Articles on Earth

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Lasers being shone from the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. These lasers help remove the twinkles in the night sky and help astronomers see stars clearer on Earth than ever before. F. Kamphues/ESO

Curious Kids: Why do stars twinkle?

How exactly do the stars twinkle in the night sky? As it turns out, the answer is full of hot air... and cold air.
A solar eclipse observed over Grand Canyon National Park in May 2012. Grand Canyon National Park

How eclipses were regarded as omens in the ancient world

More than 2,000 years ago, the Babylonians understood the cycle of eclipses. They also regarded them as signs that could foretell the death of a king.
Earth, shot from space, as it absorbs and reflects rays of light coming from the Sun - the same white-looking rays that give our sky its colour. NASA

Curious Kids: Why is the sky blue and where does it start?

Some people think the sky is blue because of sunlight reflected off the ocean and back into the sky. But that's not the real reason.
The new map was created using data from rocks found in locations including Madagascar. Alan Collins

A map that fills a 500-million year gap in Earth’s history

You would not recognise Earth if you saw it 500 million years ago - the lands, oceans, climate and life were all very different. Scientists now have a new map of the deep history of Earth.
Between the Earth and the moon: An artist’s rendering of a refueling depot for deep-space exploration. Sung Wha Kang (RISD)

Mining the moon for rocket fuel to get us to Mars

To get us to Mars and beyond, a team of students from around the world has a plan involving lunar rovers mining ice and a space station between the Earth and the moon.
Have we really discovered other “Earth-like” planets orbiting around other stars? Understanding what we do and do not know about exoplanets is the key to answering this question. ESO/L. Calcada/N. Risinger/Reuters

Until we get better tools, excited reports of ‘habitable planets’ need to come back down to Earth

Over the last 20 years, advances in the field of exoplanet discovery have excited the imaginations of scientists and enthusiasts alike. But we're in position to know yet whether a planet is habitable.

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