Scientists Find One Billion Year Old Fungi, Earth’s Oldest

Scientists recently found one billion-year-old fungi in Canada, changing the way we view evolution and the timing of plants and animals here on Earth. The fossilized specimen was collected in Canada’s Arctic by an international team and later identified to be the oldest fungi ever found, sitting somewhere between 900 million and 1 billion years old. The research changes how we view eukaryotes colonizing the land. Read more.

Hyperactive comets may hold key to Earth sea mystery

New measurements may explain isotope ratio differences between ice in comets and water in oceans.

A class of comets that behave in a way that contradicts the equations that best describe them could hold the key to the origin of Earth’s water, researchers suggest. Read more.

Fears Grow That ‘Nuclear Coffin’ Is Leaking Waste Into The Pacific

The tropical blue skies over the southern Pacific Ocean were enveloped by towering mushroom clouds lingering over the Marshall Islands in 1954 as the United States continued its testing of nuclear weapons. 

The United States conducted 67 nuclear weapon tests from 1946 to 1958 on the pristine Marshall Islands. The most powerful test was the “Bravo” hydrogen bomb in 1954, which was about 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The extensive nuclear bomb testing blanketed the islands in radioactive ash, covering it in the fine, white, powder-like substance. Children, unaware of what the radioactive ash was, played in the “snow” and ate it according to the Atomic Heritage Foundation. Read more.

Radiation in parts of the Marshall Islands is far higher than Chernobyl, study says

Think of the most radioactive landscapes on the planet, and the names Chernobyl and Fukushima may come to mind.

Yet research suggests that parts of the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific, where the United States conducted 67 nuclear tests during the Cold War, should be added to the list.  In a peer-reviewed study, Columbia University researchers report that soil on four isles of the Marshall Islands contains concentrations of nuclear isotopes that greatly exceed those found near the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plants. On one isle, those levels are reported to be 1,000 times higher. Read more.

Hunt for the Sun’s superflares

On March 10, 1989, solar astronomers observed an intense brightening on the Sun followed by a massive explosion that hurled a billion tonnes of hot ionised gas into space. These were tell-tale signs of a solar flare, a magnetised plasma storm ... A few days later on March 13, 1989, the Quebec power grid tripped, blanketing large parts of Canada in darkness and shutting down the Montreal metro network. Out in space, satellites started malfunctioning, radio communications broke down ... Read more.