Protecting Earth from asteroids is complicated and global

PARIS — NASA’s DART spacecraft is closing in on its appointment with Dimorphos, but the energetic encounter is just the very speartip of global efforts to keep life on Earth safe from asteroid impacts. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is set to smash into Dimorphos, a moonlet of the larger asteroid Didymos, on Monday … Read more

A Month on ‘Mars’: Return to Earth

We’re back in southern climes, and our month on “Mars” is already a dream, a muse, a fading memory. The Haughton-Mars Project on Devon Island is a place where we are reminded of our frantic and violently shifting past, and one possible future. It’s a realm of vast, barren, forbidding landscapes; layered with dust and … Read more

Neanderthals died out 40,000 years ago, but there has never been more of their DNA on Earth

Credit: Tom Björklund / Moesgård Museum, Author provided Neanderthals have served as a reflection of our own humanity since they were first discovered in 1856. What we think we know about them has been shaped and molded to fit our cultural trends, social norms and scientific standards. They have changed from diseased specimens to primitive … Read more

Developing new processes to examine some of the rarest and most toxic elements on Earth

A new compound of curium (a radioactive, rare and costly element) photographed at LLNL during crystallography experiments. The team from LLNL and OSU used the so-called “polyoxometalate ligands” (POMs) to capture rare isotopes and form crystals big enough to be characterized, even when only 1-10 micrograms of the rare isotope are available. Crystals of this … Read more

New Perseverance Rock Samples Were Altered by Water. They’ll be Coming Back to Earth in the Sample Return Mission

The Perseverance rover is enjoying a bit of a winning streak lately! For the past year and a half, the rover has been exploring the Jezero crater on Mars to learn more about the planet’s past. As part of this mission, Perseverance is obtaining samples of Martian rock and soil that it will set aside … Read more

Geological discoveries hint at conditions when life arose on Earth — and possibly on Mars — ScienceDaily

The accepted view of Mars is red rocks and craters as far as the eye can see. That’s much what scientists expected when they landed the rover Perseverance in the Jezero Crater, a spot chosen partly for the crater’s history as a lake and as part of a rich river system, back when Mars had … Read more

SpaceX cargo capsule returns to Earth with leaky NASA spacesuit – Spaceflight Now

SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft departs the International Space Station on Friday. Credit: NASA SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Cape Canaveral Saturday, wrapping up a 37-day flight to the International Space Station and returning home with experiments and a leaky spacesuit for troubleshooting. The automated cargo freighter with more … Read more

How the Earth is changing across different ecosystems

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain Climate change is a complicated phenomenon with a variety of both abrupt and gradual effects that scientists are working hard to uncover. Emerging findings on how various ecosystems are responding to a changing climate, stemming from long-term research conducted through the National Science Foundation’s 40-year-old Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, have … Read more

The 6th mass extinction hasn’t begun yet, study claims, but Earth is barreling toward it

The present extinction rate of life on Earth doesn’t qualify as a mass extinction event yet — but current trends show that it eventually will, a new study finds. The number of species that are currently hurtling toward extinction has led many ecologists to argue that we are undergoing a sixth mass extinction (opens in … Read more