic Orbit Around Mercury: For the first time in history, a scientific observatory is in orbit about our solar system's innermost planet. Mercury's secrets, and the implications they hold for the formation and evolution of Earth-like planets, are about to be revealed.
Fossil Record Reveals Trilobite Mass Matings: In rare instances, an entire population of trilobites is found fossilized together, providing evidence of ancient environment and behavior in these mass graves.
Methane Rain: As spring continues to unfold at Saturn, April showers on the planet's largest moon, Titan, have brought methane rain to its equatorial deserts, as revealed in images captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
New Conditions For Life On Other Planets: Tides can render the so-called "habitable zone" around low-mass stars uninhabitable.
Flying Reptile Fossil 89 Million Years Old: Fossilized bones discovered in Texas from a flying reptile that died 89 million years ago may be the earliest occurrence of the prehistoric creature known as Pteranodon.
Mating Mites Trapped In Amber Reveal Sex Role Reversal: In the mating game, some female mites are mightier than their mates. The evidence comes from 40 million-year-old mating mites preserved in Baltic amber.
Old Bone Proves Lucy Was No Swinger: A single bone discovered in Ethiopia has led scientists to the conclusion that 'Lucy' the loveable Australopithecus walked on two legs and had abandoned tree-climbing for good.
Greenhouse Gases May Drive Flooding: Climate change caused by rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is causing more extreme rainfall and snowfall - and floods.
Thawing Permafrost Likely Will Accelerate Global Warming: Up to two-thirds of Earth's permafrost likely will disappear by 2200 as a result of warming temperatures, unleashing vast quantities of carbon into the atmosphere.
Volcanic Source Of High-Grade Energy?: Geologists drilling an exploratory geothermal well in the Krafla volcano in Iceland encountered a problem they were simply unprepared for: magma.
Valentine's Day Encounter Yields Fresh Comet Views: High-res shots of Tempel 1 may shed light on formation of solar system.
'Deep Impact' Comet Revisited: New portraits of Comet Tempel 1 reveal pitting, erosion and other surface features that weren’t there in July 2005, the last time the comet was photographed at close range.
Fresh Doubt On Whether 'Ardi' Was Human: Fossils don't come with their birth certificates attached.
"Not So Fast...": Anthropologists question the claims that several prominent fossil discoveries made in the last decade are our human ancestors.
Human Ancestors Have Identity Crisis: The African primate known as Ardi and a couple of other fossil creatures widely regarded as early members of the human evolutionary family - or hominids, for short - may really be apes hiding in plain sight.
New China Fossil Site Shows Extinction Recovery: A major new fossil site in south-west China has filled in a sizeable gap in our understanding of how life on Earth recovered from the greatest mass extinction of all time.
Sea Scorpions No Terror of the Ancient Seas: Experiments by a team of researchers have generated evidence that questions the common belief that the pterygotid eurypterids, the largest and arguably scariest-looking arthropods known to have evolved on Earth, were high-level predators in the Paleozoic oceans.
Curiosity Mars Rover to Zap Rocks With Laser: The Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on the rover Curiosity can hit rocks with a laser powerful enough to excite a pinhead-size spot into a glowing, ionized gas. ChemCam then observes the flash through a telescope and analyzes the spectrum of light to identify the chemical elements in the target.
Astronomers Find Planet With A Diamond Heart: The high carbon-to-oxygen ratio of WASP-12's atmosphere indicates a carbide or diamond interior rather than the silicate geology of the Earth.
New Thinking On Asteroid Belt: Scientists have come up with an alternative explanation for planetary formation which may shed light on how the solar system's asteroid belt was formed.
Mars Odyssey Orbiter Is Now The Longest-Running Mission To The Red Planet: Odyssey, launched back in 2001, has surpassed the Mars Global Surveyor as the longest-running mission to Mars. Even though its primary science objectives were completed by 2004, Odyssey has been an extremely valuable asset for other mars missions ever since.
Can Canada Clean Alberta's Oil Sands?: Oil sands extraction raises concerns among environmentalists because it generates more of the heat-trapping gases causing climate change than conventional oil drilling, among other things.
Citizen Scientists Join The Exoplanet Hunt: Enter Planet Hunters, a citizen-scientist-powered Web site that lets any average Joe with an Internet connection peruse Kepler light curves - measurements of a star's brightness over time - and look for the dimming signifying the possible presence of a planet.
Voyager 1 Spacecraft Arrives At The Cusp Of Interstellar Space: Thirty-three years into its voyage, the solar wind speed around Voyager 1 has dropped to zero as the space-hardened craft nears a milestone in its journey out of the solar system.
Ancient Forest Emerges Mummified From The Arctic: Researchers believe the trees -- buried by a landslide and exquisitely preserved 2 to 8 million years ago -- will help them predict how today's Arctic will respond to global warming.
Saturn's Perfect Storm: Researchers have been using the Cassini probe to monitor a cyclone on Saturn for more than five years, the longest-lasting cyclone detected to date on any of the giant planets of the Solar System.
Tiny 3-D Images Shed Light On Origin Of Earth's Core: High-pressure nanoscale X-ray computed tomography, new method of capturing detailed, three-dimensional images of minute samples of material under extreme pressures, suggest that the early Earth did not have to be entirely molten to separate into the rocky crust and iron-rich core it has today.
NASA's Newly Discovered Arsenic-Loving Bacteria Are Fascinating, But Not Aliens: So everyone chill out. However, GFAJ-1 does raise interesting questions for alien life-hunters.
Deadly Arsenic Breathes Life Into Organisms: Evidence that the toxic element arsenic can replace the essential nutrient phosphorus in biomolecules of a naturally occurring bacterium expands the scope of the search for life beyond Earth.
Mono Lake Bacterium Exhibits Exotic Arsenic-Driven Biological Activity: A microbe in California's arsenic-rich lake can use the element, usually a poison, as a building block for DNA and other biomolecules.
GFAJ-1 Redefines "Life As We Know It": The finding shows just how little scientists know about the variety of life forms on Earth, and may greatly expand where they should be looking for life on other planets and moons.
NASA Finds New Arsenic-Based Life Form: Researchers have coaxed a microbe to build itself with arsenic in the place of phosphorus, an unprecedented substitution of one of the six essential ingredients of life. The bacterium appears to have incorporated a form of arsenic into its cellular machinery, and even its DNA.
Get Out Your Biology Textbooks... And An Eraser: Astrobiology researchers conducting tests in the harsh environment of Mono Lake in California have discovered the first known microorganism on Earth able to thrive and reproduce using the toxic chemical arsenic. The microorganism GFAJ-1 substitutes arsenic for phosphorus in its cell components.
It's Really Full Of Stars: There are more dim bulbs in the universe than even the most hardened pessimist might have imagined.
The Nitty-Gritty Of Diamond Polishing: New research finds that a liquidlike layer of carbon at the interface between a diamond-polishing wheel and a diamond creates the magic that turns a grubby stone into a girl’s best friend.
China's Greatest Import: Carbon emissions: The U.S. and much of the Western world have a dirty secret. While we claim to be working diligently to decrease our emissions and switch to cleaner, non-fossil fuel energies, we are actually just exporting emissions to other countries, most notably China.
Underneath Haiti, Another Big Quake Waiting To Happen: After studying the Haiti quake data for the past 10 months, geologists are convinced that Haitians can expect another major quake sooner rather than later.
Panama Canal At Risk Of Large Earthquake: New data suggest that the Limon and Pedro Miguel faults in Central Panama have ruptured both independently and in unison over the past 1400 years, indicating a significant seismic risk for Panama City and the Panama Canal.
Questions Arise Over Earliest Evidence Of Human Tool Use: Were scratch marks on 3.4-million-year-old animal bones made by early humans - suggesting humans used tools 800,000 years earlier than thought?
What Roused The Icelandic Volcano?: Months of volcanic restlessness preceded the eruptions this spring of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, providing insight into what roused it from centuries of slumber.
Complex Life Possible Earlier Than First Thought: Evidence found in ancient rocks that once lay on a Scottish lake floor show the Earth's atmosphere was able to sustain complex life 1.2 billion years ago - 400 million years earlier than previously accepted.
Newly Discovered Drumlin Field Provides Answers About Glaciation And Climate: The landform known as a drumlin, created when the ice advanced during the Ice Age, can also be produced by today's glaciers.
T. Rex's Big Tail Was Its Key To Speed And Hunting Prowess: Tyrannosaurus rex was far from a plodding Cretaceous era scavenger whose long tail only served to counterbalance the up-front weight of its freakishly big head.
A Cometary Blizzard: When NASA’s EPOXI spacecraft whizzed past Comet Hartley 2 it passed through a storm of fluffy ice bodies at least as large as golf balls.
It Came From Another Galaxy: Astronomers have for the first time discovered a planet in the Milky Way that came from another galaxy.
Antimatter Bottled For First Time: Physicists at CERN have trapped a few dozen atoms of antihydrogen with a magnetic field.
Tracking Evidence Of 'The Great Dying': More than 251 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, Earth almost became a lifeless planet. Around 90 percent of all living species disappeared then, in what scientists have called "The Great Dying."
Origin Of Skillful Stone-Tool-Sharpening Method Pushed Back More Than 50,000 Years: New findings show that the technique, known as pressure flaking, took place at Blombos Cave in South Africa during the Middle Stone Age by anatomically modern humans and involved the heating of silcrete - quartz grains cemented by silica - used to make tools.
No Lack Of Exo-Earths Out There: A new study estimates that in the coming months, the Kepler spacecraft will find a few hundred Earth-sized exoplanets orbiting uncomfortably close to their stars. As many or more should turn up in the next year or two, farther from their stars where life could thrive.
Neutron Star Breaks Mass Record: Astronomers have weighed a neutron star with nearly double the mass of the sun, the heaviest yet found. A mass that high rules out many theories that these ultradense remnants of supernova explosions contain anything other than ordinary matter.
Raising Giant Insects To Unravel Ancient Oxygen: The giant dragonflies of ancient Earth with wingspans of up to 70 centimeters (28 inches) are generally attributed to higher oxygen atmospheric levels in the atmosphere in the past. New experiments in raising modern insects in various oxygen-enriched atmospheres have confirmed that dragonflies grow bigger with more oxygen.
Quarter-Billion Year Old Dinosaur Footprints Are Oldest Ever Found: The animal walked on all four legs, and possessed much longer hindlimbs than forelimbs, given how its footprints apparently overstep the handprints.
U.N. Convention To Ponder Moratorium On Geoengineering: --Giant reflective particles in the atmosphere, iron in the ocean, carbon sequestration--a meeting of 139 nations in Japan considers a proposal to ban such efforts against global warming, because they may have unintended consequences.
One-Way Martian Colonization Missions: For the chance to watch the sun rise over Olympus Mons, or maybe take a stroll across the vast plains of the Vastitas Borealis, would you sign on for a one-way flight to Mars?
What Did Tyrannosaurus Rex Eat?: Each other.
Ammonites At Ancient Methane Seeps: Specimens found in the rock record of the ancient seaway that covered North America during the Cretaceous Period demonstrate that these animals thrived at cold methane seeps at the bottom of the sea.
Disease In Rural China Linked To Polluted Coal: In remote, rural areas of southwestern China, villagers cook and dry their clothes by burning pieces of coal they pick up off the ground. This fuel releases toxic fluoride that may be poisoning millions of people.
Mounting Research Shows Increased Health Risks from Volcanic 'Vog': Sulfurous gas and particle air pollution emitted by the Kilauea Volcano's summit eruption at Halema'uma'u Crater increases risk of respiratory problems.
Worst Coral Death Strikes At Southeast Asia: International marine scientists say that a huge coral death which has struck Southeast Asian and Indian Ocean reefs over recent months has highlighted the urgency of controlling global carbon emissions.
Hubble Telescope Captures Suspected Asteroid Crash: Images taken with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 show a bizarre X-shaped object, the likes of which astronomers have never seen before, at the head of a comet-like trail of material.
A Setback For Neandertal Smarts?: Reanalysis of the Grotte du Renne cave site in central France suggests that our closest cousins may not have made jewelry and other symbolic objects after all.
'Fossil' Mountains Entombed By Ice: A supercold cap of ice has preserved the rugged Antarctic Gamburtsev Mountain range.
Tyrannosaurus Redux: New findings reveal Tyrannosaurus rex was more than just a large carnivore at the top of the Cenozoic food chain.
Fossil Of Giant Bony-Toothed Bird Sets Wingspan Record: A newly discovered skeleton of an ancient seabird provides evidence that giant birds with 17 foot wingspans were soaring the skies of northern Chile 5-10 million years ago.
Moon Hit With A Double Whammy of Impacts: Scientists studying the first year's worth of data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have found unexpected mineral deposits, the possibility that our natural satellite was bombarded in two waves in its early history, and virtually no trace of a pristine lunar surface.
Back To The Moon's Future: NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter scouts oldest spots on the lunar surface for prospective landing sites.
New Telescope May Unveil Alien Volcanoes: Astronomers say the James Webb Space Telescope, due to be launched in 2014, should be able to detect faint signs of volcanism on a rocky planet less than 30 light-years away.
Dead Or Alive... Or Neither?: Why a dormant volcano is not a dead one.
How Much Is Left?: The limits of the Earth's resources, made interactive.
NASA Panel Weighs Asteroid Danger: Some time in the next decade, a U.S. president will probably be presented with this dilemma: Is it worth spending \$1 billion to deflect a space rock that may never hit Earth?
Graphite Found In Moon Rock Collected During Apollo 17: Humans have not set foot on the moon since Apollo 17 in 1972, but those missions are still producing surprises.
Transition Metal Catalysts Could Be Key To Origin Of Life: Researchers propose that simple transition metal-ligand complexes in hydrothermal ocean vents catalyzed reactions, giving rise to more complex molecules that were able to self-organize into networks of chemical reactions laying the foundation for life.
'Deep Freeze' Didn't Affect Southern Hemisphere: At the end of the last ice age, southern latitudes warmed, while the north froze again.
The Hunchback Of Central Spain: A newly described carnivorous dinosaur species has a strikingly unusual hump on its back and hints of featherlike appendages on its arms. The 125 million-year-old fossil from central Spain suggests that feathers evolved in more primitive dinosaurs than previously thought.
Mars Organics Get New Lease On Life: The Viking Mars mission may have destroyed compounds that make biology possible while trying to detect them.
Spinning Asteroids Split In Two: New research shows small asteroids can be be split apart by fast rotation, but asteroids like Gaspra may be too big.
Do Impacts Trigger Extinctions?: The overwhelming evidence that a bolide caused a mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary weighs so heavily in the minds of researchers that it can sway how they read the evidence related to other mass extinctions.
Pulverized Planet Dust May Lie Around Double Stars: Tight double-star systems might not be the best places for life to spring up.
Fires and Floods Key To Dinosaur Island Secrets: Fires and floods which raged across the Isle of Wight some 130 million years ago made the island the richest source of pick 'n' mix dinosaur remains of this age anywhere in the world.
Great Fizz Of Carbon Dioxide At End Of Ice Age: Marine scientists say that something very similar to opening a can of soda happened on a grand scale over a 1,000 year period after the end of the last ice age.
Neighboring Solar System Resembles Ours: Researchers report they have confirmed five new planets orbiting HD 10180, a star located only 127 light-years away in the southern constellation Hydrus.
Solar System Older Than Estimated: Data from a newly studied meteorite recovered from the Saharan Desert show that the solar system formed almost 2 million years earlier than previously thought.
Human-Made Global Warming Started With Ancient Hunters: Even before the dawn of agriculture, people may have caused the planet to warm up.
Volcanic Activity Unreliable As Smoking Gun For Continental Rifting: New research reveals that when two parts of the Earth's crust break apart, this does not always cause massive volcanic eruptions. The study explains why some parts of the world saw massive volcanic eruptions millions of years ago and others did not.
Moon's Craters Hold Clues to the Lunar Interior: Data collected by the lunar orbiter Kaguya suggests that material from the moon's interior - a relatively heavy mineral, olivine - can be found on the rims of a number of its major craters.
Saber-toothed Cats Strong-armed Prey: A saber-toothed cat’s pounce may have been as bad as its bite. A fossil analysis shows that the animal’s humerus, the bone between the shoulder and elbow, was stronger than in any other cat, living or extinct.
African Fossils Suggest Complex Life Arose Early: Large fossils uncovered in 2.1 billion-year-old rock from Gabon, in western Africa, appear to be incipient examples of macroscopic life in what was then a sea of single-celled microbes.
Were Some Gigantic Jurassic Sea Creatures Warm-Blooded?: A new study analyzing oxygen isotopes in their fossil teeth proposes that ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and mosasaurs were able to maintain relatively stable body temperatures in tropical and frigid waters alike.
Portrait Of A Youthful Planet: New images have confirmed that a tiny point of light first photographed near the 12 million year old star Beta Pictoris in is indeed an orbiting planet, one of only a handful of extrasolar planets ever imaged.
Before The Mississippi, Minerals Show Ancient Rivers Flowed West: A large proportion of the zircons found in Jurassic-era sandstones throughout a Texas-sized portion of the Colorado Plateau originated in the Appalachians.
Missing Chemicals On Titan Could Signal Life: Two new studies about the chemical makeup of Titan, Saturn’s hydrocarbon-shrouded moon, raise the possibility that methane-based bacteria might exist on its surface, munching on acetylene and hydrogen.
Many Famous Comets Originally Formed in Other Solar Systems: Many of the most well known comets, including Halley, Hale-Bopp and, most recently, McNaught, may have been born in orbit around other stars.
Water Spirit: Mars rover Spirit findings hint of a warmer, wetter era on Mars.
Coahuilaceratops magnacuerna Was Horniest Dinosaur: A new species of horned dinosaur unearthed in Mexico has larger horns that any other species - up to 4 feet long - and has given scientists fresh insights into the ancient history of western North America
Mysteries of Mars' Northern Ice Cap Solved?: Scientists have reconstructed the formation of two curious features in the northern ice cap of Mars - a chasm larger than the Grand Canyon and a series of spiral troughs - solving a pair of mysteries dating back four decades while finding new evidence of climate change on Mars.
Huge Carbon 'Burp' Helped End Last Ice Age: Scientists have found the possible source of a huge carbon dioxide 'burp' that happened some 18,000 years ago and which helped to end the last ice age.
Warming To Kill Off A Fifth Of All Lizards: Global warming could kill off as many as a fifth of the world's lizards by 2080, with potentially devastating consequences for ecosystems around the world in which they are a crucial part of the food chain, since they are important prey for many birds, snakes, and voracious predators of insects.
Volcano Betting Gathering Steam: You never quite know when a given volcano is going to erupt - but you can bet on it.
Hubble Telescope Finds A Star Eating A Planet: WASP-12b, the hottest known planet in the Milky Way galaxy may also be its shortest-lived world. The doomed planet is being eaten by its parent star, according to observations made by a new instrument on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph.
Prehistoric Fish Extinction Paved The Way For Modern Vertebrates: A mass extinction of fish 360 million years ago hit the reset button on Earth's Devonian life, setting the stage for modern vertebrate biodiversity. It reset vertebrate diversity in every single environment, both freshwater and marine, and created a completely different world.
NASA's Mars Rovers Set Surface Longevity Record: The Opportunity rover has surpassed the duration record set by NASA's Viking 1 Lander of six years and 116 days operating on the surface of Mars.
The Coal Truth: Are the coming generation of electric cars just coal-burners, once removed?
ESA's Herschel Telescope Shows Star Formation Is Slowing: The formation of new stars in galaxies like the Milky Way has declined five-fold in the last three billion years.
Astronomers Could Soon Find Moons outside the Solar System - Even Habitable Ones: Ewoks and the Na'vi may be pure fiction, but Endor and Pandora, the moons they inhabit, appear closer to reality.
New Bony-Skulled Dinosaur Species Discovered In Texas: Paleontologists have discovered a new species of dinosaur, Texacephale langstoni, with a softball-sized lump of solid bone on top of its skull. The new species is one of about a dozen known to have solid lumps of bone on top of their skulls, believed to be used to ram one another head-on.
Did Phosphorus Trigger Complex Evolution - And Blue Skies?: The evolution of complex life forms may have gotten a jump start billions of years ago, when geologic events operating over millions of years caused large quantities of phosphorus to wash into the oceans.
Quantum Mechanics Reveals New Details Of Deep Earth: Scientists have used quantum mechanics to reveal that the most common mineral on Earth is relatively uncommon deep within the planet.
Cometary Dust In Antarctica?: A new family of extraterrestrial particles, probably of cometary origin, has been identified for the first time in snow in Central Antarctica.
Asteroid Impacts Caused Crustal Crisis: Asteroids bombarding the Earth triggered major earthquakes that disrupted the evolution of our planet's crust, say Australian researchers.
Spectacular South African Skeletons Reveal New Species From Murky Period of Human Evolution: Scientists working in South Africa have unveiled fossils of a human species new to science that they say could be the direct ancestor of our genus, Homo. Discovered in Malapa cave, the finds comprise two partial skeletons that are nearly 1.95 million years old.
Partial Skeletons May Represent New Hominid: Partial skeletons may represent a new hominid species with implications for Homo origins, one researcher claims. But many of his peers disagree.
Northwest Lava Flows Could Have Altered Earth’s Climate: New research suggests the volcanic birth of the Northwest's Columbia Plateau happened much more quickly than previously thought and with an intensity that may have changed the Earth's climate and caused some plants and animals to go extinct.
Planet-Like Object Found Circling A Brown Dwarf: It's the right size for a planet, estimated to be 5-10 times the mass of Jupiter. But the object formed in less than 1 million years - the approximate age of the brown dwarf - and much faster than the predicted time it takes to build planets according to some theories.
Signs Of Recent Lava Flows Suggest Venus Is Geologically Alive: For the first time, scientists have detected clear signs of recent lava flows on the surface of Venus. The observations reveal that volcanoes on Venus appeared to erupt between a few hundred years to 2.5 million years ago, suggesting the planet may still be geologically active.
Superheavy Element 117 Makes Debut: An international team of researchers fill a gap in the periodic table, and lay another stepping stone along the path to the "island of stability".
Third Hominin Coexisted With Modern Humans And Neanderthals: Modern humans and Neanderthals lived side by side on the Eurasian landscape for tens of thousands of years - but it turns out they weren’t alone.
Researchers Discover New Lineage of Ancient Human: DNA from a 40,000-year-old human finger bone found in a Siberian cave points to a new lineage of ancient human. The find - the first made with genetic, not fossil evidence - suggests that Central Asia was occupied at that time not only by Neandertals and Homo sapiens but also by a third, previously unknown hominin lineage.
Pre-history Rewritten As New Human Discovered: Scientists in Germany have discovered a new human species that lived in Siberia around 30,000 to 50,000 years ago. The species lived at the same time as modern humans and Neanderthals and shared a common ancestor with them.
Microbes Breathe Life Into Oxygen Theory: A new study of methane-munching microbes adds weight to the idea that bacteria were producing oxygen on Earth before photosynthesis evolved.
Climate Change Imperils The State Of The Planet - Will the World Act?: Efforts to combat climate change continue to grow. But are they big enough? Or fast enough?
Could Tiny Bubbles Cool The Planet?: A Harvard University physicist has come up with a new way to cool parts of the planet: pump vast swarms of tiny bubbles into the sea to increase its reflectivity and lower water temperatures.
The Dawn Of A New Epoch?: Geologists from the University of Leicester are among four scientists - including a Nobel prize-winner - who suggest that the Earth has entered a new age of geological time.
First Ever Southern Tyrannosaur Dinosaur Discovered: Scientists have found the first ever evidence that tyrannosaur dinosaurs existed in the southern continents. They have identified a hip bone found at Dinosaur Cove in Victoria, Australia as belonging to an ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex.
New Bird Fossil Hints At More Undiscovered Chinese Treasures: The study of Mesozoic birds and the dinosaur-bird transition is one of the most exciting and vigorous fields in vertebrate paleontology today. A newly described bird from the Jehol Biota of northeast China suggests that scientists have only tapped a small proportion of the birds and dinosaurs that were living at that time, and that the rocks still have many secrets to reveal.
Volcanism Helped Dinosaurs Gain Upper Hand: It took a volcanic eruption and the loss of half of Earth's plant life 200 million years ago to tip the scales in favour of the dinosaurs over crocodiles. The idea is not new, but connecting the eruption to a 200-million-year-old mass extinction event has not been easy. Now that link is confirmed.
Not The Space Rock: Based on an analysis of the appearance and distribution of organic-walled microfossils such as algal cysts, pollen, and spores of terrestrial plants, a paleontologist colcludes long-term climate fluctuations controlled by the intermittent activity of the Deccan volcanism were the main reason for the extinction of the dinosaurs and other creatures 65 million years ago.
Rock Solid Link: Asteroid Doomed the Dinosaurs: A blue-ribbon panel of scientists has banded together to support the link between the Chicxulub asteroid impact crater in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula with the mass extinction of dinosaurs and the majority of life on our planet 65 million years ago.
Methane Leaks Off Siberian Coast Speeding Climate Change: The gas is bubbling up from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf because warming ocean water is thawing permafrost, allowing methane trapped underneath to escape. The amount of methane emitted by that one patch of seabed roughly equals the amount scientists previously believed was released by all of the world's oceans.
Lava Likely Made River-Like Channel On Mars: Flowing lava can carve or build paths very much like the riverbeds and canyons etched by water, and this probably explains at least one of the meandering channels on the surface of Mars.
Chilean Quake Knocked Earth For A Loop: The sudden, large-scale movement of tectonic plates that triggered the February 27 magnitude 8.8 quake in Chile shifted immense masses of rock a few meters closer to Earth’s core, tilting the planet’s axis a few centimeters and imperceptibly shortening the day.
Hydrothermal Vents Sometimes Colonized From Afar: Field studies at a hydrothermal vent system where all life was snuffed out by a massive undersea volcanic eruption reveal that these habitats can be repopulated in a matter of months by larvae from distant vents.
New Dinosaur Discovered Head First: A team of paleontologists has discovered a new dinosaur species they're calling Abydosaurus, which belongs to the group of gigantic, long-necked, long-tailed, four-legged, plant-eating dinosaurs such as Brachiosaurus.
Plumes, Hotspots On Saturn's Moon Enceladus: Newly released images from the Cassini spacecraft's swoop over Saturn's icy moon Enceladus reveal a forest of new jets spraying icy particles, water vapor and organic compounds from prominent fractures crossing the south polar region.
Saturn Moon Could Be Hospitable To Life: New close-ups of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus taken by the Cassini spacecraft provide fresh evidence that the moon’s interior may be liquid water and hospitable to life.
Earliest Animals Flexed Their Muscles: A group of British and Canadian palaeontologists have found 565 million-year-old fossils that show the earliest evidence of animal locomotion.
Sea Caves Reveal Rapid Rise In Ancient Ocean Levels: The record suggests that sea level can rise or fall as fast as two meters a century - nearly 12 times as fast as sea level rise in the past 100 years and indicating the potential for a meter of sea-level rise within one human lifetime.
Murchison Meteorite's Chemical Bonanza: Australia's Murchison meteorite is known to harbor complex organic compounds, but a new analysis finds that it may also contain millions of chemicals and shed light on the timeline of the kinds of chemistry that went on in a much earlier universe.
Afghan Geological Reserves Worth A Trillion Dollars: China's state-owned metals giant Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) has signed a three-billion-dollar contract to develop the Aynak copper mine - one of the world’s largest - over the next 30 years.
Hubble Images Pluto: NASA has released the most detailed set of images ever taken of the distant dwarf planet Pluto. The images taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope show an icy and dark molasses-colored, mottled world that is undergoing seasonal changes in its surface color and brightness.
What Caused Earth To Hold Its Last Breath?: For some time, scientists have known that a large cache of light elements like helium and argon still reside inside the planet. This has perplexed scientists because such elements tend to escape into the atmosphere during volcanism.
Why Hasn't Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?: Earth has warmed much less than expected during the industrial era based on current best estimates of Earth's climate sensitivity.
Scientists Scramble To Analyze Haiti Quake: Since the ground shook Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, scientists have been harnessing every possible tool to quickly assemble a detailed picture of a region in which scientific research had already been difficult to conduct.
Haiti Quake Could Have Been Even Worse: Based on seismic history, temblor could have been five times more powerful.
Evolution's Bad Girl: Like a biker chick strutting into a debutante ball, 4.4-million-year-old Ardi brazenly flaunts her nonconformity among more-demure members of the human evolutionary family, known as hominids.
Warmer Climate Could Stifle Carbon Uptake By Trees: Contrary to conventional belief, as the climate warms and growing seasons lengthen, subalpine forests are likely to soak up less carbon dioxide.
How Earth Survived Its Birth: New simulations show that variations in gas disk temperature can lead to regions of outward and inward migration that safely trap planets on orbits around their sun.
Five New Exoplanets Run The Gamut From Styrofoam To Ice: The fifth exoplanet reported appears to be an ice giant like Neptune. Although it wouldn't be home to little green men, finding planets this size this early bodes well for detecting Earth-like extrasolar planets within 3 years.
Southern Winds Help Stash Earth's Carbon Dioxide: The process by which the Southern Ocean absorbs atmospheric carbon dioxide and then shuttles it into the deep sea could be vulnerable to climate change.
Coral Reefs Are Evolutionary Cradles: Coral reefs aren't just beautiful and rich in species. They also have long served as an evolutionary wellspring for countless types of marine life, even groups such as clams and snails that researchers thought had originated in shallow coastal waters.
Another Reason to Save Coral?: An analysis of the fossil record shows that coral reefs are most often responsible for the diversity of sea life.
Tetrapod Tracks Reset Timing Of Four-legged Evolution: About 18 million years earlier than they were thought to exist, tetrapods - the earliest known vertebrates with four limbs instead of fins - walked in what is today Poland.
Footprints Could Push Back Tetrapod Origins: Newly discovered trackways are much older than previous evidence for sea-to-land transition.
Ancient Four-Legged Beasts Leave Their Mark: Footprints and tracks preserved in the mud of an abandoned quarry in southeastern Poland date back 395 million years, upending accepted thinking about when and where land animals first emerged.
How Much Ice Needed To Create Martian Land Formations?: Laboratory experiments simulating the frozen Martian sand demonstrate some land formations on Mars suggesting the presence of water ice could have been created by viscous creep of ice below the surface in Martian permafrost.
Tides In Earth's Crust Trigger Quakes: Study of one portion of the San Andreas fault finds that just a little added stress makes a quake more likely.
Super-Earths Found Orbiting Nearby Stars: The race to find Earth-like planets around stars similar to our Sun progressed further with the announcement of up to six 'super-Earths' found orbiting sun-like neighbour stars.
Mystery Mountain Range Explained: The worn remnants of the range formed in Australia 550 million years ago, now known as the Petermann Ranges, have long puzzled geologists.
Eyes Wide Shut: Earth's Vital Signs Soon to Go Unmeasured as Satellites Fail: NASA's aging fleet of Earth Observing System orbiters is on borrowed time due to a lack of planning and underfunding.
Ancient Pygmy Sea Cow Discovered: The discovery of a Middle Eocene sea cow fossil has culminated in the naming of a new species, illuminating a virtually unknown period in Madagascar fossil history.
Mammals May Be Nearly Half Way Toward Mass Extinction: If the planet is headed for another mass extinction like the previous five, each of which wiped out more than 75 percent of all species on the planet, then North American mammals are one-fifth to one-half the way there.
Liquid in Lake on Saturn's Moon Titan: The Cassini Spacecraft has captured the first flash of sunlight reflected off a lake on Saturn's moon Titan, confirming the presence of liquid on the part of the moon dotted with many large, lake-shaped basins.
Avatar's Moon Pandora Could Be Real: With NASA's Kepler mission showing the potential to detect Earth-sized objects, habitable moons may soon become science fact.
Bacteria Can Transform Minerals Electrically: Scientists studying a genus of the rock-dwelling bacteria called Shewanella have found out how the organisms can transform minerals by zapping them with tiny electrical currents.
Experiment Detects Particles Of Dark Matter, Maybe: Events in underground Cryogenic Dark Matter Search experiment too few for certainty, but match the signature of weakly interacting massive particles aka WIMPs.
Super-Earth Found Close By: GJ 1214b, 6.5 times more massive than Earth and 2.7 times wider, orbits a red dwarf star 40 light years distant. It may be composed of up to 75 percent water.
Seismology In Your Backyard: Two USGS programs, Twitter, and inexpensive seismic equipment transform citizens into scientists.
Volcanic Winter: Researchers have found compelling evidence of a previously undocumented large volcanic eruption that occurred 200 years ago. The discovery helps explain the record cold decade from 1810-1819.
EPA To Regulate Wastewater From Coal-Fired Power Plants: High selenium levels in power plant wastewater pose a risk to people and wildlife.
First Direct Observation Of A Planet Orbiting Another Star: An international team of scientists has made the first direct observation of a planet-like object orbiting a star similar to the sun.
Hawaiian Hot Spot Has Deep Roots: Plate tectonic theory readily explains the existence of volcanoes at boundaries where plates split apart or collide, but mid-plate volcanoes such as the Hawaiian island chain have been harder to fit into the theory.
What Happens When an Enormous Star Blows Up?: Although a theory developed years ago describes what the explosion of such an enormous star should look like, no one had actually observed one -- until now.
Quid Pro Quo?: Quasar HE0450 seems to be pulling in gas from a nearby galaxy then blasting out matter to create new stars.
Pluto's Cloud Components Verified: Clouds in Pluto’s atmosphere may be composed of tiny frozen spherules of nitrogen or carbon monoxide.
Large Hadron Collider Begins Smashing Particles: Scientists are looking to the 7.0 teraelectronvolt collider to mimic the conditions that followed the Big Bang and help explain the origins of the universe.
Martian Meteorite ALH84001 Back In Spotlight: New analysis of a 13,000-year-old Mars meteorite, retrieved from Antarctica, has rekindled the debate about whether the ancient rock holds signs of past microbial Martian life.
Seven Answers To Climate Contrarian Nonsense: Evidence for human interference with Earth's climate continues to accumulate.
Libocedrus prechilensis Now Papuacedrus prechilensis: New fossil plant discovery links Patagonia to New Guinea in a warmer past.
Mass Extinction: Why Did Half of North America's Large Mammals Disappear 40,000 to 10,000 Years Ago?
Early Volcanoes Minted Nickel: Those spare nickels in your pocket might not be there without the help of ancient volcanoes that blasted sulfur dioxide into the sky billions of years ago.
Volcanoes To Split Africa: Two volcanic eruptions in September 2005, which produced a 60-kilometre split in north-eastern Ethiopia, have enabled scientists to further examine the earth's tectonic movements.
Martian Mud: Martian water most likely flowed as slurries of mud rather than trickling streams.
What If There Is No Dark Matter?: The prevailing view holds that dark matter contributes five times as much to the mass of the universe as ordinary matter does.
Last European 'Duck-billed' Dinosaurs Lived In Iberian Peninsula : A few million years before the catastrophic event that led to the extinction of dinosaurs, several species of hadrosaurs coexisted in the Iberian Peninsula.
Seafloor Fossils Provide Clues To Climate Change: Known as foraminifera, these complex little shells of calcium carbonate can tell you the sea level, temperature, and ocean conditions of Earth millions of years ago. That is, if you know what to look for.
Male Sabertoothed Cats Were Pussycats: Despite their fearsome fangs, male sabertoothed cats may have been less aggressive than many of their feline cousins.
More Support For Human Role In Chinese Quake: When the Wenchuan earthquake killed some 80,000 people in southwest China in May of last year, suspicion immediately fell on the reservoir behind the nearby Zipingpu Dam.
Pushing Earth With A Breath Of Air: Atmospheric tides can nudge landslides along.
The Mountains That Froze The World: The rise of the Appalachians plunged Earth into an ice age so severe that it drove nearly two-thirds of all living species extinct.
Signature Of Antimatter Detected In Lightning: Designed to scan the heavens thousands to billions of light-years beyond the solar system for gamma rays, the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has also picked up shocking vibes from Earth.
Banded Rocks Reveal Early Earth Conditions: Called banded iron formations or BIFs, these ancient rocks formed between 3.8 and 1.7 billion years ago at what was then the bottom of the ocean. The stripes represent alternating layers of silica-rich chert and iron-rich minerals like hematite and magnetite.
Asteroid Is Actually A Protoplanet: "Arizona Sized" Pallas is in the gray area between a large asteroid and a small planet.
Moon Impact: NASA Plays Down Lack Of Fireworks: Observers don't see debris plume, but LCROSS scientists press onward.
Moon Crash Delivers No Obvious Plume: The one-two punch of crashing a booster rocket and its mother craft near the moon's south pole didn’t kick up dramatic and visible plumes as hoped, but scientists report that the mission had gathered enough data to tell whether the crater contains frozen water.
