Rainbow-like halo around the shadow of a man, in a mountainous setting.

What is the Brocken Spectre?

The Brocken Spectre is your own shadow, cast on mists below you, when you are mountain climbing. The shadow may appear enormous and has a ring around it.

More West Antarctic glacier ice now unstable

By combining 25 years of satellite data, scientists have discovered that warming ocean waters have caused the ice to thin so rapidly that 24% of the glacier ice in West Antarctica is now affected.

Snowy night landscape with a bright green light across the sky.

Magnetic north is shifting fast. What’ll happen to the northern lights?

As magnetic north shifts increasingly away from the geologic north pole – towards Siberia – studies suggest the northern lights could move with it.

Lush underwater forests … in the Arctic

Did you know that there are hidden underwater forests of large brown seaweeds (kelps) in the Arctic? As temperatures warm, the forests are expanding.

A thin blue-white arc across a black background.

How Venus and Mars can teach us about Earth

The atmospheres of our 2 neighbors Mars and Venus can teach us a lot about past and future scenarios for our own planet.

A man standing ankle-deep in brown water in a wetland grove of trees.

The oldest known tree in eastern North America

Scientists say a bald cypress tree in the North Carolina wetlands is at least 2,624 years old.

Undersea diver in front of a large ray.

Giant devil rays’ secret birthing zone?

The discovery of dozens of pregnant giant devil rays tangled in fishing nets in Mexico’s Gulf of California could mean the endangered species has an unknown birthing zone there, says a new study.

Clouds that look like ocean waves

They’re called Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, aka billow clouds or shear-gravity clouds, and they look like breaking ocean waves.

Photo showing the eyewall of Hurricane Michael

How do hurricanes get their names?

The World Meteorological Organization manages the formal system by which hurricanes receive their names. Find hurricane names for 2019 here.

Asteroid hitting Earth.

Asteroid strike simulation blasts New York City

It seems like play, but they’re serious. Every year, at the Planetary Defense Conference, asteroid experts from around the globe run days-long simulations of asteroids headed for major cities. In 2019, it was New York City’s turn.

Arsenic-breathing life discovered in Pacific

Arsenic is a deadly poison for most living things, but new research shows that microorganisms are breathing arsenic in a large area of the Pacific Ocean.

Rows of beach houses, flooded.

It’s Hurricane Preparedness Week. Are you ready?

May 5-11, 2019, is Hurricane Preparedness Week in the U.S. If a hurricane were approaching, would you and your family be ready? This post will tell you how to prepare.

The strangest crab that has ever lived

Meet Callichimaera perplexa, the platypus of crabs. It’s a 95-million-year-old extinct species that, scientists say, will force us to rethink the definition of a crab.

Dramatic image of dark shelf cloud over a 3-story building.

What you need to know about derechos

Derechos typically form in late spring and summer. They are violent storm systems that can produce widespread wind damage across a large area. Check out the images in this post.

Star chart, showing Milky Way around Orion region.

Beetles steer by the Milky Way

When dung beetles grab a prized bit of food, they hurry off in a straight line. To be able to do this, they have to be able to see the stars.

Microplastics found in remote Pyrenees Mountains

Microplastic particles – too small for the human eye to see – were blown into the once pristine region by the wind, according to a new study.

A STEVE display over Prince George, BC, Canada.

Scientists explain mysterious, celestial STEVE

STEVE is a majestic sky phenomenon, similar to well-known auroras, but not as well understood. Now, a new study provides an explanation.

What caused the Great Dying?

New evidence that volcanic eruptions caused the Great Dying, a mass extinction 252 million years ago that killed off 95% of life on Earth.

Male emperor penguins are good dads

In fact, they’re one of nature’s best animal dads. This month – autumn in Antarctica – their breeding cycle begins. But there’s still a long winter ahead.

Rain over Asia foreshadows intense California heat

When heavy rain falls over Southeast Asia and the eastern Pacific Ocean, temperatures in California’s Central Valley will reach 100 degrees F (38 C) in 4 to 16 days, says a new study.