Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

147,553 subscribers and counting ...

Earth

I don’t want to bite you. Photo credit: Travelbag Ltd
Science Wire | Apr 21, 2015

What’s the real deal with shark attacks?

Sharks are incredibly unlikely to bite you. They’re even less likely to kill you. However, we remain fascinated with their ability – and occasional proclivity – to do just that.

This marine scene shows an assortment of marine tetrapods that lived in Cretaceous oceans near the end of the "Age of Reptiles," including a sea turtle, an early flightless marine bird, a large mosasaur and a long-necked elasmosaur. In April 2015, a team of Smithsonian scientists synthesized decades of scientific discoveries to illuminate the common and unique patterns driving the extraordinary transitions that whales, dolphins, seals and other species underwent as they moved from land to sea, offering a comprehensive look at how life in the ocean has responded to environmental change from the Triassic to the Anthropocene. Image credit: Smithsonian/Karen Carr
Science Wire | Apr 20, 2015

From fins to legs to fins again

Marine tetrapods, a group of animals including whales, dolphins, seals, and sea turtles, have moved from sea to land and back to the sea over the last 350 million years

Photo credit: Robbo-Man
FAQs | Apr 20, 2015

What is earthshine?

That glow over the unlit part of a crescent moon – called earthshine – is light reflected from Earth.

tseajaia-nobu-tamura-300
Blogs | Apr 20, 2015

Ocean acidification drove Earth’s largest mass extinction

New evidence suggests that ocean acidification played a key role in the Permian–Triassic mass extinction event 252 million years ago that killed most life on Earth.

The smell of rain.  Photo is a video still from Jon Kasbe's wonderful short film Life Reflected.
Science Wire | Apr 18, 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.

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 an asteroid – or missile – strikes Earth.

whale-3
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.