Did the slowing of the Earth’s rotation create life as we know it?

Animals may have evolved because the Earth’s rotation slowed, resulting in longer days and higher oxygen, according to new research published in Nature Geosciences. The rise of oxygen was necessary for animals to evolve, but for decades researchers struggled to explain the factors that controlled this nearly two-billion-year process. Now, an international team of researchers, … Continue reading Did the slowing of the Earth’s rotation create life as we know it?

Balloon-borne telescope to rival Hubble

An international team of astronomers has built a telescope that will be carried to the edge of space by a helium balloon, escaping the distorting effects of the atmosphere. This altitude will allow the telescope to be free of 99.5% of the Earth’s atmosphere, and thus capture exquisitely sharp images that astronomers say will rival … Continue reading Balloon-borne telescope to rival Hubble

Down with global CFCs

After a hiccup in global efforts to reduce ozone-damaging emissions, scientists have found that levels of the major offending gas – trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11) – have once again started to fall. The finding, published in two Nature papers, brings welcome news after violations of the global agreement to reduce emissions were discovered and promptly followed up. “This was … Continue reading Down with global CFCs

Rethinking likely impact of more CO2

The global impact of increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is likely to be at the upper end of the scale. For more than 40 years, the estimated range of the eventual global temperature response to a doubling of CO2 compared to preindustrial levels has remained at 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius. However, a … Continue reading Rethinking likely impact of more CO2

Fireball over SA could have been a “Minimoon”

Rocks explode in Earth’s atmosphere fairly regularly, and at first glance a bolide spotted over South Australia in 2016 seemed like just any other. However, researchers using an outback network of cameras called the Desert Fireball Network have revealed this was no ordinary rock. Instead, they have suggested the 2016 bolide was in fact a … Continue reading Fireball over SA could have been a “Minimoon”