Archaeopteryx Was Not Very Bird-Like: The raptor-like Archaeopteryx has long been viewed as the archetypal first bird, but new research reveals that it was actually a lot less "bird-like" than scientists had believed.
New Planet-Finder Shows Its Power: The first results are in from the Kepler orbiting observatory, the world's most powerful planet-searching telescope.
Riverbed Model Works Like The Real Thing: Researchers construct a laboratory version of a meandering stream.
Tiny Moon Feeds Saturn's Big Ring: The largest ring identified so far in the Solar System, the ring begins about six million kilometres from Saturn and extends outwardly by another 12 million kilometres, within the orbit of Phoebe.
Before Lucy Walked Ardi: Lucy, the 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis fossil, has long been the poster child for early human evolution. But now she’ll have to share the spotlight with 4.4-million-year-old Ardipithecus ramidus.
Mars Ice Is Pure, Not Dirty: Scientists from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter team announce new data that suggest a subsurface layer of pure ice, just a meter or two below the surface, might extend over as much as half of the Red Planet, from the poles to the mid-latitudes.
Arkansas: A Geologic Diamond In The Rough: If the budget belt is a little tighter this year, consider packing your diamond-digging trowel, bathing suit and camping gear and heading to a little-known geologic hot spot in the middle of the United States.
Deciphering Mass Extinctions: The rock record has revealed some "rules" that mass extinction events seem to follow - rules that also speak to Earth's future.
New Map Reveals Geology Of Jupiter's Moon Ganymede: The map is the product of a seven-year effort and is only the third global geological map ever compiled for a moon in the solar system, after Earth's moon and Jupiter's cratered satellite Callisto.
Saturn Home To The Perfect Storm: A tempest that erupted on Saturn in January has become the Solar System's longest continuously observed lightning storm.
Microbe-ferrying Russian Probe Won't Head for Mars Orbit Until 2011: Russia's Phobos-Grunt probe, which had been slated to head off this year on a sample-return mission to Phobos, the larger of Mars's two moons, will not launch until at least 2011.
Dwarf Planet "Haumea" Has a Mystery Spot: Haumea, the mini planet whose detection set off an international and as yet unresolved war of words between the two teams claiming its discovery, is back on the astronomy scene with more intrigue.
Melting Of The Greenland Ice Sheet Mapped: Will all of the ice on Greenland melt and flow out into the sea, bringing about a colossal rise in ocean levels on Earth, as the global temperature rises?
Patterns In Mars Crater Floors Give Picture Of Drying Lakes: Networks of giant polygonal troughs etched across crater basins on Mars have been identified as desiccation cracks caused by evaporating lakes, providing further evidence of a warmer, wetter Martian past.
First Solid Evidence For A Rocky Exoplanet: The longest set of High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) spectrograph measurements ever made has firmly established the nature of the smallest and fastest-orbiting exoplanet known, CoRoT-7b
Rock Solid Planet: New measurements provide the first solid evidence for a rocky extrasolar planet and CoRoT-7b has a composition similar to that of Earth’s interior.
Moonquake Mystery Deepens: Seismometers placed on the moon by Apollo astronauts have recorded hundreds of moonquakes even though the moon was believed to be seismically dead. It turns out that moonquakes may have more in common with earthquakes than once thought.
Re-examining The Burgess Shale: A hundred years after it was discovered, the world’s most famous fossil site still holds surprises.
Geologists Assess Yosemite Hotel Rockfall Risk: The Ahwahnee Hotel, a landmark Yosemite lodge, closed following a series of landslides that peppered the storied building's parking lot with boulders - one the size of two SUVs.
Prehistoric Tail Swingers Had Sweet Spot: Both glyptodonts and dinosaurs wielding spiked tails possessed a lethal tail sweet spot, technically known as the centre of percussion.
Runway Reveals How Pterodactyls Land: Palaeontologists have just identified the world's first known landing runway for a pterosaur. It reveals nearly every move the pterosaur made after it returned from Late Jurassic skies - 161 to 145 million years ago.
New Finds From Germany's Messel Pit: Some astonishingly well-preserved fossil finds recently recovered from the Messel shales, laid down in a former volcanic lake, add exotic colour and diversity to the Eocene world of 47 million years ago.
Kamikaze Planet: Astronomers have found a giant planet orbiting so close to its parent star that it's bound to spiral inward to its doom or else be ripped to shreds by the star's gravity.
Extrasolar Planets At Full Tilt: The presence of advanced life on Earth may be contingent on our planetary system having avoided the brunt of planet-planet scatter.
Mars, Methane and Mysteries: The discovery of methane means that either there is life on Mars, or that volcanic activity continues to generate heat below the martian surface. Either outcome is big news.
Meteorite Found On Mars Yields Clues About Planet's Past: Mars Rover Opportunity is investigating a metallic meteorite the size of a large watermelon that is providing more details about the Red Planet's environmental history.
Pterosaur Features Defy Comparison: A well-preserved pterosaur with soft tissues reveals this flying reptile had hair, claws and wings that were unlike anything seen on today's living animals.
Exoplanet CoRoT-7b Has Rocky Surface: The smallest planet yet detected outside our Solar System appears to have a solid surface.
Super-Earths?: Astronomers have found a handful of "Super-Earths" - possibly terrestrial planets with masses two to 15 times that of Earth. But will super-Earths turn out to be much like Earth at all?
Planet-Hunting Spacecraft Shows Its Stuff: The Kepler orbiting observatory's mission is to seek out smaller worlds more like our own, ideally in comfortable, life-enabling orbits in their respective stars' so-called habitable zone.
Mapping The Globe's Soils: The lack of good information on global soils is hampering efforts to improve agriculture and combat climate change.
Surface Features On Titan Form Like Earth's: Titan looks more like the Earth than any other body in the Solar System, despite the huge differences in temperature and other environmental conditions.
Long Debate Ended Over Cause, Demise Of Ice Ages?: Researchers have largely put to rest a long debate on the underlying mechanism that has caused periodic ice ages on Earth for the past 2.5 million years.
Chicken-Hearted Tyrants: Were Predatory Dinosaurs Baby Killers?
Latest Case For Martian Life May Just Be Hot Air: Scientists have discovered that methane in the martian atmosphere, one of the primary signals that biological processes may be at work today on the red planet, is behaving in unexplainable ways.
Titan May Host Prebiotic Brew: Evidence from flybys suggests the Saturnian moon’s environment is similar to that of the early Earth.
The Southwest's Best-Kept Secret: Ditch the city for a week and enjoy the forgotten natural landscape of America at Canyonlands National Park, a haven for rockhounds in southeastern Utah.
Asteroid Belt Home To Displaced Comets: Many of the primitive bodies wandering the asteroid belt are actually former comets, tossed out of orbit by the giant outer planets.
Fossilized Dung Balls Reveal Secret Ecology Of Lost World: A new study of 30-million-year-old-fossil 'mega-dung' from extinct giant South American mammals reveals evidence of complex ecological interactions and theft of dung-beetles' food stores by other animals.
'Invisibility Cloak' Could Protect Against Earthquakes: A new technology controls the path of surface waves which are the most damaging and responsible for much of the destruction which follows earthquakes.
Geothermal To Deliver Clean Power Generation?: A new method for capturing significantly more heat from low-temperature geothermal resources holds promise for generating virtually pollution-free electrical energy.
Ancient Climate-Change Event Puzzles Scientists: An unexplained warming 55 million years ago haunts the paleoclimate record.
Redefining Quaternary: The Quaternary Period - the geologic time period that includes human evolution up to the present - is now a bit longer than it used to be.
Radioactive Countertops?: Nothing says class like a thick slab of polished granite. The stone is so durable. So chic. So modern. So...radioactive?
Green Power Saved Earth From Iceball Fate: Vegetation helped save Earth from runaway cooling that would have encased the planet in ice.
Scientists Discover Three New Aussie Dinosaurs: Palaeontologists have unveiled three new Australian dinosaur skeletons. The research puts Australian back on the palaeontology map and describes Australia's fauna before it separated from the supercontinent Gondwana.
Ice Volume Of Switzerland’s Glaciers Calculated: Switzerland's glaciers have lost twelve percent of their ice volume since 1999.
Mummified Dinosaur Skin Yields Up New Secrets: Scientists have identified preserved organic molecules in the skin of a hadrosaur dinosaur that died around 66 million years ago.
Did An Ancient Volcano Freeze Earth?: One fine day about 74,000 years ago, a giant volcano on Sumatra blew its top. The volcano, named Toba, may have ejected 1000 times more rock and other material than Mount St. Helens in Washington state did in 1980.
Finally, An Average Black Hole: Heavyweight and lightweight black holes abound in the universe, but nobody had detected a middleweight - and some scientists argue they don't exist. Now, astronomers have found the first conclusive evidence for one of these elusive objects at the fringe of a distant galaxy.
Volcanic Blasts Kicked Off Modern Ice Ages: A series of cataclysmic volcanic eruptions gave the planet its polar ice caps, and started a freeze-thaw cycle of ice ages that persists to this day.
Evidence Found Of Lake On Mars: A long, deep canyon and the remains of beaches are perhaps the clearest evidence yet of a standing lake on the surface of Mars.
Can Captured Carbon Save Coal-Fired Power?: Extracting carbon dioxide from power plant exhaust and storing it underground may be the only hope to avoid a climate change catastrophe caused by burning fossil fuels.
Dinosaurs May Have Been Smaller Than Previously Thought: Scientists have discovered that the original statistical model used to calculate dinosaur mass is flawed, suggesting dinosaurs have been oversized.
Ice Sheets Can Retreat 'In A Geologic Instant': Modern glaciers, such as those making up the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, are capable of undergoing periods of rapid shrinkage or retreat.
Martian Lightning: Scientists have seen the first direct evidence of lightning on Mars, in the form of electrical discharges during a Martian dust storm.
Bird In The Hand: Fossilized fingers strengthen evolutionary link between dinosaurs and avian relatives.
New Element For Periodic Table: Scientists around the world are celebrating the latest entry to the periodic table. It's taken more than a decade for element 112, the biggest and heaviest atom yet, to be officially recognised.
Space Trash To Blast Moon In Search For Water: A spent rocket stage from the LCROSS probe launch will crash into a shadowed crater at the lunar south pole, whose surface has not seen sunlight in two billion years. A plume of debris will puff into space and be analyzed by the probe's cameras and spectometers.
New Definition Could Further Limit Habitable Zones Around Distant Suns: Scientists believe liquid water is essential for life. But a planet also must have plate tectonics to pull excess carbon from its atmosphere and confine it in rocks to prevent runaway greenhouse warming.
Planet-Forming Disk Discovered Orbiting Twin Suns: Binary star system V4046 Sagittarii provides strong evidence that planets can form around binary stars, which expands the number of places we can look for extrasolar planets. Somewhere in our galaxy, an alien world may enjoy double sunrises and double sunsets.
Fossil Bone Bed Helps Reconstruct Life Along California's Ancient Coastline: Sharktooth Hill near Bakersfield, Calif., is the home of the most extensive marine bone bed in the world, a 100-square-mile layer of shark, seal, ray, whale, turtle and fish bones.
Discovery Raises New Doubts About Dinosaur-Bird Links: Researchers have made a fundamental new discovery about how birds breathe and have a lung capacity that allows for flight and the finding means it's unlikely that birds descended from any known theropod dinosaurs.
Alien Visitor From Afar: Even the most unassuming neighbor can hide a giant secret. New calculations of the orbit of a dim, extremely low-mass star just 300 light-years from the solar system suggest the body may be a runaway from another galaxy.
Solar System's Future Could Be Bumpy: It’s happened before, and it could happen again: Planets in the inner solar system may collide if gravitational interactions substantially disturb now-stable orbits.
Unlikely Suns Reveal Improbable Planets: Astronomers are finding planets where there were not supposed to be any.
Evidence Mounts For Liquid Interior Of A Saturn Moon: Swooping within 25 kilometers of Enceladus, the Cassini spacecraft has obtained additional evidence that the interior of this tiny, icy moon of Saturn may contain liquid water.
A More Organic Meteorite: Some meteorites may contain more formic acid, a precursor to life, than previously thought.
Early Modern Human Ate Neanderthal Child: The evidence, which includes teeth and a carefully butchered jawbone from a site in France, could represent the world's first known biological proof of direct contact between the two groups.
Asteroid Attack 3.9 Billion Years Ago May Have Enhanced Early Life On Earth: The bombardment of Earth nearly 4 billion years ago by asteroids as large as Kansas would not have had the firepower to extinguish potential early life on the planet and may even have given it a boost.
Earth's Hadean Era Not So Bad For Life: Analyses of chemical and isotopic records preserved in tiny rock crystals have shown that conditions as early as a couple of hundred million years after the moon's formation were relatively mild and possibly conducive to life.
"Revolutionary" Fossil Fails to Dazzle Paleontologists: No proof the much-hyped "Ida" find is a missing link between humans and early primates say experts.
Coal Supply May Be Vastly Overestimated: The world's coal supply suggests reserves may be vastly overestimated and we could be facing an unprecedented global energy crisis.
Our Planet's Leaky Atmosphere: As Earth's air slowly trickles away into space, will our planet come to look like Venus?
Melting Threat From West Antarctic Ice Sheet: While a total or partial collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet as a result of warming would not raise global sea levels as high as some predict, levels on the U.S. seaboards would rise 25 percent more than the global average and threaten cities like New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.
Termites And Protozoa Discovered Together In Ancient Amber: The analysis of a termite entombed for 100 million years in an ancient piece of amber has revealed the oldest example of "mutualism" ever discovered between an animal and microorganism.
Competition May Have Led To New Dinosaur Species: The discovery of a gruesome feeding frenzy that played out 73 million years ago in northwestern Alberta may also lead to the discovery of new dinosaur species there.
Recent Rivers On The Red Planet: Young valley networks indicate water coursed not long ago on Mars.
Fossil Fuel Use Must Fall To 25%: The world will have to reduce its use of fossil fuels to less than a quarter of the proven reserves by 2050 if it wants to stay within 'safe' climate change limits.
The Contradictions Between The Creationist Movements: A skeptic engages three types of creationists who claim science supports their beliefs.
Analysis Finds Strong Match Between Molecular And Fossil Data In Evolutionary Studies: For more than two decades, debate has waxed and waned between biologists and paleontologists about the reliability of their different methods. Until now, attention has focused on the dramatically different evolutionary history of certain lineages as determined by fossils or by genetics.
Lake Tahoe Region May Be Due For Major Earthquake: New studies suggest a magnitude 7 earthquake occurs every 2,000 to 3,000 years in the basin, and that the largest fault in the basin, West Tahoe, appears to have last ruptured between 4,100 and 4,500 years ago.
Did Mars's Magnetic Field Die With A Whimper Or A Bang?: Giant asteroids may have wiped out Mars's magnetic field, the energy released by massive collisions upsetting the heat flow in the Red Planet's iron core that once generated a magnetic field.
A Limit For Carbon Emissions: To reduce risks of severe damage from climate change, humans should burn no more than 1 trillion tons of carbon in total.
Messenger’s Second Pass: Another Mercury flyby reveals details about the planet’s magnetic field and geology.
Despite Forecast, Quake Predictions On Shaky Ground: A scientist little known in earthquake circles made a bold prediction of a destructive earthquake in the Abruzzo region of central Italy based on spikes in radon gas.
Twin Spacecraft To Explore Secret Of Moon's Origin: Two places on opposite sides of Earth may hold the secret to how the moon was born. NASA's twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory spacecraft are about to enter these zones, known as the L4 and L5 Lagrangian points.
Nickel Down, Oxygen Up: A decrease in the amount of dissolved nickel in ocean waters beginning 2.7 billion years ago could have stifled methane-producing bacteria and set the scene for oxidation of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Mount Redoubt Erupts 5 Times: Alaska's Mount Redoubt volcano erupted five times overnight, sending an ash plume more than 9 miles into the air in the volcano's first emissions in nearly 20 years.
Fossil Fragments Reveal 500-Million-Year-Old Monster Predator: Hurdia victoria was originally described in 1912 as a crustacean-like animal. Now, researchers reveal it to be just one part of a complex and remarkable new animal that has an important story to tell about the origin of the largest group of living animals, the arthropods.
Giant Ice Sheet Is Safe... For Now: Historical data and a new model show a long, slow slide for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
Brines on Mars: Unusually high concentration of perchlorate salts found in Martian soil suggests that the Red Planet may harbor shallow, extremely briny oceans just below its surface. The existence of these brines may explain a host of puzzles on Mars.
Mars Rover Spirit Faces Circuitous Route: Loose soil piled against the northern edge of a low plateau called "Home Plate" has blocked NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit from taking the shortest route toward its southward destinations for the upcoming Martian summer and following winter.
Kepler Mission Rockets To Space In Search Of Other Earths: Kepler is designed to find the first Earth-size planets orbiting stars at distances where water could pool on the planet's surface.
The Catastrophe That Wasn't: New sedimentary analyses suggest the great Permian extinction dragged on.
Fossil Fish Reveal Prehistoric Lovemaking: Fish have been doing it for more than 380 million years and palaeontologists now know how.
Controversy Over World’s Oldest Traces Of Life: The argument over whether an outcrop of rock in South West Greenland contains the earliest known traces of life on Earth has been reignited.
Solar System Pinball: Large gaps in the main asteroid belt reveal that outer planets have altered their orbits.
Archaeopteryx Heard Like A Bird: The earliest known bird, the magpie-sized Archaeopteryx, had a similar hearing range to the modern emu, which suggests that the 145 million-year-old creature - despite its reptilian teeth and long tail - was more birdlike than reptilian.
How Martian Winds Make Rocks Walk: Figuring out how pebble-sized rocks organize themselves in evenly-spaced patterns in sand seemed simple at first...
The Flashiest Dino of Them All: In what may be the first example of a peacocklike display, researchers are reporting the earliest evidence of a creature that used feathers for showing off. The animal, a 125-million-year-old long-necked bipedal dinosaur named Beipiaosaurus, may have employed the plumage to attract mates or defend its territory.
Dinosaur Fossil Reveals Creature Of A Different Feather: Paleontologists have discovered a fossil partially covered with broad, unbranched filaments - a type of structure previously theorized to exist on primitive feathered dinosaurs but not found until now.
Swarm Of Small Earthquakes Rattles Yellowstone National Park: A notable swarm of earthquakes has been underway since December 26, 2008 beneath Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park. A total of more than 250 events large enough to be located have occurred in this swarm. Reliable depths of the larger events are up to a few miles.
Did A Comet Hit Earth 12,000 Years Ago?: Roughly 12,900 years ago, massive global cooling kicked in abruptly, along with the end of the line for some 35 different mammal species. Nanodiamonds found across North America suggest this major climate change could have been cosmically instigated.
Beyond The Shadow Of A Doubt? Dark Energy Independently Confirmed: The gravitationally repulsive presence, thought to make up most of the universe, shows its effect on the development of galaxy clusters.
Dark Energy Pushing Universe Apart: New findings boost the theory that dark energy is pushing apart all the matter in the universe and will continue doing so until no other galaxies except the nearby Andromeda galaxy will be visible from Earth.
Moon’s Polar Craters Could Hold Lunar Ice: Data from the Lunar Prospector space probe shows that hydrogen on the moon is concentrated into polar craters. If the hydrogen is present as water ice, then the average concentration in some craters corresponds to ten grams of ice in each kilogram of moon rock.
Life On Mars? Elusive Mineral Bolsters Chances: A research team has found evidence of carbonates, a long-sought mineral that shows Mars was home to a variety of watery environments - some benign, others harsh - and that the acidic bath the planet endured left at least some regional pockets unscathed.
Polygamy, Paternal Care In Birds Linked To Dinosaur Ancestors: Researchers connect the evolutionary dots linking the polygamous, paternal reproductive patterns of extant birds to the behavior of their extinct dinosaur kin.
Dinosaur Dads Took Care Of Nest: Surprising finding shows paternal care in birdlike dinos.
Scientists Abandon Global Warming 'Lie': A United Nations climate change conference in Poland is about to get a surprise from 650 leading scientists who scoff at doomsday reports of man-made global warming - labeling them variously a lie, a hoax and part of a new religion.
Hubble Spots CO2 On Extrasolar Planet: Carbon dioxide has been found in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting a distant star, a finding that could help astronomers pinpoint the location of extraterrestrial life.
Titan's Volcanoes Give Cassini Spacecraft Chilly Reception: Data collected during several recent flybys of Titan by the Cassini spacecraft have put another arrow in the quiver of scientists who think the Saturnian moon contains active cryovolcanoes spewing a super-chilled liquid into its atmosphere.
As Ice Melts, Antarctic Bedrock Is On The Move: As ice melts away from Antarctica, parts of the continental bedrock are rising in response - and other parts are sinking - a finding that will give much needed perspective to satellite instruments that measure ice loss on the continent, and help improve estimates of future sea level rise.
NASA Delays Next Mission to Mars: Technical glitches have forced a two-year delay to 2011 for the scheduled launch of the Mars Science Lab, a landmark mission which aims to assess whether microbial life ever existed on the red planet and whether it still exists today.
Rock and Roil: A new study suggests that extreme chemical reactions fired up by meteorite impacts may have jump-started life in the early oceans, rather than delivering its building blocks preformed.
Meteorites Could Have Thickened Primordial Soup: In recent geological ages, large extraterrestrial bodies colliding with Earth have been associated with worldwide extinctions, but new experiments show that massive impacts that occurred early in our planet's history could have created the raw materials for life.
Carbon Dioxide Helped Ancient Earth Escape Deathly Deep Freeze: The planet’s present day greenhouse scourge may have played a vital role in helping ancient Earth to escape from complete glaciation.
New Giant Toothless Pterosaur Species Discovered: A new species of pterosaur has been identified, the largest of its kind to ever be found. It represents an entirely new genus of these flying reptiles that ruled the skies 115 million years ago.
Another Big One for Indonesia?: Bad news for the survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami: Neither the giant earthquake that triggered the killer wave nor the hundreds of smaller temblors that followed have exhausted the area's pent-up seismic energy.
Lasers Uncover Craters: New technology pinpoints previously unknown meteor impacts.
Martian Stairs Suggest Predictable Ancient Climate: Several outcrops of Martian rocks do resemble stairs, showing a regular pattern that suggests the ancient climate on the Red Planet wasn't always a hellish amalgam of cataclysmic floods, volcanic eruptions and crater-gouging impacts.
Marine Organisms Found In Ancient Amber: Scientists have discovered a menagerie of perfectly intact marine microorganisms trapped in tree resin at least 100 million years ago, pushing back by at least 20 million years the period when a type of single-cell algae called diatoms are known to have appeared on Earth.
From Bad To Worse: The 38 countries that pledged to restrain their emissions of climate change inducing greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide, are failing.
Billions Of Particles Of Anti-matter Created In Laboratory: Take a gold sample the size of the head of a push pin, shoot a laser through it, and suddenly more than 100 billion particles of anti-matter appear.
Gamma-Ray Evidence Suggests Ancient Mars Had Massive Oceans: An international team of scientists who analyzed data from the Gamma Ray Spectrometer onboard NASA's Mars Odyssey reports new evidence for the controversial idea that oceans once covered about a third of ancient Mars.
Earth's Minerals Evolved, Too: From the copper-stained rocks of the Grand Canyon to the newly discovered 10-meter-long crystals of calcium sulfate under Naica Mountain in Mexico, the vast majority of Earth's minerals owe their existence to life.
Astronomers See Exoplanets For First Time: For 13 years, astronomers have inferred only the presence of planets circling other stars. Now, they have finally spotted them with their own eyes.
Subglacial Lakes Flood, Glaciers Speed Up: Scientists link increase in Antarctic ice flow rate to water movements deep below.
Dusty Shock Waves Generate Planet Ingredients: The Spitzer Space Telescope has detected crystals of the quartz polymorphs cristobalite and tridymite around young stars just beginning to form planets.
Could Rocks Sponge Carbon Dioxide From Air?: Studies reveal the mantle rock peridotite could be harnessed to soak up huge quantities of globe-warming carbon dioxide.
Stalagmite Is Scribe For Monsoons, Society: A volleyball-sized stalagmite taken from a cave in northern China has given scientists insight about how the region’s precipitation has varied - and possibly influenced the rise and fall of various dynasties - for the past 1,800 years.
Eight-Armed Animal Preceded Dinosaurs: Scientists have discovered what they believe is an eight-armed creature, which colonised a large section of the world's oceans over 300 million years before the first dinosaurs emerged.
Messenger Glimpses Mercury’s Western Hemisphere: The results are in from the Messenger spacecraft's second flyby of Mercury, one of the least-explored planets in the solar system.
Stone Age Innovation Out Of Africa: Researchers have dated two innovative Stone Age tool industries in southern Africa that may have helped spur human migrations out of Africa.
Oldest Evidence For Complex Life In Doubt: Chemical biomarkers in ancient Australian rocks, once thought to be the oldest known evidence of complex life on Earth, may have infiltrated long after the sediments were laid down.
First Planets Lived Fast And Died Young: Surprising findings from some of the oldest known meteorites suggest that our solar system was once chock-full of miniature planets, complete with metallic cores and rocky crusts.
Opals On Mars Reveal Red Planet's Wet Past: Opal-like deposits spotted on Mars indicate the planet may have been wet for a billion years longer than previously thought.
Mars Held Its Water: New satellite data suggest a much longer wet spell for the Red Planet.
A Disaster Spelled Out In Sand: Geologists find clues to earlier Southeast Asian tsunamis embedded in soil.
Rock Shows Earth Got Off To A Hot Start: There are two opposing theories on the origin of komatiites, a rare magmatic rock that formed during the first half of the Earth's history. The controversy over how komatiites formed has been solved using synchrotron technology.
New Fossil Reveals Primates Lingered In Texas: More than 40 million years ago, primates preferred Texas to northern climates that were significantly cooling.
Waterless Concrete Seen As Building Block On Moon: A new article demonstrates a concept of creating concrete structures on the lunar surface without the use of water.
Brain Structure Provides Key To Unraveling Function Of Bizarre Dinosaur Crests: Paleontologists have long debated the function of the strange, bony crests on the heads of the duck-billed dinosaurs known as lambeosaurs.
Volcanoes May Have Provided Sparks Of First Life: New research suggests that lightening and volcanoes may have sparked early life on Earth.
Primordial Soup Lives Again: Newly analyzed vials hosted contents of an experiment testing whether life could originate in a volcano’s local environment.
How Tiktaalik Got Its Neck: New details on how fish got tough enough for land.
Earliest Animal Footprints Uncovered: Scientists have found the oldest fossilised tracks of a tiny legged animal, providing further evidence that complex creatures existed on earth 570 million years ago.
Not-So-Permafrost: New estimates show that frozen Arctic soil contains far more potential greenhouse gas than previously recognized - and could speed climate change as it melts
Yellowstone's Ancient Supervolcano 'Lukewarm': New research indicates the Yellowstone hotspot is 'only' 50 to 200 degrees Celsius hotter than its surroundings.
Did Rumbling Give Rise To Rome?: Thirteen of fifteen major ancient civilizations clustered mostly along tectonic boundaries.
Firm Evidence That Earth's Core Is Solid : Long-sought seismic waves confirm models of Earth's structure.
Time To Chill: New fossil finds from an ancient lake indicate when Antarctica dipped below freezing.
Titan Has Liquid Surface Lake: The visual and infrared mapping spectrometer on the Cassini orbiter reveals that a 7,800 square mile lake-like feature in the south polar region of Saturn's moon Titan is truly wet.
Clarity, Color, Cut, Carat and Chromosomes?: Billions of years ago, the surface of diamonds may have provided just the right conditions to foster the chemical reactions believed to have given rise to life on Earth.
Take A Deep Breath - And Thank Mount Everest: Next time you pause to view a scenic mountain vista, consider that the oxygen your lungs are taking in resulted from the same process that raised those peaks.
Where There's Smoke, There's Ice: Smoke transported to the Arctic from northern forest fires may cool the surface for several weeks to months at a time, according to the most detailed analysis yet of how smoke influences the Arctic climate relative to the amount of snow and ice cover.
Come On In, The Water's Fine: From a sweltering Jacuzzi to a tepid bath. When the world's oceans experienced such a drop in temperature almost a half-billion years ago, life exploded.
Dinos: Ahead Of The Evolutionary Curve?: A new analysis challenges the idea that dinosaur diversity boomed at the same time flowering plants began taking root across Earth.
Sahara Desert Dust Storms Sustain Life In Atlantic Ocean: The dust fertilises the North Atlantic with minerals that allow phytoplankton to recyle organic phosphorous, a highly reactive chemical that is scarce in sea water.
Volcanic Eruptions May Have Wiped Out Ocean Life 94 Million Years Ago: Undersea volcanic activity triggered a mass extinction of marine life and buried a thick mat of organic matter on the sea floor about 93 million years ago, which became a major source of oil.
Moon Walkers Face Dust Health Hazard: Lunar astronauts reported irritation and discomfort from exposure to ubiquitous sharp-edged, chemically active moon dust, with symptoms ranging from sneezing, watery eyes and a peculiar smell resembling gunpowder.
Saturn Moon May Host An Ocean: Enceladus' geysers could have delivered sodium from its underground ocean and into Saturn's E ring.
Could Global Warming Increase The Incidence Of Kidney Stones?: A new study warns that as many as 2.3 million more people may develop these mineral deposits in their kidneys by the year 2050 as the result of a warming world.
Extinct Flying Reptiles Were Gliders And Parachutists: Archaeopteryx is famous as the world's oldest bird, but reptiles were flying about some 50 million years earlier than that (225 million years ago), even before large dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
Cut Not Sink: We would be better off reducing our greenhouse emissions rather than trying to sink them into the sea using ocean fertilisation.
Solar Shades Not Cool: A proposal to place mirrors in the sky to reverse global warming by reflecting sunlight away from Earth won't give back the climate we had before.
Out of Sight, Out of Clime: Burying Carbon In A Vault Of Sea And Rock: The best place to store all that carbon dioxide from power plants might turn out to be volcanic formations off the U.S. west coast.
Phoenix Lander Has An Oven Full Of Martian Soil: The lander's robotic arm delivered a partial scoopful of clumpy soil from a trench informally called "Baby Bear" to the number 4 oven on TEGA 12 days after landing.
Phoenix Gets Shake-up After Failing Test: The Phoenix Mars Lander has flunked its first test with dirt scooped from the planet's surface failing to fall through a protective screen into an analysing chamber below.
Dispatch from Mars For Sol 4: It was a good news/bad news day on Mars, with a tentative sighting of ice by the Mars Phoenix Lander, but also a newly discovered glitch in the oven system that will analyze soil samples.
Phoenix Mars Lander Takes A Look Around: Images from Mars's newest inhabitant document its quest for water.
Undersea Volcanic Rocks Offer Vast Repository For Greenhouse Gas: Deep ocean-floor drilling experiments show that volcanic rocks off the West Coast and elsewhere might be used to securely imprison huge amounts of globe-warming carbon dioxide captured from power plants or other sources.
Answer To Carbon Emissions May Lie Under The Sea: Scientists may have found a way to chemically lock up a trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide by injecting the greenhouse gas into huge formations of the porous volcanic rock basalt that lie on the sea floor.
Extreme Rain Causes Mountains To Grow: Researchers studying a section of the Andes mountain range in Colombia have found that the more it rains the faster they grow.
Intensified Ice Sheet Movements Do Not Affect Rising Sea Levels: Predictions of rising sea levels based on increasing melt water and increasing rates of ice sheet movement may not be seeing the big picture.
One-third Of Reef-building Corals Face Extinction: Built over millions of years, coral reefs are home to more than 25 percent of marine species.
Flatfish Fossils Fill In Evolutionary Missing Link: Hidden away in museums for more that 100 years, some recently rediscovered flatfish fossils have filled a puzzling gap in the story of evolution and answered a question that initially stumped even Charles Darwin.
Fair Warning From Earthquakes?: Predicting earthquakes is the Holy Grail of seismology, but despite intensive research, not a single warning sign has proved reliable.
Moon Once Harbored Water, Lunar Lava Beads Show: The early moon wasn't such a dry place after all.
Phoenix Spacecraft Commanded To Unstow Arm: Scientists leading the Phoenix Mars mission from the University of Arizona in Tucson sent commands to unstow its robotic arm and take more images of its landing site.
Phoenix Descends Onto A Strange Land: Rock-strewn but safe 'polygonal' terrain was just what the Phoenix team predicted.
Trickle On The Moon: A new type of chemical analysis has spotted the telltale signs of water molecules inside tiny beads of volcanic glass brought to Earth decades ago by the Apollo astronauts.
Lunar Liquid: A new analysis of moon rocks has revealed that the moon isn’t as bone dry as researchers had thought, whetting the appetite of scientists who seek a deeper understanding of how Earth's natural satellite arose and evolved.
Life May Have Existed 700 Million Years Earlier Than Previously Thought: The accepted timeframe for the beginnings of life on Earth is now being questioned by after finding a key indicator to the earliest life forms in diamonds.
Carbon Specks Push Back Origins Of Life: Tiny traces of carbon trapped inside the oldest diamonds ever found, suggest life started on Earth 700 million years earlier than previously thought,
Georgia Court Halts Construction of New Coal-Fired Plant: Decision marks the first-ever thumbs-down by a court based on greenhouse gas as a pollutant and the first that hinges on a Supreme Court ruling that the Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the power to regulate carbon dioxide.
Loud And Clear: Fossil finds suggest it may be time to rethink the stereotype of grunting, wordless Neandertals.
Planetary Line-up Excites The Sun: Australian astronomers may have found a solution to how far-away Jupiter and Saturn drive the sun's solar cycle.
Voyager 2 Finds Lopsided Solar System: Hurtling through space 31 years after its launch, the Voyager 2 spacecraft has sent back the most detailed view yet of the shock wave that marks the thinning of the solar wind, the charged particles streaming from the sun.
Rain On The Martian Plain?: A new soil analysis suggests a drizzly past for the Red Planet.
Huge Impact Caused Mars's Split Personality: After more than 30 years, space scientists may have resolved one of the greatest enigmas in the solar system: why does Mars have two faces?
Fossils Of Extremely Primitive 4-Legged Creatures Close The Gap Between Fish And Land Animals: New exquisitely preserved fossils from Latvia cast light on a key event in our own evolutionary history when our ancestors left the water and ventured onto land.
Rising Seas Threaten West Antarctic: There's a big gorilla hiding the closet whose collapse could have a dramatic effect on sea levels.
Plan To Build Telescopes From Moon Dust: Rather than flying one there, a NASA scientist believes we should build a telescope on the moon using the lunar soil.
Mars Air Once Had Moisture: A new analysis of Martian soil data suggests that there was once enough water in the planet's atmosphere for a light drizzle or dew to hit the ground, leaving tell-tale signs of its interaction with the planet's surface.
Largest Crater In Solar System Revealed: New analysis of Mars' terrain using Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Global Surveyor observations reveals what appears to be by far the largest impact crater ever found in the solar system.
Impact May Have Transformed Mars: New mapping of planet unveils the solar system’s largest known impact structure.
Ancient Mineral Reveals Earth's Watery Past: An analysis of elements in ancient mineral crystals suggests liquid water existed on Earth as long as 4.3 billion years ago.
Diamonds Offer Cool Computer Solution: Quantum computers made using diamonds are a practical way to achieve a massive boost in computing power without generating more heat.
Ocean Review Finds Warming On The Rise: A long-standing difference between climate models and observations has been resolved with researchers finding that the world's oceans have been warming faster than previously thought.
Large Hadron Collider Probably Won't Destroy Earth: Our planet is not at risk from the world's most powerful particle physics experiment, a report has concluded. The document addresses fears that microscopic black holes produced by the Large Hadron Collider could have unforeseen consequences.
Ice Core Reveals How Quickly Climate Can Change: Weather patterns can permanently shift in as little as a year, according to the records preserved in an ice core from Greenland.
Britain's Last Neanderthals Were More Sophisticated Than We Thought: An archaeological excavation at a site near Pulborough, West Sussex, has thrown remarkable new light on the life of northern Europe’s last Neanderthals.
Scientists To Mimic Earth's Spinning Core: A 26-ton steel sphere will be filled with boiling metal and spun, attempting to create a miniature version of the Earth's core and in the process discover why its effect is waning.
One in Three Stars May Have "Super" Earths: The most detailed survey yet of planets orbiting nearby stars indicates that a full 30 percent of them may harbor jumbo versions of our own planet.
Phoenix Landing Is Out Of This World: An ambitious effort to determine whether Mars' arctic region once harboured life has begun with the successful landing of NASA's Phoenix probe near the Red Planet's north pole.
