For some people it's a mountaintop, for others it's a lapping seashore, but for Gayle Ferrell, the most serene place on Earth is 650 feet (198 meters)…Read More »
Ferrell works as the director of operations at a museum called Strataca, set in the abandoned tunnels of an active salt mine in central Kansas. The museum — which has access to about 300,000 square feet (28,000 square meters) of mined-out channels — has been open since 2007, but just unveiled a new attraction in November called the Salt Safari that brings visitors through an extended 3-hour-long sub-surface hike.
A new twist on an old mystery may finally settle the debate over the origin of Mima mounds, which bulge out of the ground like enormous, grass-covered…Read More »
Mima mounds (sounds like dime-a) were named in 1841, when a vast pimply prairie (the Mima Prairie) was discovered in western Washington during the United States Exploring Expedition. In the centuries since, the source of this strange landscape has defied explanation. A single field may be covered in a million mounds that are several thousand years old, yet no builder has ever been found.
A NASA probe has captured an amazing video of the huge and mysterious six-sided vortex spinning around Saturn's north pole.
Scientists created the new…Read More »
video of Saturn's vortex from 128 images snapped by NASA's Cassini spacecraft in December 2012. It's the highest-resolution movie yet obtained of the giant hexagon, which is about 20,000 miles (32,000 kilometers) wide and has been swirling for at least 30 years, researchers said.
Credit: National Park Service photo by Erin Whittaker
Usually the Grand Canyon offers stunning views stretching for miles, deep into valleys etched by the Colorado River. But that vista has changed over the…Read More »
past few days, as a rare weather event has filled the canyon with fog, offering an even more stunning view than is typical.
The weather event is known as a temperature inversion, and it only happens every few years, according to the National Park Service, who wrote about the event and posted photos of it on its Facebook page.
The bison is the largest land mammal in North America. They can weigh more than half a ton. Despite their size, bison can run up to 30 mph (50 km/h). That's more than fast enough to keep up with traffic on wintery roads in Yellowstone.
This herd was large enough to intimidate, but it's a mere fraction of the Yellowstone bison population, which fluctuates between 2,300 and 4,500 animals. There are two subpopulations within Yellowstone bison, the Northern Range and Hayden Valley herds, which are divided based on their gathering for breeding.
Bison were nearly extinct in the 19th century due to hunting, slaughter and bovine diseases from domestic cattle. Today, Yellowstone is the only place in the lower 48 states where a population of wild bison has persisted since prehistoric times.
Tucked beneath the desert in southern Arizona is Kartchner Caverns, a maze of remote, largely uninhabited underground passages and caverns that are cloaked…Read More »
in perpetual darkness. But this seemingly desolate cave system actually plays host to a surprisingly diverse array of microbes that survive underground despite the extreme dearth of light and nutrients, according to a new study.
A team of researchers led by scientists at the University of Arizona in Tucson discovered communities of microorganisms that live in the limestone caves of Kartchner Caverns State Park. These microbial ecosystems thrive by teasing out the limited nutrients in water runoff that drips into the cave through cracks in the cave's rocky exterior, the researchers said.
From behind the fancy glassware, horn-rimmed specs and white lab coats of stereotypical 20th-century science, 13 modern researchers have emerged, modeling…Read More »
more than just their data and reminding the public that scientists are people too, complete with a bit of style and plenty of humor.
The results: A 2014 Climate Model wall calendar, showcasing glammed-up climate scientists posing within their respective field sites. Researchers often turn to climate models, which comprise numerous equations that simulate Earth processes, to forecast how quickly the planet will warm and what factors might influence warming, among other predictions.
Russia's erupting volcanoes still look amazing even from thousands of miles away, aboard the International Space Station. An astronaut's view of erupting…Read More »
Klyuchevskoy volcano, snapped Nov. 16, reveals how the tall peak towers above the plains of Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula.
The image was taken when the International Space Station was more than 900 miles (1,500 kilometers) to the southwest of the volcano, from an altitude of 221 nautical miles (409 km), according to NASA's Earth Observatory
Female lemon sharks in the Bahamas seem to "remember" the place where they were born and return to the spot after years of wandering to give birth to their…Read More »
own young, a new study found.
This kind of homing behavior has been observed in other aquatic animals — salmon famously swim upstream to get back to their own spawning grounds and sea turtles return to the nesting beaches where they were born. After years of speculation, the researchers say this is the first time it's been confirmed that shark moms-to-be also go back to their own nurseries.
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