Oldest evidence of life on land discovered in Australia

The oldest fossil evidence of life on land has been discovered in Australian rocks, potentially extending the known era of land-based life by over 500 million years. Ancient deposits from a hot spring in Western Australia’s Pilbara region were found to contain minerals created by microbes, and researchers from the University of NSW were able…

Gooey rock in mantle thickens 1,000km down

A sixth of the way to the center of the Earth, things get goopy. Using variations in the planet’s gravitational tug, geophysicists have discovered that the viscosity of Earth’s mantle rapidly increases about 1,000 kilometers below ground. The increasingly viscous rock acts like geologic molasses, slowing down anything trying to push through it. That includes…

Mountains, craters revealed in latest images of dwarf planet Ceres

Mountains, plains and craters take center stage in a new batch of images from the Dawn spacecraft, which has been in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres since March 6. A 6-kilometer-high mountain and rippling terrain are just two of the features revealed in the latest images.The probe will spend the next two months snapping pictures…