Humans are pretty jaded these days. We can write most of the strange phenomena we see off as science (or we honestly don’t care). But when Roman philosophers like Pliny the Elder witnessed moonless nights glow bright like the day, it definitely made an impression. Others since then have been awestruck by these “bright…
Meet Steve, a newly discovered atmospheric phenomenon that’s so strange it still doesn’t have a formal scientific description, hence the placeholder name. Thanks to the work of aurora enthusiasts and atmospheric scientists, we’re now learning more about Steve, but many questions remain.
Geoengineering is one of those things that sounds like maybe a good idea on paper but could also go horribly, apocalyptically wrong. But if the prospect of plunging Earth’s weather systems into chaos isn’t enough to convince scientists we need to tread very cautiously with the ultimate global warming tech-fix, perhaps…
Scientists at NASA have created a stunning high-resolution 3D visualization showing the complex ebbs and flows of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere over the course of an entire year. It’s a unique perspective that’s sure to change the way you think about this problematic greenhouse gas.
During a fierce battle for control of the Iraqi city of Mosul last week, Islamic state fighters set fire to a gigantic sulfur plant. Days later, a plume of sulfur dioxide continues to spread over surrounding areas, darkening skies and making the air toxic to breathe.
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.
Atmosphere is the gateway musical drug that gets you hooked on anything and everything Rhymesayers, a hip-hop indie label out of Minneapolis. On this new track, Slug (the lyrical brains behind Atmosphere) is joined by Aesop Rock and Blueprint, two other Rhymesayer compatriots.
“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.
New Horizons released a fresh batch of photographs from its collection today, and I’m in love all over again. Bask in the glory of a hazy dusk, then join me to dive into the awesome new science of weather on Pluto.
We think we’re in love. The New Horizons probe swivelled around after the Pluto Flyby to take a nightside snapshot of the dwarf planet. The result is both beautiful and scientifically fascinating, the very best combination.
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.
Piling on to the good news from Mars this week, NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft sent home its first ultraviolet images from Mars. While they may not be flashy, these images will help determine the composition and variability of the upper atmosphere, and investigate the mystery of when the water escaped.