Phoenix Spacecraft Reports Good Health After Mars Landing: The landing ends a 422-million-mile journey from Earth and begins a three-month mission that will use instruments to taste and sniff the northern polar site's soil and ice.
See How It Lands: A camera on a Mars-orbiting spacecraft caught an image of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander suspended from its parachute just before it descended onto the Red Planet’s northern plains.
NASA Holds Breath For Phoenix Mars Lander's Touchdown: Phoenix is designed to dig into the cementlike layer of ice that researchers believe lies buried a few inches below the surface in the planet's polar regions, scanning for signs of past liquid water and organic compounds, the carbon-rich molecules that make life on Earth possible.
Nasa Aims To Unveil Secrets Of Red Planet: The unmanned Phoenix spacecraft must complete a breathtaking sequence of manoeuvres after crashing into the planet's thin atmosphere at almost 13,000mph if it is to touch down on the icy ground intact.
Were Meteorites The Origin Of Life On Earth?: A new study finds that a pair of chemical building blocks similar to those in genetic material was present in a meteorite before it fell to Earth.
NASA Finds New Mineral In Comet Dust: The mineral, a manganese silicide named Brownleeite, was discovered within an interplanetary dust particle that appears to have originated from comet 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup.
Life Cooked Up In Outer Space?: The odds are improving that life exists beyond Earth. A meteorite that formed billions of years ago and eventually crashed on Earth harbors two important components of RNA and DNA, the fundamental molecules of life.
Green Reapers: Fledgling farmers in the Middle East treasured ornamentation as much as irrigation. These ancient villagers traveled great distances to obtain green stone for making beads and pendants that held special meaning for them in a brave new agricultural world.
Diamonds On Demand: Lab-grown gemstones are now practically indistinguishable from mined diamonds. Scientists and engineers see a world of possibilities. Jewelers are less enthusiastic.
Are Arctic Sea Ice Melts Causing Sea Levels To Rise?: Recent NASA photos showed the opening of the Northwest Passage and that a third of the Arctic's sea ice has melted in recent years. Are sea levels already starting to rise accordingly?
Life's Raw Materials May Have Come From The Stars: Scientists have confirmed for the first time that an important component of early genetic material which has been found in meteorite fragments is extraterrestrial in origin.
Mysterious Mountain Dinosaur May Be New Species: A partial dinosaur skeleton from a remote British Columbia site is the first ever found in Canadian mountains and may represent a new species.
Satellite Network To Predict Earthquakes: A future network of satellites orbiting the earth may be able to detect an impending earthquake by monitoring our planet's ionosphere.
Technology Enrolled In Hunt For Life On Mars: A team from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has created a device for use on the European ExoMars rover mission scheduled for launch in 2013.
Sea Ice Melt Could Thaw Permafrost, Too: Scientists tracking a dramatic shrinkage in Arctic sea ice over the past few years have come to a worrisome conclusion: If the trend continues, it could speed up the melting of Arctic permafrost as well.
From Planet To Plutoid: Pluto now has a family of its own, after astronomers have struggled for years to give it a place among its celestial brethren.
Mountains Could Have Growth Spurts: Findings suggest that current theories about plate tectonics - the process that creates and moves continents, giving rise to mountain ranges - may need updating.
Fossilized Burrows Suggest Lizard-like Creatures In Triassic Antarctica: For the first time paleontologists have found fossilized burrows of tetrapods - land vertebrates with four legs or leglike appendages - in Antarctica dating from the Early Triassic epoch, about 245 million years ago.
Something's Shaking In Antarctica: Scientists have discovered massive, slow-motion "ice quakes" trembling twice a day through the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, an Alaska-sized swath of Antarctica.
Monitoring Antarctic Ice Movement Is A Sticky Business: Scientists discover an important clue in predicting future consequences of climate change: the mechanism that moves ice streams.
Tunguska, A Century Later: A century later, scientists are still debating the cause of the Tunguska blast. Through the years a variety of scenarios have been proposed, many of them involving the explosion of an unusual extraterrestrial object, everything from a small black hole or a chunk of antimatter to a UFO.
New Geomorphological Index Created For Studying Active Tectonics: To build a hospital, nuclear power station or a large dam you need to know the possible earthquake risks of the terrain.
Small Planet Discovered Orbiting Small Star: At three Earth masses, the planet, referred to as MOA-2007-BLG-192Lb, establishes a record for the lowest mass planet yet discovered.
Melting Methane Thawed Frozen Planet: The rapid release of methane into the Earth's atmosphere 635 million years ago caused runaway global warming, and may happen again in the near future.
Big Earthquakes Spark Jolts Worldwide: Until California's magnitude 7.3 Landers earthquake set off small jolts as far away as Yellowstone National Park, scientists did not believe large earthquakes sparked smaller tremors at distant locations.
World's Fastest Growing Mud Volcano Is Collapsing: The world's fastest-growing mud volcano is collapsing and could subside to depths of more than 140 metres with consequences for the surrounding environment.
Domain Of The Dead: Stonehenge served as an elite medieval cemetery for more than 500 years.
Rocky Microbes Push Back Life's Origins: A rich mix of microbes living in partially submerged rocks provide new evidence that life on our planet had a much earlier start than previously thought.
Australians Find A Mother Of A Fossil: The world's oldest mother and her baby have been found fossilised in north-western Australia, pushing the known record of live birth back by about 200 million years.
Salty Mars Looking Bad for Life: New calculations suggest the Red Planet was too briny to harbor microbes.
Mars Rover Eyes Hot Spring-Like Deposits: Deposits of near pure silica on Mars were formed by volcanic vapours or hot-spring-type events crossing through soil and could contain traces of past life.
Life Reaches Deeper Beneath Seabed: Signs of life have been found at a record depth of 1.6 kilometres beneath the seabed. The discovery of microbes in searing hot sediments under the Atlantic seabed off Newfoundland, Canada, doubles the previous depth record of 842 metres.
The Beginning of a Star's Explosive End: In a stroke of unprecedented good luck, an international team of astronomers has caught a stellar explosion called a supernova at the very beginning of the blast.
Chinese Researchers Take Stock After Quake: Massive temblor may shift priorities for geologists, ecologists, and others.
New Edition of Free Climate Change Booklet Available: The National Academies have released the 2008 edition of Understanding and Responding to Climate Change, a free booklet designed to give the public a comprehensive and easy-to-read analysis of findings and recommendations from our reports on climate change.
Martian Canyons By A Trickle Or A Gush?: Geologists are re-evaluating valleys long interpreted as signs of a warm and wet early Mars.
Is Indy Chasing A Fake?: As Indiana Jones races against time to find an ancient crystal skull in his new movie adventure, he should perhaps take a moment to check its authenticity.
They're Fake Indy!: Two allegedly pre-Columbian crystal skulls turn out to be counterfeits.
Death Toll May Climb In China Earthquake Aftermath: The Chinese government announced that the death toll from the devastating Sichuan Province earthquake could climb to more than 50,000 people. Nearly 20,000 have died to date, with an estimated 40,000 missing.
Climate Clues In Ice: A kilometers-long ice core from Antarctica has recorded climate information for the past 800,000 years and has revealed a three millennia long period when carbon dioxide levels in the air were lower than any previously measured.
Vast Chile Volcano Ash Cloud Partially Collapses: A towering cloud of hot ash, gas and molten rock spewed miles into the air by a volcano in southern Chile has partially collapsed, raising fears it could smother surrounding villages.
Hot Climate Could Shut Down Plate Tectonics: A new study of possible links between climate and geophysics on Earth and similar planets finds that prolonged heating of the atmosphere can shut down plate tectonics and cause a planet's crust to become locked in place.
Chinese Quake Likely A Mega-Catastrophe: Researchers fear that the magnitude-7.9 earthquake that struck near the major city of Chengdu will easily be China's biggest killer since 1976's Tangshan quake, conservatively estimated to have taken 250,000 lives.
From Bountiful to Barren: In a finding that may help scientists better predict the pace of climate change, new research shows how the Sahara Desert went from bountiful to bone-dry over a period of several thousand years.
Iron 'Snow' Keeps Mercury's Magnetic Field: New scientific evidence suggests that deep inside the planet Mercury, iron "snow" forms and falls toward the center of the planet, much like snowflakes form in Earth's atmosphere and fall to the ground.
Blame It on the Beetles: Voracious insects ruined a whole lot of dinosaur fossils.
When Did Dinosaurs Go Extinct?: Scientists have pinpointed the date of the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary more precisely than ever with refinements to the argon-argon isotopic method of dating rocks and fossils.
Earth Hums While Making 'Love' Waves: A subtle and mysterious global hum has been detected by seismologists studying records from earth's most boring seismic stations.
Darwin's Theory Of Evolution Goes Online: The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online project makes his private papers, mountains of notes, experiments and research behind his world-changing publications available to the world for free.
Signs of Hidden Ocean Underneath Titan's Crust: Slippage in Titan's rotation suggests water between its surface and core, and a higher likelihood of ancient life on Saturn's biggest moon.
Hopes Fade For Tanzanian Miners: About 65 miners are feared dead after rainfall triggered the collapse of mines in Tanzania, Africa, the source of tanzanite, a valuable blue gemstone found only in a small area near Arusha.
Google Earth User Discovers Meteorite Crater: The discovery of a meteorite crater in Western Australia's Pilbara has sparked a huge search on the internet for similar geographical features.
Cassini Tastes Organic Material At Saturn's Geyser Moon: The Cassini spacecraft tasted and sampled a surprising organic brew erupting in geyser-like fashion from Saturn's moon Enceladus during a close flyby.
Enceladus Hints At The 'L' Word: The latest encounter between the Cassini spacecraft and Saturn's moon Enceladus has come tantalizingly close to revealing the second location in the solar system that could support life.
Scientists Discover Clue To Delay Of Life On Earth: A deficiency of oxygen and the heavy metal molybdenum in the ancient deep ocean may have delayed the evolution of animal life on Earth for nearly 2 billion years.
Fossil Sheds Light On The History Of Sex: A long, thin rope-like creature standing erect on the sea floor up to 570 million years ago has been identified as the first animal on Earth with the capacity for sexual rather than asexual reproduction.
Rare Mummified Dinosaur Uncovered: Using tiny brushes and chisels, workers picking at a big greenish-black rock in the basement of North Dakota's state museum are meticulously uncovering something amazing: a nearly complete dinosaur, skin and all.
Exploring Mars: Icy Promethei Planum: Latest results from the Mars Advanced Radar for Ionosphere and Subsurface Sounding onboard Mars Express reveal the thickness of the Promethei Planum ice sheet in the Martian south polar region cap exceeds 3500 m.
Do Meteors Create Life?: New and more varied life evolved in Earth's oceans in the wake of a 100+ meteorite impact during the Ordovician period.
Whiffs From An Alien World: A 40-minute gaze with the Hubble Space Telescope has revealed methane - and water - in the atmosphere of HD 189733b.
A Solar System That Looks Like Home: The Spitzer Space Telescope reveals a disk of gas and dust surrounding AA Tauri 450 light-years away bearing a close resemblance to our early solar system.
The Next Ocean: Increasing carbon dioxide in the air is changing the pH of the ocean, which could mean very different communities of sea creatures.
Peru Meteorite May Rewrite Rule Books: The object, which left a 15 metre crater, theoretically should have disintegrated in the atmosphere long before reaching the earth's surface.
Ten Questions Shaping 21st-Century Earth Science Identified: These questions represent where the field stands, how it arrived at this point, and where it may be headed.
The Great Flooding From Beneath The Sea: Plate tectonics drove Cretaceous seas onto land 80 million years ago.
Bats Flew Before They Could Echolocate: The oldest known bat fossil, discovered in Wyoming, has wings like a modern bat but lacks adaptations for navigating by listening for high-pitched echoes.
The Earth Has More Than One North Pole: There are at least seven different possible definitions of the "North Pole".
Key To Life Before Its Origin On Earth?: Researchers studying carbonaceous chondrite meteorites have found that some of the possible abiotic precursors to the origin of life on Earth carry "handedness" in a larger number than previously thought.
Dust Strongly Linked To Past Climate Shifts : The amount of dust entering the equatorial Pacific peaks sharply during repeated ice ages, then declines when climate warms.
Enormous Jurassic Sea Predator Discovered In Norway: Archaeologists have discovered of one of the largest dinosaur-era marine reptiles ever found - an enormous predator known as a pliosaur estimated to be almost 50 feet long.
Mystery Of The Antarctic Ice Sheet Solved?: Researchers have presented new temperature records using ancient foraminifera bearing sea floor mud recovered from Tanzania, East Africa.
"Clean" Coal Power Plant Scuttled: The FutureGen power plant would have captured and stored all the greenhouse gases associated with burning coal as well as produce hydrogen fuel.
Compost Can Turn Agricultural Soils Into A Carbon Sink: Applying organic fertilizers to agricultural land could contribute significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Giving Earth An Umbrella: Spraying millions of metric tons of sulfate particles into the atmosphere could reverse some human-caused global warming.
Florida Gives Evolution A Thumbs-Up: The Florida Board of Education has approved new science standards that bestow the state's blessing upon the teaching of evolution for the first time in Florida's history.
Ulysses Spacecraft Flies Over Sun's North Pole: The Ulysses spacecraft continues to go where no other spacecraft has gone before.
Antarctic Ice Loss Speeds Up: Ice loss in Antarctica increased by 75 percent in the last 10 years due to a speed-up in the flow of its glaciers and is now nearly as great as that observed in Greenland.
The Secret Ingredient In Yellowstone's Travertine: Research at Yellowstone National Park's Mammoth Hot Springs provides evidence that microbes are key to hot springs mineralization.
Fire Below The Ice: An active volcano could be warming the West Antarctic ice sheet.
Earth's Plates May Take A Break: Time and tide may wait for no man, but ratios of the elements niobium and thorium and two isotopes of helium in ancient rocks suggest that continents occasionally do.
Plowing The Ancient Seas: Recent sonar surveys off the southeastern coast of the United States have detected dozens of broad furrows on the seafloor - trenches that were carved by icebergs during the last ice age.
Will Beetles Inherit The Earth?: There are approximately 350,000 species of beetles on Earth, and probably millions more yet to be discovered, accounting for about 25% of all known life forms on the planet.
Red Planet Still Packs Surprises: Scientists find an active glacier and evidence of an unusual greenhouse effect.
Long-Lost Relative Of Whales Found?: A group of paleontologists has identified what they believe is the closest relative of whales, dolphins, and porpoises--an extinct, raccoon-sized creature.
Astronomers Monitor Asteroid to Pass Near Mars: Based on the latest analysis of 2007 WD5's trajectory employing archival imagery, the odds for the asteroid impacting Mars on are 1-in-25.
Asteroid May Hit Mars: The newly discovered asteroid 2007 WD5 has a chance of hitting Mars on January 30th, according to preliminary calculations of its orbit.
Coal Ash Is More Radioactive Than Nuclear Waste: By burning away all the pesky carbon and other impurities, coal power plants produce heaps of radiation.
Lessons From An Interglacial Past: Dramatic rise in ancient sea levels portends dire news for current climate crisis.
Epoxi Spacecraft Retargeted To Comet Hartley 2: NASA has substituted Hartley 2 as Epoxi's destination after comet Boethin could not be found, possibly due to breaking up into pieces too small for detection.
Giant Dinosaur Found In Iceblock: Palaeontologists working on top a frozen Antarctic mountain have extracted a rock and ice fossil popsicle encasing the remains of a massive, previously unknown dinosaur.
Man Finds Park's 1,000th Diamond Of '07: Denis Tyrrell was walking past a hole he'd filled in while searching for gems at Crater of Diamonds State Park, when he saw a 3.48-carat sparkle.
New Theory Of Origin Of Life Proposed: Life on Earth may have originated as the organic filling in a multilayer sandwich of mica sheets.
Did Carbon Save Earth From A Deep Freeze?: Researchers are postulating that carbon in the ocean, dissolved from mineral deposits on the sea floor, has prevented Earth from becoming a giant snowball.
Mummified Dinosaur Reveals Surprises: A partially mummified hadrosaur discovered by a teenager in North Dakota may be the most complete dinosaur ever found, with intact skin that shows evidence of stripes.
Twisted Sister: Twin Planets Earth and Venus Were Separated at Birth: The bottom line: just be glad you live here.
Massive Canadian Heavy Oil Reserves Could Be Exploited: Conventional light oil such as that in the North Sea or Saudi Arabia is running out and getting more expensive to extract. The pressure is on to find an efficient way of extracting heavy oil.
Ocean Fertilization A Sterile Idea: Ocean fertilization, the process of adding iron or other nutrients to the ocean to cause large algal blooms, has been discredited as a possible solution to global warming.
Signs Of Lightning On Venus: Given that lightning on Earth isn't shy about attracting attention, it might come as a surprise that the phenomenon has been hard to detect on Venus.
Jade Earrings Open Door On Ancient Trade: One of the most extensive trade networks in the prehistoric world has been uncovered after mineral analysis determined the source of jade used in two types of earring.
Cow-like Dinosaur Sucked Up Plants: Palaeontologists have unveiled a 110-million-year old African dinosaur with a mouth that sucked up plants like a vacuum cleaner and had almost translucent skull bones.
Earliest Birds Acted More Like Turkeys Than Cuckoos: Comparing the claw curvatures of Mesozoic and modern birds provides new evidence that the evolutionary ancestors of modern birds made their livings primarily on the ground rather than in trees.
Big Chunk Of The Universe Is Missing - Again: Not only has a large chunk of the universe thought to have been found in 2002 apparently gone missing again but it is taking some friends with it.
Three New Exo-planets Discovered: The Wide Angle Search for Planets team of planet-hunting astronomers have announced the discovery of three new planets.
Dark Matter Not A Done Deal?: Supposed "smoking-gun" observation for dark matter may be explained by modified gravity.
Obscure Glider Proves To Be Primate's Closest Cousin: The flying lemur's name is a misnomer: It's neither a true lemur, nor can it fly. Nonetheless, this squirrel-sized native of Southeast Asian rain forests has just glided into the limelight.
Fossil Sparks: New finds ignite the never-ending controversy over ape and human evolution.
Clay That Kills: A fistful of slimy green clay may be just what the doctor ordered. Researchers studying a special type of French clay found that it smothers a diverse array of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant strains and a particularly nasty pathogen that causes skin ulcers.
Man Nearly Tosses 4.38 Carat Diamond: Chad Johnson has found about 80 diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park since moving to Murfreesboro in February, but the former Iowa resident nearly threw away his largest find yet.
3.92 Carat Diamond Found In Arkansas: A Wisconsin man digging with his fiancee at the Arkansas Crater of Diamonds State Park found the white stone, but the rock will go into his collection because his betrothed already has a ring.
Mixing It Up in the Early Solar System: Scientists baffled when the Stardust spacecraft returned minerals from icy comet Wild 2 that formed at more than 1400°C.
Digging the Scene: Paleontologists have unearthed an ancient, sediment-filled burrow that holds remains of the creatures that dug it. The find is the first indisputable evidence that some dinosaurs maintained an underground lifestyle for at least part of their lives.
Pluto-bound Spacecraft Sees Changes In Jupiter System: The voyage of the New Horizons probe through the Jupiter system provided a bird’s-eye view of a dynamic planet that has changed since the last close-up looks by NASA spacecraft.
How Do Artists Portray Exoplanets They've Never Seen?: How realistic are images of planets around other stars - and should they be?
Ancient African Megadroughts May Have Driven Human Evolution -- Out Of Africa: From 135,000 to 90,000 years ago tropical Africa had megadroughts more extreme and widespread than any previously known for that region, according to new research.
Though Colder Than Earth, Saturn's Moon Titan Is "Tropical" In Nature: If space travelers ever visit Saturn's largest moon, they will find a tropical world where temperatures plunge to minus 274 degrees Fahrenheit, methane rains from the sky and dunes of ice or tar cover the planet's most arid regions.
The Arnold Schwarzenegger of Duck-Billed Dinosaurs Discovered: The newest dinosaur species to emerge from Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument had some serious bite.
Cave Records Provide Clues To Climate Change: Growing inside the caves of the tropical Pacific island of Borneo are some of the keys to understanding how the Earth's climate suddenly changed - several times - over the last 25,000 years.
In Hot Water: Ice Age Defrosted By Warming Ocean, Not Rise In CO2: Warmer waters in the deep Pacific triggered the end of the last ice age, preceding the rise in greenhouse gas levels.
Oxygen Probably Present 50 To 100 Million Years Earlier Than First Believed: Two multinational teams of scientists are reporting that traces of oxygen appeared in Earth's atmosphere 50 to 100 million years before the "Great Oxidation Event" between 2.3 and 2.4 billion years ago.
When Bivalves Ruled The World: Before the worst mass extinction of life in Earth's history -- 252 million years ago -- ocean life was diverse and clam-like organisms called brachiopods dominated. After the calamity, when little else existed, a different kind of clam-like organism, called a bivalve, took over.
Looking For Life In And Under Antarctic Ice: Prior to approximately 10 years ago, no one thought that life could exist beneath the Antarctic ice sheets, which can be more than two miles thick in places, because conditions were believed to be too extreme. Now there is hope.
Breathing Space For Oxygen: Terrestrial volcanoes appear to have contributed to the rise of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere more than 2 billion years ago. The atmospheric shift, which allowed life to flourish, had long been attributed to ancient bacteria.
Coral Reefs Losing Ground Throughout the Pacific: Surveys of coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean reveal that the critical marine ecosystems are disappearing at a rapid clip, outpacing even rainforests.
New Kenyan Fossils Challenge Established Views On Early Evolution Of Humans: Two new fossils cast fresh light on a little understood and important period of human prehistory at the dawn of our own genus, Homo.
Phoenix Spacecraft Heads For Polar Region Of Mars: NASA's Phoenix Mars Mission has blasted off, aiming for a May 25, 2008 arrival at the Red Planet and a close-up examination of the surface of the northern polar region.
Crystals In Meteorite Reveal Clues To Early Solar System Evolution: Scientists employ an ion microprobe to study zircons in eucrites, providing a snapshot of the early solar system and clues to the early evolution of Earth’s mantle and core.
Planet Discovered Orbiting A Giant Red Star: The new discovery is helping astronomers to understand what will happen to the planets in our solar system when our Sun becomes a red-giant star.
"Extinct" Reef-Forming Glass Sponges Discovered Off Washington State Coast: The species of glass sponges capable of building reefs were formerly thought extinct for 100 million years.
Coelacanth Fossil Sheds Light On Fin-to-Limb Evolution: A 400 million-year-old fossil of a coelacanth fin, the first finding of its kind, fills a shrinking evolutionary gap between fins and limbs.
Of Cosmic Rays And Dangerous Days: Researchers may have uncovered the reason why Earth's biodiversity mysteriously plummets periodically. They have found that a rollercoaster-like wobble in the sun's orbit around the center of the Milky Way galaxy regularly moves Earth closer to a source of dangerous intergalactic cosmic rays.
No Sardines For Pterosaurs: New physical and mathematical modelling refutes suggestions that extinct pterosaurs gathered their food by 'skimming' the surface of the ocean with their beaks.
Saturn's Old Moon Iapetus Retains Its Youthful Figure: Saturn's distinctive moon Iapetus is cryogenically frozen in the equivalent of its teenage years. The moon has retained the youthful figure and bulging waistline it sported more than three billion years ago.
Catastrophic Flooding Changed The Course Of British History: A catastrophic megaflood separated Britain from France hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Saturn's Sixtieth Moon Discovered: Scientists have recently discovered that the planet Saturn is turning 60 - not years, but moons.
Rise Of Dinosaurs In Late Triassic More Gradual Than Once Thought: Fossils discovered in the oft-painted arroyos of northern New Mexico show for the first time that dinosaurs and their non-dinosaur ancestors lived side by side for tens of millions of years, disproving the notion that dinosaurs rapidly replaced their supposedly outmoded predecessors.
Glaciers And Ice Caps To Dominate Sea Level Rise This Century: Ice loss from glaciers and ice caps is expected to cause more global sea rise during this century than the massive Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.
Science Museums Adapt in Struggle against Creationist Revisionism: Institutions step up fight against attacks on theory of evolution.
Geologists Witness Unique Volcanic Mudflow In Action In New Zealand: Volcanologist Sarah Fagents had an amazing opportunity to study volcanic hazards first hand, when a volcanic mudflow broke through the banks of a volcanic lake at Mount Ruapehu in New Zealand.
Saturn's Moon Hyperion Is Porous Like A Sponge: A new analysis of data from the Cassini spacecraft indicates that Saturn's highly cratered moon Hyperion is truly spongelike.
Pioneering 3D View Of Near-Earth Magnetic 'Dance': Scientists have obtained the first-ever 3D picture of interconnected magnetic 'dances' in near-Earth space, known as magnetic reconnection events.
New Undersea Images Challenge Prevailing Ideas About The Antarctic Ice Sheet: Using echo-sounding equipment to create images and maps of areas below the ocean floor, researchers have begun to unravel a new story about the Antarctic Ice Sheet.
A Gemstone's Wild Ride: How diamonds erupt from deep within Earth.
Lunar "UFO"s May Be Volcanic Belches: Mysterious lunar flashes match up geographically with puffs of radon gas.
No More Black Holes?: A new hypothesis suggests the weirdest objects in the universe don't exist.
How Radioactivity Keeps You Dry: Volcanic hot spots in Earth's crust like the one underlying Yellowstone National Park could be helping to keep North America from sinking.
Bad News for Dinos Was Good News for Mammals: A new exhaustive fossil analysis says mammals originated after the demise of dinosaurs, but the debate continues...
Computer Models Suggest Planetary And Extrasolar Planet Atmospheres: The world is abuzz with the discovery of an extrasolar, Earth-like planet around the star Gliese 581 that is relatively close to our Earth at 20 light years away in the constellation Libra.
Looking Inside A Dune For Its Boom: Probing of booming sand dunes reveals a natural amplifier.
Two More Active Moons Around Saturn: Saturn’s moons Tethys and Dione are flinging great streams of particles into space. The discovery suggests the possibility of some sort of geological activity, perhaps even volcanic, on these icy worlds.
Scientists Simulate Effects Of Blowing Mars Dust: Gusting winds and the pulsating exhaust plumes from the Phoenix Mars Lander's descent engines could complicate NASA's forthcoming efforts to sample frozen soil from the surface of Mars.
Middleman Fixes Center Of The Earth: A geoscientist has pinpointed the motion of the center of the Earth to within 1 millimeter - about the thickness of a dime - per year.
Pluto's Bad Year Continues: The recently demoted dwarf planet Pluto is smaller and weighs less than its newfound neighbor Eris.
Big and Birdlike: Chinese Dinosaur Was 3.5 Meters Tall: Paleontologists have unearthed the remains of an immense, fast-growing dinosaur whose body proportions don't match those predicted by the evolutionary trends that characterize its more diminutive kin.
Gigantoraptor: It's a Bird, It's a Dinosaur, It's a Mystery: It may or may not have had feathers but it certainly had a toothless beak and stood more than 16 feet tall.
Mars Probably Once Had A Huge Ocean: UC Berkeley geophycists are providing strong evidence that Mars once had an ocean.
CT Scan Reveals Ancient Long-necked Gliding Reptile: The fossilized bones of a previously unknown, 220 million-year-old long-necked, gliding reptile may remain forever embedded in stone, but thanks to an industrial-size CT scanner, the bone structure and behavior of these small creatures are now known.
New Earth or Planetary Hothouse?: Scientists disagree over the habitability of a planet orbiting a distant red dwarf.
Are Plants Really Villains in Climate Change?: New research disputes the widely publicized claim that they emit loads of methane.
Massive Transiting Planet With 31-hour Year Found Around Distant Star: An international team of astronomers with the Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey have announced the discovery of their third planet, TrES-3, in the constellation Hercules.
Soils Offer New Hope As Carbon Sink: The huge potential of agricultural soils to reduce greenhouse gases and increase production at the same time has been reinforced by new research findings at NSW Department of Primary Industries' Wollongbar Agricultural Institute in Australia.
Outcasts Of The Milky Way: Our galaxy may teem with rogue giant planets that were ejected from young solar systems. The number of homeless planets drifting through interstellar space may actually exceed the number of planets orbiting stars.
Ice Age Ends Smashingly: Did A Comet Blow Up Over Eastern Canada?: Evidence unearthed at more than two dozen sites across North America suggests that an extraterrestrial object exploded in Earth's atmosphere above Canada about 12,900 years ago, just as the climate was warming at the end of the last ice age. The explosion sparked immense wildfires, devastated North America's ecosystems and prehistoric cultures, and triggered a millennium-long cold spell.
New Creation Museum Mostly Illustrates That Creationists Have Lots Of Cash : The guy who developed the Jaws and King Kong rides at Universal Studios is behind the new Creation Museum, just south of Cincinnati. Now Cincinnati will be known for something other than race riots...
A Gloomy Mars Warms Up: For the past 30 years, NASA scientists have been using high-tech satellite equipment to study features on the face of Mars. It appears a slight change in the planet’s surface luster has caused its temperature to rise.
Violent Past: Young Sun Withstood A Supernova Blast: A big bully pummeled the infant solar system, first by blasting it with a massive wind, then by exploding nearby, driving shock waves into the fledgling solar system and irrevocably altering its chemistry.
Archaea In Hot Springs Use Ammonia For Energy: May Shed Light On Early Evolution: Discovered in the late 1970s, archaea are one of the three main branches on the tree of life, with bacteria and eukaryotes such as plants and animals on the other two branches. But scientists are just now gaining a fuller understanding of what archaea do to make a living.
Rare Footprints Of Infant Dinosaur Discovered: The fossil footprints represent the first hatchling Stegosaurus footprints ever found.
Dinosaurs Charge Upstream: Discovery of ancient footprints suggests predators could swim hard.
Mars Rover Spirit Unearths Surprise Evidence Of Wetter Past: A patch of Martian soil analyzed by NASA's rover Spirit is so rich in silica that it may provide some of the strongest evidence yet that ancient Mars was much wetter than it is now. The processes that could have produced such a concentrated deposit of silica require the presence of water.
Densest, Hottest, Darkest: It's a pretty good bet that even the crew of the Starship Enterprise wouldn't have had a category for HD 149026b. The planet is among the densest yet discovered, and new research shows it's by far the hottest and blackest. If the latest discoveries are any indication, lots of surprises await astronomers searching for alien worlds.
New Fossil Tying Humans, Apes And Monkeys Is Full Of Surprises: A surprisingly complete fossil skull of an ancient relative of humans, apes and monkeys bears striking evidence that our remote ancestor was less mentally advanced than expected by about 29 million years ago.
NASA Mission Explores World's Deepest Sinkhole: The Deep Phreatic Thermal Explorer (DEPTHX) mission will use a 2.5-meter-diameter submarine to map the sinkhole's shape, obtain water samples and return core samples from the cenote walls. In the process, DEPTHX will test technologies and methods that might be useful in other underwater missions, including the long-term possibility of exploring the oceans hidden under the icy crust of Europa, one of Jupiter's moons.
Oceanic 'Twilight Zone' of Microscopic Creatures Hinders Carbon Sequestration: A marine "snow" of dead plants, animals and other waste does not necessarily make it to the ocean floor to be buried for millennia.
Climate Catastrophes In The Solar System: Earth sits between two worlds that have been devastated by climate catastrophes. In the effort to combat global warming, our neighbours can provide valuable insights into the way climate catastrophes affect planets.
Instruments To Dig Deep In Space: Researchers to develop a probe for future planetary rovers that will help scientists study the history of the solar system by examining the properties of layers of material beneath the surface of the moon, Mars, comets and other planetary bodies.
All Wet? Astronomers Claim Discovery Of Earth-like Planet: One of two newly discovered exoplanets is nearly the size of Earth and resides in a habitable zone around its star, raising the possibility of liquid water, the stuff of life as we know it.
Extraordinary Antarctic Ice Core Will Help Scientists Study Global Warming: A remarkable new core was extracted during the recent Antarctic summer from record-setting drilling depths 4,214 feet below the sea floor beneath Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf, the Earth's largest floating ice body.
Ancient Rainforest Rises Again: 300-million-year-old jungle found in Illinois coal mine may give clues to major extinction.
Was T. Rex Really King Of The Lizards, Or Just A Big, Carnivorous Chicken?: Researchers analyze protein from a 68-million-year-old dinosaur bone.
Tyrannosaurus Rex Protein Fragments Discovered, Sequenced: Scientists have confirmed the existence of protein in soft tissue recovered from the fossil bones of a 68 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex.
Strange But True: Earth Is Not Round: It may seem round when viewed from space, but our planet is actually a bumpy spheroid.
Careful Where You Plant That Tree: Putting a tree in the wrong location could warm, rather than cool, Earth.
Alien Water Find Iffy: An astronomer using data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope claims he has found the first evidence of water on a planet outside our solar system.
Dust Clouds In Cosmic Cycle: It has been a mystery for astronomers how certain dying stars have their colossal quantities of material blown out into the universe and shrink into objects called "white dwarves."
Earth's Core-Mantle Boundary: Now In High Resolution Images: High-resolution images can now be used to reveal unexpected details of the Earth's internal structure. Researchers adapted technology developed for near-surface exploration of reservoirs of oil and gas to image the core-mantle boundary.
Searching For The Grandest Asteroid Tour: Asteroids are Earth's closest celestial neighbors, sometimes passing closer to Earth than even the Moon. And yet, to date, only two spacecraft have ever remained in proximity to one of these bodies.
A Darker, Hotter Mars: Slight variations in the hue of the Red Planet appear to drive the martian climate. The color changes alter Mars's reflectivity, or albedo, and could be responsible for a curious increase in the planet's temperature in recent years.
New Round in Snowball Fight: The debate over whether Earth ever became a giant ice ball has heated up again.
Planting The Mammalian Supertree: New genetic evidence suggests that the rise of modern mammals on the planet, such as this mammoth, might not have been directly connected to the demise of the dinosaurs.
Tatooine's Twin Suns Not So Far Fetched: Astronomers have found evidence that even tightly orbiting binary stars could be harboring planets.
Man's Earliest Direct Ancestors Looked More Apelike Than Previously Believed: A computer-generated reconstruction shows a 1.9 million-year-old skull belonging to Homo rudolfensis, the earliest member of the human genus, with a surprisingly small brain and distinctly protruding jaw, features commonly associated with more apelike members of the hominid family living as much as three million years ago.
Modeling Faults: Predicting Earthquakes: Factoring in crustal strength changes along the San Andreas Fault would improve the predictive models that researchers use to understand the likelihood and intensity of earthquakes there.
Dino Families Dug In: Move over mama bear; dinosaurs just joined the ranks of animals with dens. The 2-meter-long Oryctodromeus may have raised its young in tunnels. The discovery of the 95-million-year-old burrow and skeletons could challenge long-held ideas about dinosaurs, including notions about their eventual extinction.
Young and Restless: Ancient Earth Shows Moving Crust: The oldest rocks in the world show that Earth's shifting crust began its tectonic movements almost 4 billion years ago.
This Was World's Warmest Recorded Winter: This has been the world's warmest winter since record-keeping began more than a century ago.
RNA Enzyme Structure Offers A Glimpse Into The Origins Of Life: Researchers have determined the three-dimensional structure of an RNA enzyme, or "ribozyme," that carries out a fundamental reaction required to make new RNA molecules. Their results provide insight into what may have been the first self-replicating molecule to arise billions of years ago.
Mars' South Pole Ice Deep And Wide: New measurements of Mars' south polar region indicate extensive frozen water. The polar region contains enough frozen water to cover the whole planet in a liquid layer approximately 36 feet deep.
Arctic Sea Ice Decline May Trigger Climate Change Cascade: Arctic sea ice that has been dwindling for several decades may have reached a tipping point that could trigger a cascade of climate change reaching into Earth's temperate regions.
Discovering Exactly Where The Northern Lights Originate: Instruments known as solid-state telescopes have delivered their first data on how charged particles in the solar wind interact with Earth's magnetic field to shape the planet's magnetosphere.
High On Speciation: Harsh conditions at Earth's upper latitudes help create new creatures.
Icy Disaster In The Kuiper Belt: Ancient smashup could alter theories about space weathering, evolution of solar system.
A Lag Before Dying: Massive extinctions may take longer than previously believed.
Spiky Oddball Prowled Ocean Half Billion Years Ago: A spectacularly quirky creature with long, curved spines protruding from its armored body prowled the ocean floor half a billion years ago near the dawn of complex life forms on Earth.
NASA's Robotic Sub Readies For Dive Into Earth's Deepest Sinkhole: An underwater robot, shaped like a flattened orange, maneuvered untethered and autonomously within a 115-meter-deep sinkhole during tests this month in Mexico, a prelude to its mission to probe the mysterious nether reaches of the world's deepest sinkhole.
