Lena Westlin

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The Secrets in Greenland’s Ice Sheet

At one point several hundred thousand years ago, snow began falling over the center of the earth’s largest island. The snow did not melt, and in the years that followed, storms brought even more. All around Greenland, the arctic temperatures remained low enough for the snow to last past spring and …

Global Warming

Our Prehistoric Cousins Had Demonic Skulls

If there’s one conference I can’t bear to miss, it’s the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology annual meeting. Especially because there’s always at least one image presented during the talks that makes me sit bolt upright in my chair and think “What the hell is <i>that</i>?” A few years ago it was when the …

Paleontology

Stare into this 4K video of the Sun for half an hour

There's not a ton to say about this amazing video of the Sun that NASA released this week. It was created from images taken every 12 seconds by the agency's Solar Dynamics Observatory, and took about 300 hours to stitch together. But really, the upshot is that it's an eye-melting 30-minute 4K video …

Astronomy
Andrew Scheer

Ears of Ancient Chinese Terra-Cotta Warriors Offer Clues to Their Creation

Technology yields new insight into how a Chinese emperor produced an army for eternity within his tomb.<p>China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, was a man haunted by death.<p>In 246 B.C. the adolescent ruler commissioned a massive tomb furnished with everything he'd need for the next life, including an …

Archaeology

Measuring Everest's Monster Avalanche

How big was the ice block that killed 16 Sherpas?<p>On April 18, 2014, a massive ice formation, known as a serac, broke apart on Mount Everest, triggering an avalanche of snow and ice that barreled through the Khumbu Icefall, a notoriously dangerous zone between Base Camp and Camp I, killing 16 …

Mountaineering