More than two decades ago, when Elizabeth Turner was still a graduate student studying fossilized microbial reefs, she hammered out hundreds of lemon-sized rocks from weathered cliff faces in Canada’s Northwest Territories. She hauled her rocks back to the lab, sawed them into 30-micron-thick slivers—about half the diameter of human hair—and scrutinized her handiwork under a microscope. Only in about five of the translucent slices, she found a sea of slender squiggles that looked nothing like the microbes she was after.
Unusual and abundant glassy spheres found packed within the beach sands near the Japanese city of Hiroshima are remnants of the 1945 atomic bomb explosion, according to new research. Continue reading Beach Sands Near Hiroshima Are Still Packed With 1945 Nuclear Fallout Debris
New research suggests that much of the material that made life possible on Earth arrived after a cataclysmic collision between our planet and a Mars-sized object billions of years ago—likely the same collision that produced the Moon, the scientists say. Continue reading A Collision With Another Planet May Have Seeded Earth With the Ingredients for Life
Diamonds have been in the news quite a lot this week, and not because of any celebrity engagement news. Instead, it’s what’s inside that counts. Continue reading Why so many diamonds are making science headlines this week
Scientists have identified nearly 100 previously unknown volcanoes in West Antarctica, which, in addition to the 47 already known to exist in the region, makes it one of the largest concentration of volcanoes in the world.
An international team of researchers say they’ve found fossils dating back to at least 3.77 billion years ago, making them the oldest fossils ever found on our planet. The discovery, though sure to attract scrutiny, has implications for our understanding of how life got started on Earth—and how it may have emerged elsewhere.
The lost continent of Mauritia likely spanned a great swathe of the Indian Ocean before it was torn apart by indomitable geologic forces and plunged into the sea. Now, a good chunk of it may have been found.