Earth

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It Turns Out Venus Is Not Our Closest Neighbor

On average, that is

(Newser) - File this one away for bar trivia night: The planet closest to Earth is not Venus. So say researchers in a paper in Physics Today touting the new mathematical method they devised that spit out the true nearest neighbor when distance is averaged over time: Mercury. And here's the... More »

Gotcha: Japanese Spacecraft Shoots Asteroid, Takes Sample

The mission will help scientists learn more about the formation of the solar system

(Newser) - In an audacious space success, a Japanese probe cruised to an asteroid 170 million miles away, fired a bullet into its surface, and collected samples from the bits that flew off. Around 6:30pm EST on Feb. 21, team members from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency gave the order to... More »

For Earth's Magnetic Field, a Rare Update

Northern pole is moving faster than expected, forcing change in navigational models

(Newser) - Attention anyone who navigates by compass, be they shipping companies, aircraft, or uber-serious hikers: North may not be where you think it is. The magnetic north, that is. Nature reports that the Earth's northern magnetic pole has moved so quickly since the last update of an official guide known... More »

Earth's Oldest Known Color Is Found

It's 1.1 billion years old, and pink

(Newser) - Billion-year-old rocks pulled from deep below the Sahara Desert have revealed the earliest colored molecules found on Earth. They aren't black, brown, or even green. Instead, think pink. Nur Gueneli of Australian National University was examining molecules from crushed rocks discovered a decade ago by an oil company drilling... More »

By This New Measure, Plants Rule the Earth

They outweigh all other life on the planet, by a mile

(Newser) - A first-of-its-kind study reveals that humans make up a minuscule portion of life on the planet. As in 0.01%, reports the Guardian . The flip side of that? Despite the scant figure, humans have reshaped the animal kingdom, helping wipe out about 83% of mammals and half of all plants... More »

This Is the Longest Line You Can Sail Without Hitting Land

It goes more than 19K miles, from Pakistan to Russia

(Newser) - Feel like getting away on the open sea for a long while? Get yourself a boat and head to Pakistan's coastal town of Sonmiani. From there, you can embark on the longest sailable straight line possible, reaching Russia's Karaginsky District some 19,940 miles away, according to researchers.... More »

Earth's Hum Heard as Never Before

Scientists capture it on ocean floor for the first time

(Newser) - The Earth hums , and scientists have for the first time recorded the sound in the ocean. Using seismometers in the Indian Ocean, researchers picked up on the sound that is way, way too low for mere human ears to hear, reports Live Science . No recording is available, but a Columbia... More »

Geologists Spot a Pattern, Predict Big Quakes in 2018

Whenever the Earth's rotation slows, as it is now, an increase in major quakes follows

(Newser) - Two geologists may have spotted a surprisingly simple correlation that can help predict earthquakes—and if they're correct, the Earth is on track for an uptick in major quakes next year. The pair pored over a century's worth of a data on earthquakes and detected a pattern: When... More »

Researchers May Have Found Earliest Evidence of Life

Scientists say rocks in Canada have traces going back 4B years

(Newser) - Japanese researchers think they may have found the earliest evidence of life on Earth on rocks in Canada. In their study in Nature , the scientists from the University of Tokyo say they detected telltale traces of material left behind by decomposing organisms 3.95 billion years ago, reports the CBC... More »

Flashes Spotted by Carl Sagan Are Finally Explained

They're caused by floating ice crystals, says a new NASA study

(Newser) - About 25 years ago, astronomer Carl Sagan and his team noticed something a little odd about images coming back from the Galileo spacecraft: They showed glints of light seemingly coming from Earth. Now, a NASA study appears to have cracked the source of the mystery: floating ice crystals. In a... More »

Part of Earth's Original Crust Found in Canada

4.3B years of history lie in new discovery

(Newser) - Remnants of the planet’s original crust have been unearthed in Quebec, according to a study in Science . The remnants date back about 4.3 billion years and were found embedded in younger granite near Hudson Bay, reports Live Science . While the granite itself is only 2.7 billion years... More »

New Satellite Sends Back 'Jaw-Dropping' Images of Earth

GOES-16 lifted off from Cape Canaveral last November

(Newser) - GOES-16, the fancy new satellite developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is sending its first photos back to Earth since it lifted off from Cape Canaveral on Nov. 19, and the high-res results are causing astronomers and meteorologists to squeal with delight. One developer compared it to seeing... More »

This New Map Crushes the One We've Relied On Since 1569

Most proportional map ever?

(Newser) - Portraying all the contents of a spherical Earth on a flat, two-dimensional piece of paper is notoriously difficult, which is why we've relied on, for more than four centuries, a map that inaccurately shows Greenland, Alaska, and Antarctica as imposingly huge. But now a new map by Japanese artist... More »

Paul Allen's Massive Space Project Is 76% Done

Microsoft co-founder is building the world's biggest plane

(Newser) - Paul Allen, billionaire earthling and co-founder of Microsoft, has long been obsessed with space, and his pet project Stratolaunch Systems is beginning to bear fruit. The Washington Post reports that Stratolaunch, shaping up to be the world's largest airplane, is now 76% assembled—no small accomplishment given the sheer... More »

'Embryo' Planet Plowed Into Earth, Creating Moon —and Stayed

New study suggests Earth is made up of 2 planets that fused in violent collision

(Newser) - Scientists already know that roughly 4.5 billion years ago planet Earth was violently smacked into by another mass —Theia, a so-called "planetary embryo" that was still forming and may have been just as large as Earth. But now UCLA researchers report that the collision was not a... More »

There's a Legit Group That Wants Humans to Go Extinct

Yes, Les U. Knight wishes you were never born

(Newser) - Ever stop and think the planet would be a better place if humans weren't around? Les U. Knight came to that conclusion long ago, and unlike you, he's doing something about it. He's the founder of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, which aims to rid Earth of... More »

NASA: The World Will Continue Past Sept. 28

Agency crushes Internet rumor that asteroid strike is coming

(Newser) - It's your prerogative should you choose to live the next month of your life like it's your last, but the majority of us will live to see October, NASA says. The words of encouragement come after Internet rumors sparked fear that an asteroid strike, allegedly due between Sept.... More »

Today Marks a Grim Day for Planet Earth

We just used up a year's worth of natural resources in 8 months

(Newser) - Happy "overshoot day." Eight months into 2015, the global population has used up a year's supply of natural resources, meaning we're now in "ecological debt," reports the Guardian , via the Global Footprint Network . The GFN measures "humanity's annual demand for the goods... More »

NASA Scores Rarely Seen View of the Moon

From a million miles away, no less

(Newser) - NASA has a new toy in space, and it's already delivered an awe-inspiring view of the moon and Earth. The space agency has produced a GIF—see it here —of the moon passing in front of our planet. A few things make it unique: The view is taken... More »

How Earth Looks From 1M Miles Away

Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite snaps a beauty

(Newser) - Not bad for a four megapixel shot, right? NASA has released its first photo taken from a million miles away on the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite, NASA.gov reports. Shot on July 6, the pretty image snapped by the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) shows clouds swirling around Central... More »

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