Fireflies are sometimes called lightning bugs. Many a child has spent a summer evening chasing them. And maybe you’ve wondered – how and why are these insects able to light up?
Warming temps, and the rise and fall of coasts, complicate measurements of sea level. How do scientists establish sea level on a constantly changing Earth?
Scientists agree that there’s oxygen from ocean plants in every breath we take.
Ever wonder how hurricanes get their names? And why do hurricanes have names at all? Meteorologists long ago learned that naming tropical storms and hurricanes helps people remember the storms, communicate about them more effectively, and so stay safer if and when a particular storm strikes a coast. Find out more about hurricane names inside.
Happy birthday to all our June baby friends! Your month has three traditional birthstones – pearl, moonstone, and alexandrite.
Every so often, the sun burps with the power of 20 million nuclear bombs. These hiccups are known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs)—powerful eruptions near the surface of the sun driven by kinks in the solar magnetic field. The resulting shocks ripple through the solar system and can interrupt satellites and power grids on Earth. During a CME, enormous bubbles of superheated gas—called plasma—are ejected from the sun. Over the course of several hours, one billion tons of material are lifted off the sun’s surface and accelerated to speeds of one million miles per hour. This can happen several times a day when the sun is most active.
Polaris – the North Star – is like the hub of a wheel. It doesn’t rise or set – instead, it appears to stay put in the northern sky.
Do you – and your dog – have astraphobia?
Many people ask us about flashes in the night sky. They see one and want to know, what is it? Unless one of us were standing there next to you, we have no way of knowing exactly what you saw. So we can’t say for certain. But it’s possible that what you saw is a flare from an iridium communications satellite.
You’ll know in 60 seconds. New Space Shorts video from NASA