science
We Just Found Out Antarctica Is Covered in Rivers

In 1908, Ernest Shackleton’s legendary Nimrod team was making its way toward the South Pole when the men were startled by something unexpected: the sound of liquid water, roaring across the frozen wasteland toward the sea. One hundred and nine years later, scientists can confirm that this sound, described by one early explorer as “odd after the usual Antarctic silence” was not a trick of the mens’ imaginations, nor was it a fluke. Hundreds of individual waterways gush across our planet’s ice-covered continent in the summertime, and they’ve been doing so for decades. Read More >>

science
Plants Are Gobbling Up Our Carbon Emissions, But Not Fast Enough

It’s one of the biggest mysteries in this global experiment we’re conducting by pouring 10 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year: What’ll happen to the plants? Will the relentless burning of fossil fuels prompt our leafy green friends to suck down more CO2, tapping the brakes on climate change? Or are the trees unable to bail Earth’s atmosphere out this mess? Read More >>

space
Oh My God, Look at Saturn’s North Pole

Recently, Gizmodo space writer Rae Paoletta called Saturn “the golden retriever of the solar system,” and I’m not here to dispute that characterisation. But it was a lot easier to think of Saturn as a golden retriever when the planet’s defining hue was, y’know, gold. Not blue. Not electric, alien protomolecule-blue. Read More >>

space
The Plan to Bring a Little Bit of Venus Back to Earth

Venus, arguably the most Earth-like world we know of, is an enigma. Despite decades of studying Venus from afar, and sending off probes to melt into metallic puddles on its surface, we still don’t understand why our nearest neighbour is a toxic hellscape. But scientists hope to change that, with a bold new mission that would bring a taste of Venus’ alien atmosphere back to Earth. Read More >>

science
The Last Scrap of the North American Ice Sheet Is Melting

The planet is warming and Arctic ice is melting. These facts are hardly news. But it’s not just habitat for polar bears that’s being lost—a piece of Earth’s history is disappearing, too. Read More >>

science
An Asteroid Hunter on What We Need to Do to Prevent Armageddon

Humans are rightly terrified by the threat of nuclear war, but there’s also a non-zero chance that a giant rock will come hurling through our atmosphere to ruin every Earthling’s day. When that happened 66 million years ago, it triggered a mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs. But we have something the dinosaurs didn’t: scientists who are working hard to account for all of the dangerous asteroids in our solar neighbourhood, and to develop technologies that can move them off a deadly collision course. Read More >>

environment
Antarctic Sea Ice Crashed This Year and Scientists Don’t Know Why

Just about every month, it seems, we get a report on the dismal state of Arctic sea ice. By contrast, the shiny white stuff surrounding the Antarctic continent has been remarkably stable in a warming world. This year, however, the sea ice at our planet’s south pole is crashing, and scientists don’t know why. Read More >>

space
The Prospects for Life on TRAPPIST-1 Keep Getting Better

Less than a week ago, the citizens of Earth were introduced (technically, re-introduced) to a star system 39 light years away hosting seven Earth-sized exoplanets, three of which lie squarely in the habitable zone. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, researchers are now suggesting that a fourth of the TRAPPIST-1 planets might be habitable, too—if we stretch our imaginations a bit. Read More >>

space
An Exciting Discovery May Be Lurking in This Voyager Photo of Saturn

In news that reminds us it’s definitely worth dusting off old photos once in a while, one amateur astronomer thinks he’s spotted geysers erupting from the south pole of Saturn’s moon Enceladus....in images taken by the Voyager 1 probe in 1980. Read More >>

science
Some Good News About the Worst Mass Extinction in Earth’s History

If the fact that the Earth is careening toward a sixth mass extinction event makes you uncomfortable, good news: it turns out, the biosphere may have rebounded “quickly” after the worst mass extinction in history. That, at least, is the implication of one remarkable fossil assemblage formed less than 2 million years after the so-called Great Dying. Read More >>

environment
What Happens When That Enormous Antarctic Ice Shelf Finally Breaks?

For the past few months, scientists have watched with bated breath as a rift in the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf grows longer by the day. Eventually, the rift will make a clean break, expelling a 2,000 square mile chunk of ice into the sea. It’ll be an epic sight to behold—but what happens after the ice is gone? Read More >>

environment
Worst Wildfires in Chile’s History Have Left Devastation in Their Wake

Over the weekend, the Chilean government ended a state of emergency enacted last month in response to the worst wildfire season in the nation’s history. The fires, which now appear to be dying down, have torched more than 900,000 acres—roughly four times the area of New York City—since January 15th. Read More >>

wtf
This Deep Sea Monster Attaches Its Head to Its Neck in the Freakiest Way

We already knew the deep ocean is full of nightmare creatures — twisted amalgams of tooth, jaw and fin sprung to life from some tortured corner of the multiverse. But good news — it gets even weirder! Scientists have just learned that one deep sea predator has a flexible attachment between its head and its skull that allows it to snap its jaws open like a Pez dispenser. Read More >>

space
This Promising New Tool Can Help Us Find Life on Europa

If alien life is out there in our solar system, it’s probably very small and very hard to detect, buried deep beneath the surface of an icy moon. But, rejoice alien seekers: a new test developed by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory could improve our chances of spotting extraterrestrial microbes and ending our cosmic loneliness once and for all. Read More >>

spacex
Why Space Fanatics Are Freaking Out About SpaceX’s Next Launch

Following a successful Falcon 9 launch-and-barge-landing in California this month, SpaceX is now looking to get back in the swing of regular flight. But while the company’s next two flights seem fairly routine on the surface, they’re going to be historic in one very important aspect. Read More >>