Micrometeorites extracted from ancient rocks in Australia contain minerals that suggest oxygen was present in the upper atmosphere 2.7 billion years ago. (Credit: Andrew Tomkins)

New Insights into Earth’s Ancient Atmosphere

May 16, 2016

Although it’s hard to imagine, Earth didn’t always have the oxygen-rich atmosphere we breathe today. In fact, until about two and a half billion years ago, the air contained almost no oxygen gas at all. You...


How moths trick bats with their own sonar

May 9, 2016

If you’re a big, delicious insect like the luna moth, how can you escape a predator like the big brown bat? You can’t outfly bats. Your beautiful, light-green wings span up to 4.5 inches, but they...


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Europa and Enceladus: Searching for Life on Icy Moons

May 2, 2016

We hear a lot about the prospect of microorganisms existing on Mars and probes of increasing complexity that will be going there in the years to come, but the life search will also examine the outer...


A model of the double helix structure of  DNA. (Wikimedia Commons)

The secret of life revealed: Today in science history

April 25, 2016

On April 25, 1953, the “secret of life” was revealed in a short article in Nature that began, “We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid (D.N.A.). This structure has novel...



Researchers think that melting of the mantle (the red blob the right) changed the internatl structure of the moon, causing the axis to shift from the blue line to the green line. (Credit: James Keane, U of Arizona)

The moon’s wandering pole

March 28, 2016

If you’re an avid watcher of the night sky — or a Pink Floyd fan — you probably know that we Earthlings always see the same side of the moon. We always see the bright side,...


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Celebrating All Things Pi on 3/14

March 14, 2016

There’s no better time to celebrate the magic of mathematics than Pi Day, which of course is on 3/14. Called by some the geekiest day of the year, Pi Day (also Albert Einstein’s birthday) is a great...


(c) New York Times

Research in the Classroom: Taking Action

February 27, 2016

The idea of conducting research can instill fear in many who are unfamiliar with its many varieties. Particularly in science-related areas, it’s easy to conjure images of white-coated, protective-goggle-wearing individuals hunkered over Erlenmeyer flasks waiting for...