In 1996, a tree fell in the Bolivian Amazon, jamming up a river like a chicken bone lodged in a drain. 119,000 acres of forest died in the catastrophic flooding that ensued. Twenty years later, new research has concluded that this wasn’t a one-off event: So-called ‘logjams’ are constantly reshaping vast swaths of…
On a lonely, cratered plain near the equator of dwarf planet Ceres, a mountain half the height of Everest spirals into an airless abyss. A few hundred million years ago, briny ice lavas from deep beneath the surface pushed Ahuna Mons up, freezing again as they oozed across the mountain’s rugged peak.
Rivers have long been a center of human activity, but as the global population booms, our impact on these systems is becoming too much to bear. In fact, two-thirds of the 33 largest river deltas on Earth are sinking—some of them at a staggering rate.
The Cassini spacecraft made its final close flyby of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus in December, releasing its final up-close look at these weird little spots last week. Discovered over a decade ago, we’re still trying to work out exactly how these spots formed.
Every week, we’re bombarded with images of dazzling terrains on Mars and Pluto, but there are still geologic wonders to be discovered right here on Earth. Case in point: a new study suggests there could be a canyon system more than twice as long as the Grand Canyon buried beneath an ice sheet in Antarctica. If…
Rio Paraná and Rio Paraguay are like spoiled kids refusing to shake and make up in this photo from the International Space Station, one clear blue and the other dark with orange sediments.
Get ready to tease your eyes while exploring the mountains, plains, and craters of Pluto in new three-dimensional images of the strange little world.
The Martian is a love letter to science, but what does science think of The Martian? It’s time for a report card on what’s dead-on accurate, where the facts are fudged, and what’s plausible for a future that could one day happen.
Charon is a dynamic, interesting world in its own right, and even more interesting when directly compared to the dwarf planet Pluto. Soar over the bizarre terrain as you learn more about the weird and wonderful geomorphology of this not-so-little moon.
A fresh batch of images straight from the New Horizons downlink give us just what we’ve been waiting for: color views of Pluto! Ridiculously high resolution detail! Strange new snakeskin textures! Plus a first look at how methane is involved in shaping these crazy ice landscapes.
Of all the things we thought we might see while speeding past Pluto, we weren’t expecting the icy world to look quite this much like our home planet’s frozen poles. This is the science so far of those eerily familiar landscapes.
After all our confusion over Pluto’s strangely smooth and young terrain in the Tombaugh Regio, it’s almost a relief to start seeing craters in the latest close-up photos. In the latest image release, we’ve discovered a second mountain range in dark, old cratered terrain.
The Bahamas are simply gorgeous in this latest astronaut photograph from the International Space Station. The delicate ripples on the sandy ocean floor, gentle texture of muddy islands, and clean cuts of deeper ocean channels make this more of an idealized painting than real life.
New ideas about Pluto, Charon, and all the little moons have been flowing back from the New Horizons spacecraft fast and furious. If you’re curious but haven’t kept up, here’s everything we’ve learned so far.
The more of Pluto’s surface we see, the more interesting landscapes it offers us to explore. Here’s a closer look at the landforms revealed so far, and what types of processes might have created them.
Hi, Charon! What’s that? You’re jealous that Pluto broke the brains of geophysicists worldwide yesterday, and want attention? Fine, let’s see what you look like up close! Beautiful craters, lovely smooth plains, a few cool linear features... Wait a minute, is that a mountain in a moat? How did you create that?!
This is Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, in the most beautiful, detailed, highest-resolution single frame image we’ll be downlinking from the flyby this month. And it is amazing.
At less than a million miles from Pluto leading up to closest approach flyby on Tuesday, the New Horizons probe is sending back outright spectacular images of the dwarf planet and its largest moon. Every batch of best-ever images sparks speculation on what geology underlays the features on these distant, rocky worlds.
How better to escape the summer heat than by gazing longingly at a frozen lake in the far north?
When we think “ancient Mars,” we often picture roaring rivers, warm oceans, and if we’re being optimistic, perhaps some simple life forms. But it’s also possible the Mars of eons past was not a water-covered paradise at all. It may, in fact, have resembled a giant, dirty snowball.