Each week we uncover the most interesting and informative articles from around the world, here are 10 of the coolest stories in science this week.
A Powerful Blast
In November 2016, astronomers watched a young star some 1,500 light-years away from Earth belch out an explosion of plasma and radiation that was roughly 10 billion times more powerful than any flare ever seen leaving Earth's sun. This sudden stellar eruption may be the most luminous known flare ever released by a young star — and it could help scientists better understand the still-murky process of star formation. [Read more about the flare.]
Lurking below more than a mile of ice in Greenland is a circular depression that was very likely left by an ancient impact with a space rock. [Read more about the crater.]
Explaining Cosmic Temperatures
Space is warm — or, at least, warmer than it should be. All across the universe, including in our own solar system, astronomers have found that the nearly empty places between the stars and galaxies and other matter contain more heat than existing knowledge can fully explain. [Read more about the waves.]
NASA's Opportunity Rover has died on Mars. The little solar-paneled robot apparently ran out of battery power during the Red Planet's awesome 2018 dust storm, and after one last attempt to contact it, NASA concluded yesterday (Feb. 13) that the far-off explorer is no more. [Read more about the rover.]
Millions of years before human beings emerged, a type of shark that grew up to 60 feet (18 meters) long prowled the oceans. Based on the fossil record, scientists suspect that O. megalodon died off about 2.6 million years ago, around the time a lot of other marine species went extinct. (Researchers even recently suggested that the mass die-off may have been the result of a nearby supernova.) [Read more about the competition.]
On Jan. 31, 2002, a vast crescent of ice about the size of Rhode Island splintered off of the coast of Antarctica and spilled a flotilla of massive, melting icebergs into the sea. By March, some 1,250 square miles (3,250 square kilometers) of ice had melted away from the continent's edge, undoing more than 10,000 years of growth and stability in a little more than a month. [Read more about the changes.]
Early Mobile Life?
About 2.1 billion years ago, a blob-like creature inched along on an early Earth. As the organism moved, it carved out tunnels, which may be the earliest evidence of a moving critter on the planet. [Read more about the fossil.]
Delving in the Deep
In the 1960s, NASA's first astronauts tested the limits of human endurance far above the planet. Meanwhile, teams of intrepid divers explored similar boundaries in an equally inhospitable environment here on Earth: the dark, numbingly cold and high-pressure depths of the ocean. [Read more about the tragedy.]
If It Booms?
You may not be able to hear it, but Earth's magnetic shield booms like a drum when it's bombarded by strong impulses, including those from solar wind, a new study finds. [Read more about the field.]
Archaeologists exploring the site of a naval battle fought 2,200 years ago between Rome and Carthage have uncovered clues to how the battle may have unfolded — as well as several mysteries. [Read more about the battles.]