Oxygen, nitrogen, and what happens when biology gets involved How the Great Oxidation Event and photosynthesis created the nitrogen cycle we know today

When studying Earth’s past, researchers want to understand how nutrients like nitrogen cycled and the impact biology had on them. Scientists rely on ancient rock, soil, fossils, and marine sediment to understand the world that used to be.  Approximately 2.5 READ MORE

Can life hiding near Yellowstone National Park’s hot springs tell us about the ancient Earth? Sunlight-driven life hiding under layers of silica near Yellowstone’s hot springs may hold clues for what Earth was like billions of years ago

Yellowstone National Park is famous for its hot springs, geysers, wildlife, and incredible geology. While the area is popular among visitors every year, scientists are also excited about the hot springs at this site as they create unique habitats for READ MORE

Are the Building Blocks of Life From A Hydrothermal Vent? How studying hydrothermal systems gives us a window into our past

When scientists think of a very early Earth, they think of a hot, hostile place not too long after the birth of the solar system more than 4 billion years ago. This time in the Earth’s history is called the READ MORE

Believe it or not, we can (kind of) measure the air pressure of early Earth! Blue-green algae's response to different nitrogen pressures may tell us what fossils to look for and what those fossils tell us about ancient air pressure.

Blue-green algae’s response to different nitrogen pressures may tell us what fossils to look for and what those fossils tell us about ancient air pressure.

Using Gas Bubbles in Lava to Predict Ancient Air Pressure Scientists can estimate what the atmospheric pressure was on Earth 2.7 billion years ago, and the findings may help us understand how life formed

by Sumeet Kulkarni Guest Contributor, BMSIS Young Scientist Program What was the weather like in New York last week? You can look it up on weather.com. What was it like on March 7, 1953, in the pre-internet era? You might be READ MORE

For a Cooler Climate, Just Add Ice Should scientists attempt to slow climate change by intentionally increasing the size of the Greenland Ice Sheet to reflect sunlight away from the planet?

Should we geoengineer larger ice caps to reflect radiation away from the Earth to cool the climate? Is this a good idea? This article briefly explores these questions, based on the work of Jacob Haqq-Misra of Blue Marble Space Institute of Science.

Lasers and Fool’s Gold Give a Glimpse Into Our Ocean’s Past The amount of pyrite in the sea floor gives us an idea of how much oxygen was in the ocean millions of years ago.

The amount of trace elements in ocean pyrite correspond to ocean oxygen concentrations at different points in geologic time.

New Cavity Discovered in the Great Pyramid of Egypt Cosmic rays from space allowed scientists to detect a mysterious 4000 year old cavity deep in the Great Pyramid

An international team of scientists recently detected a new cavity in the 4000 year old Great Pyramid of Egypt! The detection method, muon tomography, is non-intrusive and so the discovery still awaits confirmation using more traditional techniques that involve (minimally READ MORE

Lost & Found: The ancient Aitape Skull may be from the oldest known tsunami victim New research suggests that a skull fragment discovered in 1929 came from a tsunami victim some 6,000 years ago.

Tsunami are among the most destructive natural events that happen on our planet. From the Japanese term meaning “harbor wave”, tsunami occur when large volumes of water are quickly moved about in the ocean, which can be driven by events READ MORE

Life May Be Even Older Than We Thought! Careful analyses of the composition of ancient rocks betrays the presence of life

How long has life been around on Earth? Is life an inevitable part of planet formation? The second question is tough to answer, but if life formed soon after the planet formed, then this has important ramifications for the abundance READ MORE