An unsuspecting frog went for a bit of a wild ride last Friday (Sept. 6) when the launch of NASA's moon-bound LADEE spacecraft…Read More »
sent it skyward amidst a plume of smoke. Look closely: The frog can be seen to the left of the rocket, against a background of reddish-orange smoke released from the Minotaur V rocket.
A sound-triggered still camera set up near the launch pad captured this incredible photo of the airborne frog during the launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The agency's photo team confirmed the image is real, and was captured in a single frame by one of the remote cameras. But as for the poor frog? "The condition of the frog, however, is uncertain," NASA officials said in a statement. [Related: Spectacular LADEE Night Launch Photos] Less «
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A whale tail
Credit: Rob Williams
Humpback whale populations are on the rise in a small coastal area of British Columbia, a new estimate reveals, but researchers remain cautious about…Read More »
the whales' safety in the face of several human threats.
In the summer, the whales share space with a shipping channel that goes through the Caamaño Sound area, which is just south of the port city of Prince Rupert and midway up the province's coast. Whale collisions with freighters sometimes happen, and ship noise interferes with the feeding calls the humpbacks emit. Humpbacks can also get tangled in fishing gear and drown, or starve if the gear interferes with their ability to eat.
Boulder, Colo., is getting absolutely drenched — since last night (Sept. 11), an incredible 5 to 10 inches (13 to 25 centimeters) of rain have fallen…Read More »
in the city and its surrounding areas, and the deluge continues.
The downpour has caused flash floods throughout the Boulderarea and killed two people, according to news reports. Many roads throughout the area are impassible, and most businesses and schools throughout the region have closed.
The sight of butterflies flocking onto the heads of yellow-spotted river turtles in the western Amazon rain forest is not uncommon, at least if one is…Read More »
able to sneak up on the skittish reptiles. But the reason why butterflies congregate onto the turtles may be stranger than you think: to drink their tears.
The butterflies are likely attracted to the turtles' tears because the liquid drops contain salt, specifically sodium, an important mineral that is scant in the western Amazon, said Phil Torres, a scientist who does much of his research at the Tambopata Research Center in Peru and is associated with Rice University.
The California sea otter population, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, has grown since last year, according to a recent population…Read More »
census published by the U.S. Geological Survey.
The otter population is reported annually as a three-year-running average, and rose to 2,941 this year, up from last year's average of 2,792. The animal still retains its threatened species status, and will continue to do so until it reaches an average of 3,090 individuals for three consecutive years, according to a USGS statement.
A proposal to create a marine protected area in Antarctica's Ross Sea that would cover some 875,000 square miles (2.3 million square kilometers) has been…Read More »
revised to reduce the reserve's size by about 40 percent. The revisions came after China, Norway, Russia and other countries that are members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources questioned the legality of creating the reserve and balked at blocking off so much of the productive region to commercial fishing.
Topographic maps showing the elevation of Alaska's Mount McKinley – North America's tallest peak – have been off by 83 feet (25 meters) for decades, according…Read More »
to an updated map released by the U.S. Geological Survey earlier this month, Reuters reports.
The published height of Mount McKinley, also known as Denali, has been listed as 20,320 feet (6,194 m) since 1952 – a height undoubtedly cited by many a proud hiker who has attempted to summit the peak, amongst others who find solace in the mountain. But new radar data shows that the mountain is actually 20,237 feet (6,168 m) high. Though slightly less impressive, the updated height has not affected the mountain's status as the highest peak in North America.
A massive amount of rain has fallen in the region surrounding Boulder, Colo., causing widespread flooding that's killed at least three people and taken…Read More »
out roads and houses, according to news reports. The event has sent 20-foot "walls of water" rushing down mountainsides, destroying bridges and isolating entire towns, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said in a statement.
The extreme rain and flooding in Colorado was caused when a slow-moving weather system sucked in an unusually large mass of moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, and has been called a "100-year storm." That terminology is a little confusing, though, and requires some explanation.
Google Maps just expanded its Street View to include the exotic Galapagos Islands, adding to the growing repertoire of remote and fascinating locales…Read More »
visible from any Internet user's armchair.
Charles Darwin's famous trip to the Galapagos Islands in the 1830s was a heroic feat of science and human willpower, with many months spent making detailed observations of uncharted territory that would ultimately help form the basis of modern evolutionary biology.