“Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species. Our caffine-inspired curation team scours the world, doing your work for you –all in one place.
OneWeb Launches 34 Satellites as Astronomers Fear Radio Chatter –Like SpaceX, the company aims to build a constellation of internet satellites, but its orbiters could interfere with telescopes on Earth. On Friday, writes Shannon Hall for the New York Times, from a spaceport in Kazakhstan, OneWeb, a telecommunications company with its headquarters in London, launched 34 satellites into space.
“Do Living Creatures Need Cell Membranes?” –Saturn’s Titan May Hold the Answer. “Do living creatures would need cell membranes to survive,” ask Hilda Sandström and Martin Rahm with the Initiatives on Cosmic Origins at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, probing two of the most central questions in astrobiology –“what are environmental and chemical limits of life?”
One of the brightest stars in the sky is dimming. Could it be on the verge of a supernova? –Betelgeuse has created a sense of suspense in the astronomy world, which is hoping to someday observe a nearby supernova in real time, writes Tom Metcalfe for NBC MACH. When a burst of gravitational waves was detected in the constellation Orion last month, several astronomers around the world thought their wish had come true. “As soon as I got this alert of a burst, I did walk outside to see if Betelgeuse was still there,” said Andy Howell, an astronomer who studies supernovas at the Las Cumbres Observatory and the University of California at Santa Barbara.
We are All Ancient Mapmakers –Why we still see the world like the mathematician and poet who first mapped it, writes Cody Kommers for Nautil.us.Our conception of the world is based on what we think is out there. In fact, that’s all we think the world is.
Secrets of Math From the Bee Whisperer –As Scarlett Howard taught honeybees to do arithmetic, they showed her how fundamental numbers might be to all brains, writes Susan D’Agostino for Quanta. It might seem a little strange — bees are insects, after all; what do they know about mathematics? A lot, it turns out. These eusocial flying insects can add, subtract and even comprehend the concept of zero.
A Radioactive Cold War Military Base Will Soon Emerge From Greenland’s Melting Ice –They thought the frozen earth would keep it safely hidden. They were wrong, writes Ben Panko for The Smithsonian. scientists have identified what might just be the most surreal thing to emerge from the ice: the remnants of a covert U.S. Army base teeming with radioactive waste, abandoned decades ago in northwestern Greenland. Climate change could uncover the toxic and radioactive waste left behind at Camp Century as early as 2090, reports a new study published yesterday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Why Astrology Matters –Seeing meaning in the stars is a vital part of the scientific story, writes Michael Brooks for Nautil.us. Newton bought a book on astrology but couldn’t make sense of it, so he began to study Euclid.
The modern alchemists racing to create a new element –With the help of enormous atom smashers, scientists are hoping to start an eighth row of the periodic table and discover new atoms that have never been seen before, writes Juliana Chan for the BBC..
A New Experiment Hopes to Solve Quantum Mechanics’ Biggest Mystery –Physicists will try to observe quantum properties of superposition—existing in two states at once—on a larger object than ever before, writes Ramin Skibba for The Smithsonian. A new experiment, known as the TEQ collaboration, could help reveal a boundary between the weird quantum world and the normal classical world of billiard balls and projectiles.
Investigating Homo floresiensis and the myth of the ebu gogo. The 2004 announcement of a new branch on the human evolutionary tree was astonishing, writes Paige Madison for Aeon. Standing just over a meter tall, roaming the tropical forests and ancient volcanoes as recently as 12,000 years ago, the hominin labelled Homo floresiensis had a small brain, the apparent ability to make arduous water crossings, and seemingly honed skills in making stone tools. Much of the species’ anatomy looked primitive, yet evidence for their behavior indicated an advanced, humanlike being. The hominin was so seemingly mythical that the research team drew from J R R Tolkien’s fictional world for its nickname: the hobbit.
The Night Sky Will Never Be the Same–D.H.Lawrence said that urban man has lost the cosmos. Elon Musk’s plan for worldwide internet has sent bright artificial, lights streaking through the dark, writes Marina Koren for The Atlantic. “Somebody puts up a shed that might obstruct my view by a foot, I can protest,” Stanek said. “But somebody can launch thousands of satellites in the sky and there’s nothing I can do? As a citizen of Earth, I was like, Wait a minute.” Since last spring, SpaceX has launched into orbit dozens of small satellites—the beginnings of Starlink, that the company’s founder, Elon Musk, hopes will someday provide high-speed internet to every part of the world.
Climate Change Predictions Have Suddenly Gone Catastrophic. This Is Why –The latest climate models have unexpectedly started to predict nightmarish warming scenarios. Now, scientists are scrambling to understand why, and if they can be trusted.
Neo-Nazi Terror Group The Base Linked to the War in Ukraine –A 20-year-old American went from inside a neo-Nazi group’s secret chatroom, to traveling to Ukraine looking for war reports Vice. After a string of sweeping indictments and arrests, court documents have illustrated how the neo-Nazi terror group The Base discussed derailing trains and plotted the assassinations of anti-fascist activists in the United States.
The True History Behind the movie 1917. –A story shared by director Sam Mendes’ grandfather, a veteran of the Western Front, inspired the new World War I film, writes Meilan Solly for The Smithsonian. “[The film] bears witness to the staggering destruction wrought by the war, and yet it is a fundamentally human story about two young and inexperienced soldiers racing against the clock,” Mendes tells Vanity Fair’s Anthony Breznican. “So it adheres more to the form of a thriller than a conventional war movie.”