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Natural Phenomena

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 →

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 →

Why is ice so slippery?

The answer to the question of why ice is slippery lies in a film of water that is generated by friction, one that is far thinner than expected and much more viscous than usual water through its resemblance to the... Continue Reading →

It’s Official: The Strange, Aurora-Like STEVE Is a Completely Unique Celestial Phenomenon

STEVE (the Strong Thermal Emissions Velocity Enhancement) is a spectacular and colorful celestial phenomenon that was first spotted in 2016. Scientists have studied the particles associated with STEVE for decades, but only recently have they witnessed the phenomenon in the sky.... Continue Reading →

Hurricane Dorian Seen From Aboard the Space Station

NASA astronaut Christian Koch snapped this image of Hurricane Dorian as the International Space Station during a flyover on Monday, September 2, 2019. The station orbits more than 200 miles above the Earth. Image Credit: NASA

HDR: Earth’s Circular Shadow on the Moon

What could create such a large circular shadow on the Moon? The Earth. Last week's full Moon -- the Buck Moon -- was so full that it fell almost exactly in a line with the Sun and the Earth. When that happens the Earth casts its shadow onto... Continue Reading →

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