The Fossilised Machines Humans Will Leave Behind

In the debut issue of a new journal called The Anthropocene Review, University of Leicester geologist Jan Zalasiewicz leads a team of five writers in discussing the gradual fossilisation of human artefacts, including industrial machines, everyday objects, and even whole cities. They refer to these as "technofossils," and they're destined to form a whole new layer of the earth's surface. Read More >>

NASA Astronomer Finds First Earth-Sized Planet in Habitable Zone

The search for a new Earth outside the solar system may be nearing its end. NASA's Ames Research Center astronomer Thomas Barclay has found a planet almost the same size of Earth in the habitable zone of a star in the Milky Way. Read More >>

The Earth Was Almost Fried Back in 2012

A massive solar storm in July 2012 was more intense than thought—and it blasted right through the Earth's orbit. Luckily for us, we were on the other side of the sun, thus missing the chaos completely. But if that storm had hit this beautiful little blue marble in space? "The solar bursts would have enveloped Earth in magnetic fireworks matching the largest magnetic storm ever reported on Earth, the so-called Carrington event of 1859," Science Daily reports. Read More >>

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Marvel at These 10 Amazing Geological Formations

Chocolate hills, fairy chimneys, stone forests—this isn't a children's story, but a selection of the most impressive geological features in the world. Read More >>

Why the Same Side of the Moon Always Faces the Earth

One Moon "day" is approximately 29.5 Earth days. This rotation coincides with its orbit around the Earth so that we only see about 59 per cent of the surface of the Moon from Earth. When the Moon first formed, its rotational speed and orbit were very different than they are now. Over time, the Earth's gravitational field gradually slowed the Moon's rotation until the orbital period and the rotational speed stabilised, making one side of the Moon always face the Earth. Read More >>

The Moon Setting Behind Earth as a Storm of Light Roars in Australia

Koichi Wakata—a Japanese astronaut now on board the International Space Station—just shared this incredible photo of the "Moon setting on the blue Earth atmosphere". Read More >>

This is the Oldest Fragment of Earth Ever Found

You're looking at the oldest fragment of Earth ever found: a zircon 4.375 billion years old, something that has deep implications in our understanding of the planet's formation. While some scientists said other samples weren't genuine, new research just published in the journal Nature Geoscience proves that this is the real McCoy. Read More >>

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What Would Happen if Earth Stopped Spinning?

Remember how in Superman Christopher Reeve spun Earth backwards to go back in time and save Lois? Turns out, he probably shouldn't have done that, because slowing the Earth's rotation to a stop would seriously mess with everything on our planet, as Earth Unplugged explains. Not cool, Superman. Read More >>

The Best Science Visualisations of the Year

From microscopic coral to massive planets, the natural world is full of beauty on a scale that can only be seen with the aid of a microscope or a telescope. The winners of the 11th annual International Science and Engineering Visualisation Challenge have been announced—sponsored by the journal Science and the U.S. National Science Foundation—letting us zoom in to microscopic scales and zoom out onto planetary scales. Read More >>

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This Stunning Picture of the Earth's Atmosphere is Better Than Sci-Fi

This image may look like the opening scene from a high-budget sci-fi film, but it is in fact a real photograph, snapped by astronaut Koichi Wakata from the International Space Station. Read More >>

Using ​a 3D Scanner to Explore the Labyrinths of Soil Beneath Our Feet

Researchers at Scotland's Abertay University are getting a brand new look at the seemingly nondescript world hidden in plain sight—the soil beneath our feet. Read More >>

This Combination of Volcanic Smog and Sunglint is Stunning

You're looking at a picture of the Vanuatu Archipelago in Australia, shrouded in vog—a word used to describe the kind of volcanic smog which is formed when gases from a volcano react with sunlight, oxygen and moisture. Read More >>

How the Circumference of Earth Was Accurately Estimated 2000 Years Ago

Born around 276 B.C. in Cyrene, Libya, Eratosthenes soon became one of the most famous mathematicians of his time. He is best known for making the first recorded measurement of the Earth's circumference, which was also remarkably accurate. (And, yes, people at that point had known for some time that the world wasn't flat, contrary to popular belief.) Read More >>

These Rainbow Mountains are China's Secret Geological Wonder

At the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu, China, tourists flock to see China's own version of the Grand Canyon: A mountain range of densely packed layers of minerals and rock that are dramatically striated into a layer cake of magenta, maroon, and lemon-coloured stone. Read More >>

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Become Entranced by These Technicolour Winds Swirling Around Earth

Earth from above is a beautiful sight and, apart from cats and porn, there's almost nothing the internet likes more at the moment than data visualisations. Combine the two and you've got solid gold—or in Earth's case, a stunning, technicolour look at global wind and weather conditions. Read More >>

Watch a Huge, Newly Discovered Asteroid Almost Graze Earth

This beautiful tracking video shows Asteroid 2013 XY8 buzzing by our planet on Tuesday night. It's estimated to be up to 230 feet across, more than three times the size of the Chelyabinsk asteroid that caused havoc earlier this year. And we only discovered it four days ago. This could have been hairy. Read More >>


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