Avery Thompson

Avery Thompson


The Dracula Ant's Lightning Mandibles Make It the Fastest Animal in the World

The ant's jaws can snap shut at an incredible 200 miles per hour.

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Watch Russian Cosmonauts Spacewalk to Find the Cause of a Mysterious ISS Leak

The small hole was found in late August, and now two cosmonauts are leaving the ISS to find answers on the outside.

Drift ice - ice floes in the Arctic Ocean, Nordaustlandet.
Almost All of the Arctic's Oldest Ice Is Already Gone

About 95 percent of the Arctic's multiyear ice has melted since 1985.

OSIRIS-REx Discovers Water on Asteroid Bennu

Only a week after reaching the asteroid, NASA's newest spacecraft is already making scientific discoveries.

China's Rover Is on Its Way to the Far Side of the Moon

The Chang'e-4 team aims to be the first to send a successful mission to the barely explored half of the moon.

An Ambitious Project to Clean Up the Ocean's Garbage Patch Isn't Working

The Ocean Cleanup project launched in September isn't collecting floating ocean trash like it's supposed to.

Seals Keep Getting Eels Stuck in Their Noses And We're Not Sure Why

This picture, captured this week, is only one of a handful of similar instances in recent years.

Here's Our First Look at the Sun's North Pole

No spacecraft with a camera has ever flown over the Sun's north pole to take a photo, so scientists had to make one the hard way.

Sea Ice
Greenland's Ice Is Melting at the Fastest Rate in 350 Years

Greenland's ice is melting, and every year we don't do something about it that melting speeds up.

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SpaceX Rocket Misses Landing Pad and Falls into the Ocean

Fortunately, the rocket delivered its cargo first.

Ancient Humans May Have Practiced Ritual Finger Amputation

There are too many ancient hand paintings with missing fingers for the whole thing to be a coincidence.

Philippines, Volcano Pinatubo erupting
Harvard Scientists Are Really Launching a Sun-Blocking Geoengineering Experiment

A proposal to spray particles into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight and lower temperatures is actually getting the green light.

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Nearly Half the World's Coal Plants Are Losing Money
The analysis concludes the problem will only get worse, costing the public billions unless we replace coal with a better source of ener…
There Could Be Hundreds of Interstellar Asteroids Lurking in Our Solar System

These asteroids will stick around for a long time, so scientists can take their time learning everything about them.

Watch NASA's OSIRIS-REx Rendezvous With an Asteroid

The spacecraft arrives at the tiniest object ever visited today.

Our New Atomic Clock Is So Precise That We Need a Better Understanding of Gravity To Use It

Our measurements of gravity are not good enough for NIST's new atomic clock.

Cell structure and mitochondrion, illustration
Turns Out Mitochondria Don't Work Like We Thought They Did

They may be the powerhouse of the cell, but mitochondria may not be the powerhouse of genetic ancestry that scientists believed.

USA, Florida, Industrial smokestacks
Climate Change Could Cost The U.S. Economy Hundreds of Billions a Year

We're talking hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

Scientists Build Underwater Jumping Robot

The robot is designed to understand how animals like whales and dolphins breach the water's surface.

A Space Startup Wants To Put Mercury in Spacecraft Engines

The idea was abandoned decades ago because better, safer fuels came around.

Columbia space shuttle on the launch pad at night
NASA Flirts With Selling Out
In a dramatic change at the agency, NASA seems willing to sell its logo, its astronauts, and even rocket naming rights to the highest b…
Scientists Discover a Whole New Kingdom of Life

A newly-discovered life form is so strange it doesn't fit anywhere else on the tree of life.

Russia Might Actually Build a Nuclear-Powered Rocket

The project borrows from decades of research from U.S. and soviet scientists.

Students Exiting School Bus Near Home
The Big Yellow School Bus Is Going Green
In one town, the power company is helping the school district buy a bunch of electric buses. Here's why it's a good deal for both of th…
New York Attorney General sues Exxon alleging climate-change deception
Oil Companies Are Barely Spending Any Money on Renewable Energy
For all their talk, most companies are spending only a negligible fraction of their budget's power sources that don't further climate c…
How the Sun Set Off Dozens of Mines During the Vietnam War

An extreme solar flare triggered dozens of underwater explosions in the harbor of Haiphong.

Long-Lost Continents Under Antarctica Revealed in Old Satellite Data

Data from an old satellite can tell scientists what's going on underneath the ice, and hopefully how to save it.