July 15, 2021 In 2000, atmospheric scientists from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) first reported that smoke plumes from intense wildfires could spawn towering thunderstorms that channeled smoke as high or higher than the cruising altitude of jets. These pyrocumulonimbus, or pyroCb, events wowed scientists at the time. Prior to that discovery, […]

March 29 – June 26, 2021 Lava flows from the Icelandic volcano were estimated to cover a total area of 3 square kilometers, three months after the eruption began. On March 19, 2021, the Fagradalsfjall volcano erupted after lying dormant for 800 years. Three months later, the volcano on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula is […]

June 16, 2021 Noctilucent clouds form so high in the atmosphere that they continue to reflect sunlight hours after sunset, creating a spectacular nighttime display. Clouds illuminated during the daytime by the Sun or at nighttime by the Moon are a common sight. It is rarer, however, to see clouds […]

June 21, 2021 Exceptional drought has gripped much of Arizona for months. In June 2021, a potent heat wave sent temperatures soaring above 115°F (46°C) on multiple days. Now extreme fires are raging throughout the state. On June 21, 2021, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image of smoke streaming from […]

February 17, 2020 The issuing of General Order No. 3 by Union troops on June 19, 1865, marked the official end of slavery in Texas and the U.S. In the early 1800s, privateers and smugglers who were involved in the slave trade periodically used Galveston Island as an outpost for operations. The sandy […]

Popigai is one of the largest and most well-preserved impact craters on Earth. About 36 million years ago, an asteroid slammed into northern Siberia and created one of the largest craters on Earth. Streaking in at an estimated speed of 20 kilometers (12 miles) per second, the asteroid made an impact that […]

March 23, 2021 The western United States is currently experiencing moderate to severe drought, and it is expected to worsen in upcoming months. Almost half of the United States is currently experiencing some level of drought, and it is expected to worsen in upcoming months. Experts say the dry conditions could put […]

November 26, 2020 Looking down from the International Space Station (ISS), an astronaut captured this view of the northwest coastline of Saudi Arabia, where up to 260 coral reef species thrive. The salty, warm waters off the coast of the Arabian Peninsula create an optimal environment for coral reefs to grow, mainly […]

March 16 – 21, 2021 In an eruption not far from Reykjavik, lava poured from spatter cones along a new fissure on Reykjanes peninsula. Swarms of small earthquakes in February 2021 on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula had experts warning that magma was moving beneath Geldingadalur valley and could soon erupt. Late on March […]