Earth's Surface

A present-day orange demosponge (Agelas oroides) can be found off the coast of Corfu, Greece. Research suggests sponges may have lived on Earth 890 million years ago.

SCIENCE

This Sponge Fossil May Be the Earliest Record of Animal Life

To investigate how these glowing clouds form, Richard Collins a space physicist, and his team in 2018 launched a suborbital rocket filled with water, known as NASA's Super Soaker Rocket, into the Alaskan sky to try and create an artificial polar mesospheric cloud.

SMART NEWS SCIENCE

To Study Night-Shining Clouds, NASA Used Its 'Super Soaker' Rocket to Make a Fake One

InSight was sent on a mission to answer questions about the Red Planet's crust, mantle and core, known as the "inner space."

SMART NEWS

Mars InSight Lander Offers a Sneak Peek at the Red Planet's Inner Layers

SMART NEWS

Did a 1964 Earthquake Bring a Dangerous Fungus to the Pacific Northwest?

Earth's Crust

A radar image of Venus' largest block of crust, located in the planet's lowlands and identified by the authors of a new paper.

SMART NEWS

Venus May Still Be Geologically Active

Zircons are the oldest minerals in the world and come in colors like the rich blue above. Researchers have now used these gemstones to identify when modern plate tectonics began.

AT THE SMITHSONIAN

Earth's Oldest Minerals Hold Clues About the Likely Start of Plate Tectonics

Fin whale songs are some of the loudest animals in the ocean, producing calls that can reach 189 decibels and are almost as loud as container ships.

SMART NEWS

Researchers Use Whale Calls to Probe Undersea Geology

InSight was sent on a mission to answer questions about the Red Planet's crust, mantle and core, known as the "inner space."

SMART NEWS

Mars InSight Lander Offers a Sneak Peek at the Red Planet's Inner Layers

Featured story

Nematodes (blue) wiggle inside a stalactite from a South African gold mine in this image taken with a microscope.

SCIENCE

Inner Earth Is Teeming With Exotic Forms of Life

More than a mile below the surface, our planet supports diverse creatures that could give us clues about life across the solar system

Earth's Mantle

The Earth’s oceans have risen and fallen over the millennia. But they have, on average, been relatively stable over billions of years. The balance of the deep water cycle—the exchange of water between the Earth’s surface and its interior—has an important role to play in maintaining that stability.

SCIENCE

How the Earth's Mantle Sends Water Up Toward the Surface

The island's volcano has entered its sixth week of eruption and shows no signs of stopping. As seismic activity continues to increase, La Palma could be hit with an earthquake measuring a six on the Richter magnitude scale.

SMART NEWS

Spain's La Palma Volcano Continues to Erupt and Spew Ash

A radar image of Venus' largest block of crust, located in the planet's lowlands and identified by the authors of a new paper.

SMART NEWS

Venus May Still Be Geologically Active

InSight was sent on a mission to answer questions about the Red Planet's crust, mantle and core, known as the "inner space."

SMART NEWS

Mars InSight Lander Offers a Sneak Peek at the Red Planet's Inner Layers

Earth's Core

InSight was sent on a mission to answer questions about the Red Planet's crust, mantle and core, known as the "inner space."

SMART NEWS

Mars InSight Lander Offers a Sneak Peek at the Red Planet's Inner Layers

The rotation and convection of molten iron at the center of the planet creates a dynamo effect, generating Earth's magnetic field.

SCIENCE

Earth's Magnetic Field Could Take Longer to Flip Than Previously Thought

That's so metal.

SMART NEWS

Planetary Smash-Up May Have Produced This Distant Iron Exoplanet

SMART NEWS

Magnetic North Is Cruising Toward Siberia, Puzzling Scientists