Ancient Lost Continent Discovered in Indian Ocean

Ancient Lost Continent Discovered in Indian OceanEvidence of a drowned “microcontinent” has been found in sand grains from the beaches of a small Indian Ocean island, scientists say.

A well-known tourist destination, Mauritius (map) is located about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) off the coast of Africa, east of Madagascar. Scientists think the tiny island formed some nine million years ago from cooling lava spewed by undersea volcanoes.

But recently, researchers have found sand grains on Mauritius that contain fragments of the mineral zircon that are far older than the island, between 660 million and about 2 billion years old. [Read more...]

Message From The Heavens Is A Rallying Cry

Message From The Heavens Is A Rallying CryTwo staggering events have just occurred. The largest meteor to survive entry through the Earth’s atmosphere in over a century made impact. The exploding streak of light and resulting sonic boom occurred over a population centre in Russia and was captured on film from multiple angles. The surviving parts of the meteor that did not burn up on entry hit just outside of Chelyabinsk, a small industrial city almost the size of Adelaide.

Thousands were injured — mostly by flying glass from windows shattered by the impact. More than 500 sought medical attention, with more than 100 hospitalised. The good news is no fatalities were reported because the impact was outside the city. If the meteorite was larger or the impact zone was in the centre of the city, the results would have been far more grave. [Read more...]

Year’s Last Total Lunar Eclipse Charms Enthusiasts

Year`s last total lunar eclipse charms enthusiasts New Delhi: The moon’s bright white glow turned into coppery, luminescent orange as the lunar surface was completely covered by the earth’s shadow during the last total lunar eclipse of this year.

The 51 minute-long spectacle of the moon being eclipsed and then turning cerise was visible all over the country, including the national capital.

The earth passed between the sun and the moon, casting a ruddy orange glow across the shiny, meteorite-battered lunar surface. [Read more...]

Italy Scientists On Trial Over L’Aquila Earthquake

The trial of six Italian scientists and a former government official for manslaughter over the 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila has opened in the city.
The 6.3 magnitude quake devastated the city and killed 309 people.
Prosecutors allege the defendants gave a falsely reassuring statement before the quake after studying hundreds of tremors that had shaken the city.
The defence argues that there is no way to predict major earthquakes even in a seismically active area. [Read more...]

Coral Reefs ‘Will Be Gone By End Of The Century’

They will be the first entire ecosystem to be destroyed by human activity, says top UN scientist

Coral reefs are on course to become the first ecosystem that human activity will eliminate entirely from the Earth, a leading United Nations scientist claims. He says this event will occur before the end of the present century, which means that there are children already born who will live to see a world without coral.

The claim is made in a book published tomorrow, which says coral reef ecosystems are very likely to disappear this century in what would be “a new first for mankind – the ‘extinction’ of an entire ecosystem”. Its author, Professor Peter Sale, studied the Great Barrier Reef for 20 years at the University of Sydney. He currently leads a team at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health. [Read more...]

Forest Expert Turns Butterfly Man

He spent his entire life protecting animals and vegetation in Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and Godavari districts roaming along with dangerous beasts. But, only after his retirement did Yerneni Gouthama Siddhartha take a liking to butterflies.

It was his little Pomeranian puppy that drew his attention to these dainty beings. “The puppy always went after them and played with them when I took it out for a morning walk,” Mr. Siddhartha told The Hindu. As a nature lover he soon became interested in them and started photographing them. [Read more...]

Small Trees Can Put On A Big Show

The importance of small trees in gardens of any size simply can’t be measured.

Large trees are magnificent monuments in the landscape, but small trees can be equally significant landmarks in your own backyard. Big trees take your eyes to the sky; small trees shade a space, such as a patio, without dominating it. They define the flow of the eye and the feet through a garden, and punctuate the views. Small trees have a way of keeping the experience of a garden intimate and inviting.

“Most people want to look at things that are in scale with them, at their eye level, and if you choose the right small tree with the right form, you can create a great sense of place,” says Brian Kissinger, a garden designer and the director of horticulture at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. [Read more...]