Mount Everest’s New Height

Officials from Nepal and China, the two nations that border Mount Everest, just announced a new official height for the mountain. Now documented as standing at 8,848.86 meters (29,031.69 feet) tall, Everest measures three feet more than the previous height, which was recorded in the 1950s. A number of facts impact Everest’s official height: earthquakes can cause it to sink somewhat, while shifting tectonic plates …

Earth’s Oldest Asteroid Impact is Two Billion Years Old

The oldest asteroid collision on the planet, the Yarrabubba impact crater in Western Australia, is a whopping 2.229 billion years old. After analyzing minerals at the crater site, researchers have found the asteroid hit at the end of an era called Snowball Earth (one of the planet’s ice ages). Scientists, led by Dr Timmons Erickson (a geochronologist at Houston’s NASA Johnson Space Center), studied around …

The Roof at the Bottom of the World

A history of exploration in the world's most enigmatic range

One of the last remaining mysteries of the terrestrial world, the Transantarctic Mountains that abut the South Pole elicit the kind of exploratory giddiness typically reserved for 16th century seafarers. Scientist-explorer Edmund Stump has charted the courses of previous polar expeditions through this magnificent range, bringing to bear the trials of exploration from Clark Ross’ initial 1840 voyage to scientific missions of the late 20th …