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Science Wire | May 27, 2016

How do hurricanes get their names?

The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1. Here are the hurricane names for the 2016 season.

An M-class solar flare erupts from the right side of the sun in this image from shortly before midnight EST on Jan. 12, 2015. The image blends two wavelengths of light -- 171 and 304 angstroms -- as captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. Image via NASA/SDO
Science Wire | May 25, 2016

Solar storms key to life on Earth?

Energy from our young sun – 4 billion years ago – helped create molecules in Earth’s atmosphere that allowed it to warm up enough to incubate life, says study.

Path of 2017 total solar eclipse, via Fred Espenak.
Science Wire | May 25, 2016

Total eclipse of sun: August 21, 2017

First total solar eclipse visible from the U.S. since 1991 (seen only from part of Hawaii), and first visible from contiguous U.S. since 1979. Start planning now!

Nile crocodile. Nile crocodiles, Crocodylus niloticus, were responsible for at least 480 attacks on people and 123 fatalities in Africa between 2010 and 2014. Image © mariswanepoel / Fotolia
Science Wire | May 23, 2016

Man-eating crocodiles captured in Florida

Monster Nile crocodiles might be Florida’s newest invasive species.

Artist's illustration of asteroid headed toward Earth.
Science Wire | May 21, 2016

New clues about ancient asteroid strike

New evidence from Australia of an enormous asteroid that struck Earth 3.4 billion years ago, triggering earthquakes and tsunamis and causing cliffs to crumble.

Photo credit: Paul Chartier
Science Wire | May 21, 2016

Clouds that look like ocean waves

They’re called Kelvin Helmholzt clouds, aka billow clouds or shear-gravity clouds, and they look like breaking ocean waves.

Ivory gull. Image via Ed Schneider/Flickr
Science Wire | May 20, 2016

Seagulls on an iceberg

A group of ivory gulls – a threatened species of seagull – has made a colony in an unusual place: On an iceberg.

Don't try this at home: Researchers study tornadoes from a safe distance.  Image via Josh Wurman, CSWR
Science Wire | May 17, 2016

Top 4 questions about tornadoes

May is the peak month for twisters here in the U.S.

The magnetic field is thought to be largely generated by an ocean of superheated, swirling liquid iron that makes up Earth’s the outer core 3000 km under our feet. Acting like the spinning conductor in a bicycle dynamo, it generates electrical currents and thus the continuously changing electromagnetic field. Other sources of magnetism come from minerals in Earth’s mantle and crust, while the ionosphere, magnetosphere and oceans also play a role. ESA’s constellation of three Swarm satellites is designed to identify and measure precisely these different magnetic signals. This will lead to new insight into many natural processes, from those occurring deep inside the planet, to weather in space caused by solar activity.
Science Wire | May 16, 2016

How Earth’s magnetic field is changing

Data from a trio of satellites show rapid local changes in Earth’s magnetic field. The cause is likely accelerations in the flow of liquid iron near Earth’s core.

May 1, 2016.  Image credit: NASA
Science Wire | May 12, 2016

Volcanic eruption in far south Atlantic

If it weren’t for satellites, the eruption on Bristol island might have gone unnoticed. Instead, here are pics.

Image taken from the Aqua satellite on May 9, 2016.
Science Wire | May 10, 2016

Smoke from Canada’s wildfires in clouds

Wildfires are currently burning across a large expanse of Canada. This image from the Aqua satellite shows wildfire smoke trapped in the clouds.

Life-sized sculpture depicting how a baby Rapetosaurus might have looked in real life.  Aw! Image via Kristi Curry Rogers.
Science Wire | May 10, 2016

Baby dino was self-reliant mini-me

But, in the case of the fossil bones examined in this new study, the baby dinosaur lived only weeks, apparently dying of starvation.

Mount St. Helens 1980 eruption as viewed from the air. Read more about this photo from www.oregonlive.com
Science Wire | May 07, 2016

Earthquake swarms at Mount St. Helens

Earthquake rates have been steadily increasing since March at the Pacific Northwest volcano Mount St. Helens. The cause is probably new magma, rising upward.

Photo credit:  Shutterstock / Peter Leahy
Science Wire | May 06, 2016

Study: Widespread loss of ocean oxygen by 2030s

These scientists said that, as our warming climate saps the ocean of oxygen, marine life like fish, crabs, squid, and sea stars could be left struggling to breathe.

Rendering of bacterium. The Earth Microbiome Project -- a global multidisciplinary project to identify microscope organisms -- has so far cataloged less than 10 million species of the estimated one trillion living on Earth. Image credit: © decade3d / Fotolia
Science Wire | May 03, 2016

Earth might be home to a trillion species

Largest-ever analysis of microbial data concludes that 99.999 percent of species remain undiscovered.

Hydrothermal system at the Danakil Depression. The yellow deposits are a variety of sulphates and the red areas are deposits of iron oxides. Copper salts colour the water green. Image credit: Felipe Gomez/Europlanet 2020 RI
Science Wire | May 02, 2016

Inhospitable Danakil Depression hosts extreme life

It’s below sea level, with near-boiling water bubbling up from underground, high salt concentrations and toxic vapor. Yet life survives here.

embryo_bamboo_shark_-branchial_rays-e1461606369560 (1)
Science Wire | Apr 30, 2016

Did human limbs evolve from shark gills?

The Sonic Hedgehog gene drives embryonic development of mammal limbs and shark gills. Could our limbs have evolved from gills?

An illustration of Earth’s magnetic field shielding our planet from solar particles. Image via NASA/GSFC/SVS.
Science Wire | Apr 28, 2016

Did Earth’s magnetic field collapse for 2 hours on April 23?

No, Earth’s magnetic field did not collapse for 2 hours on April 23. The erroneous story, which is still spreading, originated with a glitch in a computer simulation.

Image credit: NOAA
Science Wire | Apr 27, 2016

Does this jellyfish look like a spaceship, or what?

Video of a spectacular jellyfish that floated past NOAA’s ROV on April 24, 2016 in the Mariana Trench – the deepest oceanic trench on the planet.

Blogs | FAQs | Photos | Apr 27, 2016

What makes a red rainbow?

Red rainbows happen when the sun is on the horizon. They’re created in much the same process that causes a sunset or sunrise to look red.

Science Wire | Apr 26, 2016

Dinosaurs already in decline before asteroid apocalypse?

New research suggests that dinosaurs were in decline tens of millions of years before the meteorite impact that finished them off.