Science

5:25am

Mon January 27, 2014
Science

Grand Canyon May Be Older (And Younger) Than You Think

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 9:31 am

The eastern Grand Canyon was about half-carved (to the level of the red cliffs above the hiker) from 15 million to 25 million years ago, an analysis published Sunday suggests. But the inner gorge was likely scooped out by the Colorado River in just the past 6 million years.
Laura Crossey University of New Mexico

In recent years geologists have hotly debated the age of the Grand Canyon. Some think it's young (just 6 million years old), while others argue that it dates back 70 million years — to the days of dinosaurs.

Now one group says the Grand Canyon is neither young nor old. Instead, these geologists say, it's both.

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3:22pm

Fri January 24, 2014
Science

Tickety-Tock! An Even More Accurate Atomic Clock

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 8:24 pm

Computer networks and GPS systems are only possible because of the precision timekeeping of atomic clocks like the one above, says clockmaker and physicist Jun Ye.
Ye Group and Baxley/JILA

Scientists announced this week that they have created the most advanced clock in the world.

The clock, described this week in the journal Nature, is so precise that it would neither lose nor gain one second in about 5 billion years of continuous operation. That's pretty good, considering that the Earth itself is only around 4.5 billion years old.

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3:23am

Wed January 22, 2014
Science

Ancient And Vulnerable: 25 Percent Of Sharks And Rays Risk Extinction

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:23 am

Each year, 6 to 8 percent of the global population of sharks and rays gets caught, scientists say. The fish can't reproduce fast enough to keep pace
Mike Johnston Flickr

There are more than a thousand species of sharks and rays in the world, and nearly a quarter of them are threatened with extinction, according to a new study. That means these ancient types of fish are among the most endangered animals in the world.

This word comes from a Swiss-based group called the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which maintains the so-called Red List of species threatened with extinction.

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3:01am

Fri January 10, 2014
Science

When Big Carnivores Go Down, Even Vegetarians Take The Hit

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:45 am

Ask not for whom the wolf stalks ...
Holly Kuchera iStockphoto

Big, fierce animals — lions and tigers and bears, for example — are relatively scarce in nature. That's normal, because if you have too many, they'll eat themselves out of prey.

But top predators are now so rare that many are in danger of disappearing. That's creating ripple effects throughout the natural world that scientists are still trying to figure out.

What they're exploring is ecology — the interplay of animals and plants in nature. It's not rocket science. It's harder.

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3:37pm

Thu January 9, 2014
Space

Space Weather Will Create Rare Northern Lights In Colorado

An aurora as seen over the Poker Flat Research Range north of Fairbanks, Alaska.
NOAA

Skies across Colorado will offer a rare opportunity for seeing the Northern Lights — typically seen in places like Canada and Alaska. The impetus for this natural phenomenon comes from a powerful geomagnetic storm caused by an eruption from the sun.

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