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 >>

science
A Fight Over a Sacred Mountaintop Could Shape The Future of Astronomy

For years, it seemed as if the future of the Thirty Metre Telescope was writ in the stars. The enormous, next-generation observatory would explore the birth of galaxies and seek signs of life on alien worlds from atop the dormant volcano of Mauna Kea, one of the best places on Earth to study the sky. Read More >>

science
A Mind-Boggling Carbon Deposit Was Just Discovered in the Congo

A newly-discovered peatland in the Congo Basin of central Africa contains an estimated 30.6 billion tonnes of carbon in its waterlogged soils — equivalent to three times the total annual carbon emissions of every human being alive today. Read More >>

biology
The Best Underwater Photographs of 2016 Are Out of This World

This year may have been a rough one up here on Earth’s dry surface, but beneath the waves ocean life flourished and dazzled. The world’s most prestigious underwater photography competition has just announced its winning images for 2016—and they’re absolutely spellbinding. Read More >>

space
The Most Detailed View of Black Holes in the Universe are Mind Blowing

Stare into the abyss, my friends. The image above features the highest concentration of black holes humans have ever seen. So dense are the merciless chasms of darkness at the centre of this map, you could pack 5,000 of them into a patch of sky the size of the full moon. Read More >>

fast radio bursts
Astronomers Pinpointed the Location of Multiple Weird Radio Bursts Beyond Our Galaxy

Fast radio bursts, powerful pulses of radio energy of unknown cosmic origin, are a source of endless fascination to astronomers and alien conspiracy theory fodder to everybody else. But while most FRBs discovered to date are one-off events — a single chirp in the interstellar void, if you will — these phenomena got more interesting last year when astronomers discovered the very first FRB signal that repeats. Now, they’ve pinpointed its location. Read More >>

space
NASA Is Actually Going to Visit That Insane Metallic World

There’s nothing quite like Psyche anywhere else in our solar system—a small asteroid belt object made entirely of iron-nickel metal. Which is why NASA has decided to send a probe to check out the bizarre beast up close. Read More >>