Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are known as the rocky planets, in contrast the Solar System’s gas giants-Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, writes Time. Yet Mercury doesn’t quite fit with the other rocky worlds, Erik Asphaug, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University, said in a statement.
Below are 5 facts about the Earth. Some things I already knew (and probably you do, too), some I had ideas about and had to do some research to check, and others I totally made up. Wait! No! Kidding. They’re all real. But how many of them do you know? Be honest.
Earth may have once looked a little more like Mars: a planet with two moons. It’s not the first time the theory has been trotted out by Erik Asphaug, but it’s getting new life thanks to an upcoming conference about our natural satellite. Asphaug says the second moon would have been much tinier—about 1/30th the size of our moon. But after orbiting Earth for a few million years, it would have had quite the impact, literally, on its larger twin.
At a pink limestone quarry in Sweden, scientists have discovered a new type of meteor. This new space rock could hold the secret to the “explosion” of life on Earth nearly 500 million years ago. In this limestone quarry, west of Stockholm, workers have found 101 meteorite in the past 20 years, all of them are part of an iron-poor class called the L chondrites.
From surviving ancient manuscripts it is clear that there has always been a belief that new lands could rise up from the ocean, while old ones could sink into the sea, destroying former civilizations in the process. The most famous of all the lost lands is that of Atlantis, described in great detail by Plato almost 2,500 years ago.
On a clear night, you might be able to spot the red dwarf star Gliese 832 through a backyard telescope, as it is just 16 light years away. Today, astronomers announced the discovery of super-Earth planet orbiting this nearby star and say it might be the best candidate yet for habitable world.
The oldest rocks ever discovered in our solar system have been dated back about 4.57 billion years, meaning Earth obviously finished forming later than that. However, determining exactly when that happened can be difficult. New research presented by French geochemists from the University of Lorraine has revealed xenon isotopes. These isotopes indicate that the Earth and Moon are 60 million years older than was previously believed.
Among all natural disasters, earthquakes stand out as the least predictable and the most destructive. The extensive damages they cause that have made them feared since antiquity. Since there are no scientifically proven means of predicting earthquakes (at least, not yet), the only lesson that we’ve learned from past quakes is that mitigation is more reliable than forecasting.