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Image via NOAA.

Have we been wrong about life’s origin?

For 90 years, science’s favorite explanation for the origin of life has been the “primordial soup”. But recent research adds weight to an alternative idea.

Image via NASA.

A new normal for Arctic sea ice?

“A decade ago, this year’s sea ice extent would have set a new record low …Now, we’re kind of used to these low levels of sea ice – it’s the new normal.”

August 24, 2016 earthquake in Italy. Image via USGS.

Strong earthquakes rock Italy overnight

Dozens reported killed, and over 150 missing, in the earthquakes that shook Italy in the early morning of August 24. Searches ongoing.

Kit Delauriers describes her self as a ski mountaineer. Image via The North Face.

Tallest peak in the US Arctic is …

No one knew whether Mount Chamberlin or Mount Isto was taller. Now an aerial study – and a ski mountaineer – declare a winner.

Path of 2017 total solar eclipse, via Fred Espenak.

Total eclipse of sun: August 21, 2017

One year from today … the 1st total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous U.S. since 1979. Start planning now!

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 9.17.38 AM

Way-cute googly-eyed stubby squid

It’s purple! An underwater research team spotted this guy off the coast of California.

Seventy six of 77 atmospheric scientists responding to a survey agree these are contrails, not "chemtrails."

Atmospheric scientists say ‘no chemtrails’

Is there a large-scale, secret program to spray chemicals into Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in “chemtrails?” Leading atmospheric scientists just say no.

Imag via Marie Mongognia Burns

How sunflowers follow the sun

New research on how sunflowers use their internal circadian clocks to face east in the morning and follow the sun during the day.


Squirrel takes GoPro: Best POV ever

Ever wonder what squirrels see as they scamper through the treetops? Wonder no more.


Goblin shark video, Greenland shark news

Japanese scientists utilize dramatic video to understand how goblin sharks feed. Danish scientists show that Greenland sharks can live to be nearly 400 years old!

Image via Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

More than 450 volcanoes in Ring of Fire

The Pacific’s Ring of Fire has 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes, plus it’s prone to powerful earthquakes. Here’s why.

Image Credit: Jeffdelonge

Say hello to the death’s-head hawkmoth

It’s the insect star of The Silence of the Lambs.

Polar bear in Svalbard, Norway. Image via Arturo de Frias Marques

Polar bears’ biggest threat is ice loss

Hunting used to be the biggest threat to polar bear survival. Not anymore.

Flickr user Mark Gunn caught this humpback whale in Monterey Bay, off the coast of California, on March 27, 2016. He said the whale's flukes (tail) spanned 15 feet (4.5 meters).

Humpback whales, heroes of the sea?

Humpback whales appear to rescue not just their own species, but also other whale species, seals and sea lions from attacks by killer whales.


Upside down rainbow-like arcs

Circumzenithal arcs have been described as an “upside down rainbow” or “a grin in the sky.” They’re wonderful! See photos here.

Camp Century doubled as a top-secret site for testing the feasibility of deploying nuclear missiles from the Arctic during the Cold War.

Ice melt may release Cold War-era toxins

Formerly secret Camp Century in Greenland was abandoned beneath ice and snow. But the ice is melting, and biological, chemical and nuclear waste may be released as early as 2090.


First map of thawing under Greenland ice

Greenland’s ice sheet insulates its own bottom layer, which is warmed from below by Earth’s heat. Which bottom layers are now thawed, and which are still frozen?

Image via Michelle's blue planet

Lifeform of the week: Sea stars

You call them starfish? They’re brilliant by any name.

Image via Sarah2 / shutterstock / theconversation

Parakeet takeover ahead?

“Parakeets are Britain’s fastest growing bird population and are on a trajectory to global domination.”

July 30, 2016. Image via NASA

California wildfire from space

For 11 days, the Soberanes fire has been burning near the California coast between Monterey and Big Sur. Here are some satellite views.