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Deanna Conners

Welcome to the Meghalayan age

Scientists have assigned a new name to the era we’re living in. They’re calling it the Meghalayan – because key data for the timing of the new age were derived from a stalagmite growing in a cave in the Indian state of Meghalaya.

Why plants don’t get sunburn

Plants produce their own chemical sunscreens that protect them from harmful ultraviolet light.

Space-based solar power: How close to reality?

The technology is further along than you might think for capturing solar energy in space – where the sun always shines – and beaming it to Earth.

How fireworks get their colors

The beautiful colors in fireworks – so good at stirring our emotions – are pure chemistry.

How do hurricanes get their names?

The World Meteorological Organization manages the formal system by which hurricanes receive their names. Find hurricane names for 2018 here.

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You can’t walk on these cloud streets

Cloud streets are long rows of cumulus clouds oriented parallel to the direction of the wind. Check out these cool images!

The Female Bird Song Project

There’s a false notion that female birdsong is rare in comparison to male birdsong. But lady birds sing, too. You can participate in a new project that aims to collect more recordings of female birds.

What causes landslides?

Most landslides are caused by multiple factors that act together to destabilize the slope. Excessive water is one of the most common triggers for landslides.

When is the next leap year?

If there were no leap years, eventually February would be a summer month for the Northern Hemisphere. 2018 isn’t a leap year, but 2020 will be.

Great Backyard Bird Count February 16–19

Scientists need your help counting birds for the 21st annual Great Backyard Bird Count. It is free and easy to participate. Find out how here.