A new model to explain the Moon’s weird orbit suggests a much more violent genesis

It doesn’t answer everything — but it’s a good point to start from.

Oldest oceanic crust might have been part of the Tethys Ocean 340 million years ago

An ancient oceanic slab buried beneath the Mediterranean sea might revise textbooks.

Over-consumption is more deadly to Earth’s wildlife than climate change

We use so much of everything so fast that it’s literally killing the planet.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is heating its upper atmosphere

The swirling gases could shed light on the atmosphere of other planets within and outside of our solar system.

Ancient rocks reveal causes of Earth’s greatest mass extinction event

The new findings call our current theories on the mass extinction event into question.

Gravitational pull causes some earthquakes on California’s San Andreas Fault

Despite being thousands of kilometers away, the sun and moon are behind some of the earthquakes on the Earth.

Ancient supernovae might have contributed to Earth mass extinction

Death from the heavens.

Climate change pushing clouds higher into the atmosphere, shifting them towards Earth’s poles

These movements could in turn help speed up global warming.

Earth may actually be 2 planets, new study finds

Crash boom bang! Our planet and another protoplanet may have collided head-on in their early history.

Earth rotates slower from sea-level rise: ‘Munk’s Enigma’ now solved

Scientists finally crack down a puzzle that has eluded the community for years. It seems sea level rise does indeed slow down Earth’s spin.

How the Moon got its tilt

Astronomers describe that the present-day tilt of the Moon is likely a result of collision-free encounters of the early Moon with small planetary bodies.

Biggest Planets Started out as Tiny Pebbles

Gas giants like Saturn or Jupiter may have formed not from a planetary core, but rather from tiny pebbles that stuck together. This theory would solve one of the biggest problems about our understanding of planetary formation: the timeline. The previous model was called core accretion: you have a planetary core of rock and ice that starts to attract and keep

Automated process finds three super-Earths in our neighborhood – a new way to hunt for alien planets

Using three state of the art ground-based telescopes, a team of astronomers has identified three super-Earth exoplanets that are seven to eight times as massive as our own planet and orbit their parent star closer than Mercury orbits the sun. What’s hot about the findings – apart from the planet’s likely scorching surface – is that these were made using a novel automated approach, in which one telescope called the Automated Planet Finder (APF) Telescope at Lick Observatory in California was programmed to scour the night’s sky and look for signs of nearby alien planets. These three planets are just the beginning of a new process that hopefully will return hundreds of planets in our neighborhood, all without the need for human supervision.

Scientists discover another layer in the Earth’s mantle

Most people tend to think of the Earth in terms of crust, mantle and core, and while those are indeed the largest “layers” (you can’t properly call the mantle a layer though), each one of them is made from other, thinner layers. Now, researchers from the University of Utah have identified another one of these thinner layers, 930 miles beneath our feet.

Young Jupiter Swept Through the Solar System, Destroying Super Earths

A new shocking theory suggests that Jupiter may have sweeped through our solar system much like a wrecking ball, knocking planets out of the solar system our moving them outwards, to the position we see them in today. If this is true, then it might explain why our solar system is a rarity and why life emerged the way it did.

AstroPicture of the Day: An Eclipse at the End of the World

A total solar eclipse took place on November 23, 2003; the Moon elegantly set itself in between the Sun and the Earth, but this was only visible from the Antarctic region. But that didn’t stop an enthusiastic group of photographers who went on to take some stunning pictures, including the one you see above. The image, pictured as an APOD,

There’s an ancient Earth within a new Earth, new geochemistry findings suggest

Billions of years ago, our ancient planet collided with a Mars-sized object called Theia. The impact released tremendous amounts of energy which is thought to have produced a whole mantle magma ocean, which should have erased pre-existing chemical heterogeneities within the Earth. Following the onslaught, a new Earth formed, along with the moon. New geochemical findings hint that the impact didn’t completely melt the whole planet, leaving clumps and patches intact. This ancient past is thought to still ripple in Earth’s mantle.

An animated glimpse of the Dark Side of the Moon

Because the moon is tidally-locked to Earth, we’re used to seeing our cosmic neighbor like a stationary lonesome figure. Now, NASA released an animated simulation of the moon’s phase from its so-called dark side, offering an insightful glimpse from the other side of the coin. Far side of the moon – not so dark after all Contrary to popular belief,

The thickest layer of the Earth

The Earth can be divided into four main layers: the solid crust on the outside, the mantle, the outer core and the inner core. Out of them, the mantle is the thickest layer, while the crust is the thinnest layer.

Star Trek-like shield discovered in Earth’s orbit shelters our planet from ‘killer electrons’

Many thousands of miles above our planet’s surface, electrons whiz through close to the speed of light. These electrons can streak past Earth in under five minutes, but can  also become dangerous and have been known to destroy satellites and even injure astronauts in extreme cases. Most of the time, however, our gear and astronauts can rest safe since scientists have discovered