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Comet 46P/Wirtanen will be making a close pass of Earth December 16, 2018. It will be at its closest distance to Earth in over four centuries. It is a member of the Jupiter family of comets - their farthest point from the sun being near the orbit of Jupiter. It will be bright enough to see with the naked eye above the eastern horizon all month long, and can be seen even better with a telescope and/or binoculars. This 120 second image of the comet was taken Dec. 2 by an iTelescope 50 mm refractor located at an observatory near Mayhill, New Mexico. The streak below the comet was produced by a rocket body (upper stage) passing through the telescope's field of view during the exposure. Specifically, the upper stage is the one that placed the Indonesian Garuda 1 communications satellite into geostationary orbit back in February of 2000. At the time of this image, the Garuda 1 upper stage was 15,880 miles from the observatory; Comet Wirtanen was 10.3 million miles distant. Image Credit: NASA

The brightest comet of the year will be visible this Sunday

On Sunday, Dec. 16, the comet named 46P/Wirtanen will make its 10 closest comet flybys of Earth in 70 years. And as scientists reported, you...
This illustration shows the percentage of marine animals that went extinct at the end of the Permian era by latitude, from the model (black line) and from the fossil record (blue dots). A greater percentage of marine animals survived in the tropics than at the poles. The color of the water shows the temperature change, with red being most severe warming and yellow less warming. At the top is the supercontinent Pangaea, with massive volcanic eruptions emitting carbon dioxide. The images below the line represent some of the 96 percent of marine species that died during the event. [Includes fossil drawings by Ernst Haeckel/Wikimedia; Blue crab photo by Wendy Kaveney/Flickr; Atlantic cod photo by Hans-Petter Fjeld/Wikimedia; Chambered nautilus photo by John White/CalPhotos.]Justin Penn and Curtis Deutsch/University of Washington

Global warming wiped out 95% of marine life 252 million years ago

A new study by the University of Washington has suggested that extreme global warming caused Earth's biggest ever mass extinction. The largest extinction in Earth's history...
An artist’s concept of a super-Earth in the habitable zone of a star smaller and cooler than the sun. Such large planets could have long-lasting magma oceans that generate magnetic fields capable of protecting incipient life. The graphic was created to model Kepler-62f, one of many exoplanets discovered by NASA’s now inoperable Kepler space telescope. (Image courtesy of NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/Tim Pyle)

What magnetic fields can tell us about life on other planets?

Earth has a magnetic field – it’s what makes compasses align north-south and lets us navigate the oceans. It also protects the atmosphere, and...
A dark matter hurricane is headed our way

A dark matter hurricane is headed our way

As per a recent paper, the Earth is caught directly in the focus of a cosmic hurricane. A swarm of about 100 stars, joined...
Ice spikes – aka penitentes – on the Upper Rio Blanco in the Central Andes of Argentina. Similar ice spikes could exist on the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa, at its equatorial latitudes.

Jupiter’s moon Europa may have large pointed spikes of ice on its surface

A team of researchers from Cardiff University has predicted Penitentes, large pointed spikes of ice, which is known on Earth and Pluto might be...
A team recovers NASA's Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) after a successful flight. Credit: Australian Antarctic Division

Strange particles coming out of the Earth hint at new physics

Something mysterious coming out of Antartica's frozen ground and it could potentially break physics as we know it. According to physicists, it is some sort of cosmic...
These images show the sunlit side of Earth in 10 different wavelengths of light that fall within the infrared, visible and ultraviolet ranges; the images are representational-color, because not all of these wavelengths are visible to the human eye. Each wavelength highlights different features of the planet -- for example, the continent of Africa is visible in the lower right image, but is nearly invisible in the upper left image. These observations were obtained by NASA's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) instrument onboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, satellite, on Aug. 2, 2017. Credit: NASA/NOAA

NASA uses earth as laboratory to study distant worlds

In order to study exoplanets, scientists are trying their best to provide answers to big questions about our place in the universe, and whether...
Earth's crust

New insight into Earth’s crust, mantle and outer core interactions

A new study by the University of Liverpool, in collaboration with the Universities of Lancaster and Oslo enlightens a correlation between the movement of plate...
Sea Lilly fossil

The greenery of Earth

It's been suggested that the first plant colonize the planet originated around 500 million years ago. The planet's landmasses would have been without all...