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Quest to drill into Earth’s mantle restarts. Jules Verne would have dug this plan: drill into the sea floor, through kilometres of the planet’s rocky crust to penetrate the denser underlying mantle.

Quest to drill into Earth’s mantle restarts

It is one of geology’s classic quests, conceived almost 60 years ago, at the peak of the plate-tectonics revolution. Since then, many have attempted it and failed. But an expedition starting this month is taking up the challenge once again. In early December, the drill ship JOIDES Resolution will depart Colombo, Sri Lanka, and head for a spot in the southwestern Indian Ocean known as Atlantis Bank. There, it will lower a drill bit and try to screw it through 1.5 kilometres of rock, collecting a core sample as it goes. Normally, the crust–mantle boundary is thought to be marked by a feature known as the Mohorovičić discontinuity, or ‘Moho’, at which seismic waves change velocity. Beneath continents, the Moho lies 30–60 kilometres down.

Moon was produced by a head-on collision between Earth and a forming planet. The moon was formed by a violent, head-on collision between the early Earth and a “planetary embryo” called Theia approximately 100 million years after the Earth formed, UCLA geochemists and colleagues report.

Moon was produced by a head-on collision between Earth and a forming planet

Scientists had already known about this high-speed crash, which occurred almost 4.5 billion years ago, but many thought the Earth collided with Theia (pronounced THAY-eh) at an angle of 45 degrees or more — a powerful side-swipe (simulated in this 2012 YouTube video). Callingallscience. Image Credit: YouTube Vsauce This video by Michael at VSauce will actually leave you thinking for awhile.


We all know nothing can move faster than the speed of light, but how is it that a shadow can ‘appear’ to move faster than the speed of light? You know that when an object casting a shadow makes a movement, the shadow immediately updates without hesitation. Even when the shadow is much larger than the object, it will still update just as quickly, apparently insinuating the shadow movement is faster than light, since it now has a greater distance to cross. Physicists Find Evidence That The Universe Is A 'Giant Brain' The idea of the universe as a 'giant brain' has been proposed by scientists - and science fiction writers - for decades.

Physicists Find Evidence That The Universe Is A 'Giant Brain'

But now physicists say there may be some evidence that it's actually true. In a sense. According to a study published in Nature's Scientific Reports, the universe may be growing in the same way as a giant brain - with the electrical firing between brain cells 'mirrored' by the shape of expanding galaxies. Hidden Superchain of Volcanoes Discovered in Australia.

Scientists have just found the world's longest chain of volcanoes on a continent, hiding in plain sight.

Hidden Superchain of Volcanoes Discovered in Australia

The newly discovered Australian volcano chain isn't a complete surprise, though: Geologists have long known of small, separate chains of volcanic activity on the island continent. However, new research reveals a hidden hotspot once churned beneath regions with no signs of surface volcanism, connecting these separate strings of volcanoes into one megachain. Life on Earth Can Thank Its Lucky Stars for Jupiter and Saturn. KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Without Jupiter and Saturn orbiting out past Earth, life may not have been able to gain a foothold on our planet, new simulations suggest.

Life on Earth Can Thank Its Lucky Stars for Jupiter and Saturn

The two gas giants likely helped stabilize the solar system, protecting Earth and the other interior, rocky planets from frequent run-ins with big, fast-moving objects, researchers said. In other words, giant planets appear to have a giant impact on giant impacts. [Moon Made by Giant Impact with Earth: New Evidence (Video)] Scientists Discuss the Effects of a Geomagnetic Field Reversal. The end of the world as we know it could come in any number of ways, depending on who you ask.

Scientists Discuss the Effects of a Geomagnetic Field Reversal

Some people believe global cataclysm will occur when Earth's magnetic poles reverse. When north goes south, they say, the continents will lurch in one direction or the other, triggering massive earthquakes, rapid climate change and species extinctions. The geologic record shows that hundreds of pole reversals have occurred throughout Earth's history; they happen when patches of iron atoms in Earth's liquid outer core become reverse-aligned, like tiny magnets oriented in the opposite direction from those around them. Hidden Superchain of Volcanoes Discovered in Australia.

Ötzi the Iceman May Have Suffered Stomach Bug. The famous Ötzi, a man murdered about 5,300 years ago in the Italian Alps, had what's now considered the world's oldest known case of Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that can cause ulcers and gastric cancer, a new study finds.

Ötzi the Iceman May Have Suffered Stomach Bug

Oxygen rise didn’t lead to evolution. 25 Pictures That Will Make You Reconsider Your Existence. Sometimes we need to just stop and think about who we are and be aware of what's around us.

25 Pictures That Will Make You Reconsider Your Existence

These twenty-five mind blowing photos will make you completely reevaluate your vision of the world. 1. This is where we all live, our Earth. via: San Andreas May Be a 'Zipper' Fault. SAN FRANCISCO — A new explanation for colliding faults could help explain mysterious fault lines that have mystified geologists for decades.

