Earth & Space
Methane ice dunes on Pluto
Prior to NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto in July 2015, the highest resolution image of the dwarf planet was just twelve pixels across the whole world. New Horizons' images, from its single 30000 mph fly-by, were at best around 80 m per pixel, and... click to read more
Biodiversity – a double-edged sword for ecological stability?
Ecosystems are characterized by a remarkable ability to withstand changes in the environment. Your favorite meadow may look different in hot and dry year, compared to one with abundant rain, because the most common species in each year may be very different. However, you will... click to read more
The first interstellar immigrant of the solar system
Our solar system did not form in isolation from the rest of the Galaxy. It was part of a star cluster where each member has its own planets and asteroids. The close proximity of the cluster members favored strong gravitational interactions that pulled asteroids and... click to read more
When did land appear over water (and why does it matter)?
When Yuri Gagarin first saw the earth from the space in 1961 it looked as a blue-yellow planet with white clouds, a fragile view that was reinforced by the American astronauts who saw the Earth from the moon. The blue aquaplanet, completely covered with water... click to read more
Steady decline of coral reefs in the Anthropocene
Tropical coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse, socially, ecologically and economically valuable, and environmentally sensitive ecosystems of the planet. The engineers of this ecosystem are reef-building corals, close relatives of jellyfish that live in an intimate, mutually-benefitting relationship (symbiosis) with single-celled algae... click to read more