New Studies of Ancient Lava Add Mystery to the Dinosaur Extinction Story

Solidified lava from ancient volcanoes, over a mile thick, covers about 200,000 miles of west-central India. Contained in the dramatic and craggy striped rock are secrets scientists are only beginning to uncover—secrets that could partially rewrite the story of the dinosaur mass extinction 66 million years ago. Read More >>

Enormous Stream of Stars Discovered in Southern Sky

Scientists have discovered a nearby “stellar stream” containing thousands of stars spanning the southern sky. They made the discovery thanks to the recent release of data from the Gaia sky survey. Read More >>

Japanese Spacecraft to Shoot Bullet at Asteroid This Week

The spacecraft Hayabusa2's first touchdown onto the asteroid Ryugu is scheduled for this week. If successful, the craft will shoot a bullet into the rock in order to capture samples to bring back to Earth. Read More >>

This Man Travelled 10,000 Miles to See America’s Trash Birds—and Loved Every Minute of It

20-year-old Tasmanian George Vaughan had three main goals for his trip to the United States last month: see a Metallica concert, visit Niagara Falls, and go to a landfill in the US state of Alabama. The landfill, he hoped, would help him realise a dream he’d held for six years: to see a laughing gull, a “seagull” generally considered a nuisance by your average American beachgoer. Read More >>

Scientists Produce Rigorous Study of Why Grapes Spark in the Microwave

A paper published Monday in a well-known science journal begins with the following sentence: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a pair of grape hemispheres exposed to intense microwave radiation will spark, igniting a plasma.” A universally acknowledged truth indeed... but what causes this microwave marvel? Read More >>

It Looks Like There’s a Second, Bigger Impact Crater Under Greenland’s Ice

Scientists have spotted a potential asteroid crater in Greenland just 114 miles away from another one announced a few months ago. But the newest crater is even larger—it would be the 22nd largest on Earth. Read More >>

Neutron Star Collisions Could Reveal Mysterious Quark Matter

Scientists are dreaming up ways to probe the nature of the Universe’s smallest bits – quarks – by observing ultra-dense neutron stars slamming into each other. Read More >>

The Sheer Distance Opportunity Roved Across Mars Still Has Us in Awe

As we remember the now-officially-dead Opportunity rover this week, one fact keeps sticking out to me: that machine travelled a whopping 45 kilometres across the surface of another planet. And it did so in short, nerve-wracking spurts. Spread over the course of 14 years then 45 kilometres may not sound like that much, but consider the many obstacles Oppy faced – including an agonising 38 days stuck spinning its wheels in a soft sand dune. Read More >>

Rare Spider Fossil Preserves 100-Million-Year-Old Glowing Eyes

A new spider fossil discovery included a surprising find: remnants of reflective eye tissue. Read More >>

It’s Official: NASA Says Mars Rover Opportunity Is Dead

NASA declared at a press conference today that its Opportunity rover is officially no longer functional, marking the end of an era while celebrating the wildly successful Mars Exploration Rover mission. Read More >>

Scientists Remember the Mars Rover Opportunity as Hope Fades for Its Resurrection

A brutal dust storm engulfed Mars last summer. The planet-wide tempest spared the nuclear-powered Curiosity rover, but the older, solar-powered Opportunity rover shut down as the thick dust blocked light from the Sun. Opportunity has remained silent since June 10, 2018, despite NASA’s hundreds of attempts to contact it. When a windy season on Mars began in November, scientists hoped that gusts might clear debris from its solar panels, but that hope appears to have been in vain. NASA continues to send recovery commands, but sadly, it seems the Opportunity mission has finally come to an end. Read More >>

Turns Out One-Way Trips to Mars Not Exactly Great Business Plan

Remember Mars One, that company we all knew was a scam but still kind of hoped was real because of how much we liked the movie The Martian? Yeah, it went bankrupt. Read More >>

World’s Oldest Wild Bird, Now 68, Still Has Sex and She Has the Baby to Prove It

Wisdom, a 68-year-old Laysan albatross and the world’s oldest known wild bird, has successfully hatched a chick, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. You know what that means: she still fucks. Read More >>

Spooky New Photos Show the Alien Creatures of the Deep Ocean

The research vessel Falkor has recently completed a three-week mission off the coast of Costa Rica, during which it gathered data, discovered new species, and took more incredible pictures of the life at the ocean floor. Read More >>