The Sun Is Coming!

Earth got off relatively easy last week after being hit by the biggest blast of solar radiation since 2005—but we may not be so lucky next time. Last week’s coronal mass ejection, in which a solar flare whipped an arc of magnetic particles toward Earth at 4 million mph, led some airlines to reroute flights away from the poles, where […]

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Orbital Chaos Inevitable

It’s a little bit less certain that the inner planets— Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars—will still be around to die that way. “There is a one percent chance the inner solar system will go dramatically unstable during the next five billion years,” says Laughlin. The problem is a weird long-distance connection between Jupiter and Mercury. When Jupiter’s closest approach to […]

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Earth’s bigger, older cousins

Astronomers have discovered the larg­est rocky planet yet, and its existence has profound implications for our understanding of the early universe and the potential for extraterrestrial life. Kepler-10c, which was spotted by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, has a diameter of roughly 18,000 miles—more than twice that of Earth —prompting scientists to create a new class of planets, dubbed “mega-Earths.”The body’s […]

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Galactic turmoil ahead

The Milky Way and its closest neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, are on course for “ a head-on collision,” says astronomer Roeland van der Marel of the Space Telescope Science Institute. But no need for precautions because the crash won’t happen for another 4 billion years. Researchers have long known that Andromeda, currently some 2.5 million light-years away, is moving toward […]

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Next Superpower Countries?

These nations have been dismissed as underdogs and weaklings. But like budding superheroes, they’ve been sitting on hidden talents. And now they’re about to fly. 1. FINLAND SUPERPOWER: INVINCIBLE TEACHERS If you’re a kid in Finland, you don’t start school until you’re 7 years old. There’s almost no homework until you’re a teenager. You don’t wear a uniform, you can […]

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