Scientists explain formation of stone circles, other strange patterns

Perfect circles of stones cover the ground in parts of Alaska and the Norwegian islands of Spitsbergen. Elsewhere in the far north, stones form other striking patterns on the ground: polygons, stripes, islands, and labyrinths. No, pranksters are not at work in these remote areas, nor are aliens, elves, or any other outside forces moving the stones around. According to scientists who have studied the phenomenon, cyclic freezing and thawing of the ground drives simple feedback mechanisms that generate these remarkable patterns.

Astronomers Detect a Faint Debris Trail in the Andromeda Galaxy

The discovery of a faint trail of stars in the nearby Andromeda galaxy offers new evidence that large spiral galaxies have grown by gobbling up smaller satellite galaxies. Andromeda (also known as M31) is the nearest large galaxy to our own Milky Way and is very similar to it in appearance. Studying Andromeda gives astronomers an external perspective on a galaxy much like our own–it’s like looking at a bigger sibling of our galaxy.