science
Scientists Found a New Window Into the Hellish Ancient Earth

Four and a half billion years ago, some dust from a cloud orbiting around a star coalesced into a rocky planet. But unlike most of the dusty balls in our solar system, this one was special—it was just the right distance away from the star that one day after the surface had cooled, water could exist as a liquid, rather than a solid or gas. The planet’s surface eventually fractured into plates that shifted around, becoming continents. All that shifting has rubbed away the details of that ancient Earth. Was the era as hellish as its name, “Hadean” implies, or was Earth always a water-rich orb with moving plates? Read More >>

science
Scientists Claim to Have Found Our Planet’s Oldest Fossils

An international team of researchers say they’ve found fossils dating back to at least 3.77 billion years ago, making them the oldest fossils ever found on our planet. The discovery, though sure to attract scrutiny, has implications for our understanding of how life got started on Earth—and how it may have emerged elsewhere. Read More >>

oroville dam
Good Luck Repairing the Badly Damaged Oroville Dam

For three weeks in February, torrents of water rushed down the emergency spillway at Oroville dam, prompting fears that the entire structure would collapse. New images show what’s left of the 3,000-foot long concrete spillway — and the tremendous challenge that now confronts repair crews. Read More >>

landslides
Enormous Mudslide Devastates New Zealand Marine Reserve

New Zealand’s Kaikoura Canyon — known for its abundant seabed life — is now an undersea wasteland following a series of earthquake-induced mudslides. 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 >>

science
An Obscure Fault in Southern California is More Dangerous Than We Thought

A little-known fault underneath the southern Californian city of Santa Barbara is capable of producing stronger shaking and more damage during an earthquake than previously thought, according to new research. Called the Ventura-Pitas Point Fault, it’s now thought to be capable of producing magnitude 8.0 earthquakes, and even tsunamis. Read More >>

science
Enormous Pleistocene Landslide Discovered Off the Coast of Australia

Around 300,000 years ago, a ridge near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef collapsed, unleashing a massive undersea avalanche. The ensuing landslide scattered debris for miles and triggered a sizeable tsunami, according to new research. Read More >>

science
Hawaii’s Epic Lava ‘Fire Hose’ Has Returned With a Vengeance

Late last week, a cliff collapse extinguished the dramatic lava flow streaming out of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano. We have some good news to report, however: It’s back! Some incredible new footage of the hellish gusher shows it’s alive and well. Read More >>

earth sciences
New Hampshire Might Have Volcanoes One Day

Sixty miles beneath the birch-speckled forests of southern New Hampshire, the rocks are hotter than they should be—much hotter. First discovered in the 1970s, the heat anomaly was thought to be the remnants of an ancient hotspot in the Earth’s mantle. Instead, new seismic measurements suggest it’s an area of active upwelling. And that has led geologists to an astonishing conclusion. Read More >>

geology
Two Billion-Year-Old Water Found in Canadian Mine

Canadian Geoscientists have uncovered water that dates back a whopping two billion years. It’s the oldest water ever discovered on Earth, and it could broaden our understanding of how life emerged on our planet — and possibly elsewhere. Read More >>

earthquakes
Huge Earthquake in the Pacific Sparks Tsunami Fears

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake has rocked the Solomon Islands about 42 miles off the coast of Kirakira. A subsequent Tsunami watch was issued for Hawaii, but was canceled. Areas close to the quake are also on tsunami alerts. Read More >>

science
We Finally Know the Immense Weight of Humanity’s Footprint

It should be obvious to everyone at this point that humans are having an enormous impact on the planet. But how much, exactly, does our collective footprint weigh? It may sound odd, but a new scientific paper is offering an answer to that very question: a staggering 30 trillion tonnes. Read More >>

mars
Enormous Water Ice Deposit Could Help Us Survive on Mars

Future Martian colonists, NASA just found you a reservoir. Frozen beneath a cracked and pitted region in Mars’ mid-northern latitudes lies a sheet of ice with about as much thirst-quenching potential as Lake Superior. Read More >>

space
NASA Didn’t Find Life on Mars—But It Did Find Something Very Cool

If we ever get proof of past life on Mars, it’ll come in the form of biosignatures, fingerprints that could only have been left by living organisms. We’re a long way from finding that smoking gun evidence, but an analysis of silica minerals discovered by NASA’s Spirit rover pushes us one step closer. Because of their similarity to silica deposits shaped by microbial life on Earth, these intriguing Martian minerals are now being called a “potential biosignature.” Read More >>

space
Scientists Discovered a Mind-Boggling Chasm on Mercury

Placed on Earth, it would stretch from Washington DC to New York to Denver. Larger than the Grand Canyon, wider and deeper than East Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Mercury’s newly-discovered “Great Valley” boggles the imagination. But it’s more than size that makes this geologic feature remarkable. The Great Valley may be our best evidence that Mercury’s entire crust is contracting. Read More >>