“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.
Two Huge Blobs in Earth’s Mantle are Fighting It Out Over Our Magnetic Pole, reports SyFy Wire. If you have a very sensitive compass, writes Phil Plait, “a predilection for graphing, and a lot of patience, you may have noticed that the Earth’s magnetic pole has been hightailing it toward Siberia recently. It wanders all the time, actually, but in 1990 suddenly accelerated rapidly toward Siberia. A few fringe folks (as they are wont to do) have predicted doom and gloom over this, but in fact it’s a natural and geologically common event… and scientists now think they know why.”
Covid-19 truthers believe that 5G technology is dialing up the disease. More than a century ago, telegraph poles and other mysterious causes were blamed for influenza. And each gave rise to dubious cures. As the Covid-19 pandemic swept the globe in early 2020, a conspiracy theory about the disease went viral on social media: The genesis of the illness, proponents claim, was not the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Instead, this pandemic was actually caused by the introduction of 5G broadband, and radiation from cell towers equipped with the technology is the real culprit.
Strange ‘space cow’ explosion may have been the birth of a black hole, reports New Scientist. In 2018, astronomers spotted an extraordinarily fast and bright explosion unlike anything we had ever seen before, and now they are starting to narrow down what could have caused it. The explosion was given the official designation AT2018cow – a listing based on the alphabetical order of objects reported in the Astronomer’s Telegram – and nicknamed “the Cow”. It took just a few days to reach its peak brightness after it began to explode.
The Moon Mysteriously Disappeared 900 Years Ago, and Scientists Think They Know Why, reports Becky Ferreira for Motherboard Science. On the night of May 5, 1110, the Moon above Medieval England disappeared during a “very disastrous year” of famine and bad weather. A millennium later, scientists have come up with an unexpected possible answer: volcanoes.
Navy Releases New UFO Incident Reports –-The official reports of Navy pilot encounters with unidentified flying objects concern eight incidents over the Atlantic Ocean, reports Vice. The Drive has acquired eight hazard reports via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. They’re all from U.S. Navy pilots, all describe interactions with weird objects in the skies high above America’s east coast.
How a Landmark Physics Paper from the 1970s Uncannily Describes the COVID-19 Pandemic –Phil Anderson’s article “More Is Different” describes how different levels of complexity require new ways of thinking. And as the virus multiplies and spreads, that’s just what the human race desperately needs, reports Scientific American.
The Last Place on Earth We’d Ever Expect to Find Life –Microbes are turning up deep beneath the ocean floor, a sign that life might have fewer limits than scientists once thought.
Why contact tracing may be a mess in America –High caseloads, low testing, and American attitudes toward government authority could pose serious challenges for successful efforts to track and contain coronavirus cases, reports MIT Technology Review.
From Headaches to ‘COVID Toes,’ Coronavirus Symptoms Are a Bizarre Mix –Blood clots and inflammation may underlie many of these complications, reports Scientific American. The new coronavirus that has infected millions of people around the globe can wreak havoc far beyond the lungs. Some of the symptoms of the disease it causes, COVID-19, are predictable enough: cough, fever, chills, headache. But the pathogen’s effects by no means stop there. The virus can cause problems in almost every organ, including the brain, heart, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract and skin.
The Mount St. Helens Eruption Was the Volcanic Warning We Needed –It’s been 40 years since the sideways explosion that changed volcanology forever, reports The New York Times. On the morning of May 18, 1980, a volcano erupted not from its peak but from its side. In the minutes that followed, volcanic violence devastated the landscape, unleashing eight times more energy than was released by the sum of every explosive dropped during World War II, including two atom bombs.