Deep Earth creepy crawlies, mushrooms making rain, and a Maya city buried in ash are just a few highlights from this year's collection of science stories.

Cool Science Stories You May Have Missed in 2015

Quantum spookiness, a Maya city buried in ash and more in this year’s surprising science

A crowd sends aloft a balloon representation of Earth at Piazza Venezia during a climate change rally in Rome a day before the COP21 conference in Paris.

What Will Make the Paris Climate Talks a Success?

This episode of Generation Anthropocene explores the history of the UN climate summit and what's different at this year's event

This creamy expanse is Sputnik Planum, the western lobe of the heart-shaped feature on Pluto.

Pluto May Have Ice Volcanoes at the Bottom of Its Heart

Two southern peaks have depressions that hint they once spewed icy slurry onto the tiny world's surface

Matt Damon stars as Mark Watney, the titular "Martian" who gets left for dead on the red planet.

The Secret of "The Martian" Success? Scientific Peer Review

Andy Weir's tale of a stranded astronaut got its start as a blog, complete with reader comments that helped shape the plot

Cities can be problems and solutions for environmental sustainability.

Creating an Equation for Cities May Solve Ecological Conundrums

In this Generation Anthropocene podcast, scientists explore the ways urbanization might lead to a greener future

A chance thunderstorm was the inspiration for Gordon Hempton's career as the Sound Tracker.

Are There Any Places on Earth Left Untouched by Noise Pollution?

In this Generation Anthropocene podcast, an acoustic ecologist tours the planet in search of pristine soundscapes

Dancing with the flames.

What the Evolution of Fire Can Teach Us About Climate Change

This Generation Anthropocene podcast looks at the history of fire and the ways the world changed once humans harnessed its power

Doomsday mushrooms?

Death By Fungus, and Other Fun Facts About Fungal Friends and Foes

This Generation Anthropocene episode highlights oft overlooked organisms that may help us better understand human impacts

The remains of slash-and-burn land clearing in Rondônia in 1985.

How a Farming Project in Brazil Turned Into a Social and Ecological Tragedy

This week's Generation Anthropocene podcast looks at Rondônia, a textbook tale of how not to set up sustainable land use

People walk past the damaged Durbar High School a few days after the major earthquake that struck Nepal in April.

What Happened When a Disaster Preparedness Expert Was Caught in an Earthquake

In this Generation Anthropocene podcast, geologist Anne Sanquini gives her first-hand account of April's disaster in Nepal

Climate change is raising the stakes for human conflict.

A Hotter Climate May Boost Conflict, From Shootings to Wars

In this episode of Generation Anthropocene, scientists explore the link between rising temperatures and aggression

Workers prepare the Fat Man, the implosion bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki in August 1945.

How Physics Drove the Design of the Atomic Bombs Dropped on Japan

The gun-like design of the Little Boy bomb was effectively the last of its kind

Elephants are complex communicators.

How Elephants and Songbirds Are Helping Humans Communicate

In this Generation Anthropocene podcast, social animals show scientists how to trace our evolution and improve interactions

Ensuring a bountiful harvest will require some ingenuity.

How Will We Feed 9 Billion People on Earth of the Future?

This week's Generation Anthropocene reveals how seeds on ice and poisonous tubers may offer hope for food security

Mission operations manager Alice Bowman shares the real secret behind the Pluto flyby in December 2014.

These Pictures Give a Rare Glimpse Into the Heart of the Pluto Flyby

Spanning the full 9.5 years of the mission to date, the images by Michael Soluri capture the people behind the epic close encounter

Turns out Pluto is covered in ice mountains up to 11,000 feet high.

Behold, the First Closeup Pictures From the Pluto Flyby Are Here

From fresh-faced moons to ice mountains, these are the visual surprises that hit the ground the day after the Pluto flyby

Exaggerating the colors on Pluto and Charon helps mission scientists see distinct terrains on each icy world.

Where Will the New Horizons Probe Go After Pluto?

The historic flyby may be over, but the spacecraft should still go on to study even smaller bodies on its path through the Kuiper belt

Pluto as seen by New Horizons on July 13, when the spacecraft was about 476,000 miles from the surface.

The New Horizons Probe Has Made Its Closest Approach to Pluto

Mission scientists have received the confirmation signal that the pre-programmed event went as planned and the craft is healthy

Not all water is easy to see.

How Can We Keep Track of Earth's Invisible Water?

This week's episode of Generation Anthropocene goes on a deep dive into some of the planet's more mysterious water sources

The world as we knew it.

How Geography Shaped Societies, From Neanderthals to iPhones

This weeks' episode of Generation Anthropocene discusses efforts to quantify social development and the cultural retention of the Navajo

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