Earth

Earth spinning faster and recording its shortest-day ever is no reason to panic, scientists say

While the Earth on June 29 did indeed record its shortest day since the adoption of the atomic clock standard in 1970 — at 1.59 milliseconds less than 24 hours — scientists say this is a normal fluctuation. Still, news of the faster rotation led to misleading posts on social media about the significance of …

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An image of the Earth from space. Here we see what Pangaea, or Pangea Earth Supercontinent, would have looked like – one giant land mass.

What’s the largest ocean that ever existed on Earth?

Earth’s current largest ocean, the Pacific, blankets more than 30% of the planet’s surface, stretching 12,000 miles (19,000 kilometers) at its widest point, between Colombia and the Malay Peninsula, according to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC UNESCO (opens in new tab)). But that titanic sea represents only the remnants of the largest ocean …

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The Moon Stole Something From Deep Inside Earth Eons Ago, and Scientists Can Prove It

Earth and its Moon are unique in the Solar System. Earth is the only planet with just one moon, and that Moon is pretty influential. In fact, without the Moon, life on Earth may not have emerged, some research suggests. Couple that with a size ratio unlike any other planet-moon system we’ve seen – the …

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Fragile corals grow in the shallows of Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

The 6th mass extinction hasn’t begun yet, study claims, but Earth is barreling toward it

The present extinction rate of life on Earth doesn’t qualify as a mass extinction event yet — but current trends show that it eventually will, a new study finds. The number of species that are currently hurtling toward extinction has led many ecologists to argue that we are undergoing a sixth mass extinction — but …

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Continents on Ancient Earth Were Created by Giant Meteorite Impacts, Scientists Find

To date, Earth is the only planet we know of that has continents. Exactly how they formed and evolved is unclear, but we do know – because the edges of continents thousands of miles apart match up – that, at one time long ago, Earth’s landmass was concentrated in one big supercontinent.   Since that’s …

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Scientist in a lab coat is pictured injecting something into a small glass vial on a lab bench

Scientists uncover ancient source of oxygen that could have fueled life on early Earth

Powerful earthquakes that shook Earth some 3.8 billion years ago split open the planet’s crust and allowed chemical reactions to unfold deep within the fractured rock. These reactions, fueled by seismic activity, water and near-boiling temperatures, may have provided oxygen to some of the world’s earliest life forms, a new study suggests.  This oxygen would …

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Earth, The True GOAT, Breaks Longstanding Speed Record | Defector

Earth, a veteran planet known more for its craftiness than the quickness and explosiveness of its youth, put on a vintage performance earlier this summer, completing its fastest rotation on record. All the haters and doubters who counted Earth out are sobbing right now, absolutely sobbing. On June 29, Earth spun through a full rotation …

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Unexpected Solar Wind Stream Hits Earth at 372 Miles Per Second

On Sunday, Earth’s magnetic field was pelted by a solar wind stream reaching velocities of more than 600 kilometers (372 miles) per second. While that’s nothing too alarming – solar storms often pummel our planet triggering spectacular auroras – what is weird is that this storm was totally unexpected.   “This event was not in the …

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Prof. Avi Loeb at the Harvard College Observatory, March 1, 2022. (Courtesy of Leslie Kean)

Israeli scientist proves his far-out theory on interstellar meteor is down to earth

Israeli native and Harvard University science professor Avi Loeb’s 60th birthday this past June was marked by both celebration and vindication. For the last three years, Loeb — a prominent but controversial theoretical physicist — and his assistant Amir Siraj have tried to publish a paper about a mysterious, half-meter-sized meteor that crashed off Papua …

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Earth broke the record for the shortest day since atomic clocks were invented

Scientists recorded the shortest day on Earth since the invention of the atomic clock. A rotation is the length of time the Earth takes to spin once on its axis, which is roughly 84,600 seconds. The previous record was documented on July 19, 2020, when the day measured 1.47 milliseconds shorter than normal. The atomic …

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