“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.
How to Photograph a (Possible) Alien Artifact –We don’t know if the interstellar object ‘Oumuamua was natural or artificial—but a new telescope coming online in a few years could help us identify the next one, reports Avi Loeb for Scientific American,
CERN experiment hints at new force of nature, reports The Guardian. Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva have spotted an unusual signal in their data that may be the first hint of a new kind of physics.
World’s oldest meteor crater isn’t what it seems, reports Harry Baker for Live Science. –New controversial claim suggests it’s not a meteor crater at all. “Known locally as the Maniitsoq structure, is located 34 miles (55 kilometers) southeast of the town of Maniitsoq in Greenland. The structure is around 62 miles (100 km) in diameter and formed around 3 billion years ago, although its origin has been disputed in recent years.”
How Intelligent Could Life Be Without Natural Selection?, asks Arik Kershenbaum for Nautilus.”It’s not unreasonable that in 100 or 200 years, our computer systems will be effectively sentient: human-like robots, similar to Star Trek’s Commander Data. Alien civilizations that are considerably more advanced than us are likely already capable of such creations. The possibility—likelihood, even—of such robotic life has implications for our predictions about life on alien planets.”
Some of Earth’s tiniest living things could survive on Mars, reports astrophysicist Caleb Scharf for Popular Science. Bacteria and fungi were hurled into Earth’s middle stratosphere, which resembles many of Mars’ harsh conditions.
Life Beyond Human Has to Play by the Rules, reports David Barash for Nautilus. –A zoologist explains why complex life anywhere depends on natural selection.
A Tsunami Likely Hurled Huge Rocks onto a Tiny Island –A Caribbean island’s giant rocks were thought to be deposited by enormous waves, reports Katherine Kornei for Scientific American.
Eruption in Iceland may mark the start of decades of volcanic activity –The first eruption in the Reykjanes Peninsula in about 800 years is not expected the threaten any population centers, but it does provide a unique opportunity to study the geologic mysteries of the region.
The Ghost of Ancient Earth’s Magma Oceans Found in Greenland Rocks, reports Singularity Hub. –In a new study, published in Science Advances, University of Cambridge scientists say they’ve found evidence of ancient Earth’s magma oceans in 3.7-billion-year-old rocks in Greenland.
The Secret Auction That Set Off the Race for AI Supremacy, reports Cade Metz for Wired. –“How the shape of deep learning—and the fate of the tech industry—went up for sale in Harrah’s Room 731, on the shores of Lake Tahoe. …[The auction for Geoff Hinton’s newly formed AI company] was the beginning of a global arms race, and this race would quickly escalate in ways that would have seemed absurd a few years before.”
Scientists Have Discovered a New Pattern In a Repeating Signal from Space –What astronomers found in the most precise time measurement of a fast radio burst ever captured, reports Becky Ferreira for Motherboard/Vice.
Scientists Created an Artificial Early Embryo From Human Skin Cells, reports Singularity Hub. –Last week, two studies in Nature torpedoed the classic narrative of the beginning of life. Two independent teams coaxed ordinary skin cells into a living cluster that resembled a fertilized human egg—and the very first stages of a developing human embryo.
Scientists Grow Mouse Embryos in a Mechanical Womb, reports Gina Kolata for The New York Times –Biologists have long held that a fetus needs a living uterus to develop. Maybe not anymore.
Your free twice-weekly fix of stories of space and science –a random journey from Planet Earth through the Cosmos– that has the capacity to provide clues to our existence.
e and add a much needed cosmic perspective in our Anthropocene epoch.