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Earth & Space

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Thunderstruck! A quasicrystal made by lightning

Quasicrystals are materials with a quasiperiodic atomic arrangement, meaning that their atoms are in an ordered structure, like normal crystals, but this structure does not repeat itself at regular intervals.  Such atomic configuration has strong impacts on the physical properties of these materials. Quasicrystals are... click to read more

  • Luca Bindi | Full Professor at University of Florence
Views 1017
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Sep 11, 2023
A mysterious object in our Galaxy pulses every 76 seconds

Neutron stars are extremely dense remnants of massive star explosions (supernova). They measure about 20 km in diameter and a teaspoon of neutron star material would weigh 4 billion tons on Earth. We currently know of about 3,000 of these in our own Galaxy. Neutron... click to read more

Views 1200
Reading time 3 min
published on Aug 9, 2023
Of Microbes and Megastorms

When you think of living creatures, the first things that come to mind are probably lush plants and big animals. However, most lifeforms on Earth are microscopic, and for most of the Earth’s history, such microbes ruled the planet. Plants and animals have only been... click to read more

Views 1185
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Aug 7, 2023
Nitrogen is becoming less available in ecosystems around the world

You probably don’t spend much time thinking about nitrogen. If you do, maybe you think of it as a pollutant. Fertilizer running off farm fields, livestock manure giving off ammonia, and burning fossil fuels all add nitrogen to the environment. This nitrogen contributes to the... click to read more

  • Rachel Mason | Research Scientist at Arizona State University
Views 1189
Reading time 3 min
published on Jul 28, 2023
Agriculture and climate change driving worldwide insect declines

Insects are critical for the functioning of life on earth. They support the provisioning of a wide variety of ecosystem services including pollination, pest control and decomposition. Therefore, the growing number of peer-reviewed studies publishing reports of steep insect declines should be of pressing concern.... click to read more

Views 1206
Reading time 3 min
published on Aug 2, 2023