Sicily's Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes on the planet, has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the committee that makes the…Read More »
selections announced today (June 21) from their annual meeting, taking place this year in Cambodia.
The iconic volcano — the most active stratovolcano in the world — has been added, along with several other sites, to the list of some 969 natural and cultural heritage sites that have "outstanding universal value," according to the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) website. The criteria for inclusion on the list include a range of factors, such as being an area of "exceptional natural beauty," a valuable relic of an ancient or still-existent culture, or, like Etna, an example of "significant on-going geological processes."
Arrays of sensors stretching across more than 1,500 miles in Africa are now probing the giant crack in the Earth located there — a fissure linked with human evolution — to discover why and how continents get ripped apart.
Over the course of millions of years, Earth's continents break up as they are slowly torn apart by the planet's tectonic forces. All the ocean basins on the Earth started as continental rifts, such as the Rio Grande rift in North America and Asia's Baikal rift in Siberia.
Mealybugs are home to bacteria that nest inside other bacteria, like microscopic Russian dolls, a new study finds. The curious symbiotic relationship offers insight into the complex interplay between animals and microbes, the study researchers say.
Mealybugs, scaly insects found in warm, moist places, get their nutrients from plant sap. But to turn the sap into a form of food they can use, the bugs rely on bacteria. The bacterium Moranella endobia lives inside the bacterium Tremblaya princeps, which lives inside the mealybug. This is the first three-tiered living system ever observed in animals, the researchers say.
The most detailed observations to date of the material surrounding a gigantic black hole have surprised scientists, who say what they see conflicts with common theories about these powerful objects.
Astronomers used the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope Interferometer in Chile to observe the dust around the supermassive black hole at the center of the NGC 3783 galaxy, which lies tens of millions of light-years awayin the constellation Centaurus. The black hole, like many at the centers of galaxies, is gorging on a feast of mass that's fallen toward it from the surrounding area. As the dust falls in, it releases powerful radiation that can be spotted from across the universe.
A colorful, well-preserved "mural tomb," where a military commander and his wife were likely buried nearly 1,500 years ago, has been uncovered in China.
The domed tomb's murals, whose original colors are largely preserved, was discovered in Shuozhou City, about 200 miles (330 kilometers) southwest of Beijing. Researchers estimate that the murals cover an area of about 860 square feet (80 square meters), almost the same area as a modern-day bowling lane.
Yeti crabs don't comb their hair to look good — they do it because they're hungry.
These bizarre deep-sea animals grow their food in their own hair, trapping bacteria and letting it flourish there before "combing" it out and slurping it up. The crabs are found near cold seeps and hydrothermal vents, places where mineral-rich water spews out of the seafloor.
The full moon that will rise Sunday (June 23) will be the largest of the year, a "supermoon" caused by the slightly asymmetrical orbit of the moon around Earth.
A supermoon is a full moon that happens within 12 hours of the lunar perigree, or the point in the lunar orbit that brings the moon closest to Earth. The moon's orbit is slightly elliptical; at its closest approach, the moon is 225,622 miles (363,104 kilometers) from Earth. At its farthest, the moon is 252,088 miles (405,696 km) away.
A spiral galaxy with a tail like a peacock interacts with a second, elliptical, galaxy in this Hubble telescope snapshot. NGC 2936, the spiral galaxy on…Read More »
top, and NGC 2937, the elliptical galaxy on the bottom, are close enough together that each's gravity affects the other. Because of these interactions, the spiral galaxy unwinds and stretches, causing gases and dusts to compress into new stars, seen in blue. The elliptical galaxy has little gas or dust to form new stars, and the reddish stars seen are older. Less «
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Credit: Robert Glenn Ketchum
Bristol Bay is located in the remote wildlands of southwest Alaska and supports the largest runs of wild salmon on the planet — over half of the world's supply of sockeye.
Every year, some 40 million salmon return to spawnin the pristine rivers and streams of the Bristol Bay watershed. But right now, the future of this little-known natural jewel is caught up in a frenzied political fight, part of what the Washington Post calls President Barack Obama's biggest environmental decision that "you've never heard of."
Beachgoers, rejoice! The summer season for Earth's Northern Hemisphere officially began today (June 21) and a U.S. weather satellite has captured a spectacular view of our planet passing the annual milestone.
A photo released by the GOES-13 weather satellite reveals a sparkling blue Earth dotted with clouds to mark the northern summer solstice — the official start of summer in the north. The satellite is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.