Peruvian Citadel Is Site Of Earliest Ancient Solar Observatory In The Americas: Archeologists have identified an ancient solar observatory at Chankillo, Peru as the oldest in the Americas with alignments covering the entire solar year.
Earth's Crust Missing In Mid-Atlantic: Scientists have discovered a large area thousands of square kilometres in extent in the middle of the Atlantic where the Earth’s crust appears to be missing. Instead, the mantle - the deep interior of the Earth, normally covered by crust many kilometres thick - is exposed on the seafloor, 3000m below the surface.
Yellowstone's Quiet Power: A 17-year University of Utah study of ground movements shows that the power of the huge volcanic hotspot beneath Yellowstone National Park is much greater than previously thought during times when the giant volcano is slumbering.
Glaciers Not On Simple, Upward Trend Of Melting: Two of Greenland's largest glaciers shrank dramatically and dumped twice as much ice into the sea during a period of less than a year between 2004 and 2005. And then, less than two years later, they returned to near their previous rates of discharge.
Water Mysteriously Absent from Extrasolar Planets' Atmospheres: For the first time, telescopes have captured the light spectra emitted directly from planets outside of our solar system. Contrary to predictions, they show no signs of water and other simple compounds; dark clouds or haze may hide them.
The Mysterious Case Of Columbus's Silver Ore: New research reveals that Silver-bearing ore found at the settlement founded by Christopher Columbus's second expedition was not mined in the Americas.
Meeting the Asteroid Threat: Astronomers can now tell us which rocks could hit earth, but so far there's no way to prevent a collision .
Titan's Dark Mirror: What can Saturn's largest moon tell us about our own planet's future? Quite a lot, apparently.
Peruvian Glacier May Vanish In 5 Years: When glaciologist Lonnie Thompson returns to Peru's Qori Kalis glacier early this summer, he expects to find that half of the ice he saw during his visit there last year has vanished. His observations that suggest that the entire glacier may likely be gone within the next five years, providing possibly the clearest evidence so far of global climate change.
Hunting Martian Fossils Best Bet For Locating Mars Life: Hunting for traces of life on Mars calls for two radically different strategies. Of the two, with today's exploration technology we can most easily look for evidence for past life, preserved as fossil "biosignatures" in old rocks.
Chimpanzee Stone Age: Working along a riverbank in a West African rain forest, researchers have uncovered remnants from a chimpanzee stone age that started at least 4,300 years ago. The finds constitute the only evidence yet detected of prehistoric ape behavior.
Shaken, Volcanoes Stir to Life: Like a dark storm cloud on the horizon, an earthquake can be a harbinger of bad news. A new study provides the strongest evidence yet that quakes can trigger volcanic activity.
Final Report: Humans Caused Global Warming: For the first time, a panel of climate experts has confirmed that global warming is occurring and that it is "very likely" (90 percent certain) man-made. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a working group of some 3,000 delegates from 113 countries, issued its final report on the state of climate change - and the findings are grim.
A Spark in the Sand: It's hard to believe that something as ephemeral as lightning could be frozen in time for thousands of years. But that's just what happens with fulgurites--glassy, hollow tubes that form when lightning melts sand.
Earth-shattering Proof Of Continents On The Move: Africa is being torn apart. And as Ethiopia's rift valley grows slowly wider, an international team of scientists is taking a unique opportunity to plot the progress of continents on the move.
Digging Deeper for Martian Life: NASA's sextet of Mars landers and rovers may have missed signs of life for over three decades because they're not looking far enough beneath the red planet's surface.
Hubble Loses an Eye: The main camera aboard NASA's orbiting Hubble Space Telescope has conked out, and its loss could delay or cancel much of the work currently proposed for the aging scope.
Dinosaur Double-Decker: The first functional biplane took off more than 100 million years before the Wright brothers puttered over Kittyhawk, North Carolina.
Dude, That's Deep: A big answer to U.S. energy woes lies far below the surface of the ground according to a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology report. The 2-year study found that a reasonable investment in geothermal energy research could eventually yield enough power to fuel 25 million homes.
Going Under Down Under: Early People At Fault In Australian Extinctions: A lengthy, newly compiled fossil record of Australian mammals bolsters the notion that humanity's arrival on the island continent led to the extinction of many large creatures there.
Peering Into The Poles' Majestic Light Shows: NASA is poised to launch five identical space probes - the largest number of spacecraft ever attempted by the agency on a single rocket - to solve a decades-long mystery about the origin of magnetic storms that turn the green, shimmering curtains of the Earth's Northern and Southern Lights into colorful, dancing light shows.
New Horizons Spacecraft En Route To Pluto Prepares For Jupiter Encounter: NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is on the doorstep of the solar system's largest planet. The spacecraft will study and swing past Jupiter, increasing speed on its voyage toward Pluto, the Kuiper Belt and beyond.
New NASA Orbiter Sees Details Of 1997 Pathfinder Site: The high-resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has imaged the 1997 landing site of Mars Pathfinder, revealing new details of hardware on the surface and the geology of the region.
Big Melt Threatens India's Water: The massive glaciers of the Himalayas, which hold one of Earth's largest reserves of snow and ice, have dwindled by one-fifth in the past 4 decades.
New Clues From An Old Skull: Fossil sheds light on human migration out of Africa.
Earliest Evidence Of Modern Humans In Europe Discovered: Modern humans who first arose in Africa had moved into Europe as far back as about 45,000 years ago.
Scientists Solve The Mystery Of Life-Sustaining Nitrogen Cycle: Scientists finally fix the locations where nitrogen transformations critical to life on Earth occur.
Is There Anybody Out There?: Astronomers probe the heavens in search of a planet like our own.
Earth's Strongest Winds Wouldn't Even Be A Breeze On These Planets: New measurements for three planets outside our solar system indicate their temperatures remain fairly constant -- and blazing hot -- from day to night, even though it is likely one side of each planet always faces its sun.
Geologists Discover Origin Of Earth's Mysterious Black Diamonds: If indeed "a diamond is forever," the most primitive origins of Earth's so-called black diamonds were in deep, universal time, geologists have discovered. Black diamonds came from none other than interstellar space.
Superbubble Of Supernova Remnants Caught In Act Of Forming: A superbubble in space, caught in the act of forming, can help scientists better understand the life and death of massive stars.
New Stars Shed Light On The Past: A new image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows N90, one of the star-forming regions in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The rich populations of infant stars found here enable astronomers to examine star forming processes in an environment that is very different from that in our own.
Hobbits In Space: Astronomers discover diminutive galaxies orbiting the Milky Way.
Eavesdropping On The Universe: New radio facility could detect Earth-like civilizations around 1,000 nearest stars.
Missed Opportunity On Mars?: The 1976 Viking landers may have destroyed Martian microbes.
Chemistry Of Volcanic Fallout Reveals Secrets Of Past Eruptions: Scientists have developed a method to determine the influence of past volcanic eruptions on climate and the chemistry of the upper atmosphere, and significantly reduce uncertainty in models of future climate change.
Researchers Use Volcanic Eruption as Climate Lab: When Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991 it left a trail of evidence in the skies that is helping scientists decipher the workings of the global climate.
Black Hole Boldly Goes Where No Black Hole Has Gone Before: Astronomers have found a black hole where few thought they could ever exist, inside a globular star cluster. The finding has broad implications for the dynamics of stars clusters and also for the existence of a still-speculative new class of black holes called 'intermediate-mass' black holes.
X-ray Evidence Supports Possible New Class Of Supernova: Evidence for a significant new class of supernova has been found with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton.
Stellar Bang With A New Twist: A possible new type of supernova might turn cosmic evolution theory on its ear.
Rocky Finding: Evidence Of Extrasolar Asteroid Belt: Astronomers have obtained some of the best evidence yet for an asteroid belt beyond the solar system.
Moon River: Titan's Polar Surface Dotted with Lakes of Methane: Saturn's mysterious moon Titan revealed another of its secrets during a recent Cassini flyby: 75 lakelike areas near the northern pole.
NASA Mars Team Teaches Old Rovers New Tricks To Kick Off Year Four: The unexpected longevity of Spirit and Opportunity is giving the space agency a chance to field-test on Mars some new capabilities useful both to these missions and future rovers.
Huge Ice Shelf Breaks Free In Canada's Far North: A chunk of ice bigger than the area of Manhattan broke from an ice shelf in Canada's far north and could wreak havoc if it starts to float westward toward oil-drilling regions and shipping lanes. Global warming could be one cause of the break of the Ayles Ice Shelf at Ellesmere Island.
Portrait Of A Dramatic Stellar Crib: Known as the Tarantula Nebula for its spidery appearance, the 30 Doradus complex is a monstrous stellar factory.
Earth's Climate Changes In Tune with Eccentric Orbital Rhythms: Ocean sediment reveals the pattern behind the rise and fall of ice ages and the shape of Earth's orbit.
Solar Satellite's First Images Show Sun's Super-hot Atmosphere: NASA's twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatories (STEREO) sent back their first images of the sun this week and with them a view into the sun's mounting activity.
What A Flake: New ways to simulate ice-crystal growth yield patterns remarkably similar to the beautiful and intricate shapes of snowflakes and may shed light on how those real-life shapes come about.
Dying Star May Presage Our Solar System's Demise: Researchers using data collected by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey have identified a cooling ember of a star ringed by a rare gaseous, metal-rich disk. This discovery suggests that there is a planet orbiting this once massive star. It also may provide a glimpse into the future of our solar system, specifically how it may end.
Humongous Plant-Eating Dinosaur Unearthed in Spain: Scientists in Spain have found the fossilized remains of one of the largest animals ever to walk the Earth, a gargantuan plant-eating dinosaur up to 125 feet long and weighing as much as seven elephants.
New Kind Of Black Hole Explosion Discovered: Scientists using NASA data are studying a newly recognized type of cosmic explosion called a hybrid gamma-ray burst. As with other gamma-ray bursts, this hybrid blast is likely signaling the birth of a new black hole. It is unclear, however, what kind of object or objects exploded or merged to create the new black hole.
Glaciers Adding More To Global Sea Rise Than Ice Sheets: Despite growing public alarm over the shrinking Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, it is small glaciers and ice caps that have been contributing the most to rising sea levels in recent years.
Dinosaurs: Stones Did Not Help With Digestion: Until recently many researchers have assumed that they were helped by stones which they swallowed. In their muscular stomach these then acted as a kind of 'gastric mill'. But this assumption does not seem to be correct.
Evolution Stickers Gone for Good in Cobb County: School officials in Cobb County, Georgia agreed to drop their 4-year attempt to tell high school biology students that evolution is only a "theory" pledging to adhere to the state science curriculum and also to pay $167,000 in legal fees to the plaintiffs. In return, the five parents who brought the suit agreed to drop any further legal action against the school district.
The Red Planet's Watery Past: New observations by rovers and orbiters indicate that liquid water not only existed on Mars, it once covered large parts of the planet's surface, perhaps for more than a billion years.
Tiny Bones Rewrite Textbooks: First New Zealand Land Mammal Fossil: Small but remarkable fossils found in New Zealand will prompt a major rewrite of prehistory textbooks, showing for the first time that the so-called "land of birds" was once home to mammals as well.
Giant Radio Telescope Imaging Could Make Dark Matter Visible: The stars and gas which are seen in galaxies account for only a few percent of the gravitating material in the Universe. Most of the rest has remained stubbornly invisible and is now thought to be made of a new form of matter never yet seen on Earth. Researchers have discovered, however, that a sufficiently big radio telescope could make a picture of everything that gravitates, rivalling the images made by optical telescopes of everything that shines.
Microbe Fixes Nitrogen At A Blistering 92 C, May Offer Clues To Evolution Of Nitrogen Fixation: A heat-loving archaeon capable of fixing nitrogen at a surprisingly hot 92 degrees Celsius, or 198 Fahrenheit, may represent Earth's earliest lineages of organisms capable of nitrogen fixation, perhaps even preceding the kinds of bacteria today's plants and animals rely on to fix nitrogen.
Ancient Mammals Get Airborne: Fossil of gliding insectivore points to even more furry creativity during the age of dinosaurs.
A Hot, Crazy Start to the Solar System: Fragments of a comet retrieved from space by NASA's Stardust mission have yielded a big surprise.
Water, Water Everywhere on Mars: Spirit and Opportunity are painting a considerably different picture of Mars from what NASA's mission scientists had expected when the twin rovers set down separately on the red planet in January 2004.
Mars Express Scientists Find a Different Mars Underneath: Mars is showing scientists that it has an older, craggier face buried beneath its surface.
Hot Stuff on Venus! Venus Express Sees Right Down to the Hell-Hot Surface: Scientists have obtained the first large-area temperature maps of the southern hemisphere of the inhospitable, lead-melting surface of Venus. The new data may help with searching and identifying ‘hot spots’ on the surface, considered to be possible signs of active volcanism on the planet.
A Man on the Moon ... Permanently: The Shackleton Crater rim near the moon's south pole will likely be the future home of a lunar human outpost. A team of senior space agency managers laid out the blueprint for returning astronauts to the lunar surface by 2020. But this time, instead of a series of short, Apollo-like missions, NASA envisions setting up a base that would be fully functioning by 2024.
Global Warming Blues: The web of life in Earth's oceans may rest on a more delicate balance than anyone had imagined. Researchers have discovered that even small rises in water temperatures are stifling photosynthesis by tiny marine organisms. If the warming continues, it could mean major changes for animals that feed on plankton and for global climate itself.
Little Foot Not So Ancient: Like the price of oil, the age of the famous hominid fossil known as Little Foot has fluctuated dramatically in the past decade. Named for its rare foot and toe bones, the South African australopithecine was originally estimated to be 3 million to 3.5 million years old, making it one of the oldest members of the human family.
Nature's Jump-Starter: How in the world did life emerge on a planet composed only of simple chemical compounds? Scientists say they may have found part of the answer in a mineral that seems to act as an effective catalyst for the earliest organic processes.
Water Still Flows in Brief Spurts on Mars: Mars Global Surveyor photographs have revealed bright new deposits seen in two gullies on Mars that suggest water carried sediment through them sometime during the past seven years.
HiRISE Team Begins Releasing a Flood of Mars Images Over the Internet: The University of Arizona-based team that operates the high-resolution camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, in conjunction with NASA, is releasing the first of what will be a non-stop flood of incredibly detailed Mars images taken during the spacecraft's two-year primary science mission.
Ancient Meteorites from Outer Solar System May Have Provided Raw Materials for Life : Meteorite that fell in Canada's Tagish Lake contains organic compounds from a time before planets formed.
Evidence From Hawaiian Volcanoes Shows That Earth Recycles Its Crust: New evidence that parts of the Earth's crust that long ago dove hundreds or thousands of kilometers into the Earth's interior have resurfaced in the hot lava flow of Hawaiian volcanoes.
What's A Planet?: "I found a planet!" Caltech astronomer Mike Brown remembers exclaiming during a phone call he made to his wife early in 2005. Little did he know that he'd have to eat his words just 18 months later.
Climate Change Killed Australia Pre-historic Animals: Giant kangaroos and wombats bigger than cars which once roamed Australia were killed by climate change and not human hunters.
Devonian Dreadnought: The prehistoric fish Dunkleosteus terrelli that roamed the seas 400 million years ago had the most powerful bite of any living fish.
Let Us Test Darwin, Teacher Says: Chemistry teacher Nick Cowan at Liverpool's Blue Coat School says teaching packs promoting intelligent design are useful in debating Darwinist evolution.
Marine Life Leaped From Simple to Complex After Greatest Mass Extinction: At least five mass extinctions, most presumably caused by asteroids that struck the earth, have transformed global ecology in the half-billion years since the emergence of multicelled life, lopping entire branches from the evolutionary tree and causing others to flourish.
Europe Joins Hunt For Missing Mars Probe: NASA has called on the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft to look for the missing Mars Global Surveyor after the Opportunity rover failed to locate it by listening for its radio beacon.
Bizarre Deep-sea Creatures Imaged Off New Zealand: The weird and wonderful creatures living by methane vents in the southwest Pacific have been photographed for the first time.
Did Snowball Earth's Melting Let Oxygen Fuel Life?: We may owe our green Earth to a big freeze that covered the entire planet in thick sheets of ice 2.3 billion years ago.
Coral Reefs Are Increasingly Vulnerable To Angry Oceans: Size and shape may predict the survival of corals around the world when the weather churns the oceans in the years to come, according to a new model that relies on engineering principles.
Birth Pangs Of Earth's Crust: Underwater Eruption Gives Scientists First Look At Seafloor Formation: Ordinarily, losing almost all of one's instruments would be considered a severe setback to any scientist. But when a marine geophysicist recently learned that two-thirds of the seismometers she placed on the floor of the Pacific Ocean were trapped more than 8,000 feet underwater, it turned out to be an extremely good sign.
Seismologists Measure Heat Flow From Earth's Molten Core Into The Lower Mantle: For the first time, scientists have directly measured the amount of heat flowing from the molten metal of Earth's core into a region at the base of the mantle, a process that helps drive both the movement of tectonic plates at the surface and the geodynamo in the core that generates Earth's magnetic field.
Mining Ancient Molars: For the first time, researchers have been allowed to slice through Neandertal teeth. This coup is providing the best evidence yet that these creatures grew and developed at the same slow rate as modern children.
Cosmic Pops: Nearby Galaxy Is Hotbed Of Supernova Formation: Talk about an explosive personality. Large galaxies usually have no more than three supernovas blow up in a century, but the nearby galaxy NGC 1316 has had two such explosions within the past 5 months and four in the past 26 years.
'Nymph Of The Sea' Reveals Remarkable Brood: Geologists from the UK and US, led by the University of Leicester, have made an unusual discovery from over 425 million years ago ... hard boiled eggs!
Mysterious Stabilization of Atmospheric Methane May Buy Time in Race to Stop Global Warming: Most recent measurements have revealed that methane levels are barely rising anymore - and it is unclear why.
Trouble for Mars Global Surveyor: NASA officials today warned that the last may have been heard from Mars Global Surveyor - the oldest operating spacecraft orbiting the red planet - although they stopped short of mourning its passing.
Milky Way's Dark Matter Modelled In Best Detail Yet: Our galaxy could be surrounded by a vast swarm of invisible companions. These giant clouds of dark matter - the failed seeds of galaxy formation - may be detected with a telescope to be launched next year.
NASA's Newest Mars Orbiter Passes Communications Relay Test: An orbiting NASA spacecraft just starting to study Mars with six science instruments has successfully tested another key part of its payload, a versatile radio for relaying communications with robots on the surface of Mars.
Icelandic Volcano Caused Historic Famine In Egypt: An environmental drama played out on the world stage in the late 18th century when a volcano killed 9,000 Icelanders and brought a famine to Egypt that reduced the population of the Nile valley by a sixth.
Origins Of Life: New Approach Helps Expand Study Of Living Fossils: Modern marine stromatolites are living examples of one of the earth's oldest and most persistent widespread ecosystems. Although rare today, these layered deposits of calcium carbonate are found in shallow marine seas throughout 3.4 billion-year-old geologic records.
Forest Fires May Lead To Cooling Of Northern Climate: Countering hypotheses that forest fires in Alaska, Canada and Siberia warm the climate, scientists at UC Irvine have discovered that cooling may occur in areas where charred trees expose more snow, which reflects sunlight into space.
More Letters in the Particle Alphabet: Getting at the root of all existence isn't easy. For 75 years, physicists have been smashing atoms together in increasingly powerful particle accelerators, while theorists have been calculating what those collisions should be producing.
Stone Age Twins Discovered Buried Under Mammoth's Shoulder Blade : Researchers have unearthed the graves of three Stone Age infants that may ultimately bear on the question of whether humans interbred with Neandertals. The rare find from a 27,000-year-old site in Austria includes two bodies sheltered under a mammoth's shoulder blade.
Long Live The Moon!: A quick look at the lunar surface gives the impression of a dead world, a place where, other than the occasional errant comet or asteroid impact, nothing has happened for billions of years. But now planetary geologists have nailed down a location where the moon may still be active.
'Nanorust' Cleans Arsenic From Drinking Water: The discovery of unexpected magnetic interactions between ultrasmall specks of rust is leading scientists at Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology to develop a revolutionary, low-cost technology for cleaning arsenic from drinking water.
Varied Diet Of Early Hominid Casts Doubt On Extinction Theory: An upright hominid that lived side by side with direct ancestors of modern humans more than a million years ago had a far more diverse diet than once believed, clouding the notion that it was driven to extinction by its picky eating habits as the African continent dried.
15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense: Embarrassingly, in the 21st century, in the most scientifically advanced nation the world has ever known, creationists can still persuade politicians, judges and ordinary citizens that evolution is a flawed, poorly supported fantasy.
Climate Change Melting Fabled African Glaciers: Climate change is melting a legendary ice field in equatorial Africa and may soon thaw it out completely, threatening fresh water supplies to hundreds of thousands of people.
Intelligent Design Suffers Further Setback in Midterms: Intelligent design receives a drubbing, with pro-evolution candidates taking control of the Kansas State Board of Education and strengthening their representation on the Ohio State Board of Education. Many scientists also cheered the defeat of Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), one of the most politically influential supporters of the ID movement.
Volcanic Aerosol Clouds And Gases Lead To Ozone Destruction: Volcanic eruptions destroy ozone and create 'mini-ozone holes'. Even relatively small volcanic eruptions can destroy ozone and create localised holes in the stratosphere.
Surface Gassing May Be Evidence of Volcanically Active Moon: Evidently, the moon has recently been letting slip gases, like carbon dioxide and steam, indicating that the rock's reputation as a cold, inactive orb is undeserved.
Early Earth Haze May Have Spurred Life: Hazy skies on early Earth could have provided a substantial source of organic material useful for emerging life on the planet.
More Human-Neandertal Mixing Evidence Uncovered: A reexamination of ancient human bones from Romania reveals more evidence that humans and Neandertals interbred.
Fossil Is Missing Link In Elephant Lineage: A pig-sized, tusked creature that roamed the earth some 27 million years ago represents a missing link between the oldest known relatives of elephants and the more recent group from which modern elephants descended.
Nature's Particle Accelerator: Earthbound scientists reveling at the power of the forthcoming Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland might feel downright humbled by what astronomers have discovered surrounding a distant cluster of galaxies.
Hubble Repair Mission Is a Go: After several years of uncertainty following the Columbia shuttle disaster, NASA has given the go-ahead for a shuttle mission to replace and repair parts on the 16-year-old Hubble Space Telescope and install new detectors that would vastly improve the capabilities of the aging observatory.
Trotting With Emus To Walk With Dinosaurs: One way to make sense of 165-million-year-old dino tracks may be to hang out with emus, say paleontologists studying thousands of dinosaur footprints at the Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite in northern Wyoming.
Lucy Goes On Tour: The 3.1 million-year-old early human ancestor has been engaged to make her first public appearance ever, in Houston next September, as part of an exhibit that will travel to as many as 10 other museums in the next 6 years. But many archaeologists are trying to stop the tour before it starts.
ESA's COROT Space Telescope Targets Rocky Planets: With a camera sensitive to changes in a star's light of just one part in one hundred thousand, COROT will lead a bold new search for Earth-like planets around other stars.
Simple Estimate Suggests Our Sun Had a Crowded Nursery: Despite our solar system's relative isolation, the sun seems to have been born in a cluster of nearby stars, based on evidence that one nearby neighbor went supernova.
Terror Birds: Bigger and Faster: Think of an ostrich on steroids, then add the ferocious hunting skills of an eagle.
Giant Terror Bird Was Light On Its Feet: The first near-complete skull of a 15 million year old giant "terror bird" has been discovered in Argentina, providing scientists new insight into the agility of the flightless prehistoric monsters.
Oldest Complex Organic Molecules Found In Ancient Fossils: Ohio State University geologists have isolated complex organic molecules from 350-million-year-old fossilized crinoids -- the oldest such molecules yet found.
The Dark Ages Of The Universe: Between the big bang and the formation of the first stars, the cosmos was utterly lightless. But astronomers can finally start peering into the darkness.
Life on Mars Remains Possible: Don't give up on the idea of martian life. A new study finds that some Earth microbes can survive and reproduce at the subfreezing temperatures that typify the Red Planet.
Hitch Hike To Mars Inside An Asteroid: Burrowing inside an asteroid whose orbit carries it past both the Earth and Mars could protect astronauts from radiation on their way to the Red Planet.
Viking Landers May Have Missed Martian Life: A paper by Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez of the University of Mexico and others demonstrates that Viking's gas-chromatograph mass spectrometer was incapable of detecting organic compounds even in Mars-like soils from various locations on Earth such as Chile's Atacama desert.
Exotic Relatives Of Protons And Neutrons Discovered: Scientists at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have announced the discovery of two rare types of particles, exotic relatives of the much more common proton and neutron.
Far More Than A Meteor Killed Dinos: There's growing evidence that the dinosaurs and most their contemporaries were not wiped out by the famed Chicxulub meteor impact, according to a paleontologist who says multiple meteor impacts, massive volcanism in India, and climate changes culminated in the end of the Cretaceous Period.
No, One Quake Did Not Lead to Another: The magnitude 6.7 earthquake that struck Hawaii last week, causing $100 million or more in damage, was followed within a few days by a 6.8 quake near Papua New Guinea, and a 6.4 temblor off Peru. Is there any connection between these events? Does one large earthquake in a region lead to another?
Ozone Hole Biggest Yet: The hole in Earth's ozone layer has grown to its biggest dimensions yet, according to scientists at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The gap--observed last month over Antarctica--was nearly three times the size of the continental United States.
First Directly Imaged Brown Dwarf Companion To An Exoplanet Host Star: Astronomers have detected a new faint companion to the star HD 3651, already known to host a planet. This companion, a brown dwarf, is the faintest known companion of an exoplanet host star imaged directly and one of the faintest T dwarfs detected in the Solar neighbourhood so far.
Decoding Mars's Cryptic Region: During southern spring, large areas near Mars's south pole become much darker than the rest of the seasonal ice cap. How can this area, dubbed the "Cryptic Region" be in the polar region and not be covered in bright ice?
Gravity Measurements Confirm Greenland's Glaciers Precipitous Meltdown : The latest gravity-based measurements show that the glaciers lost roughly 101 gigatons of ice annually between 2003 and 2005.
Bacteria Use Radioactive Uranium To Convert Water Molecules To Useable Energy: A self-sustaining community of bacteria live in rocks 2.8 kilometers below Earth's surface. Think that's weird? The bacteria rely on radioactive uranium to convert water molecules to useable energy...
Charles Darwin's Works Go Online: The project run by Cambridge University has digitised some 50,000 pages of text and 40,000 images of original publications - all of it searchable.
NASA Orbiter Reveals New Details Of Mars: During its first week of observations from low orbit, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is already revealing new clues about both recent and ancient environments on the Red Planet.
NASA Studies Mars Water In Hope Of Mission: A NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars is using the most powerful cameras ever pointed at the Red Planet to study its climate cycles and whether there is enough water to support a manned mission.
Mars Express And The Story Of Water On Mars: For a number of decades now, astronomers have wondered about water on Mars. Thanks to ESA's Mars Express, much of the speculation has been replaced with facts.
Element 118 Discovered Again--For The First Time: After claims of its discovery were retracted in 2002, a new team of researchers says it has produced a few scant atoms of the heaviest element yet, called simply element 118 after the number of protons in its nucleus.
Tiny Fossils Reveal Inner Secrets: The exact moment when a 550-million-year-old cell began to divide has been captured in an exquisite 3D image.
Asbestos Kept Off Global List Of Toxic Substances: Chrysotile asbestos, a known human carcinogen, will remain off a global watch list of toxic substances for at least two more years after countries led by Canada blocked consensus in United Nations talks.
Antimatter And Matter Combine In Chemical Reaction: Mixing antimatter and matter usually has predictably violent consequences - the two annihilate one another in a fierce burst of energy. But physicists have found a new way to make the two combine, at least briefly, into a single substance called protonium.
Nearly Naked: Large Swath Of Pacific Lacks Seafloor Sediment: Oceanographers have discovered a broad, almost-bare patch of seafloor in the remote South Pacific. An unusual combination of circumstances has left the region without the mineral and organic sediments hundreds of meters deep that are typical elsewhere in the world's oceans.
Fresh Look At Dwarf Planet Ceres: The asteroid was re-classified as a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union, and now new images of its surface reveal a surprisingly diverse surface terrain.
How To Blow Up A Star: It is not as easy as you would think. Models of supernovae have failed to reproduce these explosions - until recently.
Impact From The Deep: Strangling heat and gases emanating from the earth and sea, not asteroids, most likely caused several ancient mass extinctions. Could the same killer-greenhouse conditions build once again?
Earth's Tilt Spawns Rise And Fall Of Species: According to the fossil record, mammal species do not seem to last very long in the grand scheme of things, persisting for an average of 2.5 million years in a cycle closely matching variations in Earth's orbit.
Coelophysis Dinosaur Fossil Re-examined: Four American Museum of Natural History paleontologists have overturned a 1950s claim that a theropod dinosaur called Coelophysis was a cannibal that ate juveniles of its own kind, forcing a revision of a popular story of dinosaur behavior that has been repeated many times in the scientific literature, popular media, and museum exhibits.
Paleontologists Find 67 Dinosaurs In One Week: One recent week in the Gobi Desert produced 67 dinosaur skeletons for a team of paleontologists from Montana and Mongolia who want to flesh out the developmental biology of dinosaurs.
Earliest Starlight Of The Universe Is Revealed: NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope may have detected the infrared glow from the very first generation of stars. If confirmed, the work would reveal the structure of the universe a few hundred million years after the big bang, when the galaxies that exist today were just beginning to take shape.
Mars Express Spectrometer Back At Work: The Planetary Fourier Spectrometer on the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft is back in operation after malfunctioning a few months ago.
Dinosaur Swam For Its Dinner: A newly discovered bipedal dinosaur represents the first indication not only of the presence of dinosaurs in the Wyoming region during the middle Jurassic period, but of ones partial to water. Evidence for the swimming dinosaur--a new species that remains unnamed--comes from its footprints, which have been preserved in a Wyoming rock formation dating to about 165 million years ago.
Ancient Anthropoid Origins Discovered In Africa: The fossil teeth and jawbones of two new species of tiny monkey-like creatures that lived 37 million years ago have been sifted from ancient sediments in the Egyptian desert, researchers have reported. They said their findings firmly establish that the common ancestor of living anthropoids -- including monkeys, apes and humans -- arose in Africa and that the group had already begun branching into many species by that time. Also, they said, one of the creatures appears to have been nocturnal, the first example of a nocturnal early anthropoid.
Birdlike Dinosaur Older Than Thought : A rooster-size dinosaur named Buitreraptor gonzalezorum provides solid evidence that a group of theropods known as dromaeosaurs originated at least 20 million years earlier than previously thought. Not only does the find indicate that the group got its start on the supercontinent Pangaea before it split in two, but it suggests that birdlike flight may have evolved twice on two separate supercontinents.
More Bones Support Mini Human Case : The discovery of additional bones in an Indonesian cave support a stunning claim made last year that a new species of a very small hominid existed at the same time as modern humans.
Probing the Digital Depths of Earth : Scientists interested in examining the deep layers of the earth's rocky guts are finally getting their hands on expensive, often confidential image data intended for petroleum companies in search of fossil fuel sources. The data, collected with a technology called seismic reflection, produces three-dimensional images of geologic features buried under hundreds and thousands of meters of terrestrial and marine sediment.
Tsunami Disaster: Scientists Model the Big Quake and Its Consequences: The magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck the ocean bottom west of Indonesia on the morning of Dec. 26, 2004, triggered several tsunamis that killed an estimated 145,000 coastal residents and tourists, claiming lives on shores even thousands of kilometers away. Researchers are now analyzing the events that led up to the destruction and modeling their possible long-term effects.
Fossil Fuel Curbs May Speed Global Warming: Cutting down on fossil fuel pollution could accelerate global warming.
Microbes Found in Saltiest Place: Microbes have been found living happily in one of Earth's saltiest places, raising questions about how the microbes manage the feat and giving clues to where life might hide on other worlds.
First Ever Earthquake Movie Created: A pioneering technique using data from GPS receivers has been used to make the first movie of an earthquake. The animation shows the Earth's surface deforming during a magnitude 8.3 quake in September 2003 off the coast of Hokkaido in Japan.
Comet Probe on Track for Crash: A NASA science probe is on track to create a spectacular July 4th fireworks display by crashing into a comet following launch Wednesday from Cape Canaveral.
Deep Impact on Course for Comet Collision: With a launch window only one second long, Deep Impact rocketed away at the designated moment on a six-month, 268-million-mile journey to Comet Tempel 1. It will be a one-way trip that NASA hopes will reach a cataclysmic end on the Fourth of July.
Comet Probe Deep Impact Launches: NASA has launched the Deep Impact mission, which will crash a projectile into Comet Tempel 1.
Shake Down: Deep Tremors Observed at San Andreas Fault: Patterns of deep, prolonged tremors newly revealed beneath the San Andreas fault zone may offer scientists a way to foretell earthquake activity there.
Taming of Lightning Harder Than Expected: The taming of lightning by technology is proving harder than expected, say researchers working on ways to use the latest femtosecond lasers to make lightning strike when and where they want.
Did Animals Have Quake Warning?: Waves from the worst tsunami in memory sent floodwater surging up to two miles inland to the island's biggest wildlife reserve. Many tourists drowned but, to the surprise of officials, no dead animals have been found.
Cassini to End 2004 with Flyby of Icy Moon Iapetus: This is Cassini's closest pass yet by one of Saturn's smaller icy satellites since its arrival around the ringed giant.
Whew! Asteroid Won't Hit Earth in 2029: The world can exhale a collective sigh of relief. A newfound asteroid tagged with the highest warning level ever issued will probably not strike Earth.
Mars Rover Inspects Its Own Debris: Scientists hope to glean useful data about Mars’ soil, given the entry shield’s high-speed impact.
Cassini Reports on an Evolving Saturn: The Cassini spacecraft continues to send intriguing insights from up close to Saturn back to astronomers on Earth.
Coldest Spots in the Cosmos Catalogued: Sun lamps and vacations may help fight the winter blues, but there is a less expensive antidote: a quick countdown of some of the most ferociously cold places that have ever existed.
Cassini Orbiter Deploys Titan Descent Probe: In a long-awaited milestone, a European-built probe carrying cameras and a suite of scientific instruments was released from NASA's Cassini Saturn orbiter Christmas Eve, setting up a dramatic Jan. 14 plunge into the atmosphere of the ringed planet's mysterious moon Titan.
Mystery of Mars Rover's 'Carwash' Rolls On: Mars rover Opportunity seems to have stumbled into something akin to a carwash that has left its solar panels much cleaner than those of its twin rover, Spirit.
Hidden Fault May Threaten Bay Area: Results presented today at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco suggest that the earth beneath Marin County may contain a hidden fault line.
Martian Water Top Science Story of 2004: The conclusive discovery by a pair of wheeled robots that Mars once had vast pools of water and possibly could have harbored life was chosen by the editors of the journal Science as the most important scientific achievement of 2004.
Saturn Moon Titan Stumps Scientists: Scientists are trying their darndest to make sense of the latest images of Saturn's bizarre moon Titan - but admit that they are surprised and stumped by most of what they see.
Comet Mission Set for 2005 Launch: NASA scientists have been giving details of a space mission to crash a projectile into a comet, peeling away its outer skin in order to look inside.
Mars Rovers See Water-Linked Mineral, Frost and Clouds: The Mars rover Spirit found a mineral linked to water during its exploration of the Red Planet. Scientists identified the mineral goethite in bedrock studied in the Columbia Hills.
Spirit Claims Mars Water Prize: Spirit has found compelling evidence that liquid water also flowed at Gusev Crater, the rocky basin it is exploring on the Red Planet, discovering a mineral called goethite in the bedrock at Gusev which forms only in the presence of water.
Saturn Moon Might Not Have Liquid: There may be no strange seas of methane on Saturn's moon Titan after all, say scientists studying the latest imagery from the Cassini spacecraft. The possibility comes as a surprise to researchers who had found compelling reasons to suspect weird liquid oceans under the orange clouds in earlier ground-based telescope studies.
Cassini Has Another Successful Titan Flyby: The Cassini spacecraft has completed a successful rendezvous with Saturn's moon Titan. This was the last flyby before the European Space Agency's Huygens probe is sprung loose from Cassini on Christmas Eve.
Space Telescopes Capture Rare Dust Discs: Dusty planetary debris around stars about the size of our sun have been spotted by two of NASA's orbiting telescopes, giving astronomers snapshots of the processes that were at the beginning of our own solar system.
