“Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalist about the discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species.
Is there an ancient black hole at the edge of the solar system? –Hints of a hefty source of gravity beyond Pluto sparked the search for a possible “Planet Nine”. Now, some astronomers think it could instead be a black hole from the big bang, offering a rare glimpse into the early universe, reports New Scientist.
Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs gave birth to the Amazon rainforest, reports New Scientist –Before the asteroid hit the Yucatán peninsula in what is now Mexico, South America’s rainforests were made up of vastly different greenery than the abundance of flowering plants they now contain. “If you returned to the day before the meteorite fall, the forest would have an open canopy with a lot of ferns, many conifers and dinosaurs,” says Carlos Jaramillo at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. “The forest we have today is the product of one event 66 million years ago.”
The Aliens Before Us –“We are Not the First Technological Civilization” (Or, are We?), reports The Daily Galaxy. “Are we an aberration, an evolutionary accident, or are we one of millions of evolving beings scattered throughout the distant reaches of the cosmos?”
The inside story behind the historic first flight on Mars –Even if the Ingenuity helicopter fails, it is already a success — an engineering resource for a grand future of flight on other worlds, reports Astronomy.
The US Is One Step Closer to Establishing a Research Program to Block the Sun, reports Brian Kahn for Gizmodo –“The National Academies of Sciences released a monster report on Thursday outlining how the US could create a plan to block the sun should the world not reduce carbon emissions fast enough or if global warming becomes a threat to human existence. The findings from the nation’s top science institute indicate that the US could be edging toward starting research into a topic that just a few years ago was all but taboo.”
Amazing Footage of a Drone Flying Through an Erupting Volcano in Iceland –– Soaring through Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano reports James Vincent for the The Verge.
The Night 46 Million Grasshoppers Went to Vegas--In a new study, ecologists document the impact that the world’s brightest city has on the insect population, reports The New York Times.
Cosmic Triangles Open a Window to the Origin of Time –A close look at fundamental symmetries has exposed hidden patterns in the universe. Physicists think that those same symmetries may also reveal time’s original secret, reports Quanta.
The Dawn of the Forests Brought Waves of Death to the Oceans –New research supports the idea that pulses of nutrients flushed from Devonian forests fueled ocean algae blooms that suffocated marine life, reports Inside Science.
Living robots made from frog skin cells can sense their environment, reports New Scientist. “A microscopic, living robot that can heal and power itself has been created out of frog skin cells. Xenobots, named after the frog species Xenopus laevis that the cells come from, were first described last year. Now the team behind the robots has improved their design and demonstrated new capabilities.”
Researchers Found a Way to Send Tiny Robots Into Mouse Brains, reports Isaac Schultz for Gizmodo –“In a mind-bending development, a team of researchers in China have managed to treat brain tumors in mice by delivering drugs to the tissues using microscopic robots. The robots jumped from the mice’s bloodstreams into their brains by being coated in E. coli, which tricked the rodents’ immune systems into attacking them, absorbing the robots and the cancer-fighting drugs in the process.”
French police are investigating an international Lego crime ring –Valuable Lego sets have been the target of theft and resale.
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 and add a much needed cosmic perspective in our Anthropocene epoch