Archives: Science Alert

New observations from the James Webb Space Telescope reveal that the innermost world of the TRAPPIST-1 system, an exoplanet named TRAPPIST-1b with 1.4 times the mass and 1.1 times the radius of Earth, reaches a sizzling 230 degrees Celsius (446 degrees Fahrenheit), and is unlikely to have an atmosphere wrapped around its rocky body.

NASA is actively monitoring a strange anomaly in Earth’s magnetic field: a giant region of lower magnetic intensity in the skies above the planet, stretching out between South America and southwest Africa.

Earth, currently, is our only blueprint for planetary habitability. There may be life elsewhere out there in the big, wide galaxy, but ours is the only world on which we know, for a certainty, that it has emerged.

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There was a critical point early in Earth’s history when chemical reactions among the mix of organic molecules began to be powered from within, forming something we might start to think of as biological.


We’ve got a curious case of mistaken identity to report. Fossils previously believed to have been left by prehistoric tentacle-bearing aquatic invertebrates called Bryozoans may in fact have been created by a different source: seaweed.

There’s a tiny, slow-burning ‘fuse’ attached to the ends of all our chromosomes, and as we naturally age, each of our cells loses more and more of that life-giving line.


Dinosaur fossils featuring arms with a suspect bend at the elbow and wrist could hint at the presence of an unpreserved tendon that underpins all modern avian flight.

A new analysis of Earth’s innards suggests the presence of an inner core within the inner core – a dense ball of iron at the very center of our planet.

The discovery of some of these dwarf planets has given us reason to believe something else might be lurking in the outskirts of the Solar System.

Novel propulsion ideas for moving around space seem like they’re a dime a dozen recently. Besides the typical argument between solar sails and chemical propulsion lies a potential third way – a nuclear rocket engine.