San Andreas May Be a 'Zipper' Fault

The new explanation could explain everything from the quake-prone faults of Southern California to dynamic crust beneath the snow-capped peak of K2 in the Himalayas. The theory is deceptively simple: When two faults collide, instead of one breaking past another, they may just merge, like a zipper zipping up, said John Platt, a geologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, here at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

[Photo Journal: The Gorgeous San Andreas Fault] "It may solve some long-standing and intractable problems concerning the timing and displacement on faults," Platt said in the presentation. Strange rocks Platt and his colleague Cees Passchier, a technophysicist at the University of Mainz in Germany, were looking at a strange rock formation called Cap de Creus in Spain. Simple solution Simple but powerful. This timeline shows the entire history of the Universe, and where it's headed. And just like that, it's December again - a time to reflect on the good, the bad, and the disproportionately long things that 2015 brought. That last one is easy, because by far, the most disproportionately long thing 2015 has given us is this infographic right here, which just keeps going and going and going. Which makes sense, because we're talking about the entire lifespan of the Universe, from the moment of the Big Bang to the 'heat death' of everything we know and love.

Created by Slovak graphic designer Martin Vargic, the Timeline of the Universe covers the past 13.8 billion years of space, and then plots out what's likely to occur in the next 10 billion or so. He's even separated everything out into things that affect space, Earth, life, and humanity, just so you can really easily see what's going to hit us the hardest in our end of days. Einstein's Big Idea. Text version of audio clips Download audio clipsNima Arkani-Hamed (464K)Janet Conrad (528K)Sheldon Glashow (820K)Brian Greene (756K)Alan Guth (608K)Tim Halpin-Healy (732K)Lene Hau (416K)Michio Kaku (388K)Neil deGrasse Tyson (880K)Frank Wilczek (372K) Download help This feature was produced by Lexi Krock and David Levin, with audio editing by Mr. Levin. BuzzFeed Blue. Hidden Superchain of Volcanoes Discovered in Australia. Oldest Neanderthal DNA Found in Italian Skeleton. The calcite-encrusted skeleton of an ancient human, still embedded in rock deep inside a cave in Italy, has yielded the oldest Neanderthal DNA ever found.

These molecules, which could be up to 170,000 years old, could one day help yield the most complete picture yet of Neanderthal life, researchers say. Although modern humans are the only remaining human lineage, many others once lived on Earth. The closest extinct relatives of modern humans were the Neanderthals, who lived in Europe and Asia until they went extinct about 40,000 years ago. Recent findings revealed that Neanderthals interbred with ancestors of today's Europeans when modern humans began spreading out of Africa — 1.5 to 2.1 percent of the DNA of anyone living outside Africa today is Neanderthal in origin.

[Image Gallery: Our Closest Human Ancestor] Life May Have Begun 4.1 Billion Years Ago on an Infant Earth. Life may have emerged on Earth 4.1 billion years ago, much earlier than scientists had thought, and relatively soon after the planet formed, researchers say. Previous research suggested life may have arisen on Earth 3.83 billion years ago. The new findings suggest life started 270 million years earlier, and only about 440 million years after Earth formed about 4.54 billion years ago. If life on Earth did spring up relatively quickly, that suggests life could be abundant in the universe, scientists added. "The faster life arises on Earth, the more varied and possibly extreme are the conditions in which it can do so elsewhere and be sustained," study co-author Mark Harrison, a geochemist at the University of California, Los Angeles, told Live Science. [7 Wild Theories for the Origin of Life on Earth] Old rocks.

Creationist Nightmare Comes True: Scientists Discover ‘Missing Link’ to Life’s Origins! Scientists have come one step closer to figuring out how life on earth began, and it has creationists in a tizzy. Researchers say they’ve found the missing link to the origin of life. The new research, involving two studies led by Charles Carter and Richard Wolfenden from the University of North Caronlina, suggests a way for RNA to control the production of proteins by working with simple amino acids that does not require the more complex enzymes that exist today.

Planet Earth: Facts About Its Orbit, Atmosphere & Size. Earth, our home, is the third planet from the sun. 7-Million-Year-Old Fossils Show How the Giraffe Got Its Long Neck. For years, there has been scant fossil evidence showing how the giraffe evolved to have such an admirably long neck. The tardigrade genome has been sequenced, and it has the most foreign DNA of any animal. Earth's Geomagnetic Field Intensity is Double the Historical Average. Artistic impression of latitudinally more widespread aurora as an expected consequence of geomagnetic field strength much lower than today’s. Image: Huapei Wang (with material courtesy of NASA’s Earth Observatory) and edited by MIT News New research from MIT shows that the Earth’s geomagnetic field intensity is double the long-term historical average, indicating that the current field intensity has a long way to fall before reaching an unstable level that would lead to a reversal.

