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atmosphere

NASA Is Crowdsourcing Cloud Research—on Mars

Space fans around the world can help analyze data collected by the Mars Climate Sounder.

How Do You Know a Cargo Ship Is Polluting? It Makes Clouds

Big vessels spew sulfur, which brightens clouds to produce long “ship tracks.” These emissions cause environmental damage—but also help cool the planet.

The Black Carbon Cost of Rocket Launches

Researchers say that the rising number of space launches around the world will warm parts of the atmosphere and thin the ozone layer.

Space Command’s Lt. Gen John Shaw Says Space Is 'Under Threat'

In an exclusive interview, the military branch’s second in command talks about junk in orbit, cyberattacks, satellite vulnerabilities, and Russia's war in Ukraine.

How to Deal With Rocket Boosters and Other Giant Space Garbage

As an errant rocket booster careens toward the moon, here are some of the ways space agencies and companies are trying to deal with huge pieces of debris.

Detailed Footage Finally Reveals What Triggers Lightning

The first detailed observations of lightning's emergence inside a cloud have exposed how electric fields grow strong enough to let bolts fly.

Did This Scorching-Hot Planet Lose—and Regain—an Atmosphere?

A veritable hellscape of an exoplanet is challenging researchers’ assumptions about what types of worlds host atmospheres.

Pandemic Lockdowns Did Cut Air Pollution—but With a Catch

Studies from all over the globe show short-term improvements in urban air quality, but experts are skeptical about how long they’ll last.

Border Disputes Threaten Climate Science in the Himalayas

Cross-border teams of scientists need to collaborate on climate models, even as their countries’ militaries clash.

Researchers Levitated a Small Tray Using Nothing but Light

One day a “magic carpet” based on this light-induced flow technology could carry climate sensors high in the atmosphere—wind permitting.

Why Derechos Are So Devilishly Difficult to Predict

The destructive storms, with winds over 75 mph, are often compared to inland hurricanes. But unlike a hurricane, a derecho can come out of nowhere.

Why Massive Saharan Dust Plumes Are Blowing Into the US

Every summer, an atmospheric event propels desert dust thousands of miles across the Atlantic. This year is particularly bad, and timed terribly with Covid-19.

What Is an Atmospheric River?

The so-called Pineapple Express is dumping rain down all over California, for one thing. An explanation in the form of a song. (With apologies to Talking Heads.)

The Tricked-Out Research Planes That Fly Through Wildfires

The best way to test the gases created by wildfires is to fly a plane directly above the conflagration.

Strange, Glowing Night Clouds Continue to Spread

Just after summer sunsets in northern latitudes, shimmering, wispy clouds appear in the twilight sky. This year, these noctilucent clouds have appeared earlier and farther south than ever before.

What New York City Would Look Like on Other Planets

Take a trip around the solar system and bring the entire city of New York with you in these captivating drawings showing how the atmospheres of other planets would interact with the iconic metropolitan skyline.

Skies Full of Life: Microbes May Thrive in the High Atmosphere

Each year, hundreds of millions of metric tons of dust, water, and humanmade pollutants make their way into the atmosphere, often traveling between continents on jet streams. Now a new study confirms that some microbes make the trip with them, seeding the skies with billions of bacteria and other organisms -- and potentially affecting the weather.

The Original Noah's Ark: Pond Scum

Like exhausted nightclubbers, early animals may have weathered their harsh lifestyle by squirming up to the oxygen bar. [partner id=”sciencenews” align=”right”]Animals living more than 550 million years ago could have survived inhospitable oceans by associating with dense mounds of cyanobacteria called microbial mats, an international team of researchers argues in a new study. Such clumps […]

Unprecedented Arctic Ozone-Thinning Drifts South

In mid-March, our online story about the thinning of stratospheric ozone over the Arctic noted that conditions appeared primed for regional ozone losses to post an all-time record. On April 5, World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud announced that Arctic ozone had indeed suffered an unprecedented thinning. [partner id=”sciencenews” align=”right”] Ozone losses this year “still […]

NASA Climate Satellite Crashes After Launch

By Mark Brown, Wired UK The rocket carrying NASA’s Glory satellite, an observation spacecraft designed to study the effect atmospheric particles have on the planet’s climate, has failed to reach orbit due to an engineering glitch with its nose cap. The Taurus XL rocket blasted off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California earlier […]

Dust-Watching Satellite to Launch Friday

Updated: NASA has delayed Glory’s launch to Feb. 25 at 2:09 am PST. This story was updated on Feb. 24, 2011 at 7 a.m. PST. NASA will launch a new satellite designed to probe how the sun and the Earth’s atmosphere conspire to shape Earth’s climate early Friday morning. The satellite, called Glory, will watch […]

Car Talk and the slate puzzler - another solution

Since I had some success with my answer to the Car Talk fuel tank puzzler, I figured I would go the next step. There was another puzzler that I didn’t like the answer for. Here is that puzzler. Basically, the goal was to figure out a way to lower some slate without holding on to […]

Clouds Are Shaped by Where They're From

Scientists’ view of clouds is clearing up. Two new studies show that cloud-forming particles in the atmosphere, called aerosols, look different and make different clouds depending on their origins. One study found that in one of the most pristine environments on Earth — above the treetops of the Amazon Rainforest — clouds mostly come from […]

Robo Weather Patrol: NASA Uses UAVs to Spy on Climate Patterns

Insurgents and terrorists aren’t the only things Air Force drones are good for spying on. In 2007, the military gifted two of its Global Hawks — the world’s first fully autonomous, high-altitude, long-range aircraft — to NASA for use in observing the atmosphere. These $38 million UAVs, originally designed for battlefield recon, can remain airborne […]