All the solid surfaces in the solar system stitched in one brilliant map

As usual, xkcd wins the internet with another brilliant scientific visualization: All the solid surfaces (the planetary, moon, and asteroid crusts) in the Solar System stitched together as if it all were a seamless flat map. It's fascinating to see it all from this simple perspective. » 7/03/14 1:31am 7/03/14 1:31am

Scientists Discover an Entirely New Kind of Meteorite

At a pink limestone quarry in Sweden, finding meteorite is no big deal—workers have found 101 of them in the past 20 years. But a new space rock discovery has scientists scratching their heads. The meteorite is of a class that's never before been seen, and it may hold a key to the explosion of life on Earth nearly 500… » 7/01/14 10:00am 7/01/14 10:00am

The Earth looks flat in this photo taken from space

Believe it or not, some idiots think that Earth doesn't rotate and others still think that Earth is flat. I'm sure the latter group would love this picture just taken by our space Captain America—astronaut Reid Wiseman. The angles on those two coasts converging makes Earth's spheroidal surface look strangely flat. » 6/23/14 10:02pm 6/23/14 10:02pm

This is what would happen if Earth stopped spinning right now

Have you ever asked yourself what would happen if the Earth stopped spinning right now? For you it would be like being in a car at 1000 miles per hour and stopping dead in your tracks—you would die instantly. But, believe it or not, it gets even worse after that, as this video explains. » 6/16/14 7:31pm 6/16/14 7:31pm

The Planet's Biggest Water Supply Might Be Hidden 400 Miles Below the US

When most of us imagine what the mantle of the Earth is like, we see burning hot rock and magma (and maybe satan hanging out for good measure or something). But scientists have discovered evidence that all that rock may be hiding huge amounts of water—three times the volume of all our oceans combined. » 6/12/14 3:50pm 6/12/14 3:50pm

NASA makes zoomable Earth using 36,422 selfies from all continents

Not even Ellen DeGeneres can beat this one: NASA asked people to take selfies on Earth Day and humans from Antarctica to Zimbabwe submitted more than 50,000 photos. Of those NASA selected 36,422 photos to create this fully zoomable 3.2 gigapixel image of Earth's Eastern and Western hemispheres. » 5/22/14 8:22pm 5/22/14 8:22pm

This Company Uses Earth's Magnetic Field To See Inside Buildings

In some ways, it's an ominous pitch. By measuring the "magnetic fingerprint" of any building in the world, the Finnish company IndoorAtlas can conjure up a startlingly precise indoor map of any building. It's technology that sci-fi has dreamt of for decades. But instead of surveillance, it's being used for shopping. » 5/20/14 5:20pm 5/20/14 5:20pm

Simulation of Saturn passing by Earth on a collision course to the Sun

The always cool Yeti Dynamics has released another brilliant scientific simulation: What would Earth's sky look like if Saturn went off its orbit to race into the inner solar system on its way to the Sun and our planet was on its path? I just love these impossible but visually arresting scenarios. » 5/05/14 1:44am 5/05/14 1:44am

4 Ways Tiny Microbes Changed Life on Earth Forever

This is the microbes' world—we just live in it. Throughout the history of Earth, microbes have radically reshaped life on the planet, from creating the very air we breath to wiping out almost all life on Earth. Don't underestimate the power of tiny, tiny microbes populating the Earth trillions of times over. » 4/07/14 12:00pm 4/07/14 12:00pm

This is how the moon would look in the sky if it were a disco ball

Vsauce's Michael Stevens answers a great question with the help of Yeti Dynamics: What if the moon was a disco ball? The answer is sad: The mirrors' specular surface would make the moon almost invisible. However, things really get groovy if you put the disco moon at the same distance as the International Space Station. » 4/04/14 8:50pm 4/04/14 8:50pm

The Fossilized Machines Humans Will Leave Behind

In the debut issue of a new journal called The Anthropocene Review, University of Leicester geologist Jan Zalasiewicz leads a team of five writers in discussing the gradual fossilization of human artifacts, including industrial machines, everyday objects, and even whole cities. They refer to these as "technofossils,"… » 3/31/14 12:20pm 3/31/14 12:20pm