Standing eye level with oncoming lava, in a snow pit he is digging at Tolbachik volcano in Russia, Ben Edwards is hoping his world doesn't violently explode…Read More »
in the next few minutes.
Several years of watching lava trundle over ice and snow has taught Edwards, a volcanologist at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, that he's probably safe — at this spot, the volcano's incandescent rock rarely sparked the kind of blasts typically seen when lava meets water.
A pesky species of algae — sometimes called "rock snot" due to the way its tendrils attach to rocks in waterways — is infiltrating parts of eastern Canada…Read More »
due to global warming and not accidental introductions from humans tromping around, a new study suggests.
Outbreaks of didymo, as the species is called, have been reported in the United States, New Zealand, Europe and Canada in recent decades, causing policymakers and many scientists to say humans transported the algae. Fossilized algae in lake sediments, however, tell a different story.
Credit: Edith Widder, Ocean Research & Conservation Assoc.
Fearsome-looking creatures that live in the near-dark to pitch-black waters of the deep sea, dragon fish wouldn't seem to have much need for eyes, let…Read More »
alone the ability to see color. However, some dragon fish have rapidly evolved from blue-light sensitivity to red-light sensitivity, and then back to blue again.
The deep sea is not the sort of environment that would appear to encourage rapid evolution. "It doesn't change. It is always dark," said study researcher Christopher Kenaley, a comparative biologist at Harvard University. "There is something else down there that is driving the evolution of the visual system."
New 3D images reveal the underbelly and plumbing system of the most active volcano in the Galapagos Islands for the first time, according to a new report.
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A team of researchers based at the University of Rochester buried 15 seismometers — tools used to measure the velocity and direction of waves generated by earthquakes — beneath the Sierra Negra volcano, the largest and most active volcano in the Galapagos Islands, located roughly 575 miles (925 kilometers) off the coast of Ecuador.
A new image captured by a NASA spacecraft shows Saturn's famous rings in gorgeous detail, with one of the planet's many moons shining in the distance.
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The space agency's Cassini probe snapped the photo on Oct. 22, 2013, when it was about 1.6 million miles (2.6 million kilometers) from Saturn and 38 degrees below the ring plane, NASA officials said. The planet's battered "Death Star" moon Mimas is visible as a pinprick of light at the bottom right.
Baby sea turtles may not all follow the path scientists suspected the animals would travel. In fact, new satellite tracking shows that at least some turtles…Read More »
drop out and head for browner — and warmer — pastures.
Scientists have long suspected that young sea turtles ride a large current called the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre all the way around the ocean, popping back out on their original coastline after a year or two of growth. The first long-term satellite surveillance of young turtles, however, finds that many of the animals drop out of this current, perhaps following brown, floating seaweed called Sargassum that provides them with warmth, shelter and food.
Photographer Loren Haury captured these fascinating ice patterns along Oak Creek in Sedona, Ariz. The delicate crystal structures formed in frozen pools…Read More »
along the streambed.
"As water slowly drained from the pools during the night, layers of ice were left suspended from the rocks," Haury told Live Science. "For scale, the ice feathers radiating from the rock on the lower left are about 3 [inches (7.6 centimeters)] long. By noon, all the ice had melted."
Haury captured this photo of the eye-catching scene on Sept. 13, 2005, using an Olympus C60 handheld camera.
"I had to work fast, because the interesting crystals and fine structure would quickly melt when patches of direct sunlight moved over the ice," he said. [Related: Gallery of Awe-Inspiring Glaciers] Less «
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Waterways behead mountains
Credit: Sean Willett
Rivers cut, slice and even behead — as one of Earth's most powerful forces, these waterways have gathered lingo that rivals the most gory fantasy novels.
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Much like the families in the popular TV series "Game of Thrones," river boundaries form constantly shifting alliances, crossing divides, stealing tributaries and vastly changing the landscape. Tracing these movements through time helps reveal how the Earth works, such as why mountains rise and fall.
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using EO-1 ALI data from the NASA EO-1 team.
As March Madness heats up, the folks at NASA's Earth Observatory are running their own tournament to choose the best images of Earth from space.
Until…Read More »
April 4, readers can vote in Tournament Earth for the most compelling, shocking or awe-inspiring images of our planet. Current contenders capture red-hot lava spewing from Mt. Etna in Italy, the breaking of an iceberg of Antarctica's Pine Island Glaciers, and the trails left by ships gliding across the ocean. Like the traditional March Madness competition, at the end of voting each week, only half of the photos survive to the next round, until only one is left and crowned champion.
A crushing dive into the ocean's darkest realms has revealed surprising differences among the marine life that populates the Pacific Ocean's deepest depths.
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Researchers from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland discovered the deep-sea diversity while exploring the South Pacific's New Hebrides trench in November and December 2013. Curling around the islands of Vanuatu and New Caledonia north of New Zealand, the New Hebrides trench drops more than 25,000 feet (7,600 meters) below the ocean surface.
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Michigan/R.C.Reis et al; Optical: NASA/STScI
For the first time, astronomers have directly measured how fast a black hole spins, clocking its rotation at nearly half the speed of light.
The distant…Read More »
supermassive black hole would ordinarily be too faint to measure, but a rare lineup with a massive elliptical galaxy created a natural telescope known as a gravitational lens that allowed scientists to study the faraway object.
A great white shark called Lydia is set to make history. First tagged a year ago off the Florida coast, she's on her way to becoming the first tracked…Read More »
white shark to cross the Atlantic.
Lydia is being monitored by the marine nonprofit Ocearch as part of its ongoing project to help researchers and scientists gather previously unattainable data on shark movement, biology and health. The 14-foot-6-inch great white has migrated more than 19,000 miles since being tagged, and is about to cross the mid-Atlantic ridge -- closer to Europe than the United States.