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Earth Planet

Seismic echoes from a powerful Chinese nuclear test have helped U.S. scientists develop a new process for looking deep within the Earth that has already produced remarkably sharp images of the white-hot layer of gooey rock surrounding the planet's core. Using the new process, John E. Vidale and Harley M. Benz of the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park were able to detect an "island" as small as 60 miles across in the layer atop the Earth's molten iron core.
August 29, 1990
Was the CIA misreading the Soviet economy ("CIA Misread Soviet Economy," Part A, Aug. 3) since 1950 or misleading the American government? Surely, the leaders of the CIA would rather be seen as well-meaning bunglers than as disinformers, especially in view of recent events in Eastern Europe; yet I wonder if the agency wasn't really being artful in its overestimation of Soviet economic achievements during the last 40 years. The U.S.
March 14, 1988 | Compiled from Times staff and wire reports
Most children are not taught that the Earth is round until they are about 10 years old and in the fourth grade, according to a survey conducted for the National Science Teachers Assn. As a result, they rely on their own perceptions and assume that the Earth is flat. The study found that 95% of second graders thought that the Earth is flat. The proportion who knew the Earth to be round did not exceed 50% until the fourth grade.
January 4, 1988
The earth's protective ozone layer has been thinning out around the world, not just over the South Pole, according to a new analysis of satellite data that was promptly disowned by the government agency that sponsored the study. Writing in the latest edition of the widely respected Science magazine, Kenneth P.
October 17, 1988 | Compiled from staff and wire reports
Researchers who studied ancient Chinese chronicles of solar eclipses found that a day is now seven hundredths of a second longer than it was 4,000 years ago because the Earth is spinning more slowly. The day "just keeps getting longer and longer," said Kevin Pang, an astronomer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Just as a spinning skater slows down by extending the arms, Earth's rotation slows as tidal interactions make the moon orbit Earth more quickly, he said.
July 3, 1989 | From staff and wire reports
New, more precise dating of the Manson impact crater in Iowa indicates that it was formed at the same time the dinosaurs and many other species became extinct about 65 million years ago. The new dating provides greater credibility to the hypothesis that an asteroid crashed into Earth, creating a shroud of smoke and dust that plunged the planet into global winter.
March 7, 1989 | KENNETH REICH
Concern and even apprehension was expressed 13 years ago when scientists said they had detected a huge bulge in the Earth's crust centered near Palmdale and that it might be the precursor of a giant earthquake in Southern California.
June 8, 2000
Scientists have detected a major solar flare erupting on the sun that could buffet Earth with a geomagnetic storm today and Friday. The blast of charged solar particles already is producing scattered radio blackouts but is not expected to significantly disrupt telecommunications or electrical power. It might generate a dramatic light show for midnight stargazers in the northern latitudes until early Saturday. The sun is approaching the height of its 11-year storm cycle.
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