Editors' picks

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

Pluto: New Horizons in the electric universe

In July of this year, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is scheduled to achieve the first ever close-up fly by of Pluto, which is more than 7.2 billion km (4.5 billion miles) from Earth. Like the scientific world at large, the electric universe community eagerly

May 18, 2015

Electric currents create cosmic magnetic fields

Scientists in Germany using the Hubble space telescope have detected extremely strong magnetic fields in a quasar which is said to be about 4 billion light years from Earth. The magnetic fields were measured at 200 million Gauss.In comparison, the strength of the magnet

May 16, 2015

‘Dead zones’ found in Atlantic open waters

A team of German and Canadian researchers have discovered areas with extremely low levels of oxygen in the tropical North Atlantic, several hundred kilometres off the coast of West Africa. The levels measured in these ‘dead zones’, inhabitable for most

May 15, 2015

California land mass sinking at record rate as farmers desperately drill new wells to use up ground water

The days of abundant water are a distant memory for farmers in California. For the Central Valley, the wells are about to run dry.California's Central Valley is now reportedly sinking at a rate never seen during the state's historic drought, and farmers are shou

May 13, 2015

El Niño threshold reached in tropical Pacific

Today's update on the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) by Australian Bureau of Meteorology confirms El Niño thresholds have been reached in the tropical Pacific for the first time since March 2010.Assistant Director for Climate Information Ser

May 12, 2015

Living with a star

The connection between the Sun and the Earth is a complex one, describing a relationship between us and our star that is both life-sustaining as well as life-threatening. This relationship is colloquially known as space weather. Aerospace engineer Ryan McGranaghan takes

May 11, 2015

UC Berkeley scientists begin monitoring tremors on San Andreas Fault

UC Berkeley seismologists were surprised last August to see a dramatic increase in faint tremors occurring under the San Andreas Fault near Parkfield, in Central California, about 10 hours after a magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck Napa. Somehow, that quake triggered tiny

May 09, 2015

Evacuations around Bulusan volcano, Philippines

Authorities have ordered evacuations of around 500 residents of farming villages around Bulusan volcano on Friday, May 8, 2015 in fear of rain-driven mudflows from approaching Typhoon "Noul", locally know in the Philippines as Dodong.On May 1, 2015 Bulusan pro

May 08, 2015

Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai connected by volcanic eruption

An undersea volcanic eruption started mid-December 2014 near Tonga, South Pacific Ocean and eventually created a new island which was recently captured by Landsat 8 satellite, the first time it got a cloud-free view. This new island received its first visitors in March

May 06, 2015

Landslide in Langtang Valley, Nepal

The small village of Langtang, which was located along a popular trekking route near the base of Mount Langtang, was completely buried by ice and rocks shaken loose by devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015. At least 200 people died in this disaster.

May 05, 2015

Australian tropical cyclone season officially closes

The Australian 2014-15 tropical cyclone season has officially ended. Seven tropical cyclones formed or moved into the Australian region, with four making landfall on the Australian continent. Seven tropical cyclones in the Australian region is below the long-term averag

May 05, 2015

Western Australia isn't as tectonically stable as previously thought

An analysis of Western Australia's coastline suggest its landscape isn't as tectonically stable as previously thought. University of Western Australia geohazards researcher Beau Whitney says tectonic movement in Australia is generally assumed to be so low that

May 04, 2015

NIWA studies spectacular seabed methane gas flares off the coast of Gisborne, New Zealand

A team of scientists aboard NIWA’s deepwater research vessel Tangaroa returned to Wellington on May 1, 2015 with new knowledge about methane ‘leaking’ into the atmosphere.The 11-strong science team led by marine geologist Dr Joshu Mountjoy has been

May 04, 2015

Night sky guide for May 2015

If not for the nearly full moon spoiling the party, southern hemisphere observers would be in for a special treat when above average meteor shower - Eta Aquarids - peaks on the night of May 5 and the morning of May 6. This meteor shower is capable of producing up to 60

May 01, 2015

Satellite imagery shows Nepal earthquake displacement

A devastating earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, 2015 claiming over 5 500 lives and affecting millions of people. China Earthquake Networks Center, the closest advanced seismic network, recorded it as M8.1 at a shallow depth of 20 km while USGS recorded it as M7.8 at a d

April 30, 2015

Tracking the SO2 emission from Calbuco eruption

Ash and pumice particles were lofted high into the atmosphere after an explosive eruption of Chile's Calbuco volcano on April 22, 2015 and the debris has been darkening skies and burying parts of Chile, Argentina, and South America for nearly a week. Along with 210

April 29, 2015

Lava lake rises at Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano

The summit of Kīlauea volcano continues to inflate, and the summit lava lake rose to within about 2 meters (~7 feet) of the Overlook crater rim on Monday, April 27, 2015, according to Kilauea activity report issued by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) yesterday. This

April 28, 2015

Large fireball observed over UK on April 26, 2015

A large fireball has been observed over the United Kingdom around 21:10 UTC on April 26, 2015. "The first image came from Graham Roche, and it looks like a very large fireball, could be around -10 magnitude or even brighter," the United Kingdom Meteor Observat

April 28, 2015

Aerial footage of Chile's Calbuco volcano spewing ash

After 43 years of sleep, Chile's Calbuco volcano experienced a major eruption on April 22, 2015 ejecting ash plume up to 12.1 km. A 20 kilometer exclusion zone was established around the volcano and over 4 000 people within this exclusion zone were evacuated during

April 27, 2015

Twenty-six water districts in California to begin rationing water

California is slowly fading into desert land. The fight to