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.
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 Montreal Protocol of 1987 placed strict controls on the release of ozone-depleting substances. A new study now shows what would have happened to the ozone layer in the absence of this critically important international treaty — and it wouldn’t have been pretty.
The latest episode of MinuteEarth offers a surprisingly deep dive on the origins of clouds, (explaining, for example, why warm, humid air is more buoyant than warm, dry air), and in characteristically clear, concise, and accessible terms. One of my favorite installments in recent memory.
This incredible display isn't some a futuristic domed city in an alien icy landscape or an artist's concept of magnetic fields, but a very real optical phenomena here on Earth. Here's the science behind these spectacular ice halos photographed this week in New Mexico.
The moon has been tempting astronauts into snapping its photo frequently in the lead-up to tomorrow's full moon.
The International Space Station goes through a full day in 92 minutes, each with its own sunrise and sunset. The Earth's atmosphere acts as a prism, bending rays of sunlight to paint the station in a quick succession of rich colours. Astronaut Butch Wilmore photographed how the light changes on a solar array.
A new study looking at the last 59 years of tornadoes in the United States reveals something surprising: We have fewer tornadoes today than we used to. But those tornadoes are hitting in a terrifying new way.
The MAVEN spacecraft used an orbital insertion burn just 11 seconds longer than nominal when slipping into Mars orbit last night. That's a fantastically short correction to end a 711 million kilometer, 10-month journey, and a perfect kickoff to its mission investigating the structure and evolution of the planet's…
Better known as an iridescent cloud, a cloudbow is just what it sounds like: A cloud full of rainbows.
It's more likely than not that we're going to see a strong El Niño this year. But just how does the cycle that pushes El Niño forward work? This series of charts explains.
NASA is planning a series of test flights near Hawaii with their new flying saucer in June. The saucer is testing a new batch of supersonic aids to help heavier payloads survive the six minutes of terror and safely descend through the thin Martian atmosphere.
The Solar Planetary And Meteor Detection has a hilarious acronym, but more importantly it's a way to watch a meteor shower despite being clouded in. Here's a glimpse of how the radio antenna network observed the brand-new Camelopardalids.
Can a facility that has inspired global conspiracy theories be designated a World Heritage Site? If so, that might be the only way to prevent the shutdown of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Alaska, which studies the ionosphere—or creates lethal hurricanes—depending on whom you talk to.
We may need to revise our ideas of just where we expect hurricanes to land. A new study shows that the location where tropical cyclones hit their most powerful peak is shifting closer to the Earth's poles.