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Frames from a high-speed video of a metal object slamming into a bed of artificial soil, sand or rock. Shown at slow (top), medium (middle) and high impact speeds (bottom), the changing impact forces illuminated in each frame help explain why soil and sand get stronger when they are struck harder. Photos courtesy of Abram Clark.
Science Wire | Apr 17, 2015

What happens underground when a meteor hits

High-speed videos show what happens underground when a missile or meteor hits the earth.

The smell of rain.  Photo is a video still from Jon Kasbe's wonderful short film Life Reflected.
Science Wire | Apr 17, 2015

What is the smell of rain?

The word for it is “petrichor.” It’s the name of an oil that’s released from Earth into the air before rain begins to fall.

Science Wire | Apr 15, 2015

Sperm whale meets deep-sea vehicle

Encounters between sperm whales and ROVs – remotely operated underwater vehicles – are rare. Watch this video, posted April 14.

View larger | Image credit: NASA
Science Wire | Apr 15, 2015

Tornado track in northern Illinois

Satellite view makes clear how unlucky the 150 people of the town of Fairdale were on April 9.

What's in a name anyway?  Image credit: WIkimedia
Science Wire | Apr 13, 2015

Brontosaurus is back!

If you had to name a dinosaur, you might say Brontosaurus. But, since 1903, experts have said that Brontosaurus isn’t a separate species. Now Bronto is back!

Airplane glory via Brocken Inaglory at Wikipedia
FAQs | Apr 12, 2015

What is a glory?

People traveling in airplanes often see glories. The sun has to be behind your head. You’ll see the plane’s shadow cast on a cloud, surrounded by a halo of light.

Photo via Ian Wittmeyer on photo.net
FAQs | Apr 10, 2015

Why does the sky change color before a tornado?

There are a couple of theories that suggest what creates the strange greenish-yellow color that can precede a storm.

Susan Gies Jensen in Odessa, Washington posted this photo to EarthSky FAcebook.  She wrote: "I learned that the northern lights were out last night from Facebook friend Chatfield Photographics and while I was taking images, was surprised to capture the unexpected appearance of the ISS!"
Science Wire | Apr 10, 2015

Auroras over US and similar latitudes

A geomagnetic storm sparked a display of auroras on the night of April 9-10. Auroras sighted as far south as Colorado! The storm may intensify later today.

Ice worm s can only survive at temperatures close to freezing. Image credit: Rutgers University
Science Wire | Apr 08, 2015

Bacteria key to ice worm survival

Living in ice is no easy feat, but ice worms make it work. Part of the secret to their survival on glaciers lies in a symbiosis between worm and bacteria.

Science Wire | Apr 07, 2015

The python that’s eating Florida

Burmese pythons were imported to Florida as pets. Now tens of thousands of them are in the wild and they’re eating … everything. New York Times video.

The sun, via NASA
Science Wire | Apr 07, 2015

Scientists report seasonal changes on sun

Migrating bands of magnetic fields on the sun produce 2-year variations in solar activity as strong as those in the more familiar 11-year solar cycle.

Joplin tornado May 22, 2011
Blogs | Apr 07, 2015

Why no seasonal tornado forecast?

We never hear of an official tornado or severe weather outlook for the United States. Here’s why it would be tricky to create one.

Spring bud, 2015, from our friend Daniela Claudia G in Burcharest.
Science Wire | Apr 07, 2015

Signs of spring! Have a look …

No matter what the weather where you are, enjoy these photos from EarthSky friends on Facebook and G+.

The Large Hadron Collider
Science Wire | Apr 06, 2015

Large Hadron Collider is back up!

The world’s largest particle smasher restarted Sunday after a two-year upgrade.

Science Wire | Apr 06, 2015

Where on Earth does lightning flash most?

According to satellite observations, more lightning happens over land than over the oceans, and more often closer to the equator. Check out this map.

Ephedra foemicia cones, with pollination drops. Photo: Kristina Bolinder
Science Wire | Apr 04, 2015

Plant’s pollination synchronized with full moon

Two scientists accidentally discovered pollination in a species of Ephedra is correlated with the full moon. The finding is a first for the plant world.

John Burroughs
Blogs | This Date in Science | Apr 03, 2015

This date in science: John Burroughs’ birthday

John Burroughs, one of the first naturalists, was the first to say, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”

Photo credit: Greg Lasley
Science Wire | Apr 02, 2015

This songbird migrates 1,500 miles non-stop

The tiny blackpoll warbler completes a nonstop flight across the Atlantic in just two to three days. Amazing!

Science Wire | Apr 01, 2015

What’s the birthstone for April?

Happy birthday April babies! Your birthstone, the diamond, is the rich cousin of graphite.

Blogs | Apr 01, 2015

Spring means these 4 hibernators are waking up

With the onset of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, animals that hibernate are waking up from a long-period of deep sleep.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 3.02.52 PM
Science Wire | Mar 31, 2015

Auroras in motion

Sergio Garcia Rill created this video from 4,450 aurora photos! Take 3 minutes to watch this green and ghostly time-lapse of the Alaskan northern lights.