Rain transforms into snow when the temperatures drop below freezing, right? Not necessarily. Supercooling raindrops is really what’s poking these cookie-cutter holes in the clouds over the southeastern United States.
The science of rainbows: it’s something we’re all taught in grade school. Airborne water droplets act like little prisms, bending and splitting light. Mix enough water and sunshine, and you get a brilliant bow of color.
The first images of Venus from its solitary, tardy orbiter are already revealing new secrets about its cloud dynamics. The fourth of the Akatsuki spacecraft’s cameras sent back new details on cloud structure for the planet’s roiling storms that we’ve never seen before.
The aurora borealis is one of the most stunning light shows on Earth, but normally, it’s a treat reserved for the hardy souls living at the coldest edges of the world. The last few nights, however, people across the Northern and Southern hemispheres have enjoyed dazzling, colorful skies, thanks to a geomagnetic storm…
Earlier this month, New Horizons released a batch of absolutely breathtaking photos of Pluto at dusk, including the one above. In these images, particles in Pluto’s thin atmosphere are causing sunlight to scatter, revealing a complex, layered haze.
A glider designed to float to the edge of space on air currents will attempt its first flight on Wednesday. Next year, the Perlan Mission II will launch to soaring altitudes of 90,000 feet, where it’ll harvest invaluable data on Earth’s atmosphere and climate.
Air pollution is decreasing over parts of the Middle East. But researchers say that for most Middle Eastern cities, the clearer air is actually a symptom of conflict, not a sign of progress.
It’s a dark and stormy night, 28,000 feet over the Midwest. Just after 10:30 PM, I’m standing aft of the cockpit of a NASA DC-8, while lightning flashes outside the cabin windows.
The 9.0 Tohoku earthquake damaged thousands of buildings when it ripped through Japan four years ago. Much of that debris is gone now, but the broken buildings had an invisible effect, too: The earthquake released thousands of tons of ozone-destroying greenhouse gases into the air.
Despite the many wonders of our modern cell phones, using them to call a real live human can kind of suck. The sound is fuzzy, the calls drop randomly, and a simple rainstorm can make it all even worse. But there is surprising upside to all this: we can monitor the quality of cell phone calls to track rain and floods…