The moon is shrinking — also, moonquakes are a thing

A new NASA report shakes up lunar geology.

  • The moon is indeed shrinking. It has been since it formed.
  • The shrinking is producing thousands of fault lines.
  • Archived seismometer data from Apollo missions show moonquakes.
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Surprising Science

There’s gold in your brain — we now know where it came from

The answer is surprisingly simple, if cataclysmic.

Image source: tomertu/BravissimoS/Shutterstock/Big Think
  • A unique, tiny grain of stardust has provided a look at the early universe.
  • Computer simulations point to a single neutron-star collision as a significant source of heavy metals.
  • Gold is more than bling — it's in our neurons.
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Surprising Science

Watch how this video brilliantly compares planet sizes

What if all planets were the same distance from Earth as the Moon?

Yeti Dynamics
  • A video imagines what it would look like if the planets were all the same distance from Earth as the Moon.
  • The largest planets like Jupiter and Saturn would loom large in the sky.
  • Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system.
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Surprising Science

What would alternate, alien forms of life look like?

All life as we know it relies on carbon and water. But researchers speculate this doesn't have to be the case.

Photo credit: JR Korpa on Unsplash
  • Life on Earth (and therefore all life we know) relies on carbon and water.
  • Carbon and water make for excellent ingredients when making life, but many other elements could serve in their place under the right conditions.
  • What are these alternative forms of life and under what conditions could they flourish?
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Surprising Science

A new theory explains Jupiter’s perplexing origin

A new computer model solves a pair of Jovian riddles.

(NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill)
  • Astronomers have wondered how a gas giant like Jupiter could sit in the middle of our solar system's planets.
  • Also unexplained has been the pair of asteroid clusters in front of and behind Jupiter in its orbit.
  • Putting the two questions together revealed the answer to both.
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Surprising Science