Moderate solar flare erupts from the sun, but likely won’t affect Earth

Hot material shines brightly in this close-up of a moderate flare erupting on the sun Aug. 24, 2014. Credit: NASA/SDO Enlarge While this solar peak has been weaker than usual, from time to time we get a moderate punch from the Sun. Here's an example—what NASA calls a "mid-level" solar flare blasting off the Sun […]

The European Space Agency (ESA) on Monday said it had drawn up a shortlist of five possible sites for carrying out the first-ever landing on a comet. Handout picture taken by the Rosetta space probe shows the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from a distance of 285 kilometres Astronomers have been scrutinising high-definition photos sent back by the […]

How Titan’s haze help us understand life’s origins

Saturn’s moon Titan appears as a hazy ball from a distance. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute Where did life on Earth come from? There are several theories as to what might have happened. Maybe comets came bearing organic material, or life was transported from another planet such as Mars, or something happened in the chemistry of […]

Humanity’s Longest-Lasting Legacy: Miles of Holes

Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Nikki Mahadevan It's estimated that humans have altered over half of the planet's surface, and those changes are easy to see – the ice sheets are melting, forests are shrinking and species are going extinct. People have changed the planet so dramatically that some geologists think the Earth has entered a new phase in its […]

Will Iconic Sequoias Fall to Climate Change?

The Muir Grove of giant sequoias in Sequoia National Park. Credit: National Park Service Enlarge SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California's iconic trees, the giant sequoias, may sail through the state's current extreme drought. The huge trees survived even drier conditions during their long lives, studies show. The oldest sequoias live for more than 3,000 years. But will giant […]

A look at earthquake’s impact on California region

Two men walk past the earthquake-damaged building that housed the Carpe Diem wine bar Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Napa, Calif. The San Francisco Bay Area's strongest earthquake in 25 years struck the heart of California's wine country early Sunday, igniting gas-fed fires, damaging some of the region's famed wineries and historic buildings, and sending […]

World’s tectonic plate movement mapped

A group of geophysicists is testing the hypothesis that the rate of "supercontinent assembly"—or tectonic plate movement—changes over time. The boundaries of the tectonic plates in the Earths crust, responsible for earthquakes and volcanoes. Credit: iStock Enlarge Study co-author Professor Sergei Pisarevskiy says plate tectonics is the study of the horizontal movement of tectonic plates over the Earth's surface. […]

Deep Alpine Fault sensitive to nearby earthquakes

Calum Chamberlain at a recently installed Solution Ranges site which he hopes will provide key data for future low-frequency earthquake studies. Credit: Adrian Benson. Enlarge ( —Victoria University of Wellington researchers have discovered that seismic waves produced by earthquakes happening several hundred kilometres away trigger activity deep beneath the Alpine Fault. Using a network of […]

Ocean circulation explains why the Arctic affected by global warming more than the Antarctic

By 2050, sea ice may vanish during Arctic summers. Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Enlarge Over recent decades, scientists have watched a climate conundrum develop at the opposite ends of Earth: The Arctic has warmed and steadily lost sea ice, whereas Antarctica has cooled in many places and may even be gaining sea ice. […]

Maine lobsterman catches rare blue lobster

A lobsterman says one of his traps caught a one-in-two-million crustacean: a blue lobster. This Aug. 23, 2014, photo provided by Meghan LaPlante shows a blue lobster caught by her father Jay LaPlante off Pine Point in Scarborough, Maine Saturday. The crustacean is being donated to the Maine State Aquarium. (AP Photo/Meghan LaPlante) WCSH-TV reports […]

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