Very rarely, depending on where you are in the world, your compass can actually point to true north.
Recently, magnetic compasses at Greenwich pointed directly at true north for the first time in 360 years. This is currently happening in Western Australia too. But what does it mean?
Sound waves let researchers visualize what’s happening below the surface.
Geophysicists use sound waves to build a picture of the magma and rock beneath this active volcano, most of which is underwater. It's like CT scanning the Earth.
What’s going on 150 kilometers below the Earth’s surface?
Good Free Photos
A new array of seismometers provides a glimpse of what's happening deep beneath this geologic fault. New data help explain why the north and south of the region are more seismically active than the middle.
An ERT survey line on the New Castalloy site: the metal pegs allow electricity to be injected into the ground and the orange cable carries the current to the pegs.
How can we find buried bodies? Ground penetrating radar is one solution - but it's not always effective. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) offers a very sensitive alternative.
The mass of the Earth is big enough that the gravitational force it creates can pull the hard shape of ice, rock and metal into a sphere.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data from Miguel Román, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Imagine the Earth pulling everything it is made up of, all of its mass, towards its centre. This happens evenly all over the Earth, causing it to take on a round shape.
Plotting a route out? German prisoners in Britain during WWII.
Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographe
Scientists have uncovered a hidden tunnel left in remarkable condition at a now derelict prison in Bridgend, South Wales.
A new detector could work out what's causing a heat flow from the Earth's interior. It may even solve the mystery of what powers the Earth's magnetic field.
Can we mitigate the risks associated with fracking?
From crossing a road to fracking for oil, everything has inherent risks. At best, we can only aim to agree that, on balance, they are contained and justified.
Saddleworth moor, where the victims of the Moors Murders were buried.
50 years after the Moors Murders, UK police are still hoping to find a missing body. And scientists are working hard to help.
What’s north would become south.
Are we headed to a magnetic reversal and all the global disruption that would bring? Enter archaeomagnetism. A look at the archaeological record in southern Africa provides some clues.
Satellite image of California’s San Andreas fault, where two continental plates come together.
NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team
Fifty years on from a groundbreaking paper, geophysicists have progressed from believing continents never moved to thinking that every movement may leave a lasting memory on our planet.
It takes more than a quick scan for high-tech archaeology to reveal history's secrets.
Amazing stone age ingenuity. Rubbish fence.
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute
Advances in computer power mean archaeologists can now tell a huge amount about what's underground without picking up a spade.
A 3D visualisation of the plasma tubes conforming to the Earth’s magnetic field.
Cleo Loi was an undergraduate when she made a startling discovery. Her story shows how brilliance, dedication and imagination drive science.
On top of the devastation following the first earthquake, a second has hit.
What led to the second major earthquake to hit Nepal in less than a month?
Still with mysteries to reveal after 7,000 years.
Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project LBIArchPRO
The recent discoveries at Stonehenge, including ritual monuments, burial mounds and a long barrow, are wonderful examples of how archaeological geophysics can be used in areas where excavation is hard…