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Scents of Science

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Natural Phenomena

Ship Tracks over the Pacific Ocean

What are those unusual streaks? Some images of planet Earth show clear bright streaks that follow the paths of ships. Known as ship tracks, these low and narrow bands are caused by the ship's engine exhaust. Water vapor condenses around small bits of exhaust known as aerosols, which... Continue Reading →

UCLA researchers discover source of super-fast ‘electron rain’

The researchers observed unexpected, rapid "electron precipitation" from low-Earth orbit using the ELFIN mission, a pair of tiny satellites built and operated on the UCLA campus by undergraduate and graduate students guided by a small team of staff mentors. By... Continue Reading →

A-68A iceberg thinning at 2.5 cm per day

Latest images reveal that the A-68A iceberg has shattered into multiple pieces, with two large fragments of ice breaking off from the main berg and floating away in the open ocean. Scientists using satellite data have not only been monitoring... Continue Reading →

Warming Greenland ice sheet passes point of no return

Nearly 40 years of satellite data from Greenland shows that glaciers on the island have shrunk so much that even if global warming were to stop today, the ice sheet would continue shrinking. The finding, published in the journal Nature Communications... Continue Reading →

Past evidence supports complete loss of Arctic sea-ice by 2035

A new study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, supports predictions that the Arctic could be free of sea ice by 2035. High temperatures in the Arctic during the last interglacial -- the warm period around 127,000 years ago --... Continue Reading →

Anticrepuscular Rays over Florida

What's happening behind those clouds? Although the scene may appear somehow supernatural, nothing more unusual is occurring than a Sun setting on the other side of the sky. Pictured here are anticrepuscular rays. To understand them, start by picturing common crepuscular rays that are seen any... Continue Reading →

Heads Up!

There is always something interesting happening in the sky. The Moon cycles through its phases and occasionally passes near a bright planet. Sometimes the Moon eclipses the Sun. And sometimes the Moon itself is eclipsed as it passes through Earth's... Continue Reading →

A Starry Night of Iceland

On some nights, the sky is the best show in town. On this night, the sky was not only the best show in town, but a composite image of the sky won an international competition for landscape astrophotography. The featured winning image was taken... Continue Reading →

A Partial Solar Eclipse Sequence Reflected

What's happened to the Sun? Yesterday, if you were in the right place at the right time, you could see the Sun rise partially eclipsed by the Moon. The unusual sight was captured in dramatic fashion in the featured image not only directly,... Continue Reading →

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