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Geology

Science

Volcanoes: The prophetic silence before the violence

We often think of volcanoes as sleeping giants that could erupt in a rain of fire with little notice. But it turns out that restless volcanoes do, in fact, give us some notice about when they're going to blow – and it's not quite the kind of warning you'd expect. Scientists from around the world intensively monitored an active volcano in central America and say they've begun to crack the code.Read More

Space

Evidence of gargantuan asteroid strike unearthed in Australia

All it takes is a quick look up at the moon to understand what a violent place the early solar system was. All those craters are the results of asteroids smashing into the lunar surface. The Earth was likewise battered all those billions of years ago, but the evidence of many asteroid strikes has long been erased through topography changes. Researchers at Australian National University (ANU) though, have found clues to a massive asteroid that impacted our planet about 3.5 billion years ago, when the Earth was less than a quarter as old as it is now.Read More

Space

To better understand Martian geology, scientists make a cake

When NASA's Viking spacecraft touched down on the surface of Mars in 1976, one of the geologic features it observed was massive mounds inside craters. More recently, the Curiosity Mars rover got up close with one of these mounds called Mount Sharp where it landed in 2012 inside the Gale Crater. It revealed that the base of the three-mile (4.8-km)-high mound was made from sediment carried by water, while the upper layers consisted of regolith deposited by wind. To find out just how such a mixed mound could be developed, researchers created a "crater layer cake" and they popped it in a wind tunnel.Read More

Space

Geological map to shed light on Pluto's evolution

NASA scientists have compiled a geological map of a vast swathe of Pluto's surface from data harvested by the New Horizons spacecraft over the course of its July 14, 2015 flyby. It is hoped that maps like these will aid planetary scientists in unlocking the evolutionary past of the enigmatic dwarf planet.Read More

Science

Detailed seafloor gravity map brings the Earth's surface into sharp focus

Not so long ago the ocean floor was as unknown as the far side of the Moon. Now, an international team of scientists is using satellite data to chart the deep ocean by measuring the Earth's gravitational field. The result is a new, highly-detailed map that covers the three-quarters of the Earth's surface that lies underwater. The map is already providing new insights into global geology.Read More

Space

NASA reveals evidence of cryovolcanos on Pluto

NASA has identified evidence of ice volcanoes present on the surface of the dwarf planet Pluto. The news comes as New Horizon's team discusses new scientific discoveries made by the spacecraft during its July flyby, at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society, in Maryland.Read More

Energy

We may not be running out of helium after all

Helium is the second most abundant element in the Universe, but it's relatively rare on Earth – so much so that some have called for a ban on party balloons to ward off a worldwide shortage. However, a team of scientists led by Diveena Danabalan of Durham University conducted a new study that indicates that there may be vast new sources of the gas in the western mountain regions of North America.Read More

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