Apply scientific reasoning and evidence from ancient Earth materials, meteorites, and other planetary surfaces to construct an account of Earth's formation and early history.

  1. Fossils

    Clues to the Great Dying

    Millions of years ago, nearly all life on Earth vanished. Scientists are now starting to figure out what happened.

  2. Space

    Pollution may give ‘first’ stars a youthful look

    The oldest stars should be made of only light elements. But these suns may have sucked up heavier elements, giving them a more youthful appearance, a new study finds.

  3. Planets

    Pluto hosts ice mountains, data suggest

    Geologic activity appears to have been reshaping Pluto, erasing craters and more.

  4. Planets

    Picture This: Pluto hearts us

    As a little spacecraft flies by Pluto, it is snapping up high resolution images and collecting unparalleled data.

  5. Planets

    Asteroids boiled young Earth’s oceans

    At least two asteroids hit Earth 3.3 billion years ago. This superheated the atmosphere, boiled the oceans and shaped how early life evolved.

  6. Chemistry

    Cooking up life for the first time

    The basic components for life could have emerged together nearly 4 billion years ago on the surface of Earth, chemists report.

  7. Space

    Dust erases evidence of primordial gravity waves

    In March 2014, scientists claimed to have found the first echoes of the Big Bang — ripples in the very fabric of space. A new analysis shows the experts were mistaken. Dust appears to explain the confusion.

  8. Planets

    Explainer: What are asteroids?

    Leftovers from the creation of the solar system, asteroids are space rocks that orbit the sun. Let’s hope the big ones never become meteorites.

  9. Earth

    Meteorites likely wiped out Earth’s earliest life

    Enormous meteorites appear to have slammed into Earth several times early in its history. Each mega-smashup would have boiled off oceans and obliterated any bit of life.

  10. Planets

    Heavenly research

    Groundbreaking research in astronomy landed four high school seniors spots as finalists in the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search.

  11. Space

    Waves from the birth of time

    Inflation is the idea that in the split-second after the Big Bang, the universe exploded into huge-ness. Although the hypothesis is 30 years old, evidence to confirm it had been lacking. Until now.

  12. Earth

    Deep drilling at sea