The Yellowstone Caldera was formed by a series of supervolcano eruptions. Photo: lucky-photographer / iStock

Scientists think they've uncovered the process that precedes a super-volcanic eruption, potentially allowing them to read the signs leading up to these rare, catastrophic events, per the NYT. They believe underground magma heats up relatively quickly before an eruption, awakening dormant supervolcanoes.

Why it matters: The findings mean that the mechanisms behind super-volcanic eruptions might take place on human timescales — maybe only decades. This research might help to predict these potentially apocalyptic events as well as more typical volcanic activity.

What they did: The researchers looked at crystals in fossilized ash deposits from the eruption of the supervolcano that created the Long Valley Caldera in California and found they contained argon, which can't be trapped in crystals when the magma around them is heated above 500 degrees Celsius. But magma in the Long Valley eruption is calculated to have been at 785 degrees Celsius. The researchers think the process must have been so fast it didn't give argon time to dissipate.

Yes, but: It's worth noting that supervolcanic eruptions are exceedingly rare. The Long Valley eruption occurred 765,000 years ago — and there have been only four suspected supervolcanic eruptions in the last 2,000 years.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 12,813,864 — Total deaths: 566,790 — Total recoveries — 7,046,535Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 3,286,025 — Total deaths: 135,089 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — Miami-Dade mayor says "it won't be long" until county's hospitals reach capacity.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.

Lindsey Graham says he will ask Mueller to testify before Senate

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted Sunday that he will grant Democrats' request to call former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before his committee.

The big picture: The announcement comes on the heels of Mueller publishing an op-ed in the Washington Post that defended the Russia investigation and conviction of Roger Stone, whose sentence was commuted by President Trump on Friday.