“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. Updated daily.
Trail of Bubbles Leads Scientists to New Coronavirus Clue, reports The New York Times. A doctor checking comatose COVID-19 patients for signs of a stroke instead stumbled onto a new clue about how the virus may harm the lungs — thanks to a test that used tiny air bubbles and a robot.
Earth –“An Entirely New Planet is Coming into Being” –As COVID-19 has shown, we have no idea what ancient viruses, existing in a gray area between living and nonliving –no skin, no nerves, no brain, life at a minimum– will be lurking, waiting to find a potential host and begin its borrowed life. Its sole function to create more of itself, endlessly. We may be living at the intersection of an alien, viral time bomb with a warming planet.
Nine COVID-19 Myths That Just Won’t Go Away –From a human-made virus to vaccine conspiracy theories, we rounded up the most persistent false claims about the pandemic, reports Scientific American
The real science behind SETI’s hunt for intelligent aliens –Inside the current hunt for “technosignatures” in radio waves, reports Ars Technica
The Sun Once Had a Long-Lost Companion Star –Harvard University scientists have published a new theory suggesting the Sun has a long-lost companion star. The theory, based on a model developed by the scientists, speculates that the formation of the Oort cloud is better explained if the Sun once had a companion. The scientists say that this theory also helps to shed light on the mysterious origins of the hypothetical Planet Nine.
This Fish Should Not Exist —“It’s like if they had a cow and a giraffe make a baby,” reports The Atlantic.
An Ancient Supernova Caused a Mass Extinction on Earth, Scientists Believe, reports Motherboard Science. If the theory is confirmed with further work, it would show that stars that died hundreds of millions of years ago may have taken some Earthlings to the grave with them, forever altering the course of life on our world.”
The 70 Million-Year-Old History of the Mississippi River –Dive into the secret past and uncertain future of the body of water that has defined a nation, reports The Smithsonian.
Pentagon UFO Program Continues, reports SETI Institute .Is it vindication at last? The New York Times has recently reported that a supposedly canceled Pentagon project to investigate strange aerial phenomena is still showing a pulse. The clandestine effort, originally known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, was said to have ended in 2012. But, apparently, it’s still doing its thing under the auspices of the Office of Naval Intelligence.
Why Some People Get Terribly Sick from COVID-19 –Beyond factors such as age and sex, underlying aspects of biology and society influence disease severity, reports Scientific American.
The Man Who Swam the Full Length of the Mississippi River –-How Fred Newton found himself neck-deep in history, reports The Smithsonian. On the second day, Newton encountered floating mats of manure and stinking animal parts dumped off the stockyards of South St. Paul. But he kept swimming, even amid the Upper Mississippi’s treacherous whirlpools.
MIT: Yes, climate change is almost certainly fueling California’s massive fires, reports MIT Technology Review.Thousands of lightning strikes have sparked hundreds of fires across California, forcing thousands to evacuate.
Climate Crisis and Pandemic Collide in California’s Raging Wildfire Season, reports Motherboard Science. Crises are colliding in California, which is experiencing raging wildfires exacerbated by climate change and limited firefighting ability due to the COVID-19 pandemic and reliance on prison labor. This past week, Californians endured a record heat wave: Death Valley reached the highest temperature recorded since 1931, peaking at around 130 degrees. Then, lightning rained down across the state, with nearly 11,000 strikes igniting hundreds of fires.
Black holes are cosmic dimmers.The Universe Has Made Almost All the Stars It Will Ever Make, reports Caleb Scharf for Nautil.us
Record Ice Loss in Greenland Is a Threat to Coastal Cities Worldwide, reports Bloomberg. Data from two new studies gives scientists a much clearer idea of what’s contributing to sea-level rise.