Geology

Scientists have finally climbed to the bottom of one of Siberia’s mysterious holes

siberian hole

Scientists have finally climbed to the bottom of one of Siberia’s mysterious holes, and they have come up with some interesting information – and some amazing pics. In case you’re not up to date, scientists started observing some mysterious craters in Siberia. The pseudoscience media had a field day – and so did conspiracy theorists. Could it be aliens? War…

Geology, News, Space

Moving closer to life on Mars: Curiosity Rover identifies its first mineral

The Curiosity Rover. Image credits: NASA/JPL.

For the first time in its mission to study Mars and the potential for life on it, the Curiosity Rover has identified a mineral. The rover took samples by drilling in a Martian mountain and was then able to make the identification. The mineral in case is called hematite. Hematite is an iron oxide (Fe2O3) – one of several iron…

Biology, Geology, News

Turtle fossil unearthed in New Mexico

n this undated photo, people from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History pictured from left to right, fossil preparer Tom Suazo, geosciences collections manager Amanda Cantrell, volunteer Jake Sayler and student researcher Asher Lichtig excavate a turtle fossil east of Turtleback Mountain, N.M., a well-known peak near Truth or Consequences. The fossilized remains of the turtle are believed to have lived in a swampy environment tens of millions of years ago. (AP Photo/The Las Cruces Sun-News, Robin Zielinski)

Fossil hunting can be exciting and highly rewarding, but sometimes, fossils are also found through a fluke. Jeff Dornbusch, a volunteer with the Truth or Consequences museum in southern New Mexico (a museum of local history and tradition), was taking a hike on his day off when he stumbled on what he initially thought was a pile of rocks. “I never really…

Geology, Space

The Martian Polygons – An evidence for former Seafloors?

Water on Mars

Intricate polygons on Mars could be a clear indication of a wet past for the Red Planet. Most crater floor polygons have diameters ranging from 15 to 350 m, and it’s still not clear how and why they appeared – though one theory seems to be gaining ground: the idea of former lake beds. Polygons are some of the most common…

Climate, Geology, News

This Globe Trotting geologist will help us better understand Climate Change

Hima Hassenruck-Gudipati (BS '14) on a backpacking trip along the Tour de Mont Blanc, one of the most popular long distance walks in Europe.

Hima Hassenruck-Gudipati graduated this year from Caltech. She majored in mechanical engineering but minored in geology and her main area of interest was seeing how green technology and engineering can help mitigate the effects of climate change. Now, she has embarked on a global quest to understand the past, the present, and the future of climate change. When Caltech wrote this article…

Biology, Geology, News

Scientists find life at 20 km deep

Photo credit: Philippa Stoddard. A hundred million years ago this outcrop is thought to have been 20km down, yet it still contains evidence of life.

A Yale undergrad may force us to rewrite geology and biology books, after reporting a find which suggests that life can exist much deeper than currently believed, at temperatures at which DNA is barely stable. Geologists found carbon isotopes in rocks on Washington state’s South Lopez Island; these isotopes suggest the minerals grew from fluids flush with microbial methane. Microbial methane…

Biology, Geology, News

Megalodon extinction paved the way for whale development

megalodon.

Megalodon is quite possibly the most dangerous predator to ever live in the Earth’s waters in the recent geological history – roaming the seas between 28 to 1-3 million years ago. We’re still not sure why it went extinct, but a recent study suggests that its extinction paved the way for whales to grow more and more, reaching the enormous sizes we…

Biology, Geology

Fossils Reveal “Beer-Bellied” Dinosaur

Image via Scientific American.

It was about as big as T-Rex, but not quite as fit – new fossils have revealed that Deinocheirus mirificus had quite a beer belly. “This is an entirely new body plan” for such dinosaurs, says Stephen Brusatte, a vertebrate palaeontologist at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Indeed, few scientists would have imagined such a scientific appearance. The first fossils of Deinocheirus mirificus (which means ‘unusual…

Geology, News, Physics

Earth’s magnetic field could flip within a human lifetime

Earth's magnetic field is shown in midreversal.COURTESY OF GARY A. GLATZMAIER University of California, Santa Cruz, AND PAUL H. ROBERTS University of California, Los Angeles

Geologists have known for quite a while that the Earth’s magnetic field has flipped many times throughout the planet’s history. Its dipole magnetic field, like that of a bar magnet maintains the same intensity, but for unknown reason(s), it sometimes becomes weaker and changes polarity. Now, a new study has showed that this phenomenon could happen much faster than previously believed –…

Geology, News, Space

Ancient Magma found on the Moon, below the Dark Spots

uried rift features, detected through gravity mapping, are seen superimposed on a full moon. Image credits: KOPERNIK OBSERVATORY/NASA/COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES/MIT/JPL/GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER

Scientists have discovered an almost rectangular feature consisting of ancient magma. The features are similar to rifts here on Earth, a linear zone where the Earth’s crust and lithosphere are being pulled apart. However, since the Moon doesn’t have any plate tectonics to cause rifts, the origin of this magma is still questionable. Magma on the Moon Several kilometers below the…