Segmented rod-like structure in a rock.

Did ancient Earth life escape our solar system?

You’ve heard of panspermia, the idea that life exists throughout space and was carried to Earth by comets? What if the reverse occurred, with microbes on Earth ejected into space by asteroid impacts, escaping into the solar system billions of years ago?

This ancient rhino roamed the Yukon

Fossils suggest that a long-extinct cousin of today’s rhinoceroses tromped through the forests of Northwest Canada roughly 8 to 9 million years ago.

Watch what happens when scientists excavate a giant anthill

In this video clip, scientists pump concrete into a giant abandoned ant colony, then excavate the colony to reveal the intricate complexity of its inner structure. A must-see.

Man standing in the center of a giant crystal doughnut.

Scientists study world’s biggest geode

Scientists recently studied the formation of the huge crystals inside the giant geode of Pulpí, located deep in a Spanish mine. They revealed the natural process that grew the crystals, ripening them over thousands of years and making them literally crystal clear.

Hillside landscape with evergreen trees and yellow-leafed trees.

Why don’t evergreen trees change color and drop their leaves?

As temperatures drop, broad-leafed deciduous trees – think maples and oaks – withdraw the green chlorophyll from their leaves. Their leaves turn colors and fall. Evergreens solve the problem of winter in a different way.

Face of a fierce-looking owl.

Night vision specialists: cats, bats, and owls

Three spooky Halloween animals see better at night than we do. Here’s how they do it.

Deep-sea nightmares and other ocean spookiness

Eerie denizens of the ocean depths star in this video from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

Streak of light in a dark sky heading downward toward Earth.

Did an asteroid collision cause abrupt Earth cooling?

What kicked off a rapid cooling on Earth 12,800 years ago? Some geologists believe a fragmented comet or asteroid collided with Earth and caused the change. Read more from a scientist whose fieldwork at a South Carolina lake adds to the growing pile of evidence.

Animation shows contrast between August 2018 and August 2019 fires on a map of the whole Earth.

Is Earth on fire?

The European Space Agency was asking this question late last week, as multiple fires burned across the globe. Read more about 2019 fires, and fire-tracking via satellite, here.

White bird on a branch.

Listen to the world’s loudest bird

Biologists report that the white bellbird, which lives in the mountains of the Amazon, has shattered the record for the world’s loudest bird.

NOAA’s US winter weather outlook

NOAA has issued its winter 2019-2020 outlook for temperature, precipitation and drought for the US, including Alaska and Hawaii.

A tall ice cliff, with cracks indicating a calfing of the ice into the sea soon.

Ice cliffs in Antarctica might not contribute to extreme sea-level rise in this century

A 2016 study suggested tall ice cliffs along Antarctica’s coast might collapse rapidly under their own weight and contribute to more than 6 feet of sea-level rise by 2100. Now, MIT researchers have found this prediction may be overestimated.

Humpback whale.

Humpback whale population on the rise

After a near-miss with extinction, a population of humpback whales in the South Atlantic has rebounded.

Green and orange ball, with an irregular blue center.

2019 ozone hole smallest since its discovery

Thanks to abnormal weather patterns in the upper atmosphere over Antarctica, this year’s ozone hole is the smallest since the ozone hole was 1st observed in 1982.

A long and wide crack in a glacier, showing sea water in the crack.

New cracks in Pine Island Glacier are getting longer

The new rifts appeared soon after last year’s major calving of iceberg B46, which is about 3 times the size of New York’s Manhattan island. Satellite monitoring suggests a new iceberg of similar proportions will soon be calved.

Snow-capped mountains.

Researchers investigate dramatic melt of glaciers in Peru

Glaciers are melting in many places on Earth today. But glacier loss in the Peruvian Andes is happening particularly rapidly. New research reports a reduction of almost 30% between 2000 and 2016.

The last mammoths died on a remote island

A new study suggests that about 4,000 years ago, a combination of isolation, extreme weather, and the arrival of humans on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean killed off Earth’s last population of mammoths.

How deep is the ocean?

On average the ocean is 2.3 miles (3.7 km) deep, but many parts are much shallower or deeper. In the deepest zones, life forms have adapted to live in the dark, under crushing water pressure.

Why leaves change color in fall

The vivid yellows and oranges of autumn leaves are there throughout spring and summer, but hidden.

These giant croc-like carnivores terrorized Triassic dinosaurs

Researchers have identified fossil remains as belonging to rauisuchians, predatory crocodile-like animals that fed on early dinosaurs and mammal relatives 210 million years ago.