Dusty Discs Girdle Distant Solar Systems: Cold, dusty discs of debris have been clearly detected around stars in other planet-harbouring solar systems for the first time by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
Volcanism possible on planet-like Quaoar: A large planet-like object out in the outer solar system shows signs of either a relatively recent collision or perhaps volcanic activity.
Ultra-Sharp Mars-Bound Camera Delivered: The camera that will take thousands of the sharpest, most detailed pictures of Mars ever produced from an orbiting spacecraft delivered for installation on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Proof Positive: Mars Once Had Water: There is undeniable proof that water once existed on the planet Mars, a team of researchers has concluded in a series of 11 articles this week in a special issue of the journal Science.
Vesuvius Residents Paid to Move Away: Italian authorities have renewed the cash offer of up to 30,000 euros (about $22,300) for any family wishing to move outside the shadow of Mount Vesuvius in the attempt to reduce the potential hazard of what has been described as the world's most dangerous volcano.
Ripples Detected in Saturn Ring: New images from the Cassini spacecraft reveal undulating kinks in one of the rings and theft of ring dust by a moon. The kinks are seen in greater detail than ever before and the thievery has been photographed for the first time.
Solar Storms Smack a Comet: Astronomers have pieced together what appears to be the first direct evidence that solar storms can wreck havoc with comets, destroying the ion tails of icy wanderers in a collision of highly charged particles.
Rover Data Makes Return a Must: Data from Mars rover Opportunity shows its unique landing site is a prime spot for a return mission to look for life.
Gazing Down on Saturn: Cassini pierced the ring plane and rounded Saturn, capturing this view of the dark portion of the rings. A portion of the planet's atmosphere is visible here, as is its shadow on the surface of the rings.
New Pterosaur Fossils Reveal Diversity: Two new discoveries of pterosaur eggs from China and Argentina are showing that the flying reptiles of the dinosaur age were likely more diverse than their modern bird counterparts.
Study Paints Our Sun as a Planet Thief : A close encounter between our sun and a passing star some four billion years ago may have played a role in shaping our solar system.
Close Encounter May Have Shaped Solar System: The outer reaches of our solar system may have been shaped long ago by a close encounter with another star that tore up both nascent planetary systems like colliding buzz saws.
DNA Evidence Weighs In on Ice Age Extinction Debate: A genetic analysis published in the current issue of the journal Science lends support to the hypothesis that climate change was the culprit.
Ancient Marine Invasion Sheds Light On Diversity: Fossils from the sea floor illuminate the relationship between local and global diversity, and these relationships may help us understand the effects of global climate change on species diversity.
Notorious Asteroid Didn't Kill Dinos: Startling new evidence from boreholes drilled into the Chicxulub crater indicate that the great impact there happened hundreds of millennia too early to have been the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs' "Bulletproof" Armour Revealed: An in-depth study of dinosaur armour has revealed an unexpected new level of strength, with some plates having a weave of fibres resembling today’s bulletproof fabrics. The likely strength of such plates makes the dinosaurs studied - ankylosaurs - perhaps the best-protected creatures to have ever stalked the Earth.
Martian Methane Resuscitates Hope for Life on the Red Planet: For decades, methane has been near the top of scientists' list of biomarkers (substances whose presence is a possible sign of life). The idea of finding it on Mars seems so unlikely that many researchers assumed the discovery had to be some sort of mistake.
Ancient Fossil Offers New Clues To Brown Bears Past: While nosing around the Quaternary mammal collection at the Provincial Museum of Alberta two years ago, Paul Matheus, a paleontologist with the Alaska Quaternary Center, came across a brown bear fossil that seemed out of place.
SMART-1 Settles into Lunar Orbit: One goal is to survey the Peak of Eternal Light, a mountaintop at the lunar south pole that is permanently bathed in sunlight. This keeps the temperature stable at a tolerable -20ºC, making it a favoured site for a manned lunar base. The bright sunshine could also provide astronauts with solar power, and there may even be plenty of useful water ice in craters nearby.
Scientists Face the Fact of Mars Methane: Methane is of great interest because on Earth, almost all of it comes from living things - everything from rotting plants to bovine flatulence.
Leonid Meteor Shower to Peak on the Morning of Wednesday, November 17: From a viewing standpoint, this will be a favorable year to look for these meteors. The moon will be only a thin crescent and will set in the west long before the constellation Leo (from where the meteors get their name) begins to rise.
Smart 1 Probe Arrives at the Moon: The Smart 1 lunar probe has entered into orbit around the Moon, the first European mission to do so.
Martian Moon Phobos in Color for Close-up Look: ESA's Mars Express spacecraft acquires high resolution pictures so far of the Martian moon Phobos.
Saturn Moon May Have Ice Volcano: Saturn's largest moon Titan may have molten ice welling up to the surface from its warm interior, data from the Cassini spacecraft suggests.
Ion-Driven Space Probe Set for Lunar Mission: A space craft the size of a washing machine and driven by a revolutionary ion motor will begin a braking sequence on Monday that should make it the first European mission to enter lunar orbit.
Solar Disturbances Spike Aurora Activity Across the Globe: A spot on the sun is bursting with large flares and tremendous coronal mass ejections, sending charged solar particles to Earth. The waves of particles descending on the planet are responsible for the aurora displays that have been visible as far south as the Carolinas.
New Uranus Photos Reveal Planet in Flux: Uranus is not the static, boring orb once thought, new pictures of the planet by the Keck II telescope in Hawaii reveal.
Stormy Uranus Takes Astronomers by Surprise: When the space probe Voyager 2 visited the planet in 1986, its surface was virtually featureless. But that view has changed dramatically with recent images showing a large number of dynamic storm systems.
European Spacecraft Prepares to Orbit Moon: Europe’s first lunar spacecraft is set to go into orbit around the Moon. SMART-1 has already reached the gateway to the Moon, the region where its gravity starts to dominate that of the Earth.
Alaska Oil Drilling Back on Agenda: Republican gains in the Senate could give President Bush his best chance yet to achieve his No. 1 energy priority -- opening an oil-rich but environmentally sensitive Alaska wildlife refuge to drilling.
Earthquake Shakes Mount Rainier: Mount Rainier shook with a 3.2-magnitude earthquake, but scientists said the quake was not related to recent rumblings at Mount St. Helens, its sister volcano 50 miles to the south.
Mars Moon Emerges from the Dark: Europe's Mars Express spacecraft has taken its most detailed image yet of the Red Planet's largest moon, Phobos.
Cassini Closes In on Titan: The Cassini spacecraft snapped new images of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, as it readied itself for the closest flyby yet of the satellite.
Mini Human Species Unearthed: In what is being hailed as one of the most spectacular paleoanthropological finds of the past century, researchers have unearthed the remains of a dwarf human species that survived on the Indonesian island of Flores until just 13,000 years ago.
Messy Reality of Planet Formation Revealed: A new analysis of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is helping astronomers better understand how planets come together. The findings suggest that the process might be much more chaotic than previously believed.
Sleeping Dino Assumed Birdlike Pose: Scientists working in China have uncovered yet more secrets of dinosaur life, this time a fossil of a 130-million-year-old creature that was preserved in the act of catching 40 winks.
NASA Invites Public to Explore Mars Via Internet: NASA scientists have modified a scientific Web site so the general public can inspect big regions and smaller details of Mars' surface, a planet whose alien terrain is about the same area as Earth's continents.
Universal Truths: Distant Quasars Reveal Content, Age of Universe: Researchers report that they have pinned down the age of the universe to an accuracy 5 times greater than ever before. By their reckoning, the cosmos is 13.6 billion years old, give or take 200 million years.
Mercury Probe Prepares for Launch: NASA's Mercury Messenger probe, which will conduct a detailed investigation of the first planet from the Sun, is preparing for lift-off.
Moon Rock's "Biography" Revealed: The violent history of a meteorite from the Moon has been charted for the first time. Analyses of the rock's geology show it endured three giant impacts, before finally being hit so hard that it was catapulted into space.
Rock Traced from Moon Crater to Earth: Three times may be a charm in some realms, but it took four tremendous whacks to lift a certain rock off the Moon and shoot it serendipitously to Earth.
Hot Planet Ahead: NASA is set to launch one of the most technically demanding planetary missions in its history - the Messenger mission to Mercury.
Lunar Meteorite's Life Story Revealed: Researchers have charted the four-billion-year history of a recently discovered lunar meteorite, and the results may shed new light on the moon's cratered past.
Battered Moon Rock Reveals Travel History: The accident-prone history of a Moon rock blasted by meteors has been shown by geologists. The lunar rock was battered by a meteor impact at least three times before a fourth strike sent it flying into space.
Mercury Probe Set to Sizzle: The Messenger spacecraft is the first attempt to reach the first rock from the sun since the Mariner 10 probe shot past the sizzling sphere three times 30 years ago. Messenger will be the first spacecraft (knock on wood) to actually enter orbit around the planet.
End of the Line for Hubble?: Black Friday. That's how Steve Beckwith, director of the Baltimore-based Space Telescope Science Institute and his colleagues refer to Jan. 16, 2004, the day that the Hubble Space Telescope got its death sentence.
Old Rivers More Active in Youth: Even a lazy river can have its productive moments. Recent data on two relatively flat rivers, the Susquehanna and the Potomac of the Mid-Atlantic states, provide evidence for rapid erosion over a relatively short 20,000-year span.
New Martian Meteorite Recovered: Scientists scouring the Miller Range of the Transantarctic Mountains in Antarctica found the 715-gram chunk of black rock during the 2003-2004 summer season. The wrinkled rock, dubbed MIL 03346, was one of more than 1,000 samples recovered by the team.
Ringed Victory: Cassini Gets Up Close and Personal with Saturn: Less than two weeks after the Cassini spacecraft entered into Saturn's orbit, the planet is spilling its secrets. Project scientists have obtained the most detailed images yet of Saturn's regal rings and its smog-shrouded mega-moon, the aptly named Titan.
17th Century Solar Oddity Believed Linked To Global Cooling Is Rare Among Nearby Stars: A mysterious 17th century solar funk that some have linked to Europe's Little Ice Age and to global climate change, becomes even more of an enigma as a result of new observations by University of California, Berkeley, astronomers.
Dinosaur Tracks on Denmark's Rocky Coast: The Geological Museum in Copenhagen received two fossil footprints left by a pair of Jurassic-era dinosaurs about 170 million years ago and believed to be the first of their kind found on the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm.
Mars Rovers on 'Brand New Mission' : Two interplanetary Energizer bunnies, NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers, keep going and going. The pair of robotic explorers are now well into their extended missions on the surface of Mars.
Hubble Mission May Not Accomplish Everything: While NASA's chief is holding out the hope robots could repair the Hubble Space Telescope, agency officials said Wednesday that such a mission would not be able to achieve everything that had been planned for a manned mission.
Robots to Rescue Hubble Telescope: NASA chief Sean O'Keefe has taken a step toward a robotic repair mission to save the Hubble Space Telescope. In January, he said there would be no more space shuttle visits to service Hubble because it was too dangerous.
Mars Rover Sets Eyes on Long-Sought Hills: The Mars rover Spirit is now within a few hundred metres of the hills it has been trundling towards since March.
Mars Rover Spirit Nears Hills: After recovering from a series of software glitches, NASA's robotic scout Spirit is closing in on its next quarry: a hilly region littered with rocks and boulders that may hold clues about past water on Mars.
Mars Rover Output Starts to Dim: The slow and inevitable build-up of dust on the solar panels of the Mars rover Opportunity is prompting scientists to cut overnight heating to the vehicle in hopes of eking out a few more hours for investigations by day.
Opportunity to Save Energy in "Deep Sleep": The Mars rover Opportunity will be put into a "deep sleep" mode at night to save energy even though the step risks cold damage to one of its instruments.
Spacecraft Near and Far Are Watching Saturn: As Saturn grows closer through the eyes of the Cassini spacecraft, which is hurtling toward a rendezvous with the ringed world on June 30, both Cassini and the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope snapped spectacular pictures of the planet and its magnificent rings.
Cassini Sees Pandora and Prometheus Moons of Saturn: Two of Saturn's moons Prometheus (63 miles across) and Pandora (52 miles across), are seen here shepherding the planet's narrow F-ring.
Dinosaurs Died Within Hours After Asteroid Hit Earth: According to new research led by a University of Colorado at Boulder geophysicist, a giant asteroid that hit the coast of Mexico 65 million years ago probably incinerated all the large dinosaurs that were alive at the time in only a few hours, and only those organisms already sheltered in burrows or in water were left alive.
"System" Failed European Mars Lander: Severe organizational failures lie behind the loss of Beagle 2, the European space probe to Mars which vanished shortly before it landed on the Red Planet late last year.
First Birds Flew on Four Wings: The first birds glided through the air on four wings and only later developed into the light-skeletoned two-winged creatures that we see now, new research into the bird fossil Archaeopteryx has revealed.
Venus Clouds Might Harbour Life: The existence of life on the planet's oven-hot surface is unimaginable. But microbes could survive and reproduce, floating in the thick, cloudy atmosphere, protected by a sunscreen of sulphur compounds.
Volcano Drove Up UK Death Toll: Volcanic eruptions in Iceland probably caused an unusual rise in deaths in England during the summer of 1783. UK experts suggest a cloud of volcanic gases and particles sweeping south from the Laki Craters event of that year may have killed more than 10,000 people.
Rapid Arctic Thaw Portends Warming: Global warming is hitting the Arctic more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet in what may be a portent of wider, catastrophic changes.
Climate Change Heralds Thirsty Times Ahead: Veteran climate modeller Syukuro Manabe and colleagues at Princeton University modelled what effect a quadrupling of atmospheric carbon dioxide above pre-industrial levels would have on the global hydrological cycle over the next 300 years.
New Theory Proposed for Solar System Formation: A new theory from researchers at Arizona State University challenges the traditional view of the formation of our Solar System. Instead of forming within an out-of-the-way cloud of interstellar gas and dust, they believe we formed in the intense environment that typically creates more massive stars. The core of their argument is the recent discovery of iron-60 in meteorites; this isotope can only be found in the heart of massive stars.
New Underwater Volcano Discovered off Antarctic Coast: A previously unknown underwater volcano has been discovered off the coast of Antarctica.
New Asteroid Has Smallest Solar Orbit : A newly-discovered asteroid has the smallest orbit around the Sun ever seen for a space rock. It is also only the second known asteroid to have an orbit that lies entirely within the Earth's.
Hubble Snaps New World: Is this the first photo of a planet beyond our solar system?
Researchers Study Undersea Volcanoes: Imagine the lofty Cascade Range of Oregon at the bottom of the sea, and you can pretty much picture the geography of the Mariana Arc south of Japan. But instead of forested slopes, fresh alpine air and snow-capped peaks, the undersea volcanic mountain range features plumes of molten sulfur, life forms based on chemical energy instead of sunlight, "black smokers" churning hydrothermal fluids and sometimes explosive underwater eruptions.
Impact Site Identified for Biggest Extinction: US geologists claim to have identified a suspect in the Earth's largest and most mysterious mass extinction - a large impact crater off the coast of Australia. However, other geologists are not convinced that the "smoking gun" is even a gun, let alone the lethal weapon.
Mass Extinction Crater Pinpointed: Geologists may have finally found the cause of the greatest mass extinction event in the Earth's history: a gigantic meteorite impact that slammed down 250 million years ago at a location called Bedout in what is now the Indian Ocean.
Signs of Crater Linked to Mass Extinction Said Found: The world was not a great place to be 250 million years ago. That’s because some 90 percent of the planet’s marine life and 80 percent of life on land had gone extinct at the end of the Permian period.
Probe Reveals Saturn's Stripes: The Cassini probe, en route to Saturn, has taken an amazing image of light and dark banded clouds that characterise the ringed planet's atmosphere.
Two Architectures Chosen For Terrestrial Planet Finder: Included in the nation's new vision for space is a plan for NASA to "conduct advanced telescope searches for Earth-like planets and habitable environments around other stars." To meet this challenge, NASA has chosen to fly two separate missions with distinct and complementary architectures to achieve the goal of the Terrestrial Planet Finder.
Boost to Asteroid Wipe-out Theory: The idea that an asteroid impact caused Earth's worst ever mass extinction has been boosted by the discovery of a huge crater that seems to date the event.
Bringing Mars Back Home to Earth: The stepwise goal of returning an interesting rock from Mars will hinge on mobility and robotics first.
Astronomers May Have Image of Extrasolar Planet: In a preliminary analysis of new data, astronomers say they may have imaged a planet outside our solar system for the first time by using a tricky new method to ferret out dim objects from the light of a star.
Fossils Reveal Hummingbirds Once Flew Farther Afield: Two fossils recovered in Germany indicate that birds very similar to today’s hummingbirds once flitted about the European countryside some 30 million years ago.
Oldest Hummingbird Fossils Found: A pair of 30 million-year-old fossils from southern Germany are the oldest fossil hummingbirds.
Ancient Buzzing: German Site Yields Early Hummingbird Fossils: Excavations in a clay pit in southwestern Germany have yielded two tiny treasures. They're the first fossils of hummingbirds from the Old World and, by far, the oldest ones unearthed anywhere.
Two Hot Planets Seen Orbiting Very Close to Parent Stars : European astronomers have confirmed a new class of objects, known as "very hot Jupiters", which are large, extremely hot, and orbit their parent star in an orbit that only takes a couple of days.
New Study May Resolve Long-Standing Global Warming Debate: A disparity between temperature trends on the earth’s surface and in the troposphere, the level of the atmosphere where most weather takes place, has long fueled debate over climate change.
Details Emerge in Robotic Plan to Service Hubble: Hubble has just two or three years of observing left in its batteries and pointing gyroscopes. A decision on a possible mission is expected by early June.
NASA Releases New View of Mars 'Endurance Crater': NASA has released a sweeping 180-degree view of a broad crater punched in the surface of Mars that was photographed by the space agency's Opportunity rover as it perched on the rim of the 430-foot-wide depression.
City-sized Asteroid to Clear Earth: On Sept. 29, 2004 an asteroid the size of a small city will make the closest known pass of such a very large space rock anytime this century.
Crater Looms Large for Mars Rover: Opportunity has arrived at Endurance Crater, where it has been travelling to for about three weeks.
Mars Rover Reaches New Quarry: The roving geology station Opportunity sidled up to what could be its biggest scientific bounty since landing on Mars 3 1/2 months ago — a 30-foot-deep crater the size of a football field that is rimmed in ragged cliffs showing exposed bedrock.
Mars Express Radar Deployment Delayed: The team responsible for the MARSIS radar instrument on Mars Express has advised the ESA to put off the deployment of its radar booms.
Saturn Spacecraft Gets an Eyeful: The Cassini-Huygens mission continues to return tremendous images of Saturn.
Mars Rover Opportunity Ends Prime Mission: NASA's second Mars rover, Opportunity, successfully completed its prime mission this week and, like its robotic sibling Spirit, immediately was granted a 4 1/2-month extension to continue searching the Martian desert for signs of past water.
Mars Rovers Finish Primary Mission: Both Mars Exploration Rovers have completed their originally planned mission and are tackling extra-credit assignments.
Rovers Still Exploring Mars: This is the afterlife of a Mars rover. Beautiful hills beckon one. A deep crater lures the other. Opportunity officially passed the end of its official life expectancy of 90 Martian days a few days ago, while Spirit has been roving Gusev Crater for 114.
Neanderthals Matured Faster than Early Humans : The research, based on a study of fossil teeth, further weakens the case for interbreeding between the hominids.
Neanderthals Matured Faster than Humans: If you think your kids grow up fast, consider this: A new study suggests that Neanderthal children blazed through adolescence and on average reached adulthood at age 15.
Mars Rover on Express Route to Distant Hills: NASA's Spirit rover completed Wednesday its longest drive yet on Mars while traveling the "express route" to a cluster of hills that scientists hope the robot will reach by mid-June.
Mineral Brew Grows 'Cells': It is an experiment you could do in a school chemistry lab. But it produces weird growths that, although made purely from inorganic materials, share some of the characteristics of living organisms.
Scientists Find New Moon Mineral: Scientists say a new lunar mineral has been found in a meteorite from the Moon that crashed to Earth in 2000.
One Thousand Paces On Mars: After a successful weekend of driving on sols 108 and 109, Spirit kicked off its week with a 140-meter (459.3 feet) drive over sols 110 and 111 toward its destination at the base of the "Columbia Hills."
Robotic Repair of Hubble "Promising": NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe told U.S. lawmakers worried about the Hubble Space Telescope's future that robotic servicing of the orbiting observatory appears to be more feasible than agency officials initially believed.
Fossils Reveal Oldest Wildfire: Scientists have discovered evidence for the earliest known wildfire in Earth's history.
Mars Probe Radar Search Postponed: Scientists have delayed the deployment of a radar on Europe's Mars Express probe, which is currently in orbit around the Red Planet.
Practicing for Mars on Utah's Red Rocks: While robots have been scurrying around Mars for months, researchers here on Earth have been trying to make a little bit of Utah seem more like the Red Planet.
Cassini Could Rival Mars Rovers: A little more than two months from now, perhaps sooner, the headlines about spacecraft exploring other worlds will shift somewhat from the exploits of NASA's two Mars to a pair of probes now careening toward glorious Saturn. If all goes well, the Cassini spacecraft will rendezvous with the giant planet on July 1, after traveling nearly 1 billion miles, and will begin a mission that could last for many years.
Scientists Find Wisconsin Meteorite Crater: The impact 450 million years ago dislodged rocks and created a massive hole in a 4-mile area called Rock Elm about 70 miles east of Minneapolis. The impact at Rock Elm released more than 1,000 megatons of explosive energy, lifted the earth at the center more than 1,650 feet and sent shock waves through the rocks, crushing them.
Dino Hunts Net Rare Raptor Teeth: Seven fossil dinosaur teeth unearthed on the Isle of Wight belong to raptors - the predatory dinosaurs made famous by the film Jurassic Park.
Scientists Make Their Case for Seeking Life on Venus: Extremophile microbes could thrive in planet's acidic clouds.
A Little Science, a Lot of Driving for Mars Rovers: Before beginning the drive to Missoula Crater on sol 103, Spirit took panoramic camera images to help planners localize the rover during the long traverse.
Mars Rover Cameras: Black Magic or a Bag of Tricks?: The story behind the Mars Exploration Rover cameras.
Search for Mars Water Goes Underground: A spindly radar antenna with the ambitious aim of revealing any water or ice buried below the Martian surface is set to be deployed Monday aboard the orbiting spacecraft Mars Express.
Signs of Primeval Life Said Found in Lava Rocks: Scientists studying ancient creatures celebrate finds such as an ankle bone or jaw fragment because they help to piece together the varied history of our planet’s past inhabitants. But as investigators reach ever farther back in time, the evidence of early life becomes increasingly difficult to discern.
Signs of Life in Ancient Lava: Tiny, bacteria-like organisms made their home in hardened lava some 3.5 billion years ago.
When the Last Oil Well Runs Dry: Just as certain as death and taxes is the knowledge that we shall one day be forced to learn to live without oil. Exactly when that day will dawn nobody knows, but people in middle age today can probably expect to be here for it.
Did Dinosaurs Lack Daughters?: Dinosaurs may have been forced into extinction partly because there were too few females, say researchers in the UK. The claim revives a venerable debate.
Fewer Females Wiped Out Dinosaurs: Too many males may have been the reason the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.
NASA Optimistic About Hubble Fate: A robotic rescue mission to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope may be feasible.
Mars Rover, Orbiter Team Up: Scientists interrupted the Mars Rover Opportunity's exploration of a second rock-lined crater this week to position the mobile laboratory for a week-long cooperative study with Europe's orbiting Mars Express spacecraft.
Ancient Shells May Be Earliest Jewels: These days, diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But more than 70,000 years ago it seems that tick shells were the jewelry of choice.
Magnetic Field Flip-Flop Clocked: The earth’s magnetic field is in constant flux and undergoes a complete reversal in polarity at irregular intervals every several hundred thousand years or so. That much has been known for some time. But scientists have so far been unable to pin down why polarity reversals occur and how long they take.
Fossil Illuminates Evolution of Limbs from Fins: The discovery of a 365-million-year-old forelimb is helping scientists better understand how ancient creatures made the transition from water to land.
Comet-Chasing Probe Launches Finally: A 1.25 billion dollar European spacecraft began a decade-long quest to hunt a comet in the depths of the Solar System and shadow it around the Sun in a bid to tease out secrets of how life began on Earth.
Asteroid Couldn't Have Wiped Out Dinos: A Mexican crater, caused by an asteroid crash that many scientists thought led to the extinction of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, has just been dated to 65.3 million years ago, three hundred thousand years before dinosaurs disappeared off the face of the Earth.
Opportunity Rover Image: Multicolored Pebbles and Spherules at Charlie Flats: This region is a rich science target for Opportunity because it contains a diverse assortment of small grains, pebbles and spherules, as well as both dark and light soil deposits.
Mars: A Water World? Evidence Mounts, But Scientists Remain Tight-Lipped: Evidence that suggests Mars was once a water-rich world is mounting as scientists scrutinize data from the Mars Exploration rover, Opportunity, busily at work in a small crater at Meridiani Planum. That information may well be leading to a biological bombshell of a finding that the red planet has been, and could well be now, an extraterrestrial home for life.
Rover Ready to Take Another Bite of Mars: "El Capitan" has been the rover's primary interest for several days. The outcrop, about the height of a street curb, rings a portion of the crater in which the robot is maneuvering.
Mars Rover Opportunity Shears Off Rock: The Mars robotic explorer Opportunity has been busy drilling into a rock in the outcrop it's exploring, even as a chronic power problem shortens its daily operations.
Paleontologists Unearth Dinosaur Remains in Antarctica: Two groups of paleontologists working thousands of kilometers apart in Antarctica have unearthed the fossilized remains of previously unknown species' of dinosaur.
Two New Dinos Found in Antarctica: Two new species of dinosaur, one a meat-eater, the other a plant-eater, have been found in Antarctica.
Rebooting a Rover's Computer on Mars Takes a Lot of Preparation on Earth: Ultimately, the fix that saved Spirit wasn't that different from how a PC would be repaired on Earth. It's just that the folks who have their hardware on Mars -- and the eyes of the world on them -- are better prepared for disaster.
Two Very Busy Rovers Scout Mars: The Mars rover Spirit, after a standstill caused by a cold shadow, rolled another 80 feet toward a crater that it should reach within the next three weeks. Controllers also figured out how to drive its twin, Opportunity, so that it won't slip while scooting along a rock formation that's stumped scientists.
Farthest Known Galaxy in the Universe Discovered: Located an estimated 13 billion light-years away, the object is being viewed at a time only 750 million years after the big bang, when the Universe was barely 5 percent of its current age.
Hubble Sees Most Distant Object: It is so distant its light must have set out when the Universe was just 750 million years old to reach the Earth now.
20 Killed by Earthquake in Northern Pakistan: Twenty people died and dozens were injured after a powerful earthquake and aftershock hit northern Pakistan.
Children Asked to Help Identify Mars Rocks: As the Mars rover went prospecting on Martian landscapes, an Arizona State University program called Schoolhouse Rocks was asking children worldwide to help identify the data that the rover sends back to Earth.
Opportunity Prepares to Dig a Hole on Mars: Scientists fixed a glitch that froze the robotic arm on the Mars rover Opportunity and then prepared the robot explorer to dig a narrow trench in the martian soil. Scientists hope the patch of soil, dubbed "Hematite Slope," will prove to be rich in the iron-bearing mineral, which typically forms in water.
Life Could Be Tough on Acid Europa: Far from being a haven of ice and water and an ideal spot for the search for alien life, Jupiter's moon Europa may be a corrosive hotbed of acid and peroxide.
Titan Probe Set for White-Knuckle Descent: It will be the first time that a craft has landed on a moon other than our own. Depending on where it touches down, it may also be the first time that something made by the hands of humans has entered an ocean anywhere else than on Earth.
New Mars Data for Maestro: Opportunity #1: The first package of Mars data from the rover Opportunity is now available for download. This package includes data acquired between Jan. 24 and Jan. 29, 2004, including the first images from Meridiani Planum.
NASA Bumps Up Data Rate From Mars Rovers: NASA upgraded the bandwidth connection to its pokey twin Mars rovers, a boost that will allow scientists to send and receive data like pictures more quickly.
Astronomers Find Galaxy's Largest Diamond: When choosing a Valentine's Day gift for a wife or girlfriend, you can't go wrong with diamonds. If you really want to impress your favorite lady this Valentine's Day, get her the galaxy's largest diamond.
Astronomers Spy Massive Diamond: If anyone's ever promised you the sun, the moon and the stars, tell 'em you'll settle for BPM 37093. The heart of that burned-out star with the no-nonsense name is a sparkling diamond that weighs a staggering 10 billion trillion trillion carats.
NASA Rover Takes Mars' Temperature : In an analytical feat not thought possible before landing, one of the instruments on NASA's rover Spirit has been used to determine detailed temperature profiles of the Martian atmosphere.
Mars Express Stares at Volcano: Europe's Mars Express space probe in orbit around the Red Planet has produced a stunning image of the highest volcano in the Solar System.
Los Alamos Leading Fast-paced Reactor Research to Power Planned Journey to Jupiter's Icy Moons: A planned U.S. mission to investigate three ice-covered moons of Jupiter will demand fast-paced research, fabrication and realistic non-nuclear testing of a prototype nuclear reactor within two years.
Europe's Comet-Chasing Mission Passes Final Test: The final launch simulation for the European Space Agency's comet-chasing Rosetta mission was completed on Wednesday without a hitch. The successful test run, involving centres in Europe, South America, the US, and Australia, leaves the mission all set for its launch on 26 February.
Mars Express Stares Down Throat of Giant Volcano: Europe's Mars Express orbiter has stared down the throat of the Solar System's largest volcano, Olympus Mons, to produce the best ever images of the giant peak.
Mars Rover Reveals New Details About Rocks: NASA's Opportunity rover has revealed new details about the finely layered rocks that partially ring the shallow crater cradling the spacecraft.
Opportunity Zeros In on Mars Rocks: New details of Martian rocks in the rocky outcrop the rover Opportunity is now surveying are puzzling scientists. Even the floor of the crater Opportunity landed in three weeks ago has scientists raving.
Oldest Known Insect Identified From 400-Million-Year-Old Jaws: Scientists say they have discovered the world's oldest known insect fossil, a 400-million-year-old set of minuscule jaws that have been lying unrecognized for nearly a century in a drawer at the Natural History Museum in London.
Oldest Insect Hints at Dawn of Flight: The world's oldest known insect has been found lurking in a fossil-filled vault under a museum. The finding pushes back the origins of winged insects by 80 million years.
Fossil Find is World's Oldest Insect: Scientists have identified the oldest known insect from its fossilized jaw remains. A report published today in the journal Nature describes the creature, which lived between 408 and 438 million years ago.
NASA to Boost Rovers' Distance Mark: Not content to allow the Spirit rover to rest on its laurels, NASA wants to send the spacecraft on what should be longer drives on Mars.
Many Dino Species Undiscovered: Up to 500 dinosaur groups may remain undiscovered, yet our knowledge of the creatures and how they were related is relatively complete, a scientist says.
New Star Emerges from Dust Cocoon: An amateur astronomer in the US has detected the emergence of a young star from the cocoon of gas and dust in which it was born.
Reactor Research to Power Journey to Jupiter's Moons: A planned U.S. mission to investigate three ice-covered moons of Jupiter will demand fast-paced research, fabrication and realistic non-nuclear testing of a prototype nuclear reactor within two years.
Row Over Hubble Telescope Erupts Again: Shuttle astronauts would be just as safe going to the Hubble Space Telescope as they would be on a mission to the International Space Station, according to two leaked documents reportedly written by NASA engineers.
Close-ups Narrow Theories on Mars Bedrock: The latest close-ups taken by the Mars rover Opportunity leave just two serious possibilities for the method of formation of the layered rocks it is examining.
Opportunity Zooms In on Martian Bedrock: The Mars rover Opportunity is investigating the inner walls of the crater in which it landed and finding some intriguing characteristics.
Rover Sets Distance Record on Mars: The Spirit rover shattered a one-day distance record on Mars, rolling nearly 70 feet across the planet's rocky surface.
Spirit Rover Verifies Volcanic Orgin of Rock: Spirit ground a circular hole in the rock called Adirondack and verified its volcanic origins. Even more intriguing, Opportunity, on the other side of Mars, has found fine layers of rock that could be caused by volcanic ash or dust.
Opportunity Sees a Bed of Beads: The Mars rover Opportunity has taken the first close-up pictures ever of Martian bedrock, and these reveal important new details of the intriguing strata. The rover's earlier observations revealed layering, as well as round grains in the soil, both highly suggestive of sedimentary rocks deposited in water.
Opportunity Peeks Out Over Rim: The Mars rover Opportunity has moved to the lip of the crater in which it landed and peeked out over the rim.
Mars Rovers Head Out to Investigate: The twin Martian rovers are about neck in neck in their roving distances as they each head out to investigate their immediate landing sites.
Mars Rover Digs into First Rock: A tool equipped with small, diamond-shaped heads cut 2.7 mm deep into a small area of a sharply angled rock dubbed Adirondack. The circular hole, measuring about 45 mm wide, could give scientists clues to Mars' geologic past.
Rover digs first hole on Mars: Fresh from being given a clean bill of health, the Spirit rover drilled its first tiny hole in a rock on the surface of Mars.
Mars Rover Makes Drilling Debut: NASA says Spirit has drilled into a rock, the first time this has been done by a robot vehicle.
Comet Blamed for 6th Century 'Nuclear Winter': Scientists at Cardiff University, UK, believe they have discovered the cause of crop failures and summer frosts some 1,500 years ago - a comet colliding with Earth.
Noxious Undersea Eruptions Killing Billions of Fish: Undersea eruptions of noxious hydrogen sulphide are having a major impact on one of the world's richest fisheries.
Daring Comet Lander Named Philae: The small robotic probe that Europe is despatching to land on a comet has been named "Philae" by a 15-year-old girl.
Mars Rovers Begin Road Trips: Both of NASA's Mars exploration rovers are on the move, with Opportunity heading for a nearby outcrop and Spirit poised to navigate to a crater in the middle distance.
Strong Quake in Indonesia Kills at Least 23: A earthquake measuring 6.9 has struck the eastern province of Papua killing at least 23 people, and the toll was likely to grow, government officials said.
Perfect Spheres Seen in Mars Soil: Thousands of tiny, perfectly rounded spheres have been seen on the dark soil around the Mars rover Opportunity.
Mars Rover Snaps Microscopic Photos of Soil: NASA's Opportunity rover took the first-ever microscopic photographs of the martian soil, which scientists believe could contain evidence that the now-dry planet once was a wetter world capable of sustaining life.
Rover Takes First Spin on Mars: NASA took the rover Opportunity on its first real drive on Mars, a trip across pebbly soil that appears to be unlike anything else seen on the surface of the Red Planet.
Round Mars Grains Excite NASA: Nasa's robot rover Opportunity has found round grains in the soil of Mars, raising the possibility they may have been shaped by liquid water.
Dino 'Survival' Claim Disputed: The idea that dinosaurs survived for some time after the asteroid impact blamed for wiping them out 65 million years ago has been dealt a blow.
Mars Dust Storms Detectable from Earth?: Martian dust storms might be detectable from Earth, say researchers who suspect electrical signals from banging dust particles ought to be detectable as radio and microwave noise.
Mars Soil Image Mystifies Scientists: New high-definition pictures of the soil in a shallow crater on Mars are raising more questions than they're answering.
Chemists Report New Superheavy Elements: Two more boxes may need to be added to the periodic table. According to a report in the current issue of the journal Physical Review C scientists have observed the first ever evidence of superheavy elements 113 and 115.
European Scientists Plan Manned Mars Missions: European scientists set out plans Tuesday for manned missions to Mars that aim to land astronauts on the Red Planet within 30 years."
NASA Halts Spirit Rover's Mars Analysis to Complete Memory Fix: Mission officials had hoped the rover would brush off and examine a rock that it has faced since Jan. 18, but ongoing software problems forced engineers to delay gathering the data until a day after they reformat the rover's flash memory."
Mars Rover's Work Delayed Over Memory Glitch: The Mars rover Spirit briefly resumed science operations before NASA once again halted the work to finish correcting a computer memory problem that has stymied the wheeled robot's mission."
Rover Takes Its First Soil Photos: Opportunity has taken the first microscopic pictures of soil at its landing site on the Martian surface."
Of Dinosaurs and Dynamite: Some dinosaur fossil hunters extricate their finds using trowels and toothbrushes. But palaeontologists in Antarctica wield hammers, crowbars and especially dynamite."
