Last week was a busy one for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, a detection agency set up to identify nations when they test nuclear weapons banned by treaty. On Tuesday, the organization's seismographs detected a rumble in North Korea that could only have been an atomic test. Then on Friday, CTBTO infrasound sensors picked up an explosion over Russia, but this time, it wasn't a nuclear test.
A meteorite streaked through the sky Friday morning, exploding over central Russia. Plant your eyeballs here for the latest updates. 3:15 p.m. EST:Russia Today writes that the estimated cost of damage has been revised down from 1 billion rubles to 400 million rubles, or about $13 million.
Meteorite chunks that fell in Morocco last summer came from Mars, yielding an unexpected 15-pound sample of the Red Planet, scientists confirmed Tuesday. It’s the first time in 50 years — and only the fifth time ever — that scientists have chemically confirmed that pieces of rock came from Mars.
The rocks were found in December and analyzed by a committee of meteorite experts. The biggest one weighs a little more than 2 pounds.
When our planet was still forming, collisions with other planetesimals — and a Mars-sized object that sheared away the moon — turned the embryonic Earth into a roiling ball of molten rock. Iron and other heavy elements sank toward the core, and other iron-loving elements did, too. As a result, there’s plenty of gold at our planet’s center. So why, then, is there also gold in the hills? A new study supports the theory that it was all a gift from above.
A new network of surveillance cameras will track meteorites as they enter Earth’s atmosphere, helping meteor-hunters track where the rocks land and where they came from.
So far, there are only three cameras, but astronomers hope to add a dozen more in schools and science centers, eventually broadening the All-Sky Fireball Network to the entire country. The system consists of smart black-and-white cameras that record the entire night sky, fish-eye-like.
Did a NASA scientist find fossilized alien microbes embedded in a 146-year-old meteorite? As this claim emerged over the weekend, the answer from the scientific community so far appears to be something between “Um, what?” and “No.”
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.