Tag Archives | earth


Biodiversity backflip on warming climate

The notion that the planet’s warming climate will result in widespread extinctions has been challenged by a new study that suggests that biodiversity on Earth generally increases as the planet warms. The study, by scientists from the Universities of York, Glasgow and Leeds, involved the analysis of fossil and geological records going back 540 million […]

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No shortage of neo-Earths

One of astronomy’s current goals is to determine the number of sun-like stars that have an earth-like planet. Now, a new guesstimate from the University of California – Berkeley published in Science puts that number at a very high 1-in-4. To arrive at the 1-in-4 figure, UC Berkeley astronomers Andrew Howard and Geoffrey Marcy chose […]

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Prehistoric “terror bird” jabbed prey like a boxer

Andalgalornis couldn’t fly, but it used its unusually large, rigid skull – together with a hawk-like hooked beak – for a fighting strategy reminiscent of boxer Muhammad Ali. The agile creature repeatedly attacked and retreated, landing well-targeted, hatchet-like jabs to take down its prey, say researchers who have been examining fossils of this ancient “terror […]

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Astronomers cop an eyeful of giant planet’s demise

An international group of astrophysicists have been documenting how the massive exoplanet known as WASP-12b is being stretched, distorted and slowly destroyed by its host star. According to the astronomers, the slow-mo destruction represents a one-of-a-kind opportunity to observe how a planet enters the final stage of its life. “This is the first time that […]

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Meteorites Spiced Up Primordial Soup

The primordial organic soup that spawned life on Earth may have gotten some special ingredients from outer space, according to scientists at the Carnegie Institution. Their study, appearing in Meteoritics and Planetary Science, reports concentrations of amino acids in two meteorites that are more than ten times higher than levels previously measured in other similar […]

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Between The Sheets

Life on Earth may have begun as an organic mash in the protected spaces inside of layers of the mineral mica, according to a new hypothesis developed by Helen Hansma, a research scientist with the University of California, Santa Barbara. Hansma proposes that the narrow confined spaces between the thin layers of mica could have […]

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Planets Like Earth May Be Common

Astrobiologists disagree about whether advanced life is common or rare in our universe. But new research suggests that one thing is pretty certain – if an Earthlike world with significant water is needed for advanced life to evolve, there could be many candidates. In 44 computer simulations of planet formation near a sun, astronomers found […]

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Different Dinosaur Death Theory Erupts

The extinction of the dinosaurs – thought to be caused by an asteroid impact some 65 million years ago – was more likely to have been caused by a ‘mantle plume’ – a huge volcanic eruption from deep within the earth’s mantle, the region between the crust and the core of the earth. This theory, […]

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