New Earth-Orbiting Microwave Gun is Making Killer Maps of Wind Dynamics

On May 10th, tropical storm Ana—the first named storm of this year’s North Atlantic hurricane season—made landfall along the Carolina coast. NASA scientists took the opportunity to observe the storm’s wind dynamics with one of their newest toys and produced this spectacular wind map while they were at it. » 5/17/15 7:00pm 5/17/15 7:00pm

The Plan to Drill into the Crater from the Dinosaur-Killing Meteorite 

Sixty-five million years ago, a meteorite careened into Earth, leaving a huge crater on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The impact is likely responsible for killing off the most of the dinosaurs—along with 75 percent of all species on Earth. Scientists are now planning an expedition to drill into the… » 4/14/15 6:40pm 4/14/15 6:40pm

A Massive Lake Beneath Greenland's Glaciers Has Collapsed

Under Greenland's frozen surface is a vast network of channels, crevasses, and basins—its "glacial plumbing system." A few years ago, the water suddenly disappeared from a subglacial lake, which then collapsed into a funny silhouette that NASA likens to a "mitten," but I think looks more like a waving Yeti. » 3/03/15 5:45pm 3/03/15 5:45pm

How to Turn Carbon Dioxide into Rock and Bury It Forever (Hopefully) 

What do we do with a problem like carbon dioxide? We want to remove the excess from our atmosphere, but how? In Iceland, geologists are burying the greenhouse gas with water, so that basic chemistry can turn it into solid rock inside what the New York Times calls "a geological soda machine." » 2/10/15 8:00pm 2/10/15 8:00pm

We're Going to Fly Four Planes Straight into the Pineapple Express

When it rains in California, it really damn pours. The weather phenomenon is known as an atmospheric river, a narrow but concentrated band of moisture that can transport as much water vapor as 15 Mississippi Rivers. Atmospheric rivers can make or break a drought, but there's still so much we don't know about how or… » 2/04/15 7:20pm 2/04/15 7:20pm

Just How Bad Is California's Drought? Here's A Scary, 10-Second Answer.

California continues to dry up. The latest figures indicate more than 80% of the state is in extreme drought, or worse, exceptional drought. These are sobering numbers, to be sure, but for an even better perspective on the drought's unprecedented progression, check out this GIF, created by L.A. Times reader Alvaro… » 8/09/14 4:34pm 8/09/14 4:34pm

7 Graphics of Earth's Coolest Phenomena, From Rainbows to Earth Wobble

What's the oldest tree on Earth? What's a rainbow? Is the Earth wobbling? It's fun to ask these questions but trickier to answer them—in simple terms, at least. Luckily, Viennese designer Michæl Paukner has done us all a huge favor by creating these lovely visual explanations. » 7/18/13 9:00am 7/18/13 9:00am

This lost continent off the coast of Scotland disappeared beneath the…

This week, a group of geologists report that they've found a lost continent off the coast of Scotland. 55 million years ago, about 10 million years after dinosaurs died out, a chunk of the seafloor erupted from beneath the water. It created a small continent that existed for at least a million years, covered in… » 7/12/11 2:40pm 7/12/11 2:40pm