China visits moon!

China visits moon!
As scientists find new surprises in Apollo’s 40-year-old rock collection, gravity studies by an over-achieving satellite duo provide a fascinating X-ray vision as big as the moon itself. More »

Typhoon flogs Philippines

Typhoon flogs Philippines
As scientists try to understand the biggest storms in a warming earth, we try to make sense of what’s known, and what’s not. Does adding energy to the Earth system cause more titanic storms – or does it blow them apart before the real destruction begins? More »

Understanding the Russian asteroid

Understanding the Russian asteroid
The biggest asteroid to strike land in 105 years sheds light on where space rocks come from, how many more might hit us, and what we should do about them. Ready for a “cylindrical nuclear bomb”? More »

Neutrinos

Neutrinos

Synopsis: To view neutrinos from distant explosions, astrophysicists have set up thousands of detectors in pure ice at the South Pole. What are neutrinos, and what do these scientists hope to learning from them? Find the article: Chasing Neutrinos at… More »

Native American Farming

Native American Farming

Synopsis: Native American agriculture was often a sophisticated response to a challenging environment. What were the secrets of permaculture, companion cropping and corn farming? Could these techniques contribute to modern farming? Find the article: Farming: Native American style Courtesy Eve… More »

Hurricanes

Hurricanes

Synopsis: Hurricanes, the most powerful and dangerous storms of all, get their energy from the difference in temperature between a warm ocean and a cooler atmosphere. A century ago, hurricanes blew in with almost no warning; now they are tracked… More »

Horrific Hurricanes

Horrific Hurricanes

How do hurricanes form? How do we predict their paths? How can we improve predictions? More »

Boasting about the boson

Boasting about the boson

Award follows last year’s sighting of elusive boson at world’s largest atom smasher. At last, matter can have mass, and physics can understand why! More »

Fracking

Fracking

Classroom Activity Page: Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a high-pressure technique for cracking rocks and allowing natural gas to reach wells. Amid a boom in U.S. natural gas production, industry promises that fracking will bring Americans jobs and low-cost energy for decades. Opponents warn that the drilling-and-fracking process threatens to pollute air, surface water, and most importantly, groundwater. Will these concerns stymie an ongoing boom in natural gas production? Should they? More »

Pitching the biomechanics

elbow ligaments and tendon (illustration)
The fate of baseball teams valued at hundreds of millions of dollars and followed by millions of rabid fans can come down to the elbow ligaments of a handful of young men who can throw a ball nearly 100 mph. But that doesn’t mean the best science guides their training. More »

Ocean fish in hot water

Ocean fish in hot water

The ocean’s most valuable fish are caught in a vise. Areas known as dead zones are encroaching on their living zones and pinning them closer to the surface, where they are more vulnerable to becoming the day’s catch. The predicament is yet another side effect of climate change. More »

The importance of being Einstein

Black and white photo: closeup of Einstein's face with blackboard in background

Experiment finds Earth “dragging” spacetime, as Einstein predicted. Einstein knew his physics. Bending light, gravity lenses, shifting spacetime, spinning neutron stars: he called them all. More »

Climate: Simple = beautiful?

Climate: Simple = beautiful?

Earth’s orbit subtly changes over thousands of years, in complex cycles that affect the timing and delivery of sunlight to various regions of the globe. Climatologists have said that when this “Milankovitch cycle” warms the Arctic, it somehow warms the Antarctic. A new study finds that the cycle acts more directly. More »

Breaking the bubble!

Breaking the bubble!
High-speed movies of popping bubbles show a ring of “daughter” bubbles forming around the edge. A close look reveals a third generation of “granddaughter” bubbles. How does this happen? Does this matter to real-world medicine and climatology? And can we get paid to play with bubbles? More »