NASA's Rovers to Analyze Mars' Soils: The rovers, Opportunity and Spirit, have kicked off what NASA hopes will be the start of sustained science operations with in-depth analyses of the soils and rocks on the ground beneath their wheels."
Intriguing Intricacies From the Rocks of Mars: Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, the exploration sites for NASA's twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity, are on opposite sides of Mars and are as different as New York City and the Illinois prairie. Gusev Crater is rocks, rocks everywhere. Meridiani Planum is flat, almost featureless, almost rockless and blanketed with a fine-grained red soil and dark pebbles."
Hubble Spots Oxygen and Carbon in Distant Planet's Atmosphere: Scientists have for the first time detected carbon and oxygen in the atmosphere of a planet beyond our solar system. What is more, the planet’s atmosphere is evaporating rapidly, prompting researchers to propose that it represents a unique category of extrasolar planet.
Fossil Millipede Named After Bus Driver: Scientists have revealed that a fossilised millipede found in Scotland is the remains of the oldest creature to have lived on land -- and named it after the bus driver who found it. Pneumodesmus newmani is not only the oldest fossilised millipede found anywhere -- at about 420 million years old -- but when scientists saw it under the microscope they could see it had holes allowing it to breath air, meaning it lived on land.
Hubble Detects Oxygen, Carbon Near Distant Planet: The Hubble Space Telescope has detected oxygen and carbon in the atmosphere of a distant planet, the first time these elements have been found around a world outside our solar system.
Scientists Create Two New Elements: Russian and American scientists say they have created two new "superheavy" elements that will reside at the extreme end of chemistry's periodic table of elements.
Mars Mission Enters Full Swing: NASA's twin rovers reached out to scoop and analyze the martian surface some 6,600 miles apart, both machines using their robotic arms as intended following a software glitch.
Earth 'Shook Off' Ancient Warming: UK scientists claim they now know how Earth recovered on its own from a sudden episode of severe global warming at the time of the dinosaurs.
Wish You Were Here: Imaging Mars: The spectacular images of Mars being sent back by European and US spacecraft give us a thrilling insight into what it must be like to travel to the Red Planet.
Mars Rovers Set to Work: A repaired Spirit and its sister rover Opportunity are examining rocks and soil before heading out for a longer trek.
Mars Rover Spirit Fixed: The Mars rover Spirit, out of commission with computer problems for the last 10 days, has been fixed.
Extrasolar Planet's Atmosphere Blows Away: One of the best known planets beyond our solar system has surprised astronomers by revealing an oxygen, carbon and hydrogen-bearing atmosphere that's blowing away before our eyes.
NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity Rover Begins Standing Up: NASA's Opportunity rover has untucked its front wheels and latched its suspension system in place, key steps in preparing to drive off its lander and onto martian soil.
Panoramic Image Guides Mars Team: The first full-circle panorama taken by the Spirit Mars rover is putting the team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in its place.
Scientists Speculate Over Mudlike Material on Mars: Scientists puzzled over mudlike material kicked up near NASA's Mars Spirit rover, as experts repositioned the six-wheeled spacecraft Monday to roll off its lander.
Mars Rover's Colour Panorama Revealed : The much-anticipated full-colour panoramic view of Spirit's landing site on Mars has been unveiled.
Largest Eurasian Volcano is Active Again: Klyuchevskaya Sopka, the largest Eurasian volcano located on Kamchatka, is active again. Ash gushers from the volcano crater to the height of about 50 meters every 15 seconds. Luminescence is permanent above the volcano, which is over 4,800 meters higher than the sea level.
Spirit Ready to Get Down 'n' Dirty on Mars: Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are one cable cut away from having a free range Mars rover on their hands.
Spirit Detects First Hints of Water: The Mars rover Spirit has not even left its landing platform yet, but mission managers say some of its major scientific goals are already well on the way to being realised. Most importantly, Spirit has detected tantalising signs of minerals that could provide the long-sought evidence of Mars's watery past.
Attempts to Contact Beagle 2 Fail: The latest attempt to contact a British-led mission to Mars from its orbiting mothership has failed, compounding the growing fears that the Beagle 2 probe crashed during its landing on Christmas Day.
Spirit Almost Ready to Roll: The Mars rover Spirit has fully unfolded and extended its wheels, and may be ready to drive off its landing platform onto the Martian surface by mid-week.
Spirit Detects Carbonate Minerals within Gusev Crater: "We came looking for carbonates. We have them. We're going to chase them," said Dr. Phil Christensen of Arizona State University, leader of the miniature thermal emission spectrometer team.
Mars Spirit Rover to Use Alternate Ramp: NASA's Mars rover must turn around and use a secondary ramp to reach the surface of the Red Planet because its best route is blocked by the air bags that cushioned its landing.
Taste of a Comet: Spacecraft Samples and Views Wild 2: Pummeled by dusty debris traveling six times as fast as a rifle bullet, a NASA spacecraft has snatched up dust samples while taking the sharpest images ever of the icy core of a comet.
Bush to Announce Manned Mission to Mars: Government officials have confirmed that a new space initiative will be launched and the media has reported details of the plan contained in official documents. According to these, the Moon base would be constructed within the next 15 years, with missions to Mars or nearby asteroids beginning in the 2020s.
New Bid to Find Beagle on Mars: Further attempts are being made to contact the Beagle 2 Mars probe, which has been missing since Christmas Day.
Next-Generation Robots Take the Plunge: While the oceans cover two-thirds of Earth, the vast majority - 90% - are unexplored. We have better maps of Mars than we do of our own seabed, oceanographers say.
Moon Fever Grips US Space Agency: Space officials have welcomed President George W Bush's desire to send Americans to Mars and back to the Moon.
Could Borax Hold Key to Life?: Life may have got its start in a place not entirely unlike Mars' Gusev Crater, say scientists who have discovered an essential ingredient for life in Earth's dry desert lakes.
NASA Will Almost Start from Scratch in Moon-Mars Effort: If Nasa returns astronauts to the moon and then takes aim at Mars, the US space agency will have to go back to the drawing board to get the job done. The rockets, equipment and engineers that put American footprints on lunar soil have long been lost, junked or retired.
American Astronauts Will Walk on Mars: Buoyed by a successful landing on Mars by a robot explorer, US President George Bush plans a major announcement on space policy next week that envisions sending Americans back to the moon and ultimately to Mars.
Bush Proposal to Send Man to Mars: President George W Bush will announce proposals to send Americans to Mars, and back to the moon.
Rover Prepares to Roll Off Lander : The Mars rover Spirit has acquired its full "mission success panorama," but only part of the large color image has reached the ground so far. The photo will be downloaded to Earth in pieces over the next few days.
Mars Rover May Head for the Hills: The Mars rover is about the tallest thing in its neighborhood, but it's eyeing some not-so-distant hills. Scientists looking at vivid pictures of the landscape taken by Spirit are considering climbing those hills, a thought that thrills the people who are going to drive the rover.
Supernova, Sun Combo Blamed for Mass Extinction: The second-largest extinction in the Earth's history, the killing of two-thirds of all species, may have been caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun after gamma rays destroyed the Earth's ozone layer.
Comet Dust Packed Away for Earth: NASA scientists report the special scoop extended from their probe Stardust as it flew past the 5-km-wide "snowball" has retracted properly.
Mars Scientists Fail to Find Beagle: Biting his lip and with his head bowed, the boffin who masterminded the Beagle 2 project fought hard to hide his disappointment upon learning that his space probe to Mars was still missing.
UN, Iran Urge Help for Iranian Population After Earthquake: The United Nations and Iranian authorities are going to appeal to international donors for urgent humanitarian assistance to the Iranians affected by the recent earthquake which hit the Bam area on December 26, claiming the lives of 35,000 people. Some 25,000 out of 30,000 buildings were destroyed in the city, leaving 45,000 people homeless.
Nervous Southwest Iran Hit by Two More Tremors: Two more tremors hit a major oil- and gas-producing area in southwest Iran a day after the region was put on maximum alert over the possibility of a deadly major quake like the one that struck the southeast of the country.
Cautious NASA Delays Rover's Move onto Rocky Surface of Mars: NASA is delaying rolling its Spirit rover off the spacecraft that brought it to Mars and onto the Red Planet's rocky soil in order to give engineers more time to clear its path.
Rocks Give Glimpse of Mars' Past: To an untrained eye, the images may look like just a bunch of nondescript rocks. But the pictures, combined with up-close analysis of those rocks, may hold stunning answers to questions about the origins of life on our own planet.
Crater Landing Site is a Puzzle to Mars Experts: The earliest black-and-white images from the spacecraft's Gusev crater landing site seemed to confirm what photos from satellites orbiting Mars suggested: Spirit rests on an ancient rock-strewn lake bed. But the steady stream of much more detailed color imagery that has been reaching NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory since midweek is turning that assumption on its ear.
NASA Scientists Want Mars Rover \'Down in Dirt\': The U.S. robotic rover on Mars has suffered some minor technical problems that will delay by three days its planned landing pad roll-off to search for signs of water in an arid rock-strewn crater.
Spirit's Trek Around the Red Planet Delayed: The air bags that cushioned the landing of the Mars rover are obstructing the vehicle's path and will delay the start of its trek across the planet's rust-coloured surface. Further complicating the mission, new images from the Mars rover suggest its landing site is not the pristine dry lake bed that scientists originally had hoped.
Hope All But Gone for Beagle 2: The Beagle 2 mission to Mars is almost certainly dead. A last-ditch attempt to contact the probe by the lander's mothership turned up nothing.
Mothership Fails to Find Beagle on Mars: Europe's Mars Express orbiter failed to pick up a signal from the Beagle 2 probe on its first attempt Wednesday, leaving mission control without word from the lander since it was spun off toward the Red Planet in mid-December.
Fossil of New Pliosaur Examined: The bones of the pliosaur, a reptilian equivalent of the killer whale, were excavated in 1967 outside Bogota and represented an entirely new species previously unknown to scientists. But the four-metre long marine reptile, last alive during the Cretaceous Period, remained forgotten in vaults of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota.
Moon Call Goes Out to Scientists: The President of India has issued an invitation to scientists to put their experiments on India's first Moon mission.
No Bark Heard from Beagle 2 Probe: The British-built Mars probe Beagle 2 has failed to call Earth, dashing hopes that its mothership Mars Express would establish contact with the robot.
Clearest-Ever Pictures of Mars Debut: Spirit has snapped the first full-color images of its surroundings on Mars, which soon will be pieced together by NASA to form a panoramic view and stunning first postcard from the Red Planet
Mars Scientists Look Again for Beagle: The team that developed Beagle 2 at the Open University in London begins to fear the worst, suspecting that it might have fallen into a previously uncharted crater.
First Mars Stop May Be 'Sleepy Hollow': The first stop for a golf-cart sized rover designed to search for signs of life on Mars may be a hole in the ground nicknamed "Sleepy Hollow" that NASA scientists on Monday called a "window into the interior" of the rugged planet.
Mothership is Last Chance for Beagle 2 : Europe's Mars Express spacecraft is gearing up for a last-ditch attempt to make contact with the missing Beagle 2 lander.
New Rover Sees Red Planet with 3-D Eyes: On its first full day on Mars, a NASA craft beamed back a three-dimensional panorama of its new home, a tantalizing hint of the capacity of the most sophisticated eyes ever to scan the Red Planet surface.
Spirit Mars Probe "In Great Shape": The first panoramic image taken by the six-wheeled robot shows what appears to be an impact crater carved by a space rock crashing into the Red Planet.
Spirit Sends 3D Postcard from Mars: NASA has begun receiving high resolution color photographs of Mars from the Spirit rover.
Spirit Beams Back Colour Images of Mars: The United States robotic probe Spirit beamed panoramic colour images of unprecedented clarity back to Earth after establishing direct contact with Nasa scientists guiding its search for ancient signs of life on Mars.
Team Spirit Readies Robot for Mars Duties: NASA’s Spirit Mars rover continues to be healthy, with engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) reporting they have established direct-to-Earth communications from the robot.
Spirit Sending Color Photos from Mars: NASA has begun receiving high resolution color photographs of Mars from the Spirit rover and is processing them for release.
Photos from Mars Rover Show Rock-filled Landscape: Basking in a successful Mars landing, NASA scientists prepare the Spirit rover to explore its new home — a massive crater that contains what may be a dry Martian lake bed.
Images Begin Planning for Mars Rover's Travels: The images of the surface of Mars now flowing in from NASA's rover Spirit have allowed mission managers to begin planning the robot explorer's first excursions.
Spirit Rover Consolidates Its Foothold on Mars: The Spirit rover has spent its first full day and night on the Martian surface, preparing to begin its explorations.
Spirit Finds Earth in Martian Sky: On its first full day on Mars, a robotic explorer locked in on Earth with its most powerful antenna, a crucial technical accomplishment that allows it to beam images and data directly to Earth without interruption.
Mixed Fortunes on Mars: As the corks popped in California over Spirit, scientists in London were putting a brave face on the continued silence of Beagle 2. Instead of boldly seeking life on the Red Planet, there is a good chance that the Beagle 2 lander is lying in pieces.
Still No Sign of Missing Beagle: Mission scientists are pinning their hopes on the European Space Agency's (Esa) Mars Express, which will be in position to look for its "baby" on Wednesday.
Spirit Makes Perfect Touchdown on Mars: The NASA rover called Spirit made a perfect landing in an ancient lakebed on Mars after a suspenseful entry sequence that worked far beyond anyone's expectations.
Failure Not an Option This Weekend at Mars: You gotta know that NASA is weak-in-the-knees nervous.
Mars Rover Expected to Find Evidence of Water: A long time ago, on a planet not so far away, there was a sparkling lake a hundred miles wide. Into it flowed a river nearly 400 miles long. The gushing water left its mark on rocks, weathering them, pushing them and depositing minerals.
Spirit Rover to Try Its Luck on Mars: The vehicle has been travelling through space since its launch from Earth in June and should touch down Jan 4th at 0435 GMT.
Next Stop, Interstellar Space: The venerable Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched 26 years ago and now 90 times as far from the sun as Earth is, either has reached or will soon enter a turbulent region near the solar system's final frontier.
NASA Fixes Course for Mars-bound Spirit Rover: NASA successfully adjusted the course of a rover that will search for evidence of life on the Red Planet.
Crater Theory Over Missing Beagle: NASA's orbiting Mars Odyssey has passed five times over the spot where scientists hope Beagle landed, failing to pick up a bark from Beagle.
Mars Express Heads to Mars Poles: Mission controllers redirected Europe's Mars Express orbiter closer to the red planet's poles, taking a crucial first step to push it into a lower orbit where it will be able to listen for its missing Beagle 2 surface probe.
Earth Losing Its Magnetism: What is uncertain is whether the weakened field is on the way to a complete collapse and a reversal that would flip the North and South Poles.
Stardust Probe Survives Daring Comet Fly-by: NASA's Stardust mission survived a daring flypast of the Comet Wild 2 and collected the first ever samples of comet dust. The material, which could reveal much about the early Solar System, will be returned to Earth in 2006.
Stardust Space Probe Flies By Comet: The Stardust space probe, the first mission to collect a sample from a body beyond the moon and return it to Earth, has successfully made its close approach to Comet Wild-2.
Stardust Probe Makes Comet Flyby: The Nasa probe Stardust has had a dramatic encounter with Comet Wild-2, passing just 240 km away from the mountainous ball of ice, rock and dust.
Mars Express Enters Polar Orbit: The European satellite Mars Express successfully entered a polar orbit above Mars on Tuesday, which will allow it to try to contact the missing lander Beagle 2 next week.
Comet Catcher Moves Into Position: After a five-year journey that racked up about 2 billion miles, a robotic science scout is about to corner its quarry on the far side of the sun for an unprecedented mission to retrieve samples of materials believed to be left over from the creation of our solar system.
Faster World Whirls Into 2004: The world's timekeepers, who track time using an atomic clock and the rotation of the Earth, say our planet is speeding up.
Oldest Known Ancestor of Marsupials Discovered in China: A mouse-size, tree-climbing animal that lived with the dinosaurs is the oldest known ancestor of modern marsupial mammals.
Japanese Mars Probe Abandoned : Japan has been forced to abandon its first ever interplanetary space mission after failing to correct an onboard electrical fault with its Mars probe Nozomi.
Japanese Fail to Salvage Mars Mission: Japan has abandoned its troubled mission to Mars, after space officials failed in their final effort to put the Nozomi probe back on course to orbit the Red Planet.
Ghostly Sand Dunes Pass Right through One Another: According to a report published in the journal Nature, barchan sand dunes, which are crescent-shaped and highly mobile, can pass through one another while still maintaining their shape.
Huge Dinosaurs Floated: Sauropod dinosaurs, the largest terrestrial animals ever to have lived on our planet, could float like corks in water, according to computerized buoyancy tests on recreations of sauropods that lived during the Mesozoic Era.
Ill Fated Orbiter Nozomi May Pollute Mars: Experts are growing anxious that Japan's beleaguered space probe Nozomi may contaminate Mars if it collides with the Red Planet.
Mars Odyssey Studies Changing Weather and Climate on Mars: Mars may be going through a period of climate change, new findings from NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter suggest.
Spacecraft to Explore Jupiter's Moons: NASA plans to dispatch a hulking nuclear-powered spacecraft to determine whether three of Jupiter's icy, planet-sized moons have the potential to harbor life.
"Domino" Earthquakes Could Be Deadly: California is known for surf, sun and sand. Less desirable are the earthquake faults that lie beneath the coastal state.
Mars Express Diary: Europe's first solo mission to another planet, Mars Express, is due to arrive at Mars on Christmas Day.
Humans Could Survive Mars Visit: Measurements taken by the US space agency's Mars Odyssey craft prove that a human mission could survive on the Martian surface.
No Fiery Extinction for Dinosaurs: It is unlikely the dinosaurs perished in a global firestorm triggered by the asteroid strike on Earth 65 million years ago.
Mars Surprisingly Magnetic in New Map: Unprecedented mapping of the magnetism of Mars' surface is revealing surprises and new mysteries about the Red Planet.
Massive Pacific Quake to Come?: The Pacific Northwest is facing the possibility of a devastating magnitude 9 earthquake, said geophysicists studying earthquake-caused tsunamis that struck Japan in 1700.
The Neptune Effect : A new model proposes Kuiper Belt objects migrated to their present positions under the influence of Neptune.
Scientists Admire Saturn Image: En route to Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft has caught another glimpse of the ringed planet that is growing more detailed with time.
Sunlight's Gentle Nudge on Asteroids Detected: Astronomers have detected the delicate force of sunlight on an asteroid's orbit for the first time. The long-predicted effect has been blamed for propelling some asteroid fragments from the Solar System's main asteroid belt into the region near Earth.
Earth's Elusive Mantle Plumes Detected At Last: Using detailed seismic data, scientists have obtained the clearest picture yet of the earth's inner workings. The images provide long-awaited direct evidence for mantle plumes--large columns of heat emanating from the planet's interior--which were first predicted in the 1970s.
Project to Drill into San Andreas Fault: An ambitious project to try to predict earthquakes will go ahead thanks to a 20 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation.
Ancient Fossil Penis Discovered: Scientists have identified the oldest male fossil animal yet discovered. It is an ocean-dwelling creature from 425-million-year-old rocks in the UK.
Mars Rovers Head for Exciting Landings in January: NASA's robotic Mars geologist, Spirit, embodying America's enthusiasm for exploration, must run a grueling gantlet of challenges before it can start examining the Red Planet. Spirit's twin Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, also faces tough Martian challenges.
Earth's Field Opens Up for the Solar Wind: Immense cracks in the Earth's magnetic field remain open for hours, allowing the solar wind to gush through and power stormy space weather.
Ethiopian Fossil Finds Elucidate Elephant Evolution: Fossils recovered from the Ethiopian highlands are helping scientists fill in long-lost branches on the family tree of modern-day elephants.
Stardust Closing in on Comet: After nearly five years in space, a robotic probe is closing in on its primary target, a recently discovered comet from the Kuiper Belt region, and preparing for a one-shot flyby to snatch samples for return to Earth.
Mars Rover Teams Get Ready For Action: NASA's twin Mars rovers -- Spirit and Opportunity -- are drawing ever closer to the Red Planet, headed for separate landings early next year.
Oldest Hamster Food Store Found: A hoard of nuts buried by a rodent 17 million years ago is the oldest food larder so far discovered in the fossil record.
Japan's Mars Probe in Trouble Again: Japan's high hopes of joining the science-fest at Mars next year are rapidly evaporating, with only a slim chance the country's troubled Nozomi spacecraft will be able to brake for orbit.
Nearby Star May Have Planetary System Like Ours: Astronomers scanning the skies for far-flung planets have found that the area surrounding a nearby star is very familiar..
China Earthquake Kills 10, Flattens Homes: A strong earthquake has rocked the Xinjiang region in northwestern China, killing at least 10 people and leveling hundreds of homes.
Origin of Cosmic Dust Discovered: UK astronomers say they have unlocked one of the Universe's oldest secrets - the origin of cosmic dust.
Did Viking Find Evidence of Life on Mars?: The soft-landing Viking missions to Mars offered a challenging set of experiments to test for biological activity in 1976.
Melting Glaciers May Make Billions Thirsty: The world's glaciers could melt within a century if global warming accelerates, leaving billions of people short of water and some islanders without a home.
Dusty Disc May Mean Other Earths: An analysis of a swirling disc of dust around a nearby star suggests there could be small, rocky worlds there as well.
More Solar Storms To Come?: Last month's solar storms may be returning and threatening to repeat the troubles they caused for four Mars spacecraft and one Moon-bound craft.
Dinosaur Museum to Open in Utah: The Utah Field House of Natural History in northeastern Utah will be the new home to 17 life-sized replicas of prehistoric life.
Clouds Discovered on Saturn's Moon Titan: Methane clouds have been discovered near the south pole of Titan, resolving a fierce debate about whether clouds exist amid the haze of Saturn's moon's atmosphere.
Solar Kaboom: The latest solar explosion may be the biggest on record.
Voyager Says Goodbye to Solar System : The most distant man-made object - the Voyager 1 spacecraft - is finally leaving the Solar System. Astronomers think the probe has reached a boundary where the Sun's influence starts to wane.
'Smart' Wings Made Pterosaurs Agile Flyers: Scientists have used CAT scans, a staple of modern hospitals, to peer inside the heads of extinct reptiles known as pterosaurs, the first flying vertebrates to emerge during the age of the dinosaurs.
Clay Could Have Encouraged First Cells to Form: While many armchair philosophers are searching for the meaning of life, researchers are hard at work investigating the origins of life on Earth. New findings suggest that a lump of clay could have provided a platform for the formation of primordial cells.
South America's Glaciers Thinning Quickly: The glaciers of South America are thinning twice as fast as they were a few decades ago, researchers report. As a result, the ice fields of Patagonia are contributing excessive amounts of water to the world's oceans as compared to larger icefields located elsewhere.
Radar Observations Offer New View of Elusive Titan: The intense haze surrounding Saturn's moon Titan shrouds it from view, making it difficult to ascertain the composition of the satellite's surface. Now scientists have used two radio telescopes on Earth to peer through the smog.
Revamped Hall Reflects Two Decades of Space Rock Research: Over the last two decades, space rock researchers have boosted their knowledge of how asteroids form, their role in planet formation and their impact on Earth. To showcase these studies, curators at the American Museum of Natural History will reopen the Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites to the public after a six-month renovation project.
Fossil Reveals World's Oldest Genitals: The discovery of the world's oldest genitals proves that little has changed over the last 400 million years - at least for daddy-long-legs.
Chandra Solves Mystery of Moon's Dark Side: Astronomers have found a new use for the Chandra X-ray observatory: probing the surface of the moon. New observations provide direct evidence of lunar composition.
Mars Rocks Beagle Team: The meteorite that revived hopes of finding life on Mars is to be analysed by scientists working on the British-led Beagle 2 mission.
Galileo's Journey At Jupiter Ends: The Galileo space probe ends an eight-year expedition dancing among the moons of Jupiter with a sacrificial suicidal plunge into Jupiter's crushing atmosphere.
Ratzilla: Extinct rodent was big, really big: Think the rodents you've seen in movies are scary? Scientists who've analyzed the fossilized remains of an extinct South American relative of guinea pigs say that the ancient bruisers were as large as bison.
Giant Guinea Pig Roamed the Earth: It would be an exterminator's worst nightmare: A 1,545-pound rodent with a voracious appetite and big teeth.
Buffalo-Sized Guinea Pig Revealed: The full magnitude of the world's largest ever rodent has been revealed- the now-extinct monster was the size of a cow. The creature weighed in at 700 kilograms and lived eight million years ago, roaming the lush banks of the ancient Orinoco delta in northwestern Venezuela.
Danger in the Air: Volcanoes have a long reach.
Marine Picks First Public Mars Global Surveyor Image: If you were given a chance to aim the camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter and take a picture of something on the Red Planet, what would you shoot?
Skull Study Complicates Origins of First Americans: Determining just how the first humans arrived in the Americas has proved remarkably difficult.
Colourful Saturn in Close-up: Over its 29.5 year-orbit Saturn and its ring system experience seasonal tilts away from and towards the Sun, in much the same way Earth does.
Grand Canyon Born on East Coast: Like many of their tourist visitors, some of the rocks that make up the Grand Canyon came across North America from the East Coast.
Appalachian Sands Covered North America: The vast and mysterious Sahara-like sea of sand that once covered much of western North America came from an Amazon-like river that brought sand from the far-off Appalachians, not the Rockies.
The New Diamond Age: Armed with inexpensive, mass-produced gems, two startups are launching an assault on the De Beers cartel.
New Volcano Found in Aleutians: The North Pacific’s "Ring of Fire" can claim a new member — a previously unknown underwater volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.
Defenses Down, Galactic Dust Storm Hits Solar System: Our solar system's natural defenses are down and a vigorous cosmic dust storm is blowing through, according to a new study. The forecast calls for a prolonged and increasing blizzard of small interstellar bits.
Holiday Weather on Mars: ESA's Mars Express is due to arrive at Mars in December 2003, and its Beagle 2 lander will be making a touchdown in the middle of the Martian winter. Will it see a 'White Christmas' on the Red Planet?
Hot Bug Extends Temperature Limit for Life: The upper temperature limit at which life can exist has been extended to 121°C, 8°C higher than the previous record holder. The hardy organism, given the preliminary name Strain 121, was found at a "black smoker" hydrothermal vent on the floor of the northeast Pacific Ocean.
New Dinosaur Found in India: Indian scientists have discovered a new carnivorous dinosaur species, Rajasaurus narmadensis, or "Regal reptile from the Narmada", in India.
Glaciers on L.A.'s Doorstep 5,000 Years Ago: The glaciers on San Gorgonio Mountain were likely the southwesternmost in what is now the United States during the waning of the last Ice Age.
Mars Making Closest Approach to Earth in 60,000 Years: The wandering of the planets brings Mars closer to Earth this month than at any time in nearly 60,000 years. It will be a last-chance proposition for all alive today: Mars won't be as close again until August 28, 2287.
Mars Moves in for Some Quality Visual Time: Living too close to a neighbor may not be very appealing, but when Earth's neighboring red planet moves closer than it's been in 50,000 years, observers expect nothing but acclaim.
Earthquake Aftershocks Rattle Nerves in Japan: Thousands of people were set to spend a third night in makeshift shelters in northern Japan as a series of aftershocks rattled an area where hundreds had been injured in more powerful earthquakes.
Japanese Return Home After Earthquake Swarm Subsides: Encouraged that aftershocks were fading, hundreds of people in northern Japan began returning home to clean up the wreckage left by three powerful earthquakes that injured more than 420 people and damaged hundreds of homes.
Los Alamos Releases New Maps Of Mars Water: Breathtaking new maps of likely sites of water on Mars showcase their association with geologic features such as Vallis Marineris, the largest canyon in the solar system.
Water Map is Another Piece in Mars Puzzle: The results of a year-long survey by NASA's Mars Odyssey probe confirm last year's find of substantial ice and water deposits on Mars. The discovery also has intrigued researchers who are pondering the origin of the water and its potential for harboring life.
Diamonds Conjured from Greenhouse Gas: Conjuring gemstones from thin air sounds like one of the alchemist's more ambitious projects. But that is what a team of chemists from China is claiming to have achieved by making small diamonds from carbon dioxide.
Ichthyosaurs Dining Habits Revealed: Ichthyosaurs, dolphin-like reptiles who swam through prehistoric seas 230 to 90 million years ago, had quite a varied diet, which included all manner of hunted and scavenged small-bodied prey.
Oldest Modern Human Fossil Discovered in Ethiopia: A team of 45 scientists from 14 different countries has uncovered and assembled three fossilised skulls from Ethiopia that provide the oldest record of modern humans.
Mars Moves in for Some Quality Visual Time: Living too close to a neighbor may not be very appealing, but when Earth's neighboring red planet moves closer than it's been in 50,000 years, observers expect nothing but acclaim.
Earthquake Aftershocks Rattle Nerves in Japan: Thousands of people were set to spend a third night in makeshift shelters in northern Japan as a series of aftershocks rattled an area where hundreds had been injured in more powerful earthquakes.
Japanese Return Home After Earthquake Swarm Subsides: Encouraged that aftershocks were fading, hundreds of people in northern Japan began returning home to clean up the wreckage left by three powerful earthquakes that injured more than 420 people and damaged hundreds of homes.
Los Alamos Releases New Maps Of Mars Water: Breathtaking new maps of likely sites of water on Mars showcase their association with geologic features such as Vallis Marineris, the largest canyon in the solar system.
Water Map is Another Piece in Mars Puzzle: The results of a year-long survey by NASA's Mars Odyssey probe confirm last year's find of substantial ice and water deposits on Mars. The discovery also has intrigued researchers who are pondering the origin of the water and its potential for harboring life.
Diamonds Conjured from Greenhouse Gas: Conjuring gemstones from thin air sounds like one of the alchemist's more ambitious projects. But that is what a team of chemists from China is claiming to have achieved by making small diamonds from carbon dioxide.
Ichthyosaurs Dining Habits Revealed: Ichthyosaurs, dolphin-like reptiles who swam through prehistoric seas 230 to 90 million years ago, had quite a varied diet, which included all manner of hunted and scavenged small-bodied prey.
Oldest Modern Human Fossil Discovered in Ethiopia: A team of 45 scientists from 14 different countries has uncovered and assembled three fossilised skulls from Ethiopia that provide the oldest record of modern humans.
Reverse Course! Mars Motion Soon to be Backward: As Mars has grown closer and brighter daily for several months, it has gradually moved easterly in relation to background stars in the pre-dawn sky. That's about to change as the red planet begins to backpedal in our sky, moving steadily westward.
Martian Warm Spots Could be Towers of Ice: Unusual warm spots on Mars might represent ice towers similar to those seen in Antarctica. They could even harbour life.
'Potato' Earth's Deep Secrets: It's a map the likes of which you have probably never seen before.
Earth Looks Lumpy in New Gravity Map: The best gravity map of the planet ever made reveals the unevenness of the force that keeps us grounded.
Ichthyosaurs Ate Turtle Soup: Ancient dolphin-like ichthyosaurs had a penchant for baby turtles. The diet could have led to their downfall.
Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano Quiet After Covering Capital with Ash: Government experts said the 5,230-meter (17,159-foot) volcano was now calm after a three-minute explosion of the volcano resulting in a fine layer of ash being spread over the nearby city.
Star Survey Reaches 70 Sextillion: Ever wanted to wish upon a star? Well, you have 70,000 million million million to choose from.
Mars Rover Update: Opportunity Course Correction Completed: NASA's Opportunity spacecraft made its first trajectory correction maneuver today, a scheduled operation to fine-tune its Mars-bound flight path. The spacecraft and its twin, Spirit, in NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project are carrying field-geology robots for arrival at Mars in January.
First Stars Had No Planets: Only later generations of stars, that contained more metal, were able to have planetary companions, according to new research.
Heavy Metal Stars Have More Planets: Stars abundant in metals are five times more likely to harbor planets than those deficient in metals.
Badlands National Park Fossil Digs Threatened by Erosion, Theft, Politics: Thirty-three million years ago the South Dakota badlands were a humid place populated by strange pigs and rhinos, miniature horses and the occasional cat or turtle.
Montserrat's Volcano Destroys Crops, Damages Wildlife Areas: Volcanic explosions shot out a hail of small rocks, but no residents were reported injured. Flows of superheated debris and rock gushed down the side of the volcano and into the sea. The ash lay as deep as 4 inches.
Volcano Erupts in Eastern Indonesia: A volcano has erupted in eastern Indonesia, spewing lava and clouds of dust high into the air.
Present is Key to the Past: Fresh bones could provide insight into Earth's patchy fossil record.
Supernovae Spawned Universe's First Solid Particles: Astronomers have detected a cosmic dust storm surrounding the remains of a supernova, according to new research. Their findings suggest that these exploded stars could be a major source of the first solid particles in our universe.
Dinos Doomed Before Asteroid Strike?: The dinosaurs were probably heading for extinction even before an asteroid strike wiped them out 65 million years ago.
Astronomers Find Most Ancient Planet Yet: Astronomers have detected the most ancient planet yet known orbiting a binary system thousands of light years away. The new discovery indicates that planet formation in the Milky Way may have started sooner and been more widespread than previously believed.
Astronomers Confirm Oldest Planet: Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope said Thursday they had discovered the oldest-known planet, a Jupiter-sized body billions of years older than the Earth orbiting a pair of burned-out stars.
Record Breaker: A Planet From the Early Universe: Astronomers have found the oldest and most distant planet known in the universe.
Ancient Planet Discovery Challenges Planet Formation Ideas : The discovery of a planet nearly three times older than any previously known means that planets may be far more common than expected. It could also force a reversal of the prevailing view on how planets and solar systems are born.
Mars Express Instruments Check Out: European researchers have just about wrapped up initial in-flight tests of their Mars Express probe, completing the first stage of a mission that will search for water and life on the Red Planet.
Stonehenge Riddle 'Solved.' It's a Girl: Stonehenge is a massive female fertility symbol, according to Canadian researchers who think they have finally solved the mystery of the ancient monument in southern England.
Green Light for Moon Launch: Europe's first mission to the Moon has been given the green light for launch.
Pluto's Expanding Atmosphere Baffles Astronomers: Pluto, the smallest and most distant planet in our solar system, has revealed a strange phenomenon to astronomers. Instead of shrinking as the planet moves away from the Sun, Pluto's atmosphere has grown bigger.
Mars Team Heads to Arctic Volcano: Researchers with NASA are looking to the land of the midnight sun to study the Red Planet, heading to the remote Svalbard Islands next month to test future Mars probes in its barren, frozen climate.
Mars Probe Finally Launches: After nine days of delays and a last-minute technical glitch, the final member of a fleet of robotic probes has left Earth for a six-month journey to Mars.
Mars North Pole Water Stokes Life Hunt: The Martian north pole is honeycombed with frozen water, exceeding the ice deposits detected on Mars' southern end and raising hopes of finding traces of past microscopic life, astronomers report.
Finding Trilobites by the Bucket, for Free: Employees at a nearby privately owned quarry approached Toledo's Olander Park System about creating the fossil park. They had been overwhelmed with requests from groups wanting to look for fossils found in the shale at their quarries.
More Evidence of Water on Mars: Beneath a shallow crust of dry soil at the north pole, there appears to be a layer of permanently frozen ground that is up to 75% ice.
Meteorite Reveals Signs of Life from Space: Unique carbon building blocks of life called fullerenes did indeed crash to Earth in meteorites, new British research has found.
Mars Orbiter Eyes Phobos: One of the two tiny moons of Mars shines in new images released by NASA, which captured the pictures with cameras aboard its Global Surveyor spacecraft.
Memory Error Interrupts Mars Express Testing: An anomaly with a key computer memory unit aboard Europe's Mars Express, currently speeding towards the Red Planet, has interrupted remote testing of the spacecraft.
Damaged Japanese Mars Probe Nozomi Makes Earth Pass: A Japanese space craft has made a close approach to the Earth in an attempt to gather speed for its journey to Mars.
Mars Or Bust, Take 2: NASA aims to launch the six-wheeled robot Opportunity next week, the second of two rovers it's sending to the surface of Mars to prospect for evidence the planet was once a warmer, wetter place. Its launch was delayed a day by setbacks to the earlier liftoff of the first rover, Spirit.
The Summer of Mars: What You'll See, How to Observe: This summer Mars will come closer to Earth than at any time in tens of thousands of years. The planet will arrive at opposition to the Sun on Aug. 28, when it will rise at sunset and set at sunrise, as seen from Earth. This opposition occurs less than two days before Mars passes through the perihelion point of its orbit, when it is closest to the Sun.
