Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

130,564 subscribers and counting ...

Earth

Artist's concept of newly discovered long-necked dinosaur, called Qijianglong.  Credit: Xing Lida
Science Wire | Feb 01, 2015

Long-necked dinosaur roamed China 160 million years ago

Scientists report on the discovery in China of a new species of dinosaur – calling Qijianglong – a creature that was “half neck.”

Views of the human skull, with missing jaw, found in western Galilee, northern Isreal and estimated at 55,000 years old. Photograph: Tel Aviv University and University of Vienna
Science Wire | Jan 30, 2015

Ancient skull offers clues to humans’ migration out of Africa

A partial skull from a cave in northern Israel sheds light on the first modern humans to walk out of Africa and their interbreeding with Neanderthals.

Image via Colin Chatfield in Saskatchewan, Canada
Science Wire | Jan 30, 2015

What causes the aurora borealis or northern lights?

People at high northern latitudes sometimes experience an ethereal display of colored lights shimmering across the night sky – the aurora borealis or northern lights. What causes them?

Photo credit:
Science Wire | Jan 29, 2015

Hear the birth of an iceberg

Different types of ice loss from glaciers produce distinct rumbles, snaps and splashes as icebergs are born. Have a listen!

Acquired January 12, 2015.  Image credit: NASA
Science Wire | Jan 28, 2015

View from space: India by night and by day

Two photos taken by astronauts – one at night and the other in daylight – show the peninsula of southern India.

Blizzard poised to slam U.S. Northeast on Monday, January 26 via NOAA/NASA GOES
Science Wire | Jan 27, 2015

Powerful Nor’easter pounds US Northeast

Widespread winter storm conditions in northeastern U.S. New York not affected as strongly as expected, but strong effects farther north in Boston. Both cities come to a standstill.

snowflake_libbrecht_300
FAQs | Jan 26, 2015

How do snowflakes get their shape?

Depending on the temperature and humidity of the air where the snowflakes form, the resulting ice crystals will grow into a myriad of different shapes.

(c) Joshua Nowicki Photoography
Science Wire | Jan 26, 2015

How to take photos of snowflakes

Try it yourself! With a little preparation and a good camera and with a macro lens, you can take your own photos of snowflakes.

flying-auks-cp
Blogs | Jan 23, 2015

Little auks adapt to warming Arctic

This little bird, that looks kind of like a flying penguin, has got scientists rethinking how polar ecosystems are changing in our warming world.

Photo via Biology - Block B
Blogs | This Date in Science | Jan 23, 2015

This date in science: Sweden goes first to ban aerosol sprays

What happened when scientists realized aerosol sprays were harming Earth’s ozone layer, plus … an update on the Antarctic ozone hole.

Photo credit: Paul Sapiano
Science Wire | Jan 20, 2015

Video: How the smell of rain happens

When a raindrop hits a surface, tiny air bubbles burst from the drop in a fizz of aerosols. Watch the high-speed video.

Photo by John Lloyd Griffith
Blogs | Jan 19, 2015

Tides, and the pull of the moon and sun

The sun and moon, the shape of a beach and larger coastline, the angle of a seabed leading up to land, and the prevailing ocean currents and winds all affect the height of the tides.

Image Credit: Brian Jeffery Beggerly
Blogs | Jan 19, 2015

Lifeform of the week: Puffer fish

Killer sushi, stoned dolphins, and zombies; the puffer fish is an animal steeped in scandal.

Lightning inside Tropical Storm via Samantha Cristoforetti aboard the International Space Station.
Blogs | Jan 18, 2015

Electrifying view inside a cyclone from ISS

If you love extreme weather, outer space and photography, you’ll love this image of lightning inside Cyclone Bansi in the Indian Ocean, taken from ISS.

cloud-streets-bering-sea-20jan2006-300
Blogs | FAQs | Jan 18, 2015

What are cloud streets?

Cloud streets are long rows of cumulus clouds that are oriented parallel to the direction of the wind. Check out these cool images!

2014-warmest-cp
Science Wire | Jan 17, 2015

2014 warmest year on record

NASA, NOAA, and Japan Meteorological Agency all report 2014 as Earth’s warmest year since modern-day record-keeping began in 1880.

sunrise-arcticplain-noaa-300
Blogs | Jan 17, 2015

Arctic continues to warm at twice global rate

NOAA’s 2014 Arctic Report Card shows that amplified warming in the Arctic is leading to changes across the land and sea.

earth_300
FAQs | Jan 16, 2015

Why can’t we feel Earth’s spin?

We can’t feel Earth’s rotation or spin because we’re all moving with it, at the same constant speed.

Mawson, McKay and David on January 16, 1909.
This Date in Science | Jan 16, 2015

This date in science: Near discovery of South Magnetic Pole

Like all Antarctic journeys in the early 1900s, the search for magnetic south was grueling. The outcome was unclear, but the effort is still remembered today.

A research team analyzed sizes for storied sea creatures like whales and sharks and for lesser-known giants like tube worms. View larger. | Image credit: Matthew Maxwell and Pablo Alvarez Vinagre at StudioAM
Science Wire | Jan 15, 2015

See comparative sizes of ocean giants

This image shows the body size for 25 marine species, including whales, sharks, squids, and other ocean giants. Check out the little human swimmer in each row!

kevin-jorgeson-tommy-caldwell-success-cp
Science Wire | Jan 15, 2015

Success! Two men complete historic climb at Yosemite’s El Capitan

Two Americans have become the first to free-climb Yosemite National Park’s Dawn Wall, which has been called the hardest rock climb in the world.