science
Scientists Are Building a Mini-Earth With 8 Tonnes of Spinning Liquid Sodium

Admit it, you don’t really understand why the Earth has a magnetic field. Sure, movement inside the Earth’s outer core is creating a electric current, generating a magnetic field through it. But what’s causing this movement? Read More >>

science
Ice Crystals in Diamonds Reveal Pockets of Water Deep in Earth’s Mantle

Diamonds, the super-strong and brilliant crystals of carbon atoms produced under the Earth’s crushing pressures, are typically valued for their beauty and durability. But scientists also value them for another reason: They contain all kinds of hidden messages about the Earth’s mantle. You just need the right tools to read them. Read More >>

space
Strange Pole-Shifting Physics Conjures a Truly Alien World

Perhaps there’s a life-supporting, Earth-like planet orbiting close to a red dwarf star many light years away. Perhaps this planet orbits so close to the star that only one half of it ever faces the light. Maybe some sentient species evolved during that infinite day, on some massive supercontinent. And maybe one day, the sun set on part of that continent, stranding half of the species in the dark, where they evolved under a changing atmosphere. The light and dark species, unable to survive in the other’s environs, separated forever. Read More >>

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Here Are the Horrible Ways You’d Die if You Brought a Piece of the Sun Back to Earth

With all the fascinating planets in our solar system, it sometimes feels like the Sun gets overlooked. The Sun is amazing! People still worship the Sun, and that actually makes a certain amount of sense. So, what would happen if you took a small piece of the Sun and brought it back to Earth? Well, whoever’s left would have new reasons to worship the Sun. Read More >>

science
Life As We Know Could Have Come From Algae on Steroids

What was life really like here on planet Earth before animals were big enough to leave fossils behind? How did living things turn from dinky capsules of genetic material into the intelligent, complex organisms that do things like fart and type curse words into posts on the internet? Scientists think they’ve found the answer... in algae steroids. Read More >>

science
These Incredible NASA Images Show the Massive Changes Our Planet is Going Through

NASA's "Images of Change" features a bunch of interactive before-and-after images of locations on our humble and incredible home planet, showing change over time periods ranging from centuries to days. Read More >>

science
Quantum Mechanics Could Shake Up Our Understanding of Earth’s Magnetic Field

Earth’s magnetic field does way more than guide our compasses and cause occasional worry. It’s part of the reason there’s life at all on this planet—it protects us from harmful solar radiation that might otherwise blow our ozone layer away. Read More >>

science
Why Did Montana Experience a Powerful Earthquake Last Night?

Last night, planet Earth rumbled in a place where it usually doesn’t rumble: Montana, USA. But it also rumbled in the Philippines. Come to think of it, it rumbled in Vanuatu and Japan too. The Earth rumbles a lot. Read More >>

science
Hypnotic Video Simulates How Earth Gets Its Magnetic Field

The Earth is a giant magnet, with a north and a south pole just like any magnet you’ve ever played with. But the Earth’s magnetic field plays a vital role: it field helps to prevent powerful solar particles from destroying us. Read More >>

science
Scientists Think They’ve Solved the Mystery of Our Atmosphere’s Missing Xenon

Xenon is a peculiar element. It certainly has one of the most mysterious names (from the Greek xenos, or “stranger”). As a noble gas, it refuses to bond with other elements except under exotic conditions. And its uses are all about as creepy as its name: Folks use it for its eerie glow, to detect radiation, or in its liquid form to hunt for the universe’s dark matter. Read More >>

environment
We All Live On Garbage Island

You might think you were born in Didcot, or Durham, or some sleepy suburb outside Birmingham—but let me tell you, friend, you’re wrong. In a sense, we were all spawned on a tiny island full of rubbish, floating miserably far, far out there. Only now are we beginning to understand the horrifying gravity of what our garbage species hath wrought. Read More >>

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This Time Lapse Video of the Grand Canyon Will Give You an Existential Crisis

What better way to start off your day with a nice, hot cup of existential uncertainty? Forget everything you think you know about yourself or reality, because a gorgeous new video of the Grand Canyon is about to irrevocably fuck you up. In a good way, we think. Read More >>

space
Cassini Has Made Earth Feel Small, But Part of Something Bigger

Earth is exhausting — excruciatingly so, if you’re a young curmudgeon like me. At times, performing even the most mundane tasks, like commuting on a crowded, smelly subway car, feels like an Olympic marathon designed to test one’s patience. Space compels us because it forces us to think outside this myopic view of ourselves — not in a “Dust in the Wind” way, but in the sense that we’re tiny flecks of star stuff lucky to be members of something so vast and incredible. And in recent years, one of the greatest reminders of this is the volume of research and images sent back to Earth from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which first entered Saturn’s system in 2004. Read More >>

space
This Picture of Earth From Within Saturn’s Rings Will Make You Emotional

Sometimes, the majesty of the final frontier—a cold, unfeeling space—has the power to make our eyes misty. The images from NASA’s Cassini mission have often been able to do this, and since the spacecraft is dying soon, it makes the experience all the more emotional. Before it goes out in a blaze of glory, Cassini has been sending back some of the most incredible images of Saturn and its moons—but one of its latest from Saturn’s rings is especially spectacular. Read More >>