Skulls of Oldest Homo sapiens Recovered: Scientists have unearthed in Ethiopia three 160,000-year-old skulls that they say are the oldest near-modern humans on record. Telltale marks on the bones suggest that the hominids engaged in mortuary rituals.
Eight-eyed Robot Blasts Off for Mars: A NASA robot packed with eight cameras, geology instruments and super-rugged wheels roared into space on Tuesday, one of three missions headed to Mars this summer during the most favorable cosmic conditions in centuries.
Oldest Human Skulls Found: The crania of two adults and a child, all dated to be around 160,000 years old, were pulled out of sediments near a village called Herto in the Afar region in the east of the country are described as the oldest known fossils of modern humans, or Homo sapiens.
Earliest Human Ancestors Found: The skulls of two adults and a child, found in 1997 in the Middle Awash area of central Ethiopia, have been carbon-dated to between 154,000 and 160,000 years old, around 50,000 years earlier than the previous oldest finds of Homo sapiens.
Astronomers Find Seven Planet-Forming disks, Doubling Total: A mammoth sky survey led by University of Florida astronomers has uncovered seven planet-forming disks in clusters of young stars, doubling the number of such disks discovered and expanding the territory that might yield new planets.
Planets Could Form in Just 3 Million Years: Recipe for an "instant" Earth-like planet: Scrape up cosmic dust swirling around a newborn star and wait a mere three million years. Even the building blocks for giant gas planets like Jupiter might form just as quickly, about three times faster than many scientists believe, a team of astronomers reported Monday.
2880 Asteroid Impact Simulation Suggests Tsunamis Could Hammer Atlantic Coast: On March 16, 2880, a 1.1-kilometer diameter asteroid known as 1950 DA is scheduled to swing so close to Earth that it could crash into the Atlantic Ocean. The probability of impact is small, but should it occur it could generate huge tsunami waves--up to 400 feet high--that would drench coastal areas.
Mars Rover Launch Pushed Back Two Days: The launch of the first of two new Mars rovers has been pushed back two days to June 8 to allow more time to review testing done on the spacecraft.
Mars Rover Launch Slips: NASA has put the launch back again of the first of its two Mars Exploration Rovers.
Everest Rock Map Published: More than 1,000 people climbed Mount Everest during the past 50 years but none thought to record the rock types beneath their feet. Now, after six years exploring the region, an earth scientist from Oxford University has created the first ever geological map of the mountain.
Physicists Find Inspiration in Sand Pit: The perplexing relationship between craters and the size, shape and speed of the meteorites that may have made them has driven a team of physicists back to the sand pit.
Hundreds Killed in Algerian Earthquake: At least 643 people have been killed and 4,600 injured after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck northern Algeria.
Silicon Seduced from Silica: A new technique for producing silicon might make this technologically vital element cheaper. It could also give engineers new ways to design silicon chips.
Satellites Help Record Major Earthquake: On November 3, 2002, at 1:12 p.m. Alaska Standard Time, a massive earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale shook Denali National Park. At the same moment, floating 12,500 miles overhead, the fleet of Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites helped people on Earth monitor the quake's tremendous power.
Hot Deal! Pluto, the Last Oasis for Life: According to a new computer model designed to understand how the conditions for life might arise in unlikely places, humble Pluto and its surroundings will have warmed to downright pleasant temperatures long after the Earth has been consumed by an expanding, dying Sun. "It's Miami Beach for millions of years, potentially longer," Alan Stern, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute, says of Pluto's future.
Going Down? Probe Could Ride to Earth's Core in a Mass of Molten Iron: Blast a crack in Earth's crust, pour in a few thousand tons of rock-busting molten iron, and then toss in a grapefruit-size instrument designed to ride the plunging elevator of liquid metal to the planet's core.
Tiny Diamonds Found in Oil: Diamondoids could have practical uses. Artificial versions are already used in drugs to treat Parkinson's disease and viral infections. The tiny diamonds could also provide molecular-scale girders for nanotechnology.
Patterns from Nowhere: In remote regions of the Arctic, Antarctica, and the Australian outback, an explorer can trek across bleak, uninhabited landscapes only to suddenly stumble upon ground decorated with weird patterns. These lonely sites feature ankle-high and meter-wide donuts of gravel; mazes, stripes, and polygonal networks of pebbles, sand, or ice; and sometimes ice crevasses in perfect geometric patterns.
Europa's Ice Crust Probed: The ice shell of Europa, a moon of Jupiter, is probably about 25 kilometres (15 miles) thick.
Fossilized Meteorites Reveal Spectacular Ancient Shower over Earth: A report published in the journal Science provides direct evidence that the influx of meteorites to the earth was 100 times what it is today.
Earthquake Warning System Sounds Alarm Seconds Before Tremors Begin: Most seismologists agree that predicting earthquakes days in advance is not going to be possible anytime soon. But borrowing from a system developed in Japan, scientists have devised an early warning system that will alert southern California residents seconds before a temblor begins.
Earth's Equatorial 'Obesity': A new study links a tripling in the average glacial melt rate - from 100 cubic kilometers in 1989 to 320 cubic kilometers in 1998 - to the squishing of the planet and the subsequent changes in the gravity field.
Ice Packs Red Planet: Staggering quantities of water are hidden below the surface of Mars, the latest results from the Odyssey spacecraft suggest.
Giant Plesiosaus Fossil Unearthed: A complete skeleton of the biggest reptile that ever existed has been unearthed in Mexico.
After 20 Years, Kilauea Still Going Strong: Kilauea marks 20 years of continuous eruption that has added 544 acres of lava and black sand beach to the Big Island's southeastern shore.
Hubble 'Weighs' Faraway Planet: With observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers announced that they had used a new measurement technique to make a precise estimate of the mass of a planet in another star system.
Meteorite 'Ready-Made Home' for Life: Strange organic bubbles in one of the oldest known meteorites could have served as habitats for primitive microbes on our planet.
Countdown for Voyage to Comet: The countdown is underway for a daring European mission to send a spacecraft to orbit and land on a comet.
Humans on Mars 'by 2025': Under proposals being discussed by European Space Agency member states, a robotic outpost could be set up on the Red Planet to pave the way for a human landing.
Tetrapod Fossil Found - First Ever in Asia: A fossil jaw indicates Tetrapods, Earth's oldest four-limbed creatures, walked along the ancient Chinese coastline as early as 355 million years ago.
British Lander Gears Up for Mars: British scientists are putting the finishing touches to Beagle 2, the robot that will scrutinize the Red Planet's rocks and soil and search for signs of life..
Moon's 'Youngest' Crater Discovered: Astronomers have discovered the only known lunar crater to have been formed in recorded history.
Chinese Roots: Skull May Complicate Human-Origins Debate: Evidence of ancient roots for Homo sapiens in China dating from 111,000 to 139,000 years old creates problems for the influential out-of-Africa theory of human evolution.
Antarctic Lake's Secret Water: A five-kilometre-long ice-sealed super-concentrated saltwater lake has been discovered by scientists working in Antarctica. Researchers uncovered the extreme lake, called Lake Vida, along with 2,800-year-old microbes, under 19 meters of ice.
Volcanism Linked to Meteorite Impacts: Large meteorite impacts may not just throw up huge dust clouds but also punch right through the Earth's crust, triggering gigantic volcanic eruptions.
Revving Up the Rovers: The twin robots, each with a suite of sophisticated computers, cameras and telecommunications equipment, are decked out like field geologists to explore the Red Planet.
Mysterious Trails Found on Mars: Mysterious tracks that look like 250-mile long ski or sled trails have been found near the South Pole of Mars.
Streakers on Mars: Dark streaks seen on some dusty Martian slopes may represent trails of salty water, driven to the surface by hot magma from deep within Mars.
Robots to Scrutinize Mars Rocks: A year from now, NASA hopes to be making tracks on Mars once again, this time with two robotic six-wheeled rovers.
Bolivian Glaciers Shrinking Fast: Data collected from tropical ice fields near La Paz show mass loss in the 1990s at rates 10 times greater than previous decades.
Jupiter Moon Just a 'Pile of Rubble': Findings from the Galileo spacecraft indicate that the strangely-shaped inner moon Amalthea is full of empty space.
Jupiter Moon Amalthea Appears Unconsolidated: Amalthea, Jupiter's smallest and strangest moon, recently visited by the Galileo spacecraft, is full of holes.
Jupiter Moon Full of Holes: The Galileo space probe surprised scientists with evidence that Jupiter's moon Amalthea has a low density and is apparently riddled with holes.
Ancient Asteroids, Comets May Have Caused Mars Rain: Scientists from NASA and the University of Colorado suggest the bombardment of comets and asteroids on early Mars caused cycles of rain that led to global flooding and the formation of Mars' river valleys and other water-sculpted landscapes.
Martian Water Gone in a Flash: Asteroid impacts during Mars' early years may have led to brief warm and wet periods when torrential rain carved out the planet's ancient network of valleys.
Scientists 'Weigh' Distant World: For the first time, astronomers have obtained an accurate measurement of the mass of a planet circling another star. The planet is one of a pair that orbit Gliese 876, one of the closest stars to our Sun, and the closest star around which a planet has been found.
World's 'Oldest' Volcanic Rocks: The oldest volcanic rocks in the world have been discovered by geologists in Canada.
New Theory for Origin of Life: Life on Earth may have begun in rocks on the ocean floor. More than 4 billion years ago, tiny cavities in minerals may have served as the first cells, two biologists are proposing.
Great Pyramid's Stones Counted: A new study conducted by the Supreme Council for Antiquities in Egypt has determined that the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza consists of one million limestone rocks.
Extrasolar Planet Twice as Big as Jupiter: After two years of painstaking research, scientists have determined the precise size of a planet beyond our solar system by measuring tiny shifts in the tilt of light coming from its parent star.
Fossilized Clues to Global Warming?: Paleobotanist Jennifer McElwain will spend the next year chipping her way through more than a ton of sediment and plant fossils at the Field Museum, hoping to find rock-solid evidence of global warming's ecological toll.
Fossil Hints at India's Mythical River: Geologists in India say they have found an elephant fossil in the Thar desert of Rajasthan, supporting earlier theories that the vast desert was once a fertile area.
Fresh Water Was Final Frontier for Life: The final frontier for early animal life wasn't a crawl onto dry land, but the plunge into freshwater streams and lakes, say paleontologists.
Yet Another Alien Abduction?: Saucer shaped concretions are alleged to have fallen from the sky during an alien abduction in Brazil.
Earthquake 'Swarm' Studied in California: Seismologists are closely watching a small fault in the Bay Area that has produced more than 100 minor earthquakes in a week for any evidence the tiny temblors could herald a bigger quake.
Time Running Out for Galileo Spaceprobe: Engineers are trying to recover valuable data from a stuck tape recorder on board the Galileo spacecraft recorded during the spacecraft's final encounter with a Jovian moon, a flyby of tiny Amalthea.
Spaceprobe's Final Secrets Remain Inaccessible: The secrets of the Galileo spaceprobe's final mission remain locked inside its tape recorder, which may have suffered irreparable damaged during a pass through Jupiter's intense inner radiation belt.
Alaska Quake Unearths Scientific Treasure Trove: While it did little serious damage, the magnitude-7.9 earthquake that rattled interior Alaska earlier this month revealed a bounty of scientific information for seismologists and geologists.
Volcano Emerging from Italian Waters: A submerged volcanic island is on the verge of resurfacing off the Sicilian coast, according to Italy's top seismologist.
Did Quark Matter Strike Earth?: A group of researchers have identified two seismic events that they think provide the first evidence of a previously undetected form of matter passing through the Earth.
Australian Outback Once Bred Monsters: A 120-million-year-old breeding ground for Loch Ness Monster-type giants has been discovered in Central Australia's rugged outback, according to a team of Australian scientists.
Second Piece of Fossil Forgery Identified: Discovered in 1999, the fossil Archaeoraptor was briefly believed to be the missing link between dinosaurs and birds.
Fossil Forgery's Front Half Revealed: The head end of Archaeoraptor, the notorious fake dinosaur, ate fish.
Asteroid Threat Reassessed: Scientists now estimate an object of the size that exploded over central Siberia in 1908 causing widespread devastation only strikes the Earth every 1,000 years or so.
Study Downgrades Asteroid Risk: U.S. military satellites have helped scientists to conclude that the Earth faces a far smaller risk than previously estimated of being struck by a much-feared type of asteroid.
Astronauts Capture High-Resolution Glacier Imagery: Russian researchers are studying images taken by the crew of the International Space Station to better understand the catastrophic glacier collapse and landslide that occurred on the northern slope of Mount Kazbek in September.
Scientists Recreate Deep Quakes in Lab: Scientists have managed to recreate deep earthquakes in the laboratory. In nature, they occur hundreds of kilometres below the surface and scientists say that they should not actually happen.
3D Dinosaurs Bite Back: The Raptor project brings together a fossilised skull and 3D computer graphics to fill in unpreserved details of the dinosaur.
Biggest Volcanic Eruption Seen on Io: A team of astronomers, routinely monitoring Jupiter's moon Io, have witnessed the largest documented volcanic eruption in history.
Mars to Get Closer than Ever in Recorded History in 2003: Mars recently emerged into the morning sky and has begun an orbital dance with Earth that will, over the next several months, lead to the best viewing opportunity since Neanderthals looked skyward.
Jupiter Spaceprobe Knocked Out on Final Voyage: The aging Jupiter probe Galileo has completed its last scientific assignment, making its first flights past a tiny Jovian moon and deep into the planet's high-radiation inner magnetosphere.
Geologists Dissect Massive Alaskan Quake: The biggest earthquake in the world this year produced a scar on the landscape more than 230 kilometres (145 miles) long.
Big Meteor Show for Europe, North America: The annual Leonids meteor shower, which peaks in the early morning hours of Nov. 19, is being billed as a double feature this year and the last major storm of the century.
Blue Planet: The Rocks Begin to Speak: All around the country, nuclear power plants are running out of storage space for the spent fuel.
Probe Returns Asteroid Image: The spaceprobe Stardust has sent back an image of the asteroid named after holocaust victim Anne Frank.
Venus Mission Is On: The European Space Agency has given the final go-ahead for a mission to Venus. Scientists want to understand why the Earth and Venus developed in radically different ways.
Galileo Spacecraft Ends Mission: The Galileo space probe completes a seven-year science mission at Jupiter with an unprecedented close pass by the small moon Amalthea and some final measurements of the planet's massive magnetic field.
Etna Eruption Viewed from Space: Astronauts on board the International Space Station have taken spectacular images of erupting Mt Etna in Sicily.
10 Tips to Maximize Your View of the Leonid Meteor Shower: This being the last Leonid "storm" expected for at least three decades, the show is still likely to be remarkable.
Why a Mars Rock Hits Earth Every Month: Every month, on average, a rock from Mars lands on Earth. Most are never found, but those that have been picked up suggest that the theory for how they get here - having been booted from the Red Planet by very large asteroid impacts - is not fully accurate.
Research Unravels Mystery of Martian Meteorites: New findings published in the journal Science can help explain the characteristics of the Martian meteorites.
Comet Probe Sails Past Asteroid: A NASA science satellite dispatched to fetch samples from a comet sailed by an asteroid over the weekend, in what was billed as a dress rehearsal for the one-shot flyby of its target in 14 months.
Face on Mars Gets Nighttime Look: The face on Mars has been spotted again, this time in a nighttime infrared image that tells a bit more about its mysterious geological origins.
New Theory on Dinosaurs: Multiple Meteorites Did Them In: Discoveries are giving new support to the idea that killer objects from outer space may have sometimes arrived in pairs or even swarms, perhaps explaining why the extinctions seen in the fossil record can be messy affairs, with species reeling before a final punch finishes them off.
Moon Might Reveal First Life on Earth: The surface of the moon is spattered with over 8 million tonnes of the Earth, astronomers have estimated. A mission to collect and study this planetary shrapnel could provide unique insights into the origins of life and the planets.
Alaska Hit by Year's Strongest Quake: The largest earthquake anywhere in the world this year has struck central Alaska. Seismologists say it was a magnitude 7.9 quake.
Mission Zooms In on Saturn: The Cassini spacecraft has taken its first image of Saturn, even though it is still 20 months away from arriving at the ringed planet.
Probe Returns Asteroid Image: The spaceprobe Stardust has sent back an image of the asteroid named after holocaust victim Anne Frank.
Moon Might Reveal First Life on Earth: The surface of the moon is spattered with over 8 million tonnes of the Earth, astronomers have estimated. A mission to collect and study this planetary shrapnel could provide unique insights into the origins of life and the planets, they say.
Probe Set for Asteroid Flyby: A NASA probe en route to fetch samples from a comet is making a flyby of asteroid Annefrank, a four-km-wide (2.5 miles) rock named after the Holocaust victim.
Iron-Poor Star: Closing in on the Birth of the First Stars: For decades, astronomers have been searching for stars born soon after the Big Bang, around the time the Milky Way began forming. Researchers now report that they've found one of these ancient stars.
Small Tremors Preceded Italian Earthquake: The earthquake that shook southern Italy on October 31st and killed at least 26 children when a school collapsed was preceded by at least two small tremors.
Italy at the Mercy of Fault Lines: Italy has a long history of earthquakes - experts say they have influenced everything from the distribution of the population and adaptation of architecture to the dialect spoken in different areas of the country.
Jupiter moon's 'Elevator of Life': If life does exist on Jupiter's moon Europa, evidence of it may be found near to the surface and within the grasp of visiting spacecraft, say scientists.
Loch Ness Monster-Like Creature Found: A long-necked sea dragon not unlike the Loch Ness monster swam in the waters off the coast of Northern England about 132 million years ago, according to British scientists.
Experts: Mt. Etna to Erupt Soon: Although rivers of lava oozing down the slopes have shown signs of abating in the last 24 hours, experienced Etna guides fear the calm is only apparent.
New Uranus Moon Discovered: An international team of astronomers has announced the discovery of a new moon of Uranus, boosting the planet's tally of orbiting satellites to 21.
Comet Probe Prepares to Meet Asteroid: A NASA science satellite dispatched to fetch samples from a comet will be put through a full dress rehearsal in preparation for the one-shot flyby of its target in 14 months.
Star Clinches Case for Milky Way's Supermassive Black Hole: The discovery of a star orbiting the center of the Milky Way galaxy provides compelling evidence that a supermassive black hole lurks there, according to a new study.
Small Extrasolar Planet Revealed by 'Dust Clumps': Telltale turbulence in the dust rings surrounding a distant star has revealed the presence of a small planet. This new technique for hunting for extrasolar planets offers the opportunity to track down the small planets, and those with wide orbits, that cannot be detected by current methods.
Prehistoric 'Sea Dragon' Found: The plesiosaur, which resembles the Loch Ness monster, dates back to the beginning of the Cretaceous period 130 million years ago.
Success for Planet Hunters: A new planet circling another star has been found using a new technique that will allow astronomers to find planets no other current method can.
Earth's Deepest Lake Explored: Scientists are to explore the Earth's highest freshwater lake, found in a dormant volcano in the Chilean Andes, to find out how the organisms that live there can survive in such a hostile environment.
Mars Water Debate Rages: There's no end in sight for the debate over whether Mars was once wet, warm and Earth-like, or forever a frigid world where water never had a chance to thaw and flow.
Martian Rock 'Does Contain Life': The strange shapes seen in a rock from Mars are fossilised bacteria really are tiny micro organisms, say American researchers. But while they are confident the Mars rock contains fossilised life they cannot quite bring themselves to say it comes from the Red Planet, it might be Earthly contamination.
Thin Ice Opens Lead for Life on Europa: The chances that life exists on Jupiter's moon Europa look better than ever.
Hawaii's Mauna Loa Volcano Is Beginning To Stir: Hawaii's biggest and potentially most destructive volcano - is showing signs of life again nearly two decades after its last eruption.
Mars Lander Undergoes Drop Test: Beagle 2's parachute system has undergone a major redesign in the last few months. Tests in June 2002 showed that an older design did not brake the descent sufficiently, meaning the probe would suffer serious damage on impact.
Rare Fossil Reveals Dinosaur's Soft Tissue: The most complete mummified dinosaur to be described in 70 years, the fossil includes three-dimensional, mineralized casts of the animal's right shoulder muscle, throat tissue, and skin.
Shifting Sands: The shifting sands of dunes, the archetype of transience, might seem an unlikely place to search for long-lasting records of environmental conditions. However, climate changes that stabilize dunes into more permanent geological formations essentially freeze them in time, transforming them into chronicles of the weather patterns that sculpted their shape.
Kilimanjaro's Giant Glaciers in Peril: Satellite photos indicate that 80 percent of the ice has disappeared between 1912 and 2000. If the melting continues at this rate, the scientists predict that the snows of Kilimanjaro could vanish within 20 years.
New Planet-Shaped Body Found in Our Solar System: Astronomers announced the discovery of the largest object in the solar system since Pluto was named the ninth planet in 1930. The object is half the size of Pluto, composed primarily of rock and ice, and circles the sun once every 288 years.
Astronomers Discover Icy World Far Past Pluto: Astronomers have discovered the largest object in the solar system since Pluto was identified more than 70 years ago. The object, dubbed Quaoar (pronounced "kwa-whar") by its discoverers, is approximately half Pluto's size and nearly four billion miles away from Earth.
Earth's Core May Contain Smaller, Separate Center: According to a report published online this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, within the 2,440-kilometer-wide solid inner core lies a distinct innermost core approximately 600 kilometers across.
Boost for Life on Jupiter's Moon Europa: The chances of finding life on another planet have received a boost. Data from the Galileo space probe's journey to Jupiter suggests an ocean on its moon, Europa, is somewhat Earth-like.
Tough Earth Bug May Be From Mars: A hardy microbe that can withstand huge doses of radiation could have evolved this ability on Mars.
Martian Wobbles Shift Climate: Mars undergoes periodic wobbles on its axis and variations in its orbit that, like the Earth, may cause it to endure ice ages, say scientists.
Venus May Have Bugs: Scientists in the United States say clouds high in the atmosphere of the planet Venus contain chemicals that may suggest the presence of life.
Venus Could Harbor Bacterial Life: Venus' reputation as a planet that offers nil prospect of life could be untrue, according to a pair of scientists who suggest that mysterious dark patches that swirl around its atmosphere may be vast communities of hardy bacteria.
Signs of Water Found on Distant Planets: Tantalising signs of water have been found in the atmospheres of planets orbiting distant stars. If the discovery is confirmed, it will fuel speculation that the Galaxy is teeming with life.
New Mars Eagle Has Flown, and Landed, in Oregon Test: The MarsFlyer -- a one-half scale prototype of a NASA craft that one day may zip across Martian skies -- made the first in a series of shakeout sojourns. The craft is dubbed the Eagle.
Earth's Magnetic Field 'Boosts Gravity': Hidden extra dimensions are causing measurements of the strength of gravity at different locations on Earth to be affected by the planet's magnetic field, French researchers say.
Veggie Bites: Fossil Suggests Carnivorous Dinosaurs Begat Vegetarian Kin: Fossils of the creature, whose genus name, Incisivosaurus, refers to its prominent front teeth, were unearthed from sediments deposited more than 128 million years ago in what is now northeastern China
General Calls for Meteor Warning System: Brigadier Gen. Simon P. Worden, U.S. Space Command's deputy director for operations at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, said an exploding meteor came close to triggering a nuclear war this summer.
Most Gold is 3 Billion Years Old: Settling a debate that's been waged for more than a century, scientists have determined that gold in the world's richest deposit is 3 billion years old, more ancient than the rock in which it is encased.
Lander Risks Missing Mars Trip: The British scientists building the lander they hope will explore the surface of Mars have vowed to have their robotic probe ready for launch, amid concerns over the project's financial status.
Trouble for British Mars Lander: It would be a major embarrassment to the UK if the craft - designed to land on the Red Planet - was left on the launch pad when the primary vehicle, Mars Express, blasts off early next year.
Paint Confirms Earth's New Satellite Not an Asteroid: Carl Hergenrother and Robert Whiteley, astronomers at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, measured reflected light from the object Sept. 12 and 13 and say it does not look like an asteroid. In fact, it has the colors of a rocket booster, just as had been suspected.
Fires From Asteroid May Have Spared Some Regions: About 65 million years ago a space rock slammed into Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and scattered high-velocity debris around Earth, igniting wildfires in North America, the Indian subcontinent, and most of the equatorial part of the world.
Popular Model of Earthquake Prediction Found Faulty: Forecasts in a number of temblor-prone regions rely on the so-called time-predictable recurrence model. Findings published today in the journal Nature, however, place that model on shaky ground.
Stunning Stalactites: In the limestone hills south of Tucson, hidden beneath the dry heat of the Sonoran Desert — is its underground opposite, Kartchner Caverns, a wet wonderland where the humidity hovers around 99 percent.
Odd Dino Has Rabbit-Like Teeth: Chinese scientists revealed a 128-million-year-old dinosaur on Wednesday with a large set of rabbit-like incisors. It looks very strange.
New Dino Resembles T. Rex, B. Bunny: The world's greatest team of fossil hunters are scratching their heads over their latest find — a unique dinosaur whose distant cousins were mighty carnivores, yet which has two bucky front teeth, rather like a rabbit's.
100th Extrasolar Planet Found: The new planet, about 1.2 times the mass of Jupiter, orbits the star Tau 1 Gruis, which is approximately 100 light years distant in the constellation Grus.
Earthquake Study Yields Unexpected Results: A 1999 earthquake in the Mojave Desert has revealed a treasure of information about earthquakes, faults, and ruptures for scientists.
Battle of the Sexes 'Prehistoric Style': Dinosaurs took part in mighty displays to attract a mate, a US scientist has proposed.
New Moon for Earth, or Space Junk?: An enigmatic object spotted in the night sky by an amateur astronomer has set experts wondering whether the Earth may have gained a new moon.
Ice Reveals Ancient Climate Change: A 15-year study of ancient Antarctic ice has challenged prevailing theories about the process of climate change.
Orbit Shows "Second Moon" May Be Apollo Junk: A mystery object recently found orbiting the Earth is more likely to be a used rocket booster from an Apollo spacecraft than a tiny second Moon.
Long-Lost Remains of Neandertal Newborn Recovered: Most stories recounting famed fossil discoveries include tales of long hours spent painstakingly searching through dirt and dust. For Bruno Maureille's latest find, however, all it took was a trip to the museum.
'Naked' Stars May Have Planets After All : Astronomers have discovered that so-called "naked stars" might not be so naked after all.
Cold Spelt End of Dinosaurs: Cold was killing dinosaurs long before the asteroid commonly thought to have been their downfall hit.
Dinos Were Dying Before Asteroid Hit: A near 20-degree drop in average temperature was killing the dinosaurs even before a giant asteroid impact finished them off.
Planetary Beginnings: Data Reveal Earth's Quick Gestation: Earth's core formed in a hurry—during the first 30 million years after the birth of the solar system.
Premature Birth of Earth: Scientists believe Earth took shape about 30 million years after the birth of the Solar System.
Tiny Crystals Tell Story of Earth's Earliest-Known Meteor Impact: A number of near-Earth asteroids have made headlines lately, but, thankfully, none is likely to hit us anytime soon. That wasn't the case in our planet's early years.
Russians Set 2007 Mars Moon Mission: A Russian company plans to send a robot probe to a Martian moon in 2007, where it will take a small sample of soil and bring it back to Earth for analysis.
Still No Signal from Missing Comet-Hunter CONTOUR: With still no communication from the comet-hunting probe, it is looking less and less likely that the mission can be saved.
Microbes 'Could Survive on Mars': Microbes may be able to survive on Mars according to new simulations of the Martian environment.
Meteorite Impact 'Changed Earth's Evolution': Scientists say they have found evidence that a gigantic meteorite, twice as big as the one which is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs, collided with Earth billions of years ago.
Asteroid Fly-By Visible from Earth: The space rock, 800 metres (half a mile) across and designated 2002 NY40, will make its closest approach on Sunday 08.18.02. The opportunity for amateur skywatchers to get such a close-up view of an asteroid occurs only once every half-century.
Comet Probe 'Broke in Two': The loss of the CONTOUR, which was supposed to leave Earth's orbit on Thursday to rendezvous with two comets over the next four years, is a blow to the US space agency.
Comet-Chasing Mission Hangs in the Balance: US scientists are still unable to make contact with a comet-chasing satellite, more than 30 hours after a crucial engine burn was scheduled to take place.
Fossil find may end debate on little T. rex: A paleontology team from a small Rockford museum has unearthed a remarkably complete dinosaur skeleton that they believe will convince all doubters that Tyrannosaurus rex had a smaller cousin called a Nanotyrannus, or pygmy tyrant.
Armchair Astronomer Finds 500th SOHO Comet via Internet: Using an image obtained over the Internet, German armchair astronomer Rainer Kracht has discovered the 500th comet attributed to the Sun-observing SOHO spacecraft.
Could Yucca Mountain Blow Sky High?: Hell hath no fury like a nuclear waste repository sliced open by a volcano.
Close Encounter with an Asteroid: Dust off those binoculars and ready your scopes: A rare opportunity awaits skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere this month. On the morning of August 18, asteroid 2002 NY40 will sail within 330,000 miles (530,000 kilometers) of Earth, only 1.3 times farther away than the moon.
Ready to tackle Armageddon: A space mission to knock a potential rogue asteroid off course is undergoing feasibility studies with money from the European Space Agency.
NASA Reaches for Stardust: A NASA spacecraft has started collecting cosmic dust for the second time during its voyage to a distant comet. The Stardust probe is on a mission to snatch particles from comet Wild 2 and return them to Earth.
Asteroid Flyby To Be Visible from Earth: The newly discovered asteroid, designated 2002 NY40, will pass within about 330,000 miles of Earth, slightly beyond the orbit of the moon. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth on Aug. 18. If the skies are clear, the extraterrestrial visitor is expected to be bright enough to be seen with just binoculars or a small telescope.
Asteroid Fly-By Visible from Earth: The space rock, a quarter of a mile across and designated 2002 NY40, will make its closest approach on 18 August. The opportunity for amateur skywatchers get such a close-up view of an asteroid occurs only once every half-century.
Giant Undersea Crater Found : A quest for oil in the North Sea has turned up an ancient impact crater so well preserved that it could give scientists fresh insight into the effects of large meteorite impacts on Earth.
Ancient Crater Discovered Beneath the North Sea: Researchers have found and mapped a well-preserved crater hiding beneath the floor of the North Sea, where it formed an estimated 65 million years ago.
Earth Getting Fatter: Our planet has been getting a little fatter around the tropics since 1998, satellite data show - but geophysicists are baffled as to why.
Galaxy May Cause Ice Ages: Ice ages may be caused by our Solar System's passage through our galaxy's spiral arms during our orbit around the centre of the galaxy.
Tomb of Mega Beasts Discovered: The fossilized remains of giant lions and other ferocious monsters that once stalked the earth have been discovered in the Australian outback.
Just a Bunch of Asteroid Holes : Our world is being bombarded -- by reports of asteroids coming oh-so-close to crashing into Earth.
What Could We Do if Asteroid Collision Claim is True?: Recently a mile-wide asteroid, named 2002 NT7, was discovered to be on a collision course with Earth. Asteroid 2002 NT7 was predicted to strike Earth on February 1st, 2019 with cataclysmic results.
Astronomers See Comet Break-up: Astronomers in the Czech Republic and Hawaii have seen Comet 57P/du Toit-Neujmin-Delporte splinter into at least 19 fragments.
Space Agencies Take New Look at Moon: Thirty years after the last lunar landing, space agencies are setting new sights on the Moon.
Everything Under the Sun: Astronomers have produced a snapshot of the Solar System - a map showing where everything is right now.
Green Light For Red Planet: In May next year, Europe will embark on its first mission to explore the Red Planet. The stakes are high - Mars Express aims to detect water under the Martian soil and look for signs of life, living or dead.
Odyssey Slaps the Face on Mars: NASA's Mars Odyssey continues to churn out detailed imagery of the Martian surface. A just released photo shoot in infrared of the so-called "Face on Mars" has allowed more interpretation of the landform and the surrounding terrain.
Bird Fossil Preserved Along with Last Meal: A well preserved fossil of an ancient, turkey-sized bird, dubbed Jeholornis prima, was found by scientists a year ago in a fossil-rich area in northeastern China's Liaoning Province.
Chinese Fossil Shows Early Bird Supped on Seeds: Paleontologists working in northeastern China have uncovered yet another extraordinarily well preserved bird fossil. The crow-size creature, dubbed Jeholornis prima, lived during the Early Cretaceous period, and its remains provide rare insight into what early birds ate.
Could An Asteroid Be Deflected?: It will take weeks or even months before astronomers will be able to confirm their suspicion that asteroid 2002 NT7 will pass very close to but not hit the Earth early in 2019.
Earth's Early Battering Revealed: The first convincing evidence that the Earth was bombarded by a devastating and prolonged storm of meteoroids and asteroids four billion years ago has been found in the Earth's oldest rocks.
Space Rock 'On Collision Course': An asteroid discovered just weeks ago has become the most threatening object yet detected in space.
Atom Research May Help Detect Volcanoes And Oceans: Breakthrough research on waves of ultra-cold atoms may lead to sophisticated atom lasers that might eventually predict volcanic eruptions on Earth and map a probable subsurface ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa.
Fossil Hints at How Pterosaur Hunted: The remains of a previously undescribed species of pterosaur are yielding fresh clues to how these distinctive animals hunted for food.
Alaskan Glaciers Raise Sea Level: On average, the Alaskan glaciers are now losing nearly 2 metres of ice thickness every year.
Getting Inside an Earthquake: In the central California town of Parkfield, the self-professed "Earthquake Capital of the World", a research team led by the United States Geological Survey has begun drilling a two kilometre pilot hole at the San Andreas Fault.
Earth's History in Ancient Lunar Crater?: On the far side of the moon is the biggest, oldest-known crater in the solar system, a basin that may become the ultimate legacy of the Apollo program.
Pterosaur Skull Suggests Sex and Violence : New research on a giant fossilised pterosaur skull suggests the flying dinosaur may have preyed on fish at the sea surface like a modern skimmer. The impressive crest it displayed may have been used for cooling and for sexual display.
Weird Fossil Flying Reptile Found: Thalassodromeus sethi is important both for the oddity of its cranial crest and for the insight that the animal offers into how pterosaurs hunted for food.
Dino-Birds Come to UK: Remarkable fossil remains of feathered dinosaurs - perhaps the ancestral cousins of modern birds - are being shown in the West for the first time.
Asteroid Strike Could Trigger Nuclear War: A small asteroid could accidentally trigger a nuclear war if mistaken for a missile strike, experts have warned.
Plans for Volcano Warning System: British scientists have been awarded funding to develop an advanced warning system to guard against exploding volcanoes.
Astrophysicists Discover Possible Nanodiamond Formation In The Early Solar System : An astrophysicist from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics has found that some nanodiamonds, the most famous and exotic form of stardust, may instead have formed within the inner solar system.
Skull Find Sparks Controversy: The Chadian skull hailed this week as the most important anthropological find in living memory is not what it seems, rival researchers claimed.
Meet the Oldest Member of the Human Family: After more than a decade of digging, researchers working in Chad have made the fossil discovery of a lifetime: a nearly complete skull of the oldest and most primitive member of the human family yet known.
Evolution's Surprise: Fossil Find Uproots Our Early Ancestors: In a discovery that upends the study of human origins, scientists have unearthed remains of what they say is the earliest known member of the human evolutionary family.
Oldest Human Ancestor Fills Crucial Gaps: What might be humanity's oldest ancestor has been unearthed in central Africa.
Iceland Glacier Flood Fears: Scientists have detected signs of unusual geothermal activity beneath two ice caps in Iceland.
First Humans to Leave Africa Weren't Necessarily a Brainy Bunch: New fossil evidence challenges a longstanding view that the first hominids to leave Africa did so with the help of bigger brains, longer legs and fancier tools than those of their predecessors.
Ancient Rock Points to Life's Origin: The discovery that ancient tectonic plates were shifting could throw some light on the origin of life on Earth.
Russia Plans to Put People on Mars: Russian space officials have announced an ambitious project to send people to Mars by 2015.
Winds Hamper Martian Landing: Bad weather on Mars could force a detour for the British-led effort to land on the planet.
Fossil Was 'First Walker': The most primitive foot to walk on land has been described by scientists.
Planet Tally Soars to Near 100, Astronomers Scramble to Keep Track: With the tally of extrasolar planets hovering ambiguously around 100 and researchers scrambling to keep track of the rapidly growing the total, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) may soon embark on an official cataloguing effort.
Rain Forest Primeval?: The size, shape, and riotous variety of fossil leaves unearthed at a site in central Colorado suggest that the region may have been covered 64 million years ago with one of the world's first tropical rain forests.
