The red color of Blood Falls in Antarctica was known to be caused by microbes living off sulfur and iron in what was surmised to be oxygen-free water trapped beneath the ice for nearly 2 million years. Recent work by Jill Mikucki at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, confirms that there are indeed zones of liquid briny water hundreds of meters below Blood Falls, likely harboring a hidden ecosystem of microbial life.
What does this year’s odd U.S. weather have in common with a huge spike in hungry, stranded sea lion pups on California shores? Both are linked to a giant patch of warm ocean water.
May 18, 2013. On this date astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) captured three beautiful views of Pavlof Volcano, part of the Aleutian Arc, with a handheld Nikon D3S digital camera. As the volcano poured out lava and shot ash 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) into the air, the astronauts managed to capture these seldom-seen oblique views of the volcano, which are very different from the top-down views of most unmanned satellites.
On May 18, 1980 – 35 years ago today — a cataclysmic eruption occurred at Mount St. Helens. It was one of the most destructive volcanic events ever recorded in the history of the United States.
Nano particles in sunscreens have been found to harm marine worms, crustaceans, algae, fish and mussels. A new study shows their negative effect on sea urchin embryos, too.
Few, if any, people around the world can expect to see the moon before sunrise or after sunset today, on May 18, 2015. Today is the day of the new moon, the time of month when the moon and sun reside on the same side of Earth. Today, the moon pretty much rises with the sun at sunrise, crosses the sky with the sun during the daytime and sets with the sun at sunset.
Barely above 3,000 feet (1,000 meters) in elevation, Roque del Conde – a tabletop mountain with a huge plateau on its top – is one of the landmarks of the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands of Spain. On May 9, 2015, Roberto Porto caught sight of this mountain’s dramatic shadow cast onto the low clouds at sunrise.
Astronomers at Keck Observatory in Hawaii have found a quartet of quasars, embedded in a giant nebula of cool, dense gas. The odds of four of them being so closely packed purely by chance is about 1 in 10 million.
The sparkling blue-white star Spica can act as your guide to the Omega Centauri globular star cluster on these springtime nights. You can actually see this cluster with the unaided eye. Omega Centauri looks like a fairly faint (and possibly fuzzy) star. It’s a beautiful and very special star cluster, and Spica can help you find it.
This composite represents about an hour of Jupiter-watching. Meanwhile, Jupiter spins on its axis in 9 hours and 56 minutes. Watch a moon shadow on Jupiter’s face, and see how far the Great Red Spot moves in that time.