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A journey to Pluto and beyond with New Horizons

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, the first mission to Pluto, will reach the former planet on July 14, 2015. After that, it will fly by the Kuiper Belt to explore the most distant bodies in the solar system.

22 Mar 2015

Can dam releases restore river ecosystems?

Scientists and dam managers are studying how the very dams that disrupt river ecosystems can be used to restore them using controlled releases of water.

18 Mar 2015

Getting there and getting around the Andean Volcanoes

The towns of Puerto Montt, Temuco and Osorno make suitable jumping-off points for the region, and all are accessed via a short (and scenic!) flight on LAN Airlines south from Santiago, Chile. The volcano ski season lasts from early September through mid-October.

 
17 Mar 2015

Andean ski volcanoes

The caldera of Volcán Puyehue is an amazing experience, but it’s not for the uninitiated. Several other Andean volcanoes offer brilliant skiing and genuine adventure in a more straightforward setting. Here are three popular options in the region.

17 Mar 2015

Travels in Geology: Exploring Connecticut's Ancient Rift Valley

Fifty years ago, a bulldozer operator in Connecticut discovered one of the largest dinosaur tracksites in North America, now preserved at Dinosaur State Park. The formation of the tracksite, which lies in the remnant of a Triassic rift valley, is linked with the demise of the supercontinent Pangea. 

17 Feb 2015

Getting there and getting around Connecticut's ancient Rift Valley

Central Connecticut is easily accessible via major roads and flights into Hartford’s Bradley International Airport. The region is well equipped with rental cars, hotels, restaurants and everything else a traveler could need.  The website www.ctvisit.com has maps and more details on all of the attractions listed here, as well as lodging, food and other activities.

 
17 Feb 2015

On the trail of treasure in the Rocky Mountains

In 2010, collector Forrest Fenn filled a bronze chest with gold, jewelry and artifacts valued at $1 million to $2 million, which he then hid somewhere in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, N.M., leaving clues to its location in a mysterious poem. Thousands of treasure hunters — including the author, one of EARTH's roving correspondents — are on the trail, but no one has found it yet. 

15 Feb 2015

A tantalizing treasure

The contents of Forrest Fenn’s chest are not completely known, but Fenn has listed enough of the treasure to make the hunt truly tantalizing: 20 troy pounds of gold coins, gold nuggets the size of a man’s fist, pre-Columbian Incan and Mayan animal figures, a 17th-century Spanish gold-and-emerald ring, a bracelet with more than 250 rubies, diamonds and Ceylon sapphires, and two hand-carved Chinese jade masks.

 
15 Feb 2015

Asbestos found in Nevada and Arizona: Roadblock and potential health hazard?

The discovery of a previously unknown type of asbestos-forming geologic environment means asbestos may be more widespread than thought. But is it a health hazard?

29 Jan 2015

Protecting the mineral treasures of Antarctica's Larsemann Hills

In 2003, scientists visited the Stornes Peninsula in Antarctica's Larsemann Hills to study the rocks — especially boron and phosphorus minerals. What they found set them on a decade-long path to protect the geology, culminating in 2014 with the naming of the site as an Antarctic Specially Protected Area.

19 Jan 2015

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