Ancient Bird-Like Footprints Found: Argentine paleontologists have found bird-like footprints 55 million years older than the oldest known bird fossils.
"Oldest" Hard-shelled Fossil Found: Scientists have glimpsed the earliest days of sophisticated life on Earth 550 million years ago. The creature's hard, shelly parts are far more complex than anything else found from this time.
Power Punch for Yellowstone Geysers?: Yellowstone's geysers could get an extra shot of power from some deep-Earth hot water moving under the gem of U.S. national parks.
Neanderthal Clues from Mammoth Find: An excavation at a quarry in Norfolk has revealed what could be one of the best-preserved Neanderthal sites ever found in the UK.
Write Your Name on an Asteroid: Japanese space scientists are offering a million people the chance to put their name onto the surface of an asteroid as part of an effort to publicise a mission to land on an asteroid.
Destination: Comet: A new golden age of space exploration is set to begin next month with the launch of the first in a series of missions to explore comets.
Giant Martian Lake Traced: New maps show that Ma'adim Vallis, one of the biggest valleys on Mars, formed when a large lake overflowed over a low point in its perimeter.
Space Rock's Close Approach: Astronomers have revealed that on 14 June, an asteroid the size of a football field made one of the closest ever recorded approaches to the Earth.
Lower Jawbone Of Mammoth Embryo Found In Siberia: For the first time, a well-preserved lower jawbone of a mammoth embryo has been found in Siberia.
Solar System That Looks Like Ours Finally Found: After 15 years of observation and a lot of patience, the world's premier planet-hunting team has finally found a planetary system that reminds them of our own home solar system.
Of Sunspots, Volcanic Eruptions And Climate Change: New research provides striking evidence that sunspots influence global climate change, but that explosive volcanic eruptions on Earth can completely reverse those influences.
Of Volcanoes, Fire, And The Liquid Rock Called Lava: People sometimes talk about lava as fire, as in "fire fountain," "curtain of fire," and "river of fire." Most realize that these and similar terms are misleading and confusing metaphors, but bad habits are hard to break.
Dino Heatwave Recorded in Fossil Leaves: Fresh evidence to show an impact from space lay behind the demise of the dinosaurs has been published by scientists.
Dino Family Tree Shows Birds Are Related: Scientists have produced the most detailed family tree of dinosaurs yet, showing how the great beasts were related to each other and how they evolved.
Asteroid Tsunamis Could be Huge, Slow: Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water, a new supercomputer model predicts that meteors and asteroids splashing down in the oceans can create waves twice as big, but slower moving, than previous estimates.
Cosmic Particle Shower Could Have Killed Off Dinosaurs: A shower of matter from space millions of years ago could have led to drastic changes in the Earth's climate, followed by the extinction of life on a massive scale -- which also killed off the dinosaurs.
Volcanic 'Flood' Linked to Extinction:A huge outpouring of molten rock 250 million years ago may have been the decisive factor in the deaths of nearly all lifeforms on the Earth at that time.
Marsquake Detectors To Take Search Deeper Underground: Researchers at Imperial College London have just begun a 5-year project to design and build tiny earthquake measuring devices to go to Mars on the 2007 NetLander mission.
Recreating Mars' Hostile Environment In The Lab: Scientists at the University of Leicester's Space Research Center are recreating the hostile environment found on Mars in their laboratory, with a device known as the Martian Environment Simulator (MES).
Mars Express To Search Deeper For Water, Signs Of Life: The team working on the European Space Agency (ESA)'s Mars Express, the next mission to the Red Planet, is thrilled by NASA's Mars Odyssey detection of hydrogen-rich layers under the Martian surface.
NASA Says Mars Assault is On: We are doing precisely what we need to do to send humans to Mars says Dr James Garvin, Nasa's senior Mars scientist.
Dinosaurs Traveled in Mixed Company: Footprints preserved in ancient mud show that dinosaurs sometimes moved in herds of mixed species, perhaps to migrate or to escape predators say British researchers.
Mars Ice Report: No Human Mission Near: The report of buried oceans of ice on Mars may spur dreams of human missions to the Red Planet, but nobody is likely to go for 20 years or more, and one expert thinks it would be a bad idea even then.
Submarine Vent Systems Found off New Zealand: Three new sets of underwater hot springs have been discovered along a little known part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire".
Mars Lander Team Encouraged: UK scientists say they could win the race to find proof of life on Mars with their Beagle 2 lander next year, which designed to burrow beneath the rocky surface to a depth where ice crystals may be present.
Boost for life on Mars Hunt: Britain's project to land a probe to look for life on Mars next year has received a big boost in the form of a £2.6m grant.
'Bugs' on Mars: Unearthly aircraft may explore the Red Planet and beyond.
Manned Mars Mission Still Some Way Off: Although the discovery of vast ice reserves brings forward the prospect of a manned landing on Mars, NASA is in no hurry to embark on a formal effort.
DNA Traces Found in Ancient Rock: Scientists say they have found traces of ancient bacterial DNA that are dozens of millions of years old.
Mexico Volcano Could Erupt Soon: Mexico's Volcano of Fire is spewing ever-greater amounts of lava and ash and officials warn an eruption is imminent.
Zeroing In On Mystery Disease Destroying Coral Reefs: Using molecular microbiology techniques, scientists are a significant step closer to understanding and identifying the deadly microbes responsible for the mysterious black band disease that is destroying the world's coral reef ecosystems.
China Denies Manned Moon Mission Plans: China will not be launching a manned mission to the Moon in the foreseeable future, according to Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist of China's Moon exploration programme.
Europa Has a Thick Skin: The ice crust of Jupiter's moon Europa may be much thicker than had been thought so a mission to search for life beneath the ice may not be feasible.
China Sets 2010 Date for Moon: China says it is planning to establish a base on the Moon to exploit its mineral resources.
Mercury Meteorite Puzzle: The first meteorite that may have come from Mercury has been identified.
Impact Led to Dino Rule: The impact of an extraterrestrial object may have led to the downfall of the dinosaurs, but now it seems another, much earlier collision, could have been the factor that allowed the great beasts to rise to prominence in the first place.
Creation "Scientists" in England Answer Back: A group of 27 creationist scientists has written to the education secretary arguing against any narrowing of England's school science curriculum to focus on Darwinian evolution.
"Turkey Dino" Found in Ancient Sea: The fossilized remains of what could be the most puzzling dinosaur yet have been unearthed in Kane County, Utah.
'Earthquake Risk' from Dams: Large dams in mountainous regions could threaten people living near them by stressing the Earth's crust to danger levels, a scientist says.
Oldest Worm Trail Discovered?: Fossils in rocks thought to have been deposited 1.2 billion years ago could be the oldest evidence of animal life discovered so far.
Some Kuiper Belt Objects Turn Out To Be Binary Pairs: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is hot on the trail of an intriguing new class of solar system objects -- dim and fleeting objects that travel in pairs in the frigid, mysterious outer realm of the solar system called the Kuiper Belt.
Primate Ancestor Lived with Dinos: The common ancestor of humans, monkeys, apes and other primates may have arisen much earlier than previously thought.
Gas in Rocks May Sustain Alien Life: Huge colonies of Earth microbes are living off of hydrogen gas released by common rocks, raising the possibility of similar life forms on Mars, says a NASA researcher.
Astronomers Pleased By Appearance Of Naked Eye Comet: Naked eye comets are generally few and far between, so UK astronomers have been surprised and delighted by the appearance of comet C/2002 C1 (Ikeya-Zhang) in the night sky.
Earth Rips Space Rocks Asunder: Binary asteroids - two rocky objects orbiting one another - appear to be common in Earth-crossing orbits, say astronomers.
Changing Reflectance Could Deflect Asteroids' Path: Humans could deflect small but dangerous asteroids from Earth by changing how much sunlight the asteroids reflect, a University of Arizona planetary scientist suggests in the current issue of Science.
Life on Mars Hopes Raised: An analysis of data obtained by the Pathfinder mission to the Red Planet in 1997 suggests there could be chlorophyll - the molecule used by plants and other organisms on Earth to extract energy from sunlight - in the soil close to the landing site.
Osmium Is Forever: Rare Metal's Strength Humbles Mighty Diamond's: In a surprising overturn, the lustrous, blue-white element osmium has beaten diamond in a test of compressibility.
Fossil's Fleshy Tube Feet May Settle Ongoing Debate: Discovered in the Hunsrueck Slate of Germany by an amateur collector, the specimen is a brittle star, Bundenbachia beneckei, of the phylum Echinodermata, which includes starfishes and sea urchins.
Asteroid Could Hit Earth in 2880: A one kilometre-wide chunk of space rock could strike the Earth in 2880, say astronomers.
Mt. Everest Due for Cleanup: The world's highest mountain is also the world's highest garbage dump.
Project Cleared to Build Mercury Orbiter Probe: The first mission to orbit the planet Mercury took a big step toward its scheduled March 2004 launch when NASA's MESSENGER project received approval to start building its spacecraft and scientific instruments.
UK Physics Congress Speaker Explains Water on Mars: When it was announced last month that the Mars Odyssey satellite had found water ice beneath the planet's frozen carbon dioxide south polar ice cap, at least one scientist was thrilled.
Wild Chimps Rocked On: Apes Left Unique Record of Stone Tools: Archaeologists, by definition, uncover the remnants of past human activity. With the first excavation of chimpanzee stone tools at an African site, however, the scope of their work has entered virgin terrain.
Icy Birth? Amino Acids Form in Simulations of Space Ice: In another step toward understanding the origin of Earth's biological molecules, two independent laboratory experiments have produced amino acids—the building blocks of proteins—by simulating conditions in icy, interstellar space.
Superfloods Controversial, but Aid Flood Prediction: Around 15,000 years ago, as the last ice age was melting down, you didn't want to be standing in Idaho's Clark Fork River Valley. Giant glacial Lake Missoula stretched 174 miles behind an ice dam ready to burst.
Stromboli, Not Kilauea, Most Active Volcano on Earth: Stromboli Volcano, off the west coast of southern Italy, has been erupting nearly continuously for over 2,000 years.
Why Did Global Warming Take Hold as World Concern?: In the 1960s, scientists anticipated a New Ice Age. Later, they warned of humans triggering a Nuclear Winter. Now, it’s Global Warming.
Was Mars Always a Frozen Wasteland Devoid of Life?: Now a radical new Australian theory about the evolution of Mars suggests the planet may have always been a frozen wasteland devoid of life.
UK Scientists Posit New Theory On Jupiter's Auroras: The planet Jupiter has spectacular rings of auroras around each pole, but until now scientists have not been able to explain how they form.
Detecting Martian Minerals with Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System: Minerals, such as carbonates, silicates, hydroxides, sulfates, hydrothermal silica, oxides and phosphates, all show up as different colors in the infrared spectrum.
New Evidence Paints T. Rex as a Nasty Scavenger, Not a Vicious Hunter: The fiercest giant of dinosaur lore was but a well-designed scavenger that had much more in common with buzzards and hyenas than with lions and tigers.
Global Warming Episode Between Paleocene And Eocene: An abrupt episode of global warming and major changes in plant and animal life marked the transition between the Paleocene and Eocene epochs about 55 million years ago.
Odyssey's Martian Radiation Environment Experiment Back Online: MARIE, an instrument to determine how much radiation future Mars crews will face, is back from the dead and Odyssey's entire instrument payload is working now.
Will the Real Mars Stand Up?: A battle to define the real Red Planet is underway, with millions of dollars and the future of human habitation of Mars at stake.
Comet Returns After 341 Years: Skywatchers gazing at the heavens just after sunset during the next few days should get a glimpse of a cosmic wanderer - Comet Ikeya-Zhang.
'Modern' Feathers Found on Chinese Dino: A new dinosaur fossil, found in north-eastern China, could change the way we think of dinosaurs forever.
Life's Early 'Footprint': Is this one of the oldest fossils known to science - a 3.5-billion-year-old microbe - or just a flaw in a rock? It all depends on which paper in the journal Nature you read.
Life Found 'On Margin of Existence': An international team of biologists and geologists are drilling into the sea floor off the coast of South America to recover live bacteria that do not need sunlight, carbon dioxide or oxygen.
Fish Fossils Prove Bone of Contention: Fossil experts in Scotland have condemned a German museum which is refusing to give up a collection of unique fossil fish taken illegally from a protected site.
Odyssey Detects Ice on Mars: The Mars Odyssey spacecraft has identified what appear to be large areas of ice on the Red Planet's surface, a discovery that could prove key to the search for life there.
Ancient Egyptian Makeup Varied, Colorful: A new study reveals the ancient Egyptians had more color and texture in their makeup than previously thought, and they possessed substantial knowledge of lead sulphide (galena) and lead carbonate (cerussite), the two principal ingredients of ancient Egyptian cosmetics.
Earth Resurfaced 3.9 Billion Years Ago By Asteroids: The bombardment that resurfaced the Earth 3.9 billion years ago was produced by asteroids, not comets, according to David Kring of the University of Arizona Lunar & Planetary Laboratory and Barbara Cohen, formerly at the UA and now with the University of Hawaii.
Unique Spacecraft Group Probes Jupiter Magnetosphere: A space probe carrying British-designed and operated instruments has helped scientists to understand the magnetosphere surrounding Jupiter better than ever before.
Earthquakes Hit Within 11 Kilometers Of Predictions: A recent earthquake centered in northern Mexico may have startled shopkeepers in nearby towns such as Calexico, California, where items were knocked off shelves, but John Rundle and Kristy Tiampo from the University of Colorado were expecting a large quake in that exact location.
Plodding with Dinosaurs: Animals caught in the gaze of the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex had an excellent chance of staying alive if they could run fast enough.
Mars Probe Opens for Business: After months of primping, a robotic explorer circling Mars begins an ambitious science mapping mission to identify potential deposits of underground water ice and unmask the chemical composition of the Red Planet's dusty face.
Water Gushed on Mars: Huge amounts of water — enough to cause catastrophic floods — gushed out of fissures onto the surface of Mars relatively recently, say scientists who analyzed photographs of the Red Planet.
Water Recently Poured from Fissures Near Mars Equator: Not only lava, but water has recently flooded from fissures near Mars' equator, University of Arizona scientists have discovered.
Geobiology Lessons: Oxygen Not Required: Long before trees, oceans and animals arrived to blanket Earth's surface, microorganisms had the place all to themselves. So they learned to get along with their only companions – the rocks.
Digital Data Puts Mars on Map: Scientists have produced the most detailed atlas of Mars ever compiled, and it is freely available on the Internet.
More Pieces of Mars Found: Five more chunks of the planet Mars have turned up on Earth, report meteorite scientists who plan on presenting their discoveries at a scientific meeting in March.
Disk Of Dust Beyond Saturn Surrounds Solar System: A team of scientists at the European Space Agency and colleagues have found the first direct evidence that a bright disk of dust surrounds our Solar System, starting beyond the orbit of Saturn.
Life On Mars: Native, Or Carried There From Earth?: If microbial life is found on Mars, will it be native to the planet or something carried there from Earth? Either way, will it be safe to return samples of such organisms to Earth?
Dinosaur Discoveries Wow Boston: Sensational fossil discoveries were unveiled on Monday, including the most primitive wishbone yet found in a dinosaur.
Fossil Strengthens Dinosaur-Bird Link: A 130 million-year-old newly discovered fossil of a small meat-eating dinosaur found in China is further proof of the evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds, scientists say.
Volcanoes Threaten to Divide Africa: A plume of hot volcanic mantle rock is rising beneath Africa, trying to split the continent apart.
Meteorite Was Piece of Fame, But Dispute Spurred Its Quick Sale : Seven boys were playing basketball in 1998 when they heard booms and a whistle and then saw a shoe-shaped rock slam through an asphalt street about 50 yards away.
Did Continents Emerge Suddenly A Billion Years Ago?: About a billion years ago, the continents emerged relatively suddenly from an ocean that covered 95 percent of the Earth's surface, according to a new theory by Eldridge Moores, a geologist at the University of California, Davis.
Ichthyosaur Vomit Discovered in Quarry: Scientists believe the vomit, estimated to be 160 million years old, gives vital clues to the feeding habits of ichthyosaurs, marine reptiles that lived at the same time as the dinosaurs.
Jupiter's Moon Europa Suspected Of Fostering Life: Europa, Jupiter's smallest moon, might not only sustain but foster life, according to the research of a University of Arizona professor.
Deep in Crater's Core, Clues to Dinosaur Extinction : Near the city of Mérida, on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, some drill-rig workers are forgoing this week's Carnaval celebration. They're busy investigating an even bigger blast – an explosion with the energy of 100 million megatons of TNT.
In Goma, Lava Flow Brings Second Threat: Experts eye Lake Kivu for potential eruption of deadly gases.
Jellyfish Fossils Are Rare Find: An extraordinary group of jellyfish fossils has been uncovered by researchers in a quarry in Wisconsin.
Dead Sea Keeps Falling: The lowest place on Earth is getting lower, according to satellite measurements.
Congo Volcano: The Facts: Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of Africa's most active volcanoes.
Galileo Bids Farewell to Io: Nasa's Galileo orbiter has made its last and closest flyby of one of Jupiter's four major moons, Io.
Drilling To Begin On Crater Linked To Mass Extinction: University of Arizona scientists in the next week or two will begin field work on an international project to core 1.8 kilometers into an immense crater created by the impact of an asteroid or comet 65 million years ago.
Tough Bugs Point to Life on Mars: Researchers have discovered a colony of microbes like no other on Earth.
Do Antarctic Dry Valley Microbes Mean Life On Mars?: Canadian and New Zealand scientists have found living microbes buried deeper than perhaps ever before in Antarctica's ice-free Dry Valleys.
Earth Atmosphere Rich In Oxygen 3 Billion Years Ago?: The Earth may have had an oxygen-rich atmosphere as long ago as three billion years and possibly even earlier, three leading geologists have claimed.
Chemicals At Earth's Core Surprisingly Complicated: The chemical ingredients at the center of Earth are surprisingly complicated, according to high-temperature, high-pressure experiments conducted by University of Chicago scientists.
Exploring the Red Planet: Odyssey embarks on its mission at a time when questions about past and present conditions on the planet, including its water content and ability to harbor life, seem more puzzling than ever.
'Oldest' Prehistoric Art Unearthed: The abstract art was found on two pieces of ochre (a form of iron ore) in a cave on the southern Cape shore of the Indian Ocean.
Planetesimals May Be Forming Around Sun-Like Star: Astronomers say they have discovered what may be "planetesimals" -- precursors of Earth-like planets -- forming at Earth-like distances and temperatures around a Sun-like star 430 light years away.
Exploding Star May Have Zapped Ozone Layer: An exploding star may have destroyed part of Earth's protective ozone layer 2 million years ago, devastating some forms of ancient marine life, according to a new theory presented at this week's meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
Alaska Oil Plans Stir Controversy: The ongoing energy crisis, and America's war on terror, has once again raised the issue of fuel supply in the United States.
Continental History Seen In 35 Million-Year-Old Lava: The formation and evolution of the African Rift Valley are shaded in mystery, but geoscientists at Penn State are mapping the history of the Rift through space and time by analyzing the chemistry of ancient lava from Lake Turkana, northern Kenya.
Did Space Rocks Deliver Sugar?: Planetary scientists have for the first time detected extraterrestrial sugar compounds in meteorites.
Oceans Could Be Common In Our Solar System And Others: Oceans might be common and diverse in our solar system and in other solar systems, according to David Stevenson of Caltech, who regards the old notion of a narrow "habitable zone" (Venus too hot, Mars too cold, Earth just right) for liquid water oceans as erroneous.
The Sights and Sounds of Io: The Galileo spacecraft, battered by space radiation, has survived long enough to radio back eerie new pictures and sounds from Jupiter's moon Io.
Fossilised Rain Drops Found in India: An Indian geologist says he has discovered imprints of some of the oldest raindrops on Earth, dating back more than a billion years.
Mars Dust Not Threatening Craft: The Mars Odyssey spacecraft is maneuvering into position around the Red Planet, and so far, no more dust storms have materialized to jeopardize the mission.
Turn Your Head and Roar: Can diagnosing disease in fossils shed light on modern maladies?
Many Alaskan Glaciers Are Thinning, USGS Study Says: Of Alaska's several thousand valley glaciers, including nearly 700 that are named, fewer than 20 are advancing, according to a major study. Many of the rest are retreating.
Norway Defends Arctic Coal Plan: Norway plans a big development of its coal industry on the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic.
Fossil Teeth Suggest Homo Erectus Was 'Never A Teenager': Prehistoric humans did not go through a period of adolescence, according to new scientific evidence.
Things Heating Up On The Red Planet: Vast fields of carbon dioxide ice are eroding from the poles of Mars, suggesting that the climate of the Red Planet is warming and the atmosphere is becoming slightly more dense.
Faults In Europa's Crust Cause Its Poles To Wander: San Andreas-like faults in the crust of Jupiter's icy moon Europa provide evidence that the crust, floating on a liquid water ocean, has slipped over the globe so that the poles recently have wandered hundreds of miles.
Earth's Core-Mantle Boundary Has Core-Rigidity Zone: The boundary between the core and the mantle may not be as sharply defined as scientists once thought. By analyzing earthquake waves that bounce off the core-mantle boundary, researchers have found evidence of a thin zone where the outermost core is more solid than fluid.
Craft Probes Alien Planet's Atmosphere: Astronomers have long wondered what the atmospheres of planets beyond the solar system might be like. Researchers reported that they have now gotten their first whiff.
Imaging Cliff Named Telegonus On Jupiter's Moon Io: A slumping cliff, migrating eruptions and churning lava lakes appear in new images of Jupiter's sizzling moon Io from NASA's Galileo spacecraft.
Sodium Detected In Extrasolar Planet's Atmosphere: The atmosphere of a planet orbiting a star outside our solar system has been detected for the first time. And, in another first, information about its chemical composition has been gathered.
The Mountain: Take a look at Mount Rainier, America's most dangerous volcano.
KT Event Asteroid Led to Global Devastation: Fossils uncovered in New Zealand point to major disturbances in climate that led to the death of most trees and flowering plants.
New Gravity Map Released: A new gravity map of the Earth suggests that if you want to lose weight you should go to India, where the pull of gravity is slightly less than it is elsewhere on the planet.
Gas Hydrates May Be Converted From Hazard To Resource: University of Arizona researchers are helping to develop an energy resource that could help remove America's dependence on foreign supplies of natural gas.
Life on Mars Claims Disputed: Fresh doubts have been cast on claims that fossils of primitive life have been found in a meteorite from Mars.
Searching for Life Beyond Earth: NASA has picked a spot to land its next spacecraft where the minerals suggest water once dampened the Martian surface.
Digging Up Dirt To Help Search For Extraterrestials: In what seems a cross between Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth and H. G. Wells' The Time Machine, researchers from the University of Rochester are burrowing deep underground into the most ancient regions of the globe to find the lost world where life began.
Massive Magma Layer Feeds Vesuvius: Italian and French researchers have discovered a massive layer of magma five miles below Mount Vesuvius, the Italian volcano which last underwent a major eruption in 1944.
When Birds Ate Horses: A spectacular new fossil of a tiny ancient horse is shedding new light on the evolution of equines.
Superplume Concept Applies To Tharsis Area On Mars: A budding theory to describe Earth processes could help solve some martian mysteries as well, believes Victor Baker, Regents' Professor and head of the hydrology and water resources department at the University of Arizona, and a group of his colleagues.
Dazzling Display: Leonid Meteor Show Might Be Last Spectacular One for Years: Astronomers predict a big peak for the shower between 4 and 4:30 a.m. Dallas time on Sunday Nov. 18th – prime viewing hours for meteors.
Meteor Shower Promises Quite a Show: In the early morning hours of Nov. 18, sky watchers in North America may be treated to one of the most spectacular displays of shooting stars they're likely to see for a generation, if not longer.
Europa's Ice Shell Shown to be 3-4 Kilometers Thick: Beyond geology, the wider fascination with Europa is the possibility that it conceals a liquid water ocean, and, potentially, life.
Earth at 'Lower Risk' of Impact: You can sleep a little easier tonight knowing the chances that the Earth will suffer a catastrophic collision with an asteroid over the next hundred years have declined.
Mars Odyssey's Scientific Objectives: One of the chief scientific goals that 2001 Mars Odyssey will focus on is mapping the chemicals and minerals that make up the Martian surface.
Largest Fossil Cockroach Found: The largest complete fossil of a cockroach has been found in the United States.
Mars Global Surveyor Sees Landslide: In several places, portions of the steep walls of Ganges Chasma have collapsed down into the chasm, creating large landslide deposits.
Cyanide's Deadly Hold Over Gold: Cyanide is a highly toxic chemical - less than one gram can be fatal to humans. Gold mine damn bursts can do enormous damage to wildlife and ecosystems.
New Analysis Supports Fidelity of Marine Fossil Record: A new analysis provides striking support for the fidelity of the marine fossil record and its ability to capture the nature of the living communities from which it comes.
Odyssey Snaps First Mars Picture: This spectacular first image of Mars from the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft is just a hint of what's to come.
When Mammoths Roamed England: Fossils suggest a clash of the mammoths could have taken place in what is now southern England 350,000 years ago.
Fossils Indicate. . .Wow, What a Croc!: Newly discovered fossils of an ancient cousin of modern crocodiles suggest that adults of the species may have been dinosaur-munching behemoths that grew to the length of a school bus and weighed as much as 8 metric tons.
Mars Mission 'Hit a Bull's-Eye': An exultant NASA boasted it "hit a bull's-eye" after its Mars Odyssey spacecraft slipped flawlessly into orbit around the Red Planet.
Moment of Truth for Mars Voyage: If all goes well, the 2001 Mars Odyssey spaceprobe will soon end its six-month journey spanning 286 million miles and enter orbit around Mars to begin looking for frozen reservoirs of water on the Red Planet.
Mars Probe Nears Its Mark: Scientists hope to avoid earlier failures and map chemistry of planet's surface.
Geologist's Clue to Bin Laden Location: An American geologist who spent years in Afghanistan believes he has narrowed down the location of terror suspect Osama Bin Laden to sandstone caves south of Kabul.
Geologists Hunting for Oil and Gas Hope New Technique Will Improve Yields from Existing Reservoirs : Dallas geologists may soon help oil and gas companies squeeze every last drop out of their discoveries.
Eight Planets Found Around Nearby Stars: An international team of astronomers has discovered eight new extrasolar planets.
Cosmic Tribute to Terror Victims: Astronomers have named three asteroids in honor of the victims of the 11 September hijack attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon.
Apollo Samples Reveal Moon's Origin: Measurements of lunar soil have cast new light on the origin of the Moon, and on processes taking place in the Sun's atmosphere.
Giant Storm Shrouds Mars: A giant dust storm, larger than any seen on Earth, is ravaging the face of Mars.
Unhatched Dinosaurs Offer Insight: For hundreds of generations, lumbering, long-necked dinosaurs came to the flood plain of the river, laid eggs in shallow dirt nests, spread some leaves over them and left.
Probe's Comet Encounter Yields Close-Ups: Operating on a makeshift navigation system and performing an extra mission assigned on the fly, NASA's Deep Space 1 probe has executed a stunning rendezvous with a comet.
The Microbes That 'Rule the World': The Earth's climate may be dependent upon microbes that eat rock beneath the sea floor, according to new research.
Fossil Findings Cast Big Shadow: Fossils suggest pterosaurs from Romania, Spain had 40-foot wingspans.
Diminutive Pluto May Have Three Peers: Pluto, the pint-sized loner on the fringe of the solar system, might actually be part of a gang. Three undiscovered objects roughly the size of Pluto may lurk out there, new research suggests.
Neandertals Show Ancient Signs of Caring: A nearly toothless jawbone found last year in France, which represents an early form of the Neandertals, speaks volumes about the ancient roots of providing life-saving care for the injured and infirm, according to a new report.
Major Hominid Find in Southern Africa: The oldest known hominid fossils yet found in southern Africa have been uncovered at the world-famous Sterkfontein Caves just north of Johannesburg.
Earth Does Not Move for Science: About a million schoolchildren across Britain have taken part in a mass jump - but their feet failed to make the impact scientists had hoped for.
Filipinos Return as Volcano Lake Drains: Thousands of people in the Philippines are starting to return to their homes after officials confirmed the successful draining of a swollen volcanic lake on Mount Pinatubo.
New Research Pushes Back Land Debut of Plants and Fungi: Billions of years ago, Earth was just the Planet of the Algae.
Low Sounds Detect Meteor Blast: One of the first stations of what will be a global "infrasound" listening network, has detected a meteor that exploded over the Pacific Ocean with the force of a small nuclear blast.
Etna's Rising Anger: Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna, is getting more violent.
Giant Wave Devastation Feared: An immense wave could one day wreak havoc on the eastern seaboard of the US and elsewhere around the Atlantic.
Himalayan Quake Warning: One or more great earthquakes may be overdue in a large section of the Himalayan region, a team of scientists based in the US and India warns.
Galileo Sends New Jupiter Moon Views: Nasa has released close-up pictures of the farthest of Jupiter's four large moons, Callisto, the highest resolution view yet seen of any of Jupiter's moons.
Life from Space Dust?: Astrophysicists say particles swirling around planets could have been transformed into the building blocks of life by the solar wind, then fallen to Earth as dust.
How the Moon was Made: A new computer simulation of how the Moon was formed indicates it is younger than previously thought.
Primeval Suspect:: Geologic evidence piles up that humans are the culprits in mass extinctions on two continents.
Plants Arrived Early: Plants colonised land hundreds of millions of years earlier than the fossil record suggests, according to scientists in North America.
Titanosaur Skulls Offer New Clues on Earth's Evolution: Paleontologists have unearthed two exceedingly rare skulls of a titanosaur, finally putting a face on one of the world's most common, yet least understood dinosaurs.
Pit Yields Dinosaur Remains: The remains of a dinosaur that walked the Earth around 130 million years ago have been discovered in a clay pit at a quarry in the UK.
Water Reserves Found on Mars: A new analysis of images returned by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft provides "observational evidence for near-surface water-ice," say scientists.
Felled by a Flint: It wasn't a fall that killed him, or the cold, scientists say. The Iceman, a Bronze Age hunter whose 5,300-year-old frozen body was discovered in the Alps, was shot through the chest with an arrow and probably died in agony.
A Rocky Bicentennial: Mounting evidence that many asteroids aren't solid rock but collections of loosely bound fragments could have far-reaching implications for elucidating their internal structure, understanding planet formation, and developing strategies to mitigate the threat of one striking Earth.
Ancient Crustacean Raises New Questions: A tiny half-billion-year-old fossil throws up some tricky questions about how and when life evolved on Earth.
New Type of Hydrothermal Vent Looms Large: A newly found hydrothermal vent system, which its discoverers have dubbed the Lost City, rises on an undersea mountain in the Atlantic Ocean. The mineral deposits produced by these vents include, at 18 stories tall, the largest ever observed.
Hubble Captures Mars at Opposition: Frosty white water ice clouds and swirling orange dust storms above a vivid rusty landscape reveal Mars as a dynamic planet in this sharpest view of Mars ever obtained by the Hubble space telescope.
Giant World Detected in the Kuiper Belt: The icy, reddish world is over a thousand kilometres across and astronomers say there may be even larger objects, bigger than planet Pluto itself, awaiting discovery.
Martian Water Hunt Leads to Poles: Look for life in pools of water in the polar regions of Mars, say scientists.
Chaos Clues to Dino Demise: A mysterious disturbance in the forces at the heart of the Solar System could have triggered the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Two New Dinosaurs Chiseled from Fossil Gap: 1-ton, potbellied vegetarian and a fierce, two-legged predator have surfaced from a 30-million-year gap in the dinosaur fossil record, and they are true-blooded Americans, chiseled from rock along the Arizona-New Mexico border.
Philippines Volcano May Erupt for Weeks: Philippines vulcanologists say eruptions at Mount Mayon in the central Philippines could go on for weeks.
Philippine Volcano Erupts with Fury: After rumbling for five months, one of the Philippines' most active volcanoes erupted in fountains of bright red lava and towering clouds of ash as car-sized boulders tumbled down its slopes.
Bones of Plant-Eating Dinosaurs Found by Arizona Student: Gregory Cranwell was driving through the southern Arizona desert at sunset when something about the deep orange color and texture of the sandstone rocks in the nearby hills made him pull over and look around.
More Feathered Dinosaurs Found: Scientists claim to have discovered two new "bird-like" species of feathered dinosaur, unearthed in New Mexico.
Nearby Star May Have Its Own Asteroid belt: Observations of warm dust swaddling a young, nearby star suggest that astronomers have found the first asteroid belt outside the solar system. And where there are asteroids, there could be planets.
Martian Meteorite May Contain Water: A meteorite found in the Western Sahara may contain water that could have come from below the surface of Mars, French researchers say.
Beyond Bones: Trace fossils yield important clues to ancient life.
Spacecraft to Go Back to Mercury: NASA has given the first Mercury orbiter mission the go-ahead, for what will be the first trip to the Sun's closest neighbour in 35 years.
Fossil Reptile Was Champion Chewer: The skull of a small creature that walked the Earth before the dinosaurs could explain how plant-eating vertebrates came to dominate land.
Satellite Snaps Volcano Eruption: A NASA satellite captured this picture of a Russian volcano erupting on Monday and throwing ash miles into the air.
Evolution's Youth Movement: Fossil children may harbor clues to humanity's origins.
Tips on Viewing an Aurora: Catching a glimpse of the northern lights – like the display seen across North Texas the night of March 30 – takes a bit of luck and a lot of planning, astronomers say.
Astronomers Find Distant 'Double Planet': Astronomers have discovered a strange pair of objects orbiting each other at the edge of the Solar System.
Sun Bursts: Solar activity passes its peak, but fireworks aren't over quite yet.
Jupiter's Northern Lights: Astronomers have witnessed the first auroral flare ever seen on Jupiter.
New Solar Flare Bursts from Sun: Residents of northern states could be treated to the aurora borealis from another solar flare's eruption from the sun.
What is a Planet?: Nine bodies orbiting the sun? That definition no longer suffices. Does Pluto still count? What about recently discovered spheres that dwarf Jupiter and circle distant stars?
The Unavoidable Attraction of Magnetic Fields: The sun has a flair for putting on spectacular shows, and last month's was a doozy.
Asteroids Affected Human Evolution: Impacts by asteroids may have affected the course of human evolution, according to two researchers studying how often the Earth has been struck in the past.
Vesuvius Victims 'Died Instantly': Italian archaeologists have detailed the final moments of some of the victims of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Mars and Moon Rocks Discovered: Two rare meteorites from the Moon and Mars have fallen to Earth in north west Africa. The two rocks are believed to be the 15th and 17th meteorites to be found from the Moon and Mars, respectively.
Depth of Seattle-Area Quake May Have Helped Minimize Damage: The February 28th earthquake in Washington state demonstrated again to scientists just how the quake menace in the Northwest often differs from California.
Intriguing Meteorite is Rare but Disappointing Find: An unusually well-preserved meteorite recovered more than a year ago is turning out to be like no meteorite seen before – much to the disappointment of scientists.
Mars Odyssey on Way to Red Planet: NASA launched its latest Mars mission on Saturday, April 7th sending a spacecraft the size of a small car to search for water and minerals on the Red Planet.
'Quick' Demise for the Dinosaurs: The dinosaurs may have met a very quick end. New research suggests the fearsome creatures could have been wiped from the face of the Earth in as little as 10,000 years.
Machu Picchu in Danger of Collapse': Geologists have warned that the ancient Inca fortress of Machu Picchu in Peru is in danger of being destroyed by a landslide.
Washington Declared Disaster Area as Quake Damage Piles Up: The scene left little doubt western Washington would secure an emergency disaster declaration: Cracked buildings, crushed cars and crumbled roads dominate the landscape rocked by an earthquake.
Martian Life Debate Intensifies: The scientific team that claimed in 1996 to have found fossilised bacteria in a Martian meteorite are back with yet more evidence to support their work.
Fossil Fish in Chinese Tale: Ancestors of the first fish that crawled on to land, giving rise to back-boned animals and eventually humans, probably arose in China.
Northwest US Sits in Quake Zone: The quake that struck the US Northwest on 02.28.01 was the strongest to hit the region in more than 50 years.
Rocks Reveal Amazing Dino Lights: When the dinosaurs walked the Earth, our planet's magnetic field was three times stronger than it is today.
Ice Volcanoes Resurface Jupiter Moon: Jupiter's major moon, Ganymede, may be being resurfaced by water seeping on to its surface from the satellite's interior.
Permian Extinctions Tied to Impact from Space: The massive wave of extinctions on Earth 250 million years ago appears to have been triggered by an impact from space, according to an analysis of rocks from Japan and China.

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Bob Keller