The Whole Saga of the Supercontinents

By now, you’ve surely picked up on the idea that the study of natural history is basically the study of how the world has changed. The study of how we all got here. And of course, the world continues to change, all the time. I mean, literally. I’m not just talking about how life adapts, or how the climate is changing. I mean the planet itself, as an object, is in a constant state of flux — because the ground beneath your feet is always moving. So, the place where you are right now was not always … there. For […]

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Can We Get DNA From Fossils?

More than 120 million years ago, in a hot, conifer-filled forest in what’s now India, a small insect made a terrible mistake. While searching for a tasty meal of pine pollen it wandered one step too far, only to find itself trapped in sticky, yellow resin. Tired from its flight, this small weevil was quickly entombed in the fragrant yellow material, which eventually became the substance we know today as Amber. Then, in 1993, scientists cracked open this very same piece of amber. They took the body of the weevil, and they sampled its DNA. Now, this is not a […]

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Everything, The Universe…And Life: Crash Course Astronomy #46

Whats up all people. Phil Plait here with Crash course Astronomyfor one final time. Weve come a ways together, you and i, from the banging opening of the Universe to its far, a ways, future; from subatomic scales to superclusters of galaxies. Weve watched the sky, mapped the way it looks to us from the ground, after which sailed out into the black to examine its denizens up close. And one among my favourite constituents weve seen how human beings, persons like you and me, have labored over the centuries to determine all these things out. Had been lovely clever […]

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Galaxies, part 1: Crash Course Astronomy #38

We reside in a lovely cool nearby: the Milky approach galaxy. Were out within the suburbs, sure, however its still an exciting place, buzzing with pastime. Stars, nebulae, stellar clusters of various types, the occasional supernova. Its a taking place situation. In the earliest part of the twentieth century, astronomers have been just establishing to determine this all out. But there have been a handful of objects that have been difficult: Dotting the sky here and there have been faint fuzzies showing a kind of shapes. Some have been circular, some elongated, and a few even looked as if it […]

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