Move over, Hope Diamond. The most famous gems on Earth have new competition in the form of a planet made largely of diamond, astronomers say.
The alien planet, a so-called "super-Earth," is called 55 Cancri e and was discovered in 2004 around a nearby star in our Milky Way galaxy. After estimating the planet's mass and radius, and studying its host star's composition, scientists now say the rocky world is composed mainly of carbon (in the form of diamond and graphite), as well as iron, silicon carbide, and potentially silicates.
[Full Story: Super-Earth Planet Likely Made of Diamond]
For the first time, scientists have made a 3-D map of sea ice in eastern Antarctica.
The map will help reveal the amount of ice in the region, which is important for understanding how climate change is affecting Antarctica.
[Full Story: Robot Sub Maps Underside of Antarctic Ice in 3-D]
Amazing glowing nebulas resembling cosmic candy take center stage in a group of new photos unveiled today (Oct 10) by the science team behind NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.
The pictures are part of a survey the Chandra space telescope is making of nearby planetary nebulas, which are formed when dying stars push off their outer gaseous layers. The first stage of this survey, which includes Chandra observations of 21 of these nebulas, has now been released. Chandra also released a video of the surveyed nebulas.
[Full Story: Spectacular Nebula Photos Captured By Space Telescope's X-Ray Vision]
When a powerful solar flare, known as a coronal mass ejection, hit Earth's magnetic field on Oct. 8, people living in North America's northern latitudes were treated to a spectacular light show.
This visible light image from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite shows the northern lights swirling across Canada's Quebec and Ontario provinces. The city lights of Montreal also shine in the bottom of the image.
[Full Story: Image: Aurora Dips South Across Canada]
All was calm on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula when NASA's Terra satellite passed over at noon local time on Saturday (Oct. 6). Or so it seemed.
Underground, molten rock boiled with tectonic fury, ready to blow. And within minutes, the Shiveluch volcano erupted.
[Full Story: Satellites Watch Siberian Volcano Erupt]
An intriguing spiral structure surrounding a pulsing red giant star may be offering a preview of how the sun will behave at the end of its life.
Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) in northern Chile, an international team of astronomers found the spiral structure, one never seen before, in the envelope of gas and dust around a red giant about 1,000 light-years from Earth and took a detailed three-dimensional reading of its composition.
[Full Story: Strange Star Spiral Offers Clues to Sun's Fate]
U.S. House Rep. Paul Broun, a Georgia Republican, doesn't believe in evolution, the Big Bang theory, or the teachings of embryology. In fact, in a Sept. 27 talk at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Ga., the member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, who is also a medical doctor, called those areas of science "lies straight from the pit of hell."
But Broun also advanced his own theory of life on Earth.
[Full Story: Fact Check: What a 9,000-Year-Old Earth Really Looked Like]
A huge explosion on the sun has flung a wave of solar particles toward Earth, an eruption that may amp up northern lights displays on our planet Monday night (Oct. 8).
The solar eruption occurred late Thursday (Oct. 4) when the sun unleashed what scientists call a coronal mass ejection, or CME, NASA officials explained in a statement.
[Full Story: Solar Eruption May Boost Northern Lights Displays Tonight]
The San Diego Zoo's newest giant panda cub got another checkup Tuesday (Oct. 9) and vets say he's about to sprout some baby teeth.
The 10-week-old cub weighed in at 7.3 pounds (3.3 kilograms) and measured about 20 inches (53 centimeters) from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. His development is right on track with other cubs born at the zoo and his chompers are coming in, vets said.
[Full Story: San Diego Panda Cub About to Sprout Baby Teeth]
A long-exposure photograph reveals the glory of an Arizona lightning storm in August, 2012.