How Did Earth Get Its Name? Plague in humans 'twice as old' but didn't begin as flea-borne, ancient DNA reveals. New research using ancient DNA has revealed that plague has been endemic in human populations for more than twice as long as previously thought, and that the ancestral plague would have been predominantly spread by human-to-human contact—until genetic mutations allowed Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis), the bacteria that causes plague, to survive in the gut of fleas. Leif Erikson Day and other history we get wrong. This Face Changes the Human Story. But How? A trove of bones hidden deep within a South African cave represents a new species of human ancestor, scientists announced Thursday in the journal eLife. Homo naledi, as they call it, appears very primitive in some respects—it had a tiny brain, for instance, and apelike shoulders for climbing. But in other ways it looks remarkably like modern humans. Pluto Probe Starts Beaming Home 'Treasure Trove' of Flyby Data.

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has begun beaming home the best data from its epic July Pluto flyby. On July 14, New Horizons became the first probe ever to fly by Pluto, zooming within 7,800 miles (12,550 kilometers) of the dwarf planet's enigmatic surface. New Horizons sent some images and measurements back to its handlers immediately after the encounter, but stored the vast majority onboard for later transmission.

That transmission — which involves tens of gigabits of information — began in earnest on Saturday (Sept. 5) and should take about a year to complete, mission team members said. Watch: 3D scan of Earth’s interior shows what lies underneath volcanoes. Scientists have used the seismic data of 273 strong earthquakes over the past 20 years to create a high-resolution 3D map that shows how plumes of hot rock stretch from Earth’s mantle to volcanic hotspots like Hawaii and Samoa. Scientists Find Something Very Bizarre Behind Pluto. Pluto Probe Starts Beaming Home 'Treasure Trove' of Flyby Data. What Does E=mc2 Truly Mean?

Is Earth as Special as We Think? Evolution in Action: Lizard Moving From Eggs to Live Birth. How Undersea Enigmas Reproduced Before the Dawn of Sex. DNA Testing Proves Native American Genealogy To Be Among The Most Unique In The World. It's Official: The Universe Is Dying Slowly. Oldest Human DNA Reveals Mysterious Branch of Humanity. Origin-of-Life Story May Have Found Its Missing Link. Here Is TV – Daily Primetime Recommendations. Photo Timeline: How the Earth Formed. Mysterious Earthen Rings Predate Amazon Rainforest. Dark matter map begins to reveal the universe's early history. Plague Evolution: How a Mild Stomach Bug Became a Worldwide Killer. How Was the Sun Formed? Continents Rose Above Oceans 3 Billion Years Ago. Modern Human Possibly Had Neanderthal 'Great-Great-Grandparent' CIUDAD SERDAN, Mexico: As globe warms, melting glaciers revealing more than bare earth.

New paper explains what REALLY happens if you touch a black hole. Scientists gain 'unprecedented' insight into a 25,000-year-old earthquake. The Moon's Puzzling Dust Cloud Finally Yields an Answer. Experiment explains why quantum behaviour doesn’t occur in everyday life. Quantum Theory Proves Consciousness Moves To Another Universe At Death. Charged Particles Play Surprising Role in Comet's Eruptions. This is how blue eyes get their colour. 7 Theories on the Origin of Life. Origin-of-Life Story May Have Found Its Missing Link. Big Bang Theory, Expanding & Accelerating Universe. Interactive Map Lets You Find Dinosaur Tracks, Extinct Volcanoes. Mystery Human Species, Facts Emerge From Denisovan Genome AnonHQ. Fossil Teeth Suggest Humans Played Role in Neanderthal Extinction. Big Bang, Expanding & Accelerating Universe. 6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America.

Biblical Marriage Not Defined Simply As One Man, One Woman: Iowa Religious Scholars' Op-Ed. Meet Little Foot, the 3.67 Million-Year-Old Human Ancestor. 49 Maps That Explain The USA For Dummies. Wandering Jupiter accounts for our unusual solar system. Beaked Whale Fossil Shows When Humans Became Bipedal. Scientists solve the 'chicken and the egg' conundrum for life’s beginnings. Surprise! Canadian Double Crater Formed by 2 Separate Impact Events. Earth - The world's most deadly volcanoes. The Moon's History Is Surprisingly Complex, Chinese Rover Finds. The anthropocene era of man's dominance began in 1610, claim scientists - Science - News - The Independent. The helical model - our Galaxy is a vortex.

How Did the Code Of Life Pass Through Primitive Cells? Big History Project. Io9 - We come from the future. Strange Comet Discoveries Revealed by Rosetta Spacecraft. How Did Life Become Complex, and Could It Happen Beyond Earth? Secret Life of Michio Kaku Every childhood is... Amateur footage of the Earth opening and closing during Japanese earthquake. Here's the tiny human twig in the Tree of Life. Did Gravity Save the Universe from 'God Particle' Higgs Boson?


How much water and air sustains the Earth? Vikings did not dress the way we thought. 5 Signs You Might Be a Viking. Scientists have found the oldest known Earth-sized planet in the Milky Way.