A group of scientists at Lancaster University in England are constantly monitoring geomagnetic activity, to get a heads-up for the spectacular night sky display known as the Northern Lights. So a couple of days ago, they were thrilled to get a strong reading that an aurora was likely imminent.
Neptune, the farthest named planet in our solar system (sorry Pluto), is unusual in a lot of ways. One rotation around the sun lasts about 165 Earth years, and each season is around 40 Earth years. Another noteworthy thing about the planet is its atmosphere, which has a fluctuating brightness.
A cloudy day here on Earth might be a sign for gloom, but elsewhere in the universe, to behold one is a scientific achievement.
Nearly thirty years after an international treaty banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons, the Antarctic ozone hole is finally starting to heal. By mid to late century, it should be fully recovered.
Even though New Horizons swept past Pluto last year, more than half the data that it gleaned from the planet during its flyby is still on the spacecraft, which means that there’s still much that we’ll be learning about the dwarf planet. Case in point: methane snow-covered peaks.
The internet is filled with butt-clenching stories of horrifying plane turbulence lately. Is dangerously rough air becoming more common nowadays, or what? Well, yes and no.
“Remember, remember the fifth of November....” It’s that time of year again, when eager Brits celebrate Guy Fawkes Night with extravagant fireworks displays and bonfires to burn the traitorous Fawkes in effigy. But a new study says that all that extra smoke and debris in the air wreak havoc with visibility.
Don’t worry, there is nothing unnatural about that strange arcs of light you’ll sometimes see in the sky. Ice halos are a very natural atmospheric phenomenon, created when ice crystals suspended in the sky reflect and refract sunlight. But they truly are an impressive sight.
For over six decades, scientists have speculated about the existence of plasma structures that reside in the magnetosphere’s inner layers. Researchers in Australia have now created 3D images of these tubes for the very first time, proving they’re quite real.
It may not leave a trail of destruction and pew-pews in its wake but NASA's newest atmospheric sensor, the laser-beaming CATS module, could afford researchers a fuller understanding of how our reliance on nonrenewable energy fuels climate change.
One of the staples of time travel stories is the idea that our heroes will visit earlier geological periods in Earth's history. Of course — because they'll want to see dinosaurs with ostrich feathers and giant millipedes. But they generally forget something very important about Earth's past.
Finally, some good news about our troubled atmosphere: A UN study shows that the ozone layer is displaying early signs of thickening after years of depletion. It's on the road to recovery — an achievement that scientists say is due to political will.
NASA's GOES satellites recently tracked a meteorological phenomenon largely unknown to weather forecasters: The location of the thick layers of water vapor in Earth's atmosphere. The results are as beautiful as they are helpful.
There are three primary sources of smells that commonly occur after rain. The first, the "clean" smell, in particular after a heavy thunderstorm, is caused by ozone. Ozone (scientifically known as trioxygen due to the fact that it is comprised of three oxygen atoms) is notably pungent and has a very sharp smell that…
This is the microbes' world—we just live in it. Throughout the history of Earth, microbes have radically reshaped life on the planet, from creating the very air we breath to wiping out almost all life on Earth. Don't underestimate the power of tiny, tiny microbes populating the Earth trillions of times over.
Dramatic sunsets are undeniably gorgeous, but they portend something ominous: millions of fine particles polluting the air. Researchers are now studying sunsets painted over the past 500 years to find clues to how our air got dirtier after the Industrial Revolution.
Your city's air quality got you down? Consider picnicking inside this glass-topped park proposed by Orproject. The transparent, ultra-lightweight canopy—inspired by the geometry of butterfly wings—would act as a kind of fresh air reserve: part filter, part outdoor hospital, where you and your friends can breathe in…
Ever been out on a lake and heard the whispers of someone far away on shore? A quirk of atmosphere and a quirk of physics work together to turn the body of water into a telephone.
The Earth's atmosphere is actually a churning sea of fluid, though it's easy to forget when you're just hanging out, breathing it all in. This satellite shot of a tiny island in the Pacific shows the spiral trails it leaves as an ocean of air swirls by.