Researchers from Rice University say that around 4.4 billion years ago, a Mercury-like planet smashed into Earth, seeding our primordial planet with life-giving carbon. Had this never occurred, it's an open question as to whether or not life could have ever emerged.
Tagged With carbon
Several years ago, scientists calculated the properties of an exotic form of carbon — called Carbyne — and found that it promised more strength and stiffness than any other known material. Now, it's finally been made in a stable form inside an Austrian lab.
Carbon dioxide is a funny molecule. Life as we know it wouldn't exist without CO2. But when we pump too much of it into the atmosphere, it destroys our environment. That's why the Clean Power Plan, announced yesterday by the Obama administration, has finally decided to call carbon what it is: Pollution.
There's a mystery inside trees upon which the fate of coastal cities, threatened by rising sea levels from climate change, may depend. Each year, the Earth's forests take up about one-quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted by humans, effectively slowing the speed and severity of global warming. They lock up most of this carbon in their stems and keep it there for centuries. This service that they provide to humanity is worth about $US1 trillion each year.
So what's the deal with graphene and why does everyone think it's the next big thing? Well, as SciShow says, it conducts electricity better than silver, it conducts heat better than diamonds and even though it's only one atom thick, it's even stronger than steel. So why isn't it more popular and everywhere?
The molten aluminium being poured out onto the thin black fabric is bubbling at a scorching 816C. That's hot. And yet for all the heat and fire and flame power, the magic fabric easily withstands the burning liquid metal. The fabric doesn't catch fire, it doesn't get burnt through, and there's not a single hole in it. What is this sorcery?
What to do with an environment-wrecking molecule like carbon dioxide? The gas behind global warming and ocean acidification enjoys a pretty rough reputation these days, but scientists have been working on ingenious ways to put carbon dioxide to good use. A little electricity, it turns out, can transform the waste gas into raw material for making plastic bottles, antifreeze, fuel and more.