What are hole-punch clouds?

Ever seen one of these? People sometimes report them as UFOs. They’re called hole-punch clouds, and jets make ’em. The connection between hole-punch clouds, jets and snowfall, here.

How Earth feeds volcanic supereruptions

To better understand where magma gathers in Earth’s crust, researchers studied the Taupo Volcanic Zone of New Zealand, the planet’s most active cluster.

What makes giant soldier ants?

Charles Darwin puzzled over why ants come in such wildly different sizes. The question even made him doubt his theory of evolution. New research might explain why.

How do dogs process words?

What’s happening in your dog’s brain when it hears you say squirrel? New research looks at how dog’s brains react to human words.

New species of giant dinosaur identified

The fossils of Ledumahadi mafube suggest that it was the largest land animal alive 200 million years ago.

New technology may help solve mystery of life’s origins

How did life on Earth begin? A new technology, called Planet Simulator, might finally help solve the mystery.

Bees stopped buzzing during total solar eclipse

In the path of totality of the August 2017 total solar eclipse, bees stopped flying, says a study. “It was like ‘lights out’ at summer camp.”

Whale songs evolve, but calls persist for generations

Humpback whales have ever-changing and evolving songs. But a new study of whales in Alaska shows their repertoire of calls – including growls, trumpets, and ahoogas – remains more stable. Why?

Watch 3 whales dive, then leap

Whale watchers on a cruise out of Nova Scotia got a thrill when they saw 3 whales breach the surface, one after the other. “We did not drive them,” the cruise director commented.

Michael headed for landfall in Florida

The early morning update on Wednesday, October 10, shows Michael has strengthened more than expected to a Category 4 hurricane. The storm is due to make landfall on the north Florida coast today.

Microplastics found in sea turtle nesting sand

Researchers have found microplastics deep in the sand on beaches where sea turtles lay their eggs.

Baby giraffes inherit spot patterns from mom

A new study suggests spot patterns are linked to survival rates of young giraffes.

Arctic sea ice reaches 2018 minimum

On both September 19 and 23, Arctic sea ice dropped to its minimum extent of 1.77 million square miles (4.59 million square km). The 2018 minimum ties for the 6th-lowest in the satellite record.

Microbes catch a ride on fog

When fog rolls in, it can bring along communities of airborne microorganisms, says a new study. Moisture in fog allows microbes to last longer than they would in dry air.

What we’ve learned from 50 years of ocean drilling

We know more about the surface of the moon than about Earth’s ocean floor. But analysis of core samples from the deep seabed has given us insights into climate change, Earth’s history, and the key conditions for life.

Death toll surges over 800 in Indonesia earthquake

Links to stories and images of the 7.5-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Indonesia on Friday. By Sunday morning, the death toll had gone over 800, with thousands waiting to be rescued.

Study untangles role of pollution, smoke on thunderclouds

Smoky air makes it harder for thunderclouds to grow. But pollution – if it’s not too heavy – energizes their growth, according to a new study based on satellite data.

NASA balloon tracks electric blue clouds

A balloon mission flying over the North Pole captured 6 million images of these bright blue noctilucent clouds in their home in the upper atmosphere.

Pink lagoon provides clues to possible Mars life

This candy-pink lagoon in Spain is providing valuable clues about how extremophile microorganisms might exist on Mars despite the planet’s harsh conditions.

What are haboobs? Amazing pics and videos

Dust storms, also known as haboobs, occur when winds from dying thunderstorms push downward and pick up sand and dirt across desert areas. Amazing pics and video from last summer’s haboobs in Arizona, here.