Continents on Ancient Earth Were Created by Giant Meteorite Impacts, Scientists Find

Continents on Ancient Earth Were Created by Giant Meteorite Impacts, Scientists Find

To date, Earth is the only planet we know of that has continents. Exactly how they formed and evolved is unclear, but we do know – because the edges of continents thousands of miles apart match up – that, at one time long ago, Earth’s landmass was concentrated in one big supercontinent. Since that’s not … Read more

Unexpected Solar Wind Stream Hits Earth at 372 Miles Per Second

Unexpected Solar Wind Stream Hits Earth at 372 Miles Per Second

On Sunday, Earth’s magnetic field was pelted by a solar wind stream reaching velocities of more than 600 kilometers (372 miles) per second. While that’s nothing too alarming – solar storms often pummel our planet triggering spectacular auroras – what is weird is that this storm was totally unexpected. “This event was not in the … Read more

Scientists baffled as Earth spins faster than usual

Scientists baffled as Earth spins faster than usual

Scientists have been left baffled after discovering the Earth is spinning faster than normal—making days shorter than usual. New measurements by the UK’s National Physical Laboratory show that the Earth is spinning faster than it was half a century ago. On June 29, the Earth’s full rotation took 1.59 milliseconds less than 24 hours — … Read more

Ocean-exploring robot could search for lost cities and shipwrecks

Ocean-exploring robot could search for lost cities and shipwrecks

A version of this story appeared in CNN’s Wonder Theory newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here. CNN — The ocean is full of mysteries that lead to legendary lore. During a recent moonlit harbor excursion, conversation quickly turned to tales of piracy and exploration. A guide shared stories from … Read more

‘Shooting Star Saturday’ Will See Three Meteor Showers, Two Asteroids Whizz By And A 25-Ton Chinese Rocket Re-enter

'Shooting Star Saturday' Will See Three Meteor Showers, Two Asteroids Whizz By And A 25-Ton Chinese Rocket Re-enter

Are you ready for “shooting star Saturday?” Getty Get your eyes to the night skies this weekend and you may see about 20 “shooting stars” from three streams of meteors caused by our planet surging through the leftovers of three separate comets. The key time for that is Saturday evening—just before midnight through until two … Read more

New Set of Chemical Reactions Could Finally Explain How Life Started on Earth

New Set of Chemical Reactions Could Finally Explain How Life Started on Earth

Once upon a time, when our planet Earth was very young and very new, there was not a single scrap of life on it to be found. Then, somewhere, somehow, some quirk of chemistry happened, and the molecular building blocks of our very first single-celled ancestors emerged: the amino acids and nucleic acids that came … Read more

Near-Earth Asteroids We’ve Never Seen Before Lurk Hidden in The Glare of The Sun

Near-Earth Asteroids We've Never Seen Before Lurk Hidden in The Glare of The Sun

The Sun’s glare is the main reason telescopes tend to look outwards from Earth, away from the center of our Solar System. New research reveals that for telescopic surveys prepared to peer in the other direction, there’s lots to be found. In particular, recent surveys are revealing near-Earth objects or NEOs, including asteroids we’ve never … Read more

Earth’s Crust Is ‘Dripping’ Under The Andes, Scientists Say

Earth's Crust Is 'Dripping' Under The Andes, Scientists Say

Beneath the Andes mountains in South America, Earth’s crust is dripping into the planet’s interior. Moreover, this has been occurring for millions of years – a long geological process that has produced telltale wrinkling and other features on the surface that scientists have discerned through modeling and experimentation. This might help us identify interior geological … Read more

Humanity’s First-Ever Exoplanet Discovery Was an Unbelievable Fluke

Humanity's First-Ever Exoplanet Discovery Was an Unbelievable Fluke

In the early 1990s, planetary history was made. In 1992, two astronomers, Alexander Wolszczan and Dale Frail, published a paper in Nature announcing the discovery of the very first planets outside the Solar System. These two extrasolar planets, or exoplanets, were immediately intriguing. They were rocky worlds 4.3 and 3.9 times the mass of Earth, … Read more

A 4-Billion-Year-Old Piece of Earth’s Crust Has Been Identified Beneath Australia

A 4-Billion-Year-Old Piece of Earth's Crust Has Been Identified Beneath Australia

Scientists can use various clues to figure out what’s under Earth’s surface without actually having to do any digging – including firing super-fine lasers thinner than a human hair at minerals found in beach sand. This technique has been used in a new study that points to a 4-billion-year-old piece of Earth’s crust about the … Read more