The dust on the surfaces of small asteroids is a result of extreme temperature shifts between periods of sunlight and darkness — a cycle of drastic changes…Read More »
that break up space rocks over time, scientists say.
Asteroids rotate like the Earth does, creating temperature fluctuations as their sides change from day to night, the researchers explained in a new study. On the smaller surfaces, these changes can be sufficient to crack and break apart the outer edges of the rocky bodies.
New satellite photos reveal the astonishing damage from a deadly landslide that swept through the small town of Oso, Wash., earlier this month.
The new images, captured yesterday but released today (April 1) by DigitalGlobe, show the devastation caused by the 1-square-mile (2.5 square kilometers) landslide that struck northwest Washington state on March 22. The massive mudslide's trail of destruction is starkly apparent when compared with older photos of the region — also released today by DigitalGlobe — originally taken on July 13, 2013.
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon, using data from Thomas Painter and Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
California's drought has left the state's snowpack — the snow that accumulates and remains piled up on mountaintops during the winter — at less than one-third…Read More »
of its historical average. Airborne measurements are now helping researchers see just how scanty the snow supply is.
Understanding the snowpack is crucial, because runoff from the snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains provides much of the state — including the heavily populated San Francisco Bay Area — with drinking water.
An observatory in Chile has caught sight of a cosmic killer: a galaxy that has destroyed at least one of its galactic neighbors.
One of the brightest sources of radio emission in the sky, the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 1316 shows evidence of its violent past in a composite of images released today (April 2) by the European Southern Observatory. The galaxy is located about 60 million light-years from Earth, according to ESO. You can watch a video flythrough of the galaxy produced by ESO.
As a seafloor volcano continues to erupt in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean, a newborn island has swallowed its neighbor whole, imagesfrom space show.…Read More »
In November 2013, a baby volcanic island rose from the sea out of a volcanic blast in the Bonin Islands about 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) south of Tokyo, on the western edge of the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a hotbed of seismic activity. Named Niijima, the newcomer boiled the sea and spewed steam, ash and lava fragments into the air.
Credit: Image courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
The Saturn moon Enceladus harbors a big ocean of liquid water beneath its icy crust that may be capable of supporting life as we know it, a new study reports.…Read More »
The water ocean on Enceladus is about 6 miles (10 kilometers) deep and lies beneath a shell of ice 19 to 25 miles (30 to 40 km) thick, researchers said. Further, it's in direct contact with a rocky seafloor, theoretically making possible all kinds of complex chemical reactions — such as, perhaps, the kind that led to the rise of life on Earth.
Bao Bao, the giant panda cub at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., explored the outdoor portion of her habitat for the first time on April…Read More »
1. The 7-month-old cub, born Aug. 23, 2013, wandered outdoors with her mother, Mei Xiang, and even tested out her climbing skills on one of the habitat's smaller trees.
Animal keepers said the young panda was a little hesitant at first, and never strayed too far from her mother's side.
"She even took a cue from Mei and sat down in the grass with a piece of bamboo mimicking her mom eating," zoo officials said in a statement. "After about two hours Bao Bao went back inside and slept for a few hours." [Related: Photos of Playful Pandas] Less «
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Credit: Mario Hoppmann, Alfred-Wegener-Institute
A spectacular interplay of warm, vibrant colors lights up the sky over Antarctica in this breathtaking photo. Researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute…Read More »
Smells of Spring in Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge
Credit: Lisa Hupp/USFWS
Last week was the first full week of spring, and this bear in the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge was soaking in the scents.
Kodiak is known as…Read More »
the “Island of the Great Bear.” The genetically distinct, Kodiak brown bear inhabits the 1.9 million acres of the wild, rugged Kodiak Archipelago in the Gulf of Alaska, 252 miles (405 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage. Inspired by concerned sportsmen and conservationists, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge in 1941 to protect Kodiak bears and their habitat.
Kodiak brown bears are a distinct subspecies from mainland brown bears; they have been isolated on the archipelago since the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago. A rich variety of vegetation, salmon, and berries provide ideal habitat for bears.
Today their population flourishes. An estimated 3,000 bears live within the boundaries of the Kodiak Refuge, so there's a decent chance that visitors will catch a bear stopping to smell the spring flowers. [Related: Best of Bears Image Gallery]