Science: King of The Mountains

Just a few feet, it seems, can make a difference. Last March, George Wallerstein, an astronomer at the University of Washington, stunned mountaineers and geologists by declaring that the Himalayan mountain known as K-2 might be 36 ft. taller than Mount Everest, long thought to be the world's highest peak. This month, however, an eight-man Italian expedition, led by Geologist Ardito Desio, 90, refuted that claim. Using satellite signals and surveying techniques, they found that Everest towers 29,108 ft. above sea level -- 80 ft. taller than previously believed and 840 ft. higher than K-2.

To accomplish their lofty task, the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!