Geology

Fires From Asteroid May Have Spared Some Regions

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 16, 2002   View Article

About 65 million years ago a space rock slammed into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and scattered high-velocity debris around Earth, igniting wildfires in North America, the Indian subcontinent, and most of the equatorial part of the world.

However, northern Asia, Europe, Antarctica and possibly much of Australia may have been spared the inferno, according to a new computer simulation of how the wildfires spread around the world.

Why Is Earth’s Girth Bulging?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 7, 2002   View Article

This is heavy.

Something massive is moving on or within the Earth and causing the planet’s gravity field to get wider around the equator and flatter at the poles, according to a pair of scientists studying the field with sensitive satellite instruments.

Group of Microbes Change Dissolved Gold to Solid

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 30, 2001   View Article

Breathing is a rich experience for a group of unusual microbes that typically live deep beneath the sea.

A microbiologist has found that microscopic organisms known as extremophiles breathe in dissolved gold and out comes the stuff of gold rings, necklaces, and earrings. The finding may explain how some gold ore deposits formed.

Delphic Oracle’s Lips May Have Been Loosened by Gas Vapors

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 14, 2001   View Article

The oracle of Delphi in Greece was the telephone psychic of ancient times: People came from all over Europe to call on the Pythia at Mount Parnassus to have their questions about the future answered. Her answers could determine when farmers planted their fields or when an empire declared war.

The Pythia, a role filled by different women from about 1400 B.C. to A.D. 381, was the medium through which the god Apollo spoke.

1993 Volcano Eruption Spews Books

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 13, 2001   View Article

High in the Andes the Earth’s crust shatters with a sonic boom and incandescent rocks sizzle through the air. Six scientists and three tourists perish instantly. Several others run for their lives. Firebombs pummel them. Flesh burns. Bones break. Wounds bleed.

The 1993 eruption of Colombia’s Galeras volcano was a disaster.

“No one predicted there would be an eruption,” said Stanley Williams, a professor of geology at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona, whose firsthand account of the 1993 eruption, Surviving Galeras, was published this April.

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