The remains of a real-life journey to the center of the Earth are preserved in a South Pacific volcano, a new study suggests.
The lava that erupted from the Cook Islands volcano, called Mangaia, contains a few tiny grains of sulfide, a mineral, with a peculiar ratio of sulfur isotopes, according to research published in today's (April 24) issue of the journal Nature. The unusual ratio could only have formed before oxygen-breathing life appeared on Earth 2.45 billion years ago. Isotopes are versions of elements with different numbers of neutrons, giving them differing weights.
[Full Story: Extreme Green: Earth Recycles 2.5-Billion-Year-Old Ocean Crust]
Dry conditions indicate high danger
While wildfires are inevitable in the West during the summer, this year the season has the potential to be worse than average.
Drought, which began last summer, become significantly worse over many areas of the West this winter. The drought is showing few signs of improvement this spring.
[Full Story: Rough Wildfire Season Ahead for West With Building Drought]
Happy Earth Day!
Earth Day is even celebrated in space.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield sent down some well wishes from the International Space Station today (April 22) in honor of Earth Day.
[Full Story: Earth Day! Astronaut Celebrates Earth from Space]
February in April
On Saturday afternoon, the wet snow piled in the mountains of the Loveland Pass gave way, creating a fatal avalanche.
Adding to the already 19 deaths by avalanches during the 2012-13 winter season, five people were trapped and killed on Saturday.
[Full Story: Colorado Avalanche: Deadliest in 50 Years]
Start the week off right with a gorgeous sunrise photo at Tipsoo Pond in Mount Rainier National Park.
Mount Rainier National Park is spread over 235,625 acres on the west side of the Cascade Range, and is located about 50 miles (100 kilometers) southeast of Seattle. Mount Rainier is an unmistakable icon on the landscape. With a peak 14,410 feet (4,392 meters) above sea level, Rainier is an active volcano and its last known eruption was in 1894.
[Full Story: Dreamy Image: Mount Rainier Glows at Sunrise]