Flashes from above
The Suomi NPP satellite, run jointly by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, flew over the satellite activity last night. Because of the near-full moon, the satellite was able to see details of the storm clouds that would only be visible during daylight hours to other satellites, according to a NOAA statement.
[Full Story: Lightning Flash from Severe Storms Seen from Space]
Packing a punch
A NASA statement describes an overshooting cloud top as a domelike protrusion that balloons out from the anvil head of thunderstorm cloud and shoots up into the stratosphere, the layer of the atmosphere above the troposphere. The troposphere is where most weather on Earth occurs.
[Full Story: Cyclone's 'Overshooting Cloud Tops' Seen from Above]
The snow started falling mid-month when a storm system blowing in from over the North Atlantic combined with unusually chilly conditions ushered in by a pattern called the Scandinavian Block, according to Accuweather.com. This high-pressure pattern sits in place over Scandinavia and funnels cold air toward the United Kingdom from over the Baltic and western Russia, according to the U.K. Met Office.
[Full Story: Britain Blanketed by Snow in New Satellite Image]
Established in 1957, the National Key Deer Refuge aims to protect and preserve deer and other wildlife in the Florida Keys. The 9,200-acre refuge is in the lower Florida Keys, and is home to 22 federally-listed endangered and threatened species of plants and animals ?ve of which are found nowhere else in the world.
[Full Story: Gorgeous Photo: Florida's National Key Deer Refuge]
An image taken on Sept. 27, 2012, and released recently by NASA's Earth Observatory, shows off the satellite's penetrating gaze with a view of low-level, marine layer clouds off the coast of California. These clouds are invisible to technologies previously used to view nighttime scenes.
[Full Story: Night-Sensitive Satellite Spots Elusive Clouds]
The animation, made with weather data from the NOAA/NCEP Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis, begins on Saturday (Jan. 19) with very cold air seen only over the Rockies, Montana, North Dakota, the northern half of Minnesota and the northern portions of New England. Much of the eastern and central parts of the country saw weekend weather that was balmier than usual for mid-January.
[Full Story: Chilling! Arctic Air Invasion Captured in Animation]
Look out below
The steep west face of Mount Dixon at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park fell at about 2:15 p.m. local time, leaving a dark trail of rock and ice across the park's Grand Plateau, the Timaru Herald reported.
[Full Story: Massive Rockfall Rattles New Zealand Park]
And for the first time, scientists have found evidence that these small sharks even go after one of the world's most fearsome predators, the great white shark. Great whites are about 10 times the size of a cookiecutter shark.
[Full Story: Cookiecutter Shark Takes Bite Out of Great White]
Returning to greatness
Researchers recently counted nearly 1,000 wild yaks in a rugged northern area of the plateau known as Hoh Xil, which is nearly the size of West Virginia and has very few human residents, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which helped conduct the census.
[Full Story: Huge Wild Yak Population Found in Tibetan Park]
The level was about 80 feet (25 meters) below the crater floor, the highest level reached since the summit vent blasted open in March 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey reports. The lava lake last surged on Oct. 23, 2012, when the high mark was measured at 100 feet (31 m) below the crater floor.
[Full Story: Hawaiian Lava Lake Hits New Record High]
Freaky night sky
The Suomi NPP satellite caught a massive thunderstorm making waves in the nightglow above Texas and Oklahoma on April 15, 2012. While nightglow is a well-known phenomenon, scientists were surprised at Suomi NPP's ability to detect it, according to NASA's Earth Observatory. During the satellite's check-out procedures, scientists thought this light source was a problem with the sensor until they realized that they were seeing the faintest light in the darkness of night, the Earth Observatory reported.
[Full Story: Amazing Image: Eerie Nightglow Over Texas]
Encouraging discovery confirmed
Signs of the penguins were spotted by satellite, which took images of large stains on the snow in 2009 that scientists suspected were penguin feces. But it wasn't until early December 2012 that three people from Belgium's Princess Elisabeth Antarctica polar research station visited the colony to glimpse the penguins for themselves, according to a statement from the International Polar Foundation, which runs the station.
[Full Story: Humans Visit Huge Penguin Colony for First Time]
Ancient wreck revealed
Exactly 150 years later, a new 3D map of the USS Hatteras has been released that shows what the remains of the warship look like. The Hatteras rests on the ocean floor about 20 miles (32 kilometers) off Galveston, Texas, according to a release from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, which helped to sponsor the expedition to map the shipwreck.
[Full Story: New 3D Map of Civil War Shipwreck Released]
Record-breaking start to the year
The previous record was set in 2010, when the new year saw 61 percent of the U.S. beneath snow. That same season was marked by the blizzard nicknamed 'Snowmageddon,' in the mid-Atlantic, which set a long list of records in cities such as Philadelphia, DC and Baltimore.
[Full Story: January 1 Snow Coverage Sets New Record for US]
Survival in the deep
The common coral Acropora is living 410 feet (125 meters) below the ocean's surface, a discovery that expedition leader Pim Bongaerts of the University of Queensland called "mind-blowing." The group had previously seen the coral living in the reef at a depth of about 200 feet (60 m).
[Full Story: Deepest Corals in Great Barrier Reef Discovered]