Earth's Surface

A 2.7-billion-year-old micrometeorite extracted from limestone found in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Ancient Spacedust Reveals Surprising Twist in Evolution of Earth’s Early Atmosphere

Mini fossil meteorites are providing new insights about how our ancient atmosphere evolved into its current state

Water spreads like inky-blue fingers into mangrove forests along the shore of Australia's Ord River (top). The sediment load in the water shows up as yellow and orange while mudflats stick out like a light blue bull's-eye on the lower left.

These Stunning Satellite Images Turn Earth Into Art

These images illustrate the brutal beauty geologic processes carve into our planet

What Are You Flying Over? This App Will Tell You

Flyover Country uses maps and geology databases to identify features of the landscape as a plane flies over them, no Wifi necessary

Belize's Lighthouse Reef Atoll surrounds the Blue Hole, a sunken cave system that is a haven for marine life and scuba divers.

Visit a Vertical Underwater Cave in Belize

The Great Blue Hole is the world's largest natural formation of its kind

An artist's rendering of Chicxulub, the asteroid believed to have wiped out large dinosaurs and reshaped parts of the world.

We Finally Know How Much the Dino-Killing Asteroid Reshaped Earth

The impact that wiped out large dinosaurs also dumped hundreds of feet of debris in the ocean off the Yucatán peninsula

Meteorites embedded in ice sheets that run into the Transantarctic mountains can work their way to the surface, making it easier for scientists to collect these fragmented space rocks.

Iron Meteorites Play Hide-and-Seek Under Antarctic Ice

Meteorites give scientists a glimpse into our early solar system, but the sun's rays and melting ice may make these extraterestrial crumbs harder to find

Earth as seen on July 6, 2015 from a distance of one million miles by a NASA scientific camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory spacecraft.

The Curious History of The International Flat Earth Society

The recent resurgence of this ancient idea reminds us that flat Earth believers have a long history

Fossilized microbial mats, or stromatolites are one of the oldest fossils found on Earth. This one lurked in shallow waters 3.4 billion years ago.

Life and Rocks May Have Co-Evolved on Earth

A Carnegie geologist makes the case that minerals have evolved over time and may have helped spark life

Smithsonite, or zinc spar, is a carbon zinc ore.This mineral was named in 1832 after English chemist and mineralogist James Smithson (founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution).

We Are Missing At Least 145 Carbon-Bearing Minerals, and You Can Help Find Them

The Carbon Mineral Challenge is asking rock enthusiasts around the world to hunt for the undiscovered forms of this common element

Though the new method can't produce these large sparklers yet, it may be an important part of future diamond production.

Weird New Type of Carbon Is Harder (and Brighter) Than Diamond

Dubbed Q-carbon, the material is magnetic, emits a soft glow and can be used to grow diamonds faster and cheaper than ever before

The volcanic plume responsible for the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in Iceland has also brought up bits of Earth's ancient mantle from deep inside the planet.

Earth’s Water May Be as Old as the Earth Itself

Ancient volcanic rocks may have preserved tiny samples of the planet’s original moisture

The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia left a huge crater, along with a sometimes unexpected legacy.

200 Years After Tambora, Some Unusual Effects Linger

Frankenstein, famine poetry, polar exploration—the "year without a summer" was just the beginning

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