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The Ice of Pluto is More Diverse Than We Realized

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We give up: Pluto is out to surprise us. This time it’s the ice. We thought it’d be easy once we confirmed ice caps of methane and nitrogen, but the story is much more complicated. The entire world has methane ice, but it’s concentrated at the equator and relatively thin at the pole.
» 7/16/15 11:20am 7/16/15 11:20am

This Is What Happens When Lava Meets The Sea

This is a close-up of the very newest land in Hawaii, fresh lava dripping into the sea to build out a new layer of basalt on this island volcano. The ropey texture of the flow is a consequence of its chemistry, the same geochemistry behind the slow, oozing eruptions characteristic of the tropical paradise. » 1/18/15 3:00pm 1/18/15 3:00pm

A Methane Spike Indicates Active Processes On Mars

The more we learn about Mars, the more we learn it's a deceptively active planet. Most recently, the Curiosity rover sniffed out a sharp spike in methane levels that dropped back down just as quickly, suggesting some yet-to-be-determined process is currently happening to trigger the aberration. » 12/16/14 10:01pm 12/16/14 10:01pm

This Ancient Asteroid Strike Was More Insane Than We Realized

Around 3.26 billion years ago — long before the dinosaurs — a massive asteroid measuring nearly 36 miles (58 km) across smashed into the Earth. Geologists have now reconstructed this cataclysmic event, and it was far, far bigger than we thought. Here's how things went down on that fateful day. » 4/10/14 12:00pm 4/10/14 12:00pm

Hungarian toxic sludge kills 4, injures at least 120 — and it may be headed for the Danube

The horrifying, heartbreaking pictures of Ajka, Hungary, look like a natural disaster, like Hurricane Katrina. But they're not. This flooding is the result of a deadly spill from an alumina plant whose reservoir burst open. Warning: dreadfully upsetting photos below. » 10/05/10 12:23pm 10/05/10 12:23pm

Scientific estimate puts total BP oil spill at 4.4 million barrels

Research published in Science shows that the BP oil leak pumped out approximately of 4.4 million barrels of oil before being completely capped. That's around 185 million gallons, or 700 million liters. Scientists from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory studied high resolution footage of the plume,… » 9/23/10 1:00pm 9/23/10 1:00pm