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Tag Archives: geology

The Astonishing Origin of Garnets in Rhyolite

It’s not uncommon to find round, deep red garnet crystals embedded like pomegranate seeds in metamorphic rocks. It’s easy to see why garnets took their name from the Latin word for “seed-like.” When we think garnet, most of us think of those dark scarlet stones. But they can be any …

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This stunning map shows why everyone is fighting over the Arctic

The environmentally damaging melting of polar ice is also exposing minerals, archaeological wonders and even ice volcanoes and there’s a race to get to them By Frank Swain THE top of the world is melting. Since 1979, when satellites began recording the extent of Arctic sea ice, the ice cap’s …

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We’ve hacked the Curiosity rover to learn how mountains form on Mars

By Leah Crane Hacking NASA’s Curiosity rover let it measure Martian gravity, even though it has no scientific instruments designed to do so. The measurements revealed a surprise at Gale crater. We can use gravity to probe the interior structure of a planet because the gravitational pull of a particular …

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The moon’s violent birth may have given Earth the ingredients of life

An explosive beginning

An explosive beginningNASA/JPL-Caltech By Leah Crane The cosmic collision that gave Earth its moon may have also given it the ingredients for life. Researchers have never been able to nail down exactly how and when Earth got its carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur, but a new study suggests they may have come …

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GeoBits: Unearthly, Bizarre and Shiny Edition

Hello, and welcome to GeoBits, wherein I give a formal name to the occasional roundups of tasty geoscience news we do here. This inaugural edition has some truly incredible and inspiring stuff. We begin with a seismic mystery on November 11th that had some scientists joking about sea monsters. …

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The Meteorite Hunters Who Descended on the Carancas Fall

On the morning of September 15, 2007, station I08BO—an infrasound monitoring post for the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty near La Paz, Bolivia—picked up a series of atmospheric vibrations. It was an explosion at very high altitude, and there was something streaking across the sky, heading southwest at 27,000 mph. A …

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When humans are wiped from Earth, the chicken bones will remain

We kill 60 billion chickens a year, and their bones get preserved by landfill

We kill 60 billion chickens a year. Their bones get preserved in landfillJohn Kuczala/Getty By Sam Wong When humans have vanished from the planet, one of the most enduring marks of our impact on Earth will be the sudden appearance in the fossil record of copious chicken bones. Geologists have …

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