Kepler-78b is a planet that shouldn't exist. This scorching lava world circles its star every eight and a half hours at a distance of less than one million miles - one of the tightest known orbits. According to current theories of planet formation, it couldn't have formed so Read more about Mystery World Baffles Astronomers
"How did life begin" Are we alone in the Universe? We are the first generation in history to ask those as scientific rather than philosophical questions says Andrew Knoll, professor of natural history at Harvard. The question: How did life begin on Earth is one of the big unsolved questions humanity has always asked. Biology has been very good at describing how living organisms work, but not very good at answering what life is or how it could emerge from a non-organic, non-living world.
Are the inhabitants of Earth the only life forms in the universe, or could life exist elsewhere? As astronomers rapidly identify exoplanets—those beyond our solar system—the question has been transformed from a science-fiction trope to one discussed in scientific journals and conferences.
And it quickly leads to another question: How did life start here on Earth? That question, says Dimitar Sasselov, professor of astronomy and director of the Origins of Life Initiative at Harvard, “is one of the big unsolved questions humanity has always asked.” And yet for various reasons it has Read more about Life’s Beginnings
Packing the Earth’s 4.6-billion-year history into a two-foot-by-three poster—roughly three-quarters of a billion years per square foot—is no easy task. Yet scientists from Harvard and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Chevy Chase, Maryland, have teamed up to do just that with “Earth Evolution: The Intersection of Geology and Biology”—a graphic display (opposite) of how geological and biological processes have dynamically shaped and molded the world we inhabit.