Map showing epicenter of January 7, 2020 earthquake, south of island of Puerto Rico.

Magnitude 6.4 earthquake shakes Puerto Rico

USGS reports that the strong earthquake in Puerto Rico this morning was “widely felt.” Strong to very strong shaking occurred across parts of southern Puerto Rico closest to the event, and moderate shaking occurred across the rest of the island.

This satellite image was collected by NOAA-NASA's Suomi NPP satellite using the VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument on Jan. 01, 2020. Actively burning fires, detected by thermal bands, are shown as red points. Lynn Jenner with information from New South Wales Rural Fire website and the Bushfires and Natural Hazards CRC website. Via NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).

Ferocious fires in Australia intensified this week

The outlook for the bushfire situation in Australia continues to be grim. This post is an update via NASA, containing NOAA-NASA satellite images of actively burning fires and the resultant billowing smoke.

January’s birthstone is the garnet

Happy birthday, January babies!  Your birthstone is the garnet.

Wavelike clouds at twilight, above a mountain landscape.

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.

November 2019 was 2nd hottest on record for planet

Last month was the 2nd warmest November in the 140-year global climate record, and polar sea ice coverage shrank to near-record lows, according to a NOAA report. .

Some of the fossilized roots uncovered at the quarry in New York. Via Cardiff University

Remains of Earth’s oldest forest found in New York

Scientists found fossilized root systems of ancient trees – from what’s now Earth’s oldest known forest – near Cairo, New York. They looked “surprisingly modern,” the scientists said.

Solstice tale of two cities

December solstice sunrise comes at the same time for St. Augustine, Florida, and New York City. But St. Augustine has an hour more of daylight than New York. Here’s why.

Humpback whale.

Why are whales big, but not bigger?

How did whales that feed on tiny prey evolve into the largest creatures on Earth? And why don’t they get even bigger?

December solstice: All you need to know

It’s getting closer. December solstice 2019 arrives on December 22 at 04:19 UTC. That’s December 21 for much of North America. High summer for the Southern Hemisphere. For the Northern Hemisphere, the return of more sunlight!

Vast area of ice-covered water, and a small red ship.

2019 Arctic Report Card: Visual highlights

NOAA’s 14th annual Arctic Report Card recounts the ways that climate change continued to alter the north polar region during 2019.