Editors' picks

Auroral substorms on Jupiter are not caused by the solar wind, alone

A previous Picture of the Day published in late 2012 quoted Jonathan Nichols from the University of Leicester:“The main aurora oval on Jupiter we think should dim when the solar wind blows harder, but what we see is that actually gets brighter, which is totally

July 07, 2015

After anomaly and temporary loss of communications New Horizons stays on course to Pluto

After NASA's New Horizons spacecraft suffered an anomaly on July 4, which caused temporary loss of communications, mission control announced today the spacecraft is healthy and it continues on its course toward Pluto for a historic July 14 flyby.Contact with the spa

July 06, 2015

Final 'all clear' for historic July 14 Pluto flyby

Having found no potential threats on the way, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft stays course to Pluto, as it speeds closer to it's historic July 14, 2015 flyby of Pluto and it's five moons. Launched from Cape Canaveral on January 19, 2006, New Horizons woke up

July 04, 2015

Night sky guide for July 2015

A spectacular conjunction of Venus and Jupiter will be visible on July 1 with the two planets appearing extremely close, only 0.3 degrees apart.Several weak meteor showers this month will set stage for Perseids, one of the most popular annual meteor showers expected to

July 01, 2015

Venus - volcanically active Solar System body?

Scientists working for the ESA's Venus Express mission have recently presented the best evidence yet for existence of active volcanoes on planet Venus. Previous radar missions have revealed Venus to be covered in volcanoes and lava flows and it is long assumed that

July 01, 2015

Hakoneyama volcano activity rises to a new level, Japan

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has raised the eruption warning of Hakoneyama volcano from level 2 to 3 on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 following a small scale eruption. Authorities evacuated about 40 people from nearby hot spring tourist resort and further limited acce

June 30, 2015

Alert level raised after Raung volcano erupts, Indonesia

After an increase in volcanic activity which started on June 21, Raung volcano in East Java, Indonesia erupted late Sunday, June 28, causing ash to land in villages about 10 km away from the crater.Authorities raised the alert level from 'waspada' (alert) to 

June 29, 2015

Watching meteors from space: Meteor investigation camera destroyed, again

Eight months after a catastrophic failure of Orbital Cygnus mission to the International Space Station, in which supplies for the Meteor mission were lost, a new special camera was built and is now ready for lift off.Currently scheduled to launch on June 28, 2015, the

June 27, 2015

The 2015 El Niño continues to strengthen, could become one of the strongest ever recorded

The 2015 El Niño continues to strengthen, Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said in their June 23, 2015 update. International climate models surveyed by BOM indicate further consolidation is likely. Central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean sea surface temp

June 25, 2015

Video animation of landslide dam-break and catastrophic flood / debris flow through Tbilisi, Georgia

A huge landslide blocked the Vere River on June 13, 2015 creating a natural dam which collapsed the following day and sent huge fast moving stream of water toward capital Tbilisi, Georgia severely flooding the city. The flood caused extensive damage to the city and left

June 23, 2015

Earth's magnetic complexity begins to untangle - Swarm mission

After a year in orbit, the three Swarm satellites have provided a first glimpse inside Earth and started to shed new light on the dynamics of the upper atmosphere – all the way from the ionosphere about 100 km above, through to the outer reaches of our protective

June 22, 2015

Above-average monsoon season: over 300 mm of rain in 24 hours floods Mumbai, India

A strong monsoon brought heavy rainfall to Mumbai, India this week flooding the city on Friday, June 19, 2015. City roads and rail service have been interrupted, flights have been delayed, schools closed and even some power plants have been shut down by Mumbai electrici

June 20, 2015

Stalagmites preserve 3 000 years of northern hemisphere climate

If you have ever visited a cave and taken photos, you might have noticed that the colours in the photographs appear more vivid than when you were in the cave. This is because organic matter trapped in the stalagmites and stalactites fluoresces.The light emitted by your

June 19, 2015

Tropical Depression "Bill" brings more heavy rain and flash floods to Texas and Oklahoma

After Tropical Storm "Bill" made landfall along the coast of southern Texas on Tuesday, June 16 its remnants continued NW and brought heavy rain and thunderstorms to central Texas and Oklahoma on June 17 and 18 causing flash flooding across the region.Tropical

June 18, 2015

Massive radiation plume from Fukushima continues drifting to US West Coast

By 2016, nearly as much radiation from the Fukushima disaster will have reached the North American West Coast as was initially scattered over Japan during the nuclear explosions, according to professor Michio Aoyama of Japan's Fukushima University Institute of Envir

June 17, 2015

Japan's Asamayama volcano erupts, alert level remains at 2 of 5

​A small-scale eruption took place around 00:20 UTC on June 16 (09:20 JST) at Asamayama volcano located 140 km NW of capital Tokyo, Japan. Alert level remains at 2 since Thursday, June 11, as well as a 2-km exclusion zone around the crater. The Japan Meteorological

June 16, 2015

Philae lander finally wakes up after 7 months of hibernation, 306 million km from Earth

After about 7 months of hibernation on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, ESA's famous Philae probe finally recharged its batteries on June 13, 2015, enough to contact mission control. Philae probe, its Rosetta mothership and Comet 67P are about 305

June 15, 2015

Departing Region 2360 produces M1.3 solar flare

Solar activity is again reaching moderate levels today with 'beta-gamma' classified Region 2360 being the most productive. This region, located near the western limb, produced an M1.3 solar flare at 07:29 UTC on June 13. The event started at 07:20 and ended at 0

