Deep in the Amazon, the rain forest once covered ancient secrets. Spread across hundreds of thousands of acres are massive, geometric earthworks. The carvings stretch out in circles and squares that can be as big as a city block, with trenches up to 12 yards wide and 13 feet deep.
Two celestial events will take place on Friday night: a lunar eclipse and the passing of a comet. While both sound significant, neither will be much of a spectacle for the casual skygazer.
As he prepares to launch a fact-filled show into a fact-challenged world, Bill Nye, a.k.a. the Science Guy, is looking on the bright side. “You have to be optimistic,” the author, engineer and television personality said in a phone interview.
If you’re reading this at home, pause and put on a song you can’t resist dancing to. Go on, bop your head to the beat. Let yourself wiggle a bit. Throw in some arms and legs.
Lava lovers, rejoice. A Hawaiian fire hose of lava that gushed for a whole month, and then seemed to disappear last week, has become visible again as it deposits even more liquefied rock into the ocean.
On the rocky cliffs of the Himalayas, the path to snow leopard conservation is paved in feces. Their population decimated by poaching and habitat destruction, only about 4,000 of the endangered cats remain in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
They found the first carcasses in late December, on the frozen steppes of Mongolia’s western Khovd province. By the end of January, officials in the region had recorded the deaths of 2,500 endangered saiga antelopes — about a quarter of the country’s saiga population — and scientists had identified a culprit: a virus called peste des petits ruminants, or P.P.R.