Xiao Liwu, the 4-month-old giant panda cub born at the San Diego Zoo, adorably showed off his belly in new pictures released after his weekly checkup.
The baby bear, whose name means "Little Gift," got a final vaccination during his 15th exam on Thursday (Nov. 29), zoo officials said. Caretakers also were able to spot several teeth in his mouth and take his measurements during the checkup, even though Xiao Liwu does not like to stay still.
[Full Story: Fidgety Panda Cub Shows Off Belly]
Enormous rings may have graced many of the planets in the early solar system, giving rise to the moons that circle them today, scientists say.
A new computer model suggests that the natural satellites of planets in our solar system may have formed from rings of matter, rather than from the clouds of gas currently thought to have created them.
[Full Story: Did Solar System's Planets Have Rings Before Moons?]
A rarely seen Bolivian wild cat species was photographed by a camera trap in one of the country's national park, the first time it has been spotted there.
The photo of the cat, called an oncilla, won a category of a camera trap competition run by the magazine BBC Wildlife.
[Full Story: Photo of Rare, Mysterious Cat Wins Competition]
Ice loss in Antarctica and Greenland has contributed nearly half an inch to the rise in sea levels in the past 20 years, according to an assessment of polar ice sheet melting that researchers are calling the most reliable yet.
What's more, ice loss is rapidly speeding up in the north, while the rate in Antarctica has been fairly constant, the researchers report Friday (Nov. 29) in the journal Science.
[Full Story: Polar Ice Loss Accelerating, Study Finds]
Scientists may now understand why some parts of the planet's crust have much higher concentrations of gold than others do.
Gold, as well as other rare metals, can be brought to the surface by plumes of molten rock from deep within the mantle, the layer underneath Earth's crust, producing background levels of gold up to 13 times higher than elsewhere, according to research published Oct. 19 in the journal Geology.
[Full Story: Gold Rises with Molten Rock]
The age of the Grand Canyon is a puzzle, because the Colorado River has washed away many of the clues.
So for 150 years, geologists have pondered the processes shaping the canyon, one of the world's great wonders and a living laboratory for understanding Earth history.
[Full Story: New Clues Emerge in Puzzle of Grand Canyon's Age]
Amazing new photos from NASA's Cassini probe orbiting Saturn reveal a dizzying glimpse into a monster storm raging on the ringed planet's north pole.
Cassini took the spectacular Saturn storm photos yesterday (Nov. 27) and relayed it back to Earth the same day, mission scientists said in a statement. The pictures reveal a swirling storm reminiscent of the recent Hurricane Sandy that recently plagued our own planet.
[Full Story: Huge Saturn Vortex Swirls in Stunning NASA Photos]
Astronomers have seen a distant galaxy that blasts away material with two trillion times the energy the sun emits — the biggest such eruption ever seen. That ejection of matter could answer an important question about the universe: why are the black holes in the centers of galaxies so light?
Computer models of the early universe usually produce a virtual cosmos that looks like ours except for one thing. The ratio of the mass of black holes in galaxy centers to the rest of the matter in galaxies is larger in the simulations than in the real universe.
[Full Story: Biggest Black Hole Blast Ever Could Solve Cosmological Mystery]
Lava overtopped a seaside cliff in Hawaii this weekend, sending up spectacular steam plumes caught on video and in pictures by a camera crew aboard a helicopter.
The slow-moving stream of molten rock, a sticky form of lava called "pahoehoe," crested the edge around 1 p.m. Hawaiian time on Saturday (Nov. 24), said Ken Hon, a geology professor at the University of Hawaii in Hilo. Hon and his students were accompanying a documentary crew at the site and saw the lava pour over the cliff.
[Full Story: Breathtaking! Watch Fiery Lava Spill into Ocean]
Alone in the South Atlantic Ocean sits the small volcanic island of Saint Helena. The towering peak of the island disrupts clouds as they pass overhead, creating swirling patterns called von Karman vortices that can be seen by satellites overhead.
The swirling clouds, moving to the northwest over Saint Helena, were snapped by NASA's Terra satellite on Nov. 15, 2012, according to NASA's Earth Observatory.
[Full Story: Stunning Cloud Swirls Spotted by Satellite]