Leaf-peeping season is in full swing, but the federal government shutdown has shuttered the country's national parks, closing off some of the prime areas…Read More »
for checking out autumn's riotous colors. Luckily state parks and other natural areas boasting fall's leaves are still accessible.
As soon as the government shutdown began on Oct. 1, the entrances to national parks were closed off with signs reading, "Because of the federal government shutdown, this National Park Service Facility is closed." In other words, the leaves are off limits from Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado to Acadia National Park in Maine.
The mystery of a series of strange, knobby pillars of rock that formed in Iceland has been solved.
A creeping lava flow and a stream of water mixed to…Read More »
create hollow, rough pillars that dot the Skaelinger Valley in Iceland. The surprise is that these towers could form at all on land. Until now, researchers thought that whenever water and lava met on land, either explosive steam or pillow-shaped lava formed.
A chocolate-covered frog and one of the tiniest dung beetles ever found are among the new species discovered during a survey of what scientist called…Read More »
one of the most "pristine" environments left on Earth.
The location? Southeastern Suriname, a dense South American Eden for rain forest species. Scientists led by Conservation International's Rapid Assessment Program spent three weeks in the region in 2012, surveying animal and plant species and testing water quality.
Another species identified during the Suriname expedition. Many planthopper species exude waxy secretions from the abdomen, and these sometimes form long…Read More »
strands, such as can be seen in this photo. The long waxy strands may provide protection from predators — it could be that they fool a predator into attacking the wrong part of the insect, and the wax breaks off while the insect jumps to safety. The juvenile planthopper in this photo is only about 5 mm long, and was exceedingly difficult to photograph. Less «
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Neptune's lost moon spotted
Credit: SETI Institute
A tiny, mysterious moon orbiting Neptune has been spotted for the first time in more than 20 years.
By analyzing photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope,…Read More »
scientists at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., have caught sight of Naiad, the innermost of Neptune's moons. The 62-mile-wide (100 kilometers) moon has remained unseen since the cameras on NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft discovered it in 1989.
States with enough cash to run a national park may get to reopen their scenic parks in a deal with the Department of Interior, the Associated Press reported…Read More »
today (Oct. 10). Four states — Utah, Colorado, Arizona and South Dakota — have asked to pay for the parks because of the economic impact of the closures. The agreement would let states fully fund park operations, but keep the National Park Service in control.
Credit: Pinshane Huang, Jonathan Alden, David Muller, Simon Kurasch, Ute Kaiser
Scientists have captured the wiggle of tiny molecules of the world's thinnest glass as they undergo strain.
The new images, described today (Oct. 10)…Read More »
in the journal Science, show that in small, localized regions, glass behaves like a crystal, with atoms aligned in an orderly matrix. But at long-length scales, its disorder dictates its flexibility. The new insights could help scientists understand how glass bends and breaks.
Credit: Photo/Image provided courtesy of the Naval Research Laboratory
The sun sets over the United States Naval Research Laboratory's 50-foot radio telescope dish. The dish sits atop the laboratory's main administration…Read More »
building, and acts as an unofficial symbol of the facility.
The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), located in Washington, D.C., conducts scientific research and development for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps. The facility, which opened in 1923, was informally proposed by Thomas Edison, who commented on the need for a government research facility in an article published in the New York Times Magazine in 1915.
"The Government," Edison said, "should maintain a great research laboratory … In this could be developed … all the technique of military and naval progression without any vast expense."
The NRL receives research and development grants from a variety of government agencies, including DARPA, but does not receive directly funding under the federal government's budget. [Related: 7 Declassified Military & CIA Secrets] Less «
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Eagle Soars at Shiloh
Credit: Don Holland/U.S. Department of Interior
The battlefields in Shiloh National Military Park are a fitting place for an eagle to soar. Located in Tennessee, Shiloh National Military Park preserves…Read More »
the American Civil War's Shiloh and Corinth battlefields. The Battle of Shiloh launched a six-month struggle for the key railroad junction at Corinth. It was here where Union forces marched from Pittsburg Landing to take Corinth in a May siege, and then withstood an October Confederate counter-attack. To preserve these historical battlefields, and the nature within, the Shiloh National Military Park was established on Dec. 27, 1894. Local farmers had grown tired of their pigs rooting up the remains of soldiers that had fallen during the battle, so they insisted that the federal government do something about it. Federal officials complied, and the park was transferred from the War Department to the National Park Service in 1933. Since the 1960s, the park has allowed approximately 600 acres of land to return to native forest conditions. About 200 acres of virgin bottomland oak and hickory forest, which is rare in western Tennessee, remain in the park’s Owl Creek watershed. These old-growth oak trees represent the last remnants of the original forest cover from the time of the battle. Follow OurAmazingPlanet @OAPlanet, Facebook & Google+.Less «
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Antarctica research shutdown
More than 10 years of planning, $10 million of government funding and tireless work from the team that discovered life in a lake buried beneath an Antarctic…Read More »
glacier earlier this year may largely go to waste due to the government shutdown.
The WISSARD drilling program — a collaborative effort of 14 principal investigators including glaciologists, geophysicists, microbiologists and others from nine institutions across the country — is one of the largest programs ever fielded by the U.S. Antarctic Program.