“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.
Just How Dangerous Is the ‘Murder Hornet’? –Its sting is excruciating to people, but it is a bigger threat to honeybees vital for agriculture, reports Scientific American. The Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) has arrived in North America. In the past several days photographs and videos have surfaced showing how viciously this insect has attacked honeybees: it crawls into hives and rips off the heads of bees in large numbers—making its supervillain nickname, “murder hornet,” feel disturbingly apt.
The Thorniest Subject at NASA Right Now, reports The Atlantic. The space agency is carefully following pandemic measures. Elon Musk thinks they’re overblown. But they’re going to the moon together.
On May 4th, a Tiny Asteroid Missed Earth, But Just Barely, writes Phil Plait for SyFy Wire. a small asteroid 3-6 meters* across passed by the Earth, missing our world by a mere 7,000 kilometers — only about the radius of the Earth itself! It passed so close to us its orbit was significantly changed by Earth’s gravity, too.
Scientists Record East Antarctica’s First Heatwave, reports Harvard. At a research station in East Antarctica, scientists recorded something unprecedented: a heatwave. The scientists made the measurements at Casey Station, one of only three permanent stations on the ice-covered continent. They observed the record-breaking hot weather this year from January 23-26 (that was summertime in Antarctica, which is in the Southern Hemisphere).
MIT: New research suggests that next-generation telescopes might look first for hydrogen atmospheres, as hydrogen can be a viable, easily detectable biosignature of life.
European scientists think they can now describe with confidence what’s driving the drift of the North Magnetic Pole, reports BBC News.A team, led from Leeds University, says the behaviour is explained by the competition of two magnetic “blobs” on the edge of the Earth’s outer core.
Extreme microbes survive the desert by dissolving rocks with acid, reports Massive Science. “the thought about the desert dehydrating the rocks was not correct. It was actually the microbes dehydrating the rock”
Former Sen. Harry Reid Believes in Aliens, Urges Politicians to Not Be Afraid, reports Motherboard Science. Reid says the Pentagon must continue investigating UFOs with “no boundaries on what we look for. The sad part about it is no one else has done anything, so saying I’ve done more than anybody else is no big deal,” Reid told Motherboard on the CYBER podcast. “There’s no one doing anything and that’s too bad.”
How many jobs do robots really replace? MIT economist Daron Acemoglu’s new research puts a number on the job costs of automation.
New Ultrafast Camera Takes 70 Trillion Pictures Per Second, reports CalTech. Just about everyone has had the experience of blinking while having their picture taken. The camera clicks, your eyes shut, and by the time they open again, the photo is ruined. A new ultrafast camera developed at Caltech, were it aimed at your lovely face, could also capture you looking like a dunce with your eyes shut, except instead of taking just one picture in the time it takes you to blink, it could take trillions of pictures.
An Ancient Type of El Niño Could Awaken Because of Climate Change, reports Gizmodo. A new study published in Science Advances on Wednesday shows that as early as mid-century, global warming could cause an ancient climate pattern similar to El Niño in the Indian Ocean to reawaken. It would throw weather further into disarray, particularly in places in the global south that depend on rainfed agriculture.
Scientists Consider Indoor Ultraviolet Light to Zap Coronavirus in the Air, reports The New York Times. Some researchers hope a decades-old technology might get its moment and be deployed in stores, restaurants and schools.
Parasitic wasps murder insects with a smallpox-like virus…and other words everyone is happy to hear, reports Massive Science. In the virus world, smallpox and other poxviruses are horrifying. Despite the fact that smallpox was successfully eradicated in the 1970s, the entire family of poxviruses still strike fear into the heart of scientists.
India is forcing people to use its covid app, unlike any other democracy, reports MIT Technology Review. Millions of Indians have no choice but to download the country’s tracking technology if they want to keep their jobs or avoid reprisals.
Recent Most Viewed