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View larger. | Predicted visibility map for the space technology rocket launch scheduled October 7. Image via NASA/Mission Planning Lab
Science Wire | Oct 06, 2015

See Wednesday’s rocket launch from U.S. mid-Atlantic

Time will be 7 p.m. EDT this evening. People in a wide swath of U.S. mid-Atlantic states can see it, if skies are clear.

Unlike science fiction films featuring grotesque aliens and faraway galaxies, Ridley Scott’s The Martian depicts a sci-fi space mission that could soon be science fact.  Image credit: 20th Century Fox
Science Wire | Oct 05, 2015

How close to sending people to Mars?

There’s now a target date of 2030 for a manned mission to Mars. But how close are we, really, to becoming Martians?

Science Wire | Oct 03, 2015

Sea ice still too thick for Arctic shipping route

Despite climate change, sea ice will continue to make the Northwest Passage too treacherous to be a regular Arctic shipping route for decades, says study.

Visible satellite imagery of Hurricane Joaquin showing an eye forming on 9/30/15. Image Credit: NASA
Science Wire | Oct 02, 2015

U.S. Southeast braces for floods

U.S. landfall looks increasingly unlikely. “Historical” flooding possible in parts of the U.S. Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Image Credit: Aramgutang
Science Wire | Oct 01, 2015

What’s the birthstone for October?

October has two birthstones – opal and tourmaline.

Science Wire | Sep 29, 2015

High ‘supermoon tides’ strike coasts

Sunday’s supermoon, combined with an 18.6-year lunar cycle, caused high tides on both sides of the Atlantic this week. There were many flood warnings and alerts in effect in the UK on Tuesday night. In eastern North America, Tropical Storm Joaquin might combine with high tides to cause flooding.

Photo by Rebecca Lacey in Cambridge, Idaho
FAQs | Sep 22, 2015

What is a supermoon?

Are supermoons hype? In our opinion … no, just modern folklore. However, they can cause real physical effects, such as larger-than-usual tides.

Lunar eclipse illustration courtesy of Luc Viatour
FAQs | Sep 22, 2015

What is a Blood Moon?

The fourth and final lunar eclipse in an ongoing tetrad – four lunar eclipses in a row – happens on September 27-28, 2015. Some will call it a Blood Moon.

Smokey sunset, August , 2015, from EarthSky community member Chris Levitan Photography.
Science Wire | Sep 21, 2015

2015 wildfire season a record-breaker

Worst recorded years for U.S. wildfires are 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2012. This year has already joined that list, and wildfire season is still going strong.

Image: Via Fairy Room
Science Wire | Sep 18, 2015

What is a fairy ring?

Have you ever noticed mushrooms growing in a big circle? It’s known as a fairy ring. How does it happen?

Advancing monsoon clouds and showers in Aralvaimozhy, near Nagercoil, India. A new study finds that focusing on El Niño and La Niña’s impacts on the monsoon in regions and sub-seasons—instead of all-India for the whole monsoon season—may improve rainfall forecasts.
Image via PlaneMad/CreativeCommons/ AGUBlogosphere.
Science Wire | Sep 17, 2015

India’s monsoon not bringing enough rain

“Right now, the monsoon is 12 percent below average and dropping, and [India is] headed for a pretty serious dry season,” said a researcher.

Earthquake off the coast of Chile - 8.3 magnitude, a powerful quake - on September 16, 2015.
Science Wire | Sep 17, 2015

Powerful earthquakes off Chile’s coast

At least five people killed and 1 million evacuated, after a powerful 8.3-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chile last night. Tsunami waves and many strong aftershocks followed. Tsunami advisory for California and Hawaii.

The 1997–98 El Niño observed by TOPEX/Poseidon. The white areas off the Tropical Western coasts of northern South and all Central America as well as along the Central-eastern equatorial and Southeastern Pacific Ocean indicate the pool of warm water.  Via NASA/JPL
Science Wire | Sep 17, 2015

Video: This year’s El Niño compared to 1997-98

Wow! Check out this visual comparison of the emerging El Niño with the record-breaking El Niño of 1997-98, which created weather extremes around the globe.

CMS detector. Photo credit: CERN.
Science Wire | Sep 15, 2015

LHC creates liquid from Big Bang

Scientists using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have produced tiny droplets of a state of matter thought to have existed right at the birth of the universe.

These are bone fragments of Homo neladi, a new species of hominin recently discovered in South Africa. Image credit: Charles Musiba
Science Wire | Sep 11, 2015

New species of human found

Scientists say they have found a total of 1,550 bones representing 15 individuals. They say it’s the largest fossil hominin find on the African continent.

Three International Space Station crew members are set to return aboard the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft, which has been docked to the station since March. Image credit: NASA
Science Wire | Sep 09, 2015

Watch ISS crew’s return to Earth on Friday

Three International Space Station crew members will leave the spacecraft and return to Earth on Friday, September 11. Watch their departure and landing.

Robert Brucker
Science Wire | Sep 06, 2015

Is the pronoun ‘I’ becoming obsolete?

Thinking of plants and animals – including humans – as independent individuals might be an oversimplification, according to modern thinking in microbiology.

This is a red-footed booby on Christmas Island. Photo credit: © CSIRO, Britta Denise Hardesty
Science Wire | Sep 02, 2015

Plastic bits in 90% of seabirds

A new study estimates that almost all seabirds have eaten plastic.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 8.20.24 AM
Science Wire | Aug 28, 2015

Got a minute? Climate change/sea level rise

How is climate change connected to sea level rise? One-minute video explains.

Photo credit: NOAA
Science Wire | Aug 28, 2015

Want to see Earth’s super predator? Look in the mirror.

Our efficient killing technologies have given rise to the human super predator. Our impacts are as extreme as our behavior, says study.

A frozen lake of water-ice on the floor of a 35 km wide impact crater on Mars. Image credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)
Science Wire | Aug 26, 2015

Liquid water elsewhere in our solar system?

If so, where are we likely to find it? Could we ever get to it? Would we be able to drink it? A planetary geoscientist explains.