Sid Perkins

Sid Perkins is a freelance science writer based in Crossville, Tenn.

All Stories by Sid Perkins

  1. image of 430-million-year-old fossil of the fungus Prototaxites
    Environment

    Earth’s oldest known wildfires raged 430 million years ago

    430-million-year-old fossilized charcoal suggests atmospheric oxygen levels of at least 16 percent, the amount needed for fire to take hold and spread.

  2. Small mammal crawling on a dinosaur's skeleton
    Life

    ‘The Last Days of the Dinosaurs’ tells a tale of destruction and recovery

    A new book takes readers back in time to see how an asteroid strike and the dinosaur extinction shaped life on Earth.

  3. Europa image
    Planetary Science

    Europa may have much more shallow liquid water than scientists thought

    Mysterious pairs of ridges scar Jupiter’s moon Europa. Analyzing a similar set in Greenland suggests shallow water is behind the features’ formation.

  4. images of comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein with its dust cloud and of its nucleus alone
    Planetary Science

    This is the biggest known comet in our solar system

    The nucleus of comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein is about 120 kilometers across — about twice the width of Rhode Island — and is darker than coal.

  5. illustration of a dinosaur fleeing a massive flood
    Paleontology

    The Age of Dinosaurs may have ended in springtime

    Fossilized fish bones suggest that the massive asteroid strike at the end of the Cretaceous Period occurred during the Northern Hemisphere’s spring.

  6. aerial view of a large crater in Wyoming
    Planetary Science

    An ancient impact on Earth led to a cascade of cratering

    For the first time, scientists have discovered clusters of craters on Earth that were formed by the impacts of material thrown out of a larger crater.

  7. illustration of sauropod dinosaurs
    Paleontology

    Fossils reveal what may be the oldest known case of the dino sniffles

    A respiratory infection that spread to air sacs in the vertebrae of a 150-million-year-old sauropod likely led to now-fossilized bone lesions.

  8. an illustration of the exomoon Kepler 1708 b i, shown as a blue-green orb, orbiting a large, Jupiter-like exoplanet
    Astronomy

    Astronomers identified a second possible exomoon

    Kepler 1708 b i, a newly discovered candidate for an exoplanet moon, has a radius about 2.6 times that of Earth, a new study suggests.

  9. satellite image of Ascension island
    Earth

    Some volcanic hot spots may have a surprisingly shallow heat source

    Mysterious hot spots of volcanic activity in the interior of tectonic plates just got a little stranger.

  10. illustration of a penis worm on the ocean floor
    Paleontology

    ‘Penis worms’ may have been the original hermits

    Soft-bodied critters called penis worms inhabited abandoned shells — a la modern-day hermit crabs — by about 500 million years ago, a study suggests.

  11. image of earthshine
    Earth

    Earth is reflecting less light. It’s not clear if that’s a trend

    A decrease in Earth’s reflectance shows our planet is absorbing more solar radiation, but it’s not clear if the trend will last.

  12. the bones of the famous skeleton Lucy arranged on a black background
    Chemistry

    Radiometric dating puts pieces of the past in context. Here’s how

    Carbon dating and other techniques answer essential questions about human history, our planet and the solar system.