The age of discovery isn't over yet. A colossal canyon, the longest on Earth, has just been found under Greenland's ice sheet, scientists announced today…Read More »
(Aug. 29) in the journal Science.
"You think that everything that could be known about the land surface is known, but it's not," said Jonathan Bamber, lead study author and a geographer at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. "There's still so much to learn about the planet."
Credit: Graham Andrews, assistant professor at California State University Bakersfield.
Ash from supervolcanoes dwarfing any volcanoes on Earth today could have been so hot that it turned back into lava once it hit the ground miles from an…Read More »
eruption, new research suggests.
Supervolcanoes are capable of eruptions surpassing anything seen in recorded history, expelling thousands of times more magma and ash than even the biggest of modern-day eruptions. A dozen or so supervolcanoes exist today, including one sitting dormant under Yellowstone National Park in the western United States.
Declassified spy satellite imagery of Antarctica dating back to the 1960s has revealed that the world's largest ice sheet may be more susceptible to climate…Read More »
change than once thought.
East Antarctica reaches higher elevations than elsewhere on the continent and experiences some of the coldest temperatures on Earth, hitting well below zero degrees Fahrenheit throughout much of the year. As a result, a massive ice sheet has accumulated, measuring more than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) thick in some regions, holding enough water to raise global sea level by more than 160 feet (50 meters) if it were to completely melt.
Giant clusters of crescent-shaped sand dunes found not just on Earth but on other planets in the solar system might emerge when large dunes give birth…Read More »
to smaller ones, researchers say.
Crescent-shaped dunes known as barchans sprawl across vast deserts everywhere from Morocco to Mars. Typically 3 to 30 feet (1 to 10 meters) high, they can be up to some 3,300 feet (1,000 m) long in the direction the wind blows. Barchans can form on the seafloor and on ice as well — indeed, anywhere fluid (like air or water) might flow across grains of matter (like sand) that rest on top of hard, flat surfaces.
Not all squid are made alike, and the first-ever footage of one sluggish deep-sea species demonstrates just how varied these elusive animals can be. …Read More »
Grimalditeuthis bonplandi — a small, translucent squid measuring up to about 6 inches (150 millimeters) long — inhabits the deep ocean between 1,600 and 5,000 feet (500 and 1,500 meters) below the sea surface. Researchers have previously only studied it based on dead, often broken specimens captured in research trawls and the stomach contents of predators.
The U.S. National Guard has released a series of stunning cockpit videos from the aerial assault team battling the Rim Fire, which is tearing toward San…Read More »
Francisco's water supply and protected giant-sequoia groves.
The videos are from the 146th Airlift Wing, based at the Channel Islands Air National Guard Station in Port Hueneme, Calif. Viewers see a towering brown cloud of smoke and a wall of flames, and hear a blaring automatic landing-gear warning as the C-130 Hercules plane approaches the drop site for its firefighting load of retardant chemicals.
The giant panda Mei Xiang has become a proud mama, again, giving birth to a cub today (Aug. 23) at 5:23 p.m. ET at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington,…Read More »
Using the panda cams, zoo workers have been monitoring Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) every day, all day, since Aug. 7. And then at 3:36 p.m. ET today her water broke and the giant panda began having contractions.
Credit: X-ray: NASA/UMass/Q.D. Wang et al.; IR: NASA/STScI
The colossal black hole at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy is a messy eater. Of all the gas that falls toward the black hole, 99 percent gets spewed…Read More »
back out into space, new observations show, making the black hole akin to a toddler whose food ends up mostly on the floor, rather than his mouth.
The Milky Way's supermassive black hole, called Sagittarius A* (pronounced "Sagittarius A-star"), contains the mass of 4 million suns. Yet it's not getting much larger, according to the new findings, which help explain why the object is surprisingly dim.
The Colorado Plateau is a geological wonderland that encompasses 130,000 square miles (337,000 square kilometers) centered around the Four Corners area…Read More »
of the American West and within the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. It ranges in elevation from slightly over 2,000 feet (600 meters) along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon to over 12,000 feet (3,660 meters) in the Henry and La Sal Mountains of southeastern Utah. More than 90 percent of the plateau lands are drained by the Colorado River and its major tributaries, the Little Colorado, the San Juan and the Green rivers.
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