It turns out that the world is about 4,600,000,000 years old. That’s 4.6 billion years. That’s pretty old!
Marcella Cheng/The Conversation
The world is made of tiny building blocks called 'elements'. Scientists have worked out how fast some elements change into other elements. That gives us a very big clue about how old the Earth is.
The comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, seen up close.
Dust can be instructive. The analysis of those collected around the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko provided new information on the history of the solar system.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star…
The precious metal is literally extra-terrestrial, produced in the heart of the stars. How and under what conditions? Scientists know more thanks to a double astrophysical observation.
A laser beam (yellow) causes a path of red fluorescence in a rare earth crystal.
Stuart Hay, ANU
Rare earth elements aren't actually that rare - but they certainly are useful. Erbium is used right now in the internet's optical fibre network, and could one day be applied in quantum networks.
Illustration of hot, dense, expanding cloud of debris stripped from the neutron stars just before they collided.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab
Until the recent observation of merging neutron stars, how the heaviest elements come to be was a mystery. But their fingerprints are all over this cosmic collision.
Boron is often ignored, but it’s got a lot of important qualities.
Boron is the hidden ingredient in a lot of our technology. Get to know this plucky little element.
The periodic table of the elements on a T-shirt.
Damon Hart Davis
The periodic table is one of the classic images of science that is found in labs as well as on t-shirts, mugs, even set to music. But what exactly is the periodic table?
What’s in a name?
As four new chemical elements are named, here's all you need to know.
Physicists Joe Hamilton, who discovered tennessine, and his colleague A. V. Ramayya autograph a period table on June 8, 2016.
(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Some 18 elements have had placeholder names derived from the Latin to stop scientists fighting over what their discoveries should be called.
New elements were discovered in early thermonuclear bomb tests.
New elements found in the reactions of nuclear tests during World War II sparked the hunt for additions to the periodic table.
The expanding periodic table of elements.
Shutterstock/Olivier Le Queinec
They might only last for a fraction of a second but four new elements have finally won their place in the periodic table. The hunt is now on to find even more.