June 13, 2015

After Europe and Canada, noctilucent clouds expand to USA

The 2015 northern hemisphere noctilucent clouds season started on May 19, 2015 when NASA's AIM spacecraft spotted a patch of electric blue clouds over the Artactic Circle.Since then, noctilucent clouds (NLCs) have been moving south and, on June 8 - 9, they reached t

June 12, 2015

Active volcanoes in the world: June 3 - 9, 2015

New activity/unrest was observed at 10 volcanoes from June 3 - 9, 2015. During the same period, ongoing activity was observed at 14 volcanoes. New activity/unrest: Barren Island, Andaman Islands (India) | Concepcion, Nicaragua | Cotopaxi, Ecuador | Karangetang [Api Siau

June 11, 2015

Cosmic-solar radiation as the cause of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions

In the last a few decades research papers started to appear in the scientific press that clearly show correlation between cosmic-solar radiations and destructive geological events like earthquakes & volcanic eruptions. These research papers are supported by statisti

June 09, 2015

Deepest known high-temperature hydrothermal vents in Pacific Ocean

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) researchers have discovered a large, previously unknown field of hydrothermal vents in the Gulf of California, about 150 km (100 miles) east of La Paz, Mexico. Discovered in the spring of 2015 and lying more than 3 800 me

June 09, 2015

Lightning strikes injured 33 people at Rock festival, Germany

Two lightning strikes have injured a total of 33 people at a rock festival held in the town of Mendig, western Germany on June 6, 2015.Officials said 8 people were injured when first strike hit the backstage area around 01:00 local time (23:00 UTC on June 5).Just

June 07, 2015

Active volcanoes in the world: May 27 - June 2, 2015

New activity/unrest was observed at 11 volcanoes from May 27 - June 2, 2015. During the same period, ongoing activity was observed at 14 volcanoes. New activity/unrest: Calbuco, Chile | Concepcion, Nicaragua | Guallatiri, Chile | Karangetang [Api Siau], Siau Island (

June 04, 2015

Shallow M5.8 earthquake registered 180 km S of Axial Seamount, off the coast of Oregon

A shallow earthquake registered as M5.8 hit off the coast of Oregon, US at 06:52 UTC on June 1, 2015. USGS is reporting a shallow depth of 10 km (6.2 miles).Epicenter was located about 180 km (113 miles) S of submarine volcano Axial Seamount and 514 km (319 miles) W of

June 01, 2015

Night sky guide for June 2015

There are no major showers active in June. Weak Ophiuchids will peak on June 20 with the maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible from a dark location around 5 per hour (ZHR). The Moon will be 4 days old at the time, and as such will present minimal interference.F

June 01, 2015

El Niño calls for above-normal 2015 eastern Pacific hurricane season

NOAA's 2015 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season Outlook indicates that an above-normal season is most likely, with a 70% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 5% chance of a below normal season. The main climate factor expec

May 29, 2015

Tropical Storm "Andres" forms and becomes first named storm of 2015 eastern Pacific hurricane season

Tropical Storm "Andres" formed on May 28, 2015 about 1 100 km (690 miles) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico and became the first named storm of the 2015 eastern Pacific hurricane season. The storm is expected to intensify, but stay far off the coast of Mexico.An

May 29, 2015

Below-normal 2015 Atlantic hurricane season expected

NOAA's CPC forecasters say the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will likely be below-normal, but warn there is no reason to believe coastal areas will have it easy.For the hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 - November 30, NOAA is predicting a 70% like

May 28, 2015

Clouds in 3D: Innovation makes stereophotogrammetry a common thing

Berkeley Lab scientists David Romps and Rusen Oktem made advancements in stereophotogrammetry, a technique which uses photos to make 3D measurements of cloud boundaries, transforming it from labor-intensive process to a tool that can now be used on a regular basis. Impr

May 28, 2015

Ceres: an electrically scarred world

In April of 2015, the NASA Dawn Spacecraft began transmitting new, close-up images of the mysterious dwarf planet Ceres. The images to date have only deepened the mystery surrounding the puzzling bright spots on the planet’s surface.However, in addition to this on

May 28, 2015

The largest earthquake recorded by instruments - M9.5, Chile (1960)

The largest earthquake ever recorded by instruments hit southern Chile at 19:11 UTC on May 22, 1960. It was a 9.5 magnitude earthquake with a focal depth of 33 km (20.5 miles), preceded by 4 aftershocks bigger than M7.0, including M7.9 on May 21 that caused severe damag

May 22, 2015

M4.1 quake hits Napa, California - the strongest since last year's M6.0

Magnitude 4.1 earthquake was registered by the USGS at a depth of 8.9 km (5.5 miles) in Napa County, California at 02:53 UTC on May 22, 2015. It is the strongest earthquake since August 23, 2014 when the region was hit by strong and shallow M6.0.Going back a bit further

May 22, 2015

Active volcanoes in the world: May 13 - 19, 2015

New activity/unrest was observed at 8 volcanoes from May 13 - 19, 2015. During the same period, ongoing activity was observed at 16 volcanoes.New activity/unrest: Bulusan, Luzon (Philippines) | Calbuco, Chile | Chaiten, Chile | Etna, Sicily (Italy) | Hakoneyama, Honshu

May 21, 2015

3.3-million-year-old stone tools found in Kenya

Scientists working in the desert badlands of northwestern Kenya have found stone tools dating back 3.3 million years, long before the advent of modern humans, and by far the oldest such artifacts yet discovered. The tools, whose makers may or may not have been some

May 20, 2015