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, […]

The Tarso Toussidé volcanic massif is featured in this false-color composite image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO Tarso Toussidé, capped by the Toussidé (potentially active) stratovolcano, is located in the western end of the Tibesti […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Archean Maniitsoq structure in Greenland. Credit: University of Waterloo Several years after scientists discovered what was considered the oldest crater a meteorite made on the planet, another team found it’s actually the result of normal geological processes. During fieldwork at the Archean Maniitsoq structure in Greenland, an international team of […]

March 20, 2020. (Click HERE for high-resolution view.) In the vastness of one of the world’s oldest deserts lies a relatively recent geologic feature: the Roter Kamm crater (“Red Comb” in German). An astronaut onboard the International Space Station photographed the crater while orbiting over the Namib Desert. It is […]

ANIMATION While there are efforts to reinforce its beaches and marshes, some of Barataria Bay is slowly slipping away Sandwiched between the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche, the Barataria Bay in Louisiana is a latticework of shrinking marsh, swamp, and islands. Few other coastlines in the Mississippi River Delta—or anywhere […]