A polynya, or an opening in the sea ice, was present in the Southern Ocean in the 1970s. This image shows the sea ice concentration averaged over three September months 1974-1976 during the Weddell Polynya, made with data from the NIMBUS-V satellite from the National Snow Ice Data Center. Credit: University of Pennsylvania In 1974,

This image shows a self-reconfiguring modular robots scheme. Credit: Iridia Lab ULB Researchers at the Université libre de Bruxelles have developed self-reconfiguring modular robots that can merge, split and even self-heal while retaining full sensorimotor control. The work may take us closer to producing robots that can autonomously change their size, shape and function. The

Pluto’s first official surface-feature names are marked on this map, compiled from images and data gathered by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft during its flight through the Pluto system in 2015. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Ross Beyer The IAU has assigned names to fourteen geological features on the surface of Pluto. The names pay homage to the underworld mythology,

The footprints were discovered by Gerard Gierlinski (1st author of the study) by chance when he was on holiday on Crete in 2002. Gierlinski, a paleontologist at the Polish Geological Institute specialized in footprints, identified the footprints as mammal but did not interpret them further at the time. In 2010 he returned to the site

This photograph shows a morning commute in Antarctica. Credit: Gail Ashton After warming a natural seabed in the Antarctic Ocean by just 1° or 2° Celsius, researchers observed massive impacts on a marine assemblage, as growth rates nearly doubled. The findings of what the researchers call the “most realistic ocean warming experiment to date” reported

Layered volcanic rocks in Eastern Greenland that are up to 4 miles thick were formed during ancient volcanic eruptions that caused a global warming event called the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Credit: Michael Storey, Natural History Museum of Denmark A natural global warming event that took place 56 million years ago was triggered almost entirely

Lead author of the study Anna Weiss, a Ph.D. candidate in The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences, at a fossilized reef in Adnet, Austria. Credit: Anna Weiss The Great Barrier Reef, and most other large reefs around the world, owe their bulk in large part to a type of red algae

A true-color image of the Central Andes and surrounding landscape acquired by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA’s Terra spacecraft. Credit: Image courtesy of NASA Seismologists investigating how Earth forms new continental crust have compiled more than 20 years of seismic data from a wide swath of South America’s Andean Plateau and determined

New findings suggest the ancient Earth harbored a mantle that was much more efficient at drawing down pieces of the planet’s crust. Credit: MIT News Plate tectonics has shaped the Earth’s surface for billions of years: Continents and oceanic crust have pushed and pulled on each other, continually rearranging the planet’s façade. As two massive

An illustration of an asteroid impacting Earth. Credit: Image courtesy NASA Tremendous amounts of soot, lofted into the air from global wildfires following a massive asteroid strike 66 million years ago, would have plunged Earth into darkness for nearly two years, new research finds. This would have shut down photosynthesis, drastically cooled the planet, and

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