Science in the News

Google Glass in the Gobi: Prospecting

From AMNH  --  Last summer, a team led by the Museum's Provost of Science Michael Novacek and Paleontology Division Chair Mark Norell headed to the Gobi for the joint American Museum of Natural History/Mongolian Academy of Sciences expedition. The group included Aki Watanabe, one of Mark Norell's students at the Museum's Richard Gilder Graduate School, who was recently chosen as a beta-tester for Google Glass and who recorded video on Glass throughout the trip.

Permian Mass Extinction Took 60,000 Years

From LiveScience  --  It took only 60,000 years to kill more than 90 percent of all life on Earth, according to the most precise study yet of the Permian mass extinction, the greatest die-off in the past 540 million years.  The new timeline doesn't reveal the culprit behind the die-off, though scientists have several suspects, such as volcanic eruptions in Siberia that belched massive quantities of climate-changing gases.

NASA's Space Place: A Two-Toned Wonder from the Saturnian Outskirts

NASA's Space Place Logo

By Dr. Ethan Siegel  --  Although Saturn has been known as long as humans have been watching the night sky, it's only since the invention of the telescope that we've learned about the rings and moons of this giant, gaseous world. You might know that the largest of Saturn's moons is Titan, the second largest moon in the entire Solar System, discovered by Christiaan Huygens in 1655.

NASA Probe Finds Newly Formed Crater On Mars

From NPR  --  Take a close look at the image below showing a newly formed impact crater on Mars: The blue streaks of material, known as ejecta, radiate 9 miles from the 100-foot crater, according to NASA.  The picture was taken from orbit by the on Nov. 19. The same area was imaged by the MRO's Context Camera in July 2010 and again in May 2012 — with no crater in the first and a telltale surface scar in the second.

A new Cambrian Explosion site discovered in Canada's Burgess Shale Formation

From LiveScience  --  A treasure trove of fossils chiseled out of a canyon in Canada's Kootenay National Park rivals the famous Burgess Shale, the best record of early life on Earth, scientists say.

"Once we started to break fresh rock, we realized we had discovered something incredibly special," said Robert Gaines, a geologist at Pomona College in Pomona, Calif., and co-author of a new study announcing the find. "It was an extraordinary moment."

Mysterious epidemic devastates starfish population off the Pacific Coast - and East Coast

Up and down the Pacific Coast, starfish are dying by the tens of thousands and no one knows why. "Reports have since surfaced from Southern California to as far north as Alaska. At first, only a certain species known as the sunflower star seemed to be affected. Then it hit another species, then another. In all, about a dozen species of sea stars are dying along the West Coast.

Warring Trolls Explanation for Mysterious Basalt Pillars Revised

From EARTH Magazine  -- A complex interaction between lava and water, rather than a fight between mythical troll-beasts of lore, is responsible for the occurrence of rare terrestrial basalt pillars. EARTH Magazine uncovers the truth behind the pillars in the February issue. Despite regional tales of a fight between a pair of angry trolls resulting in the moss-covered basalt pillars, geoscientists from the University at Buffalo have determined that the pillars formed during a rare, nonexplosive lava-water interface during the 1783 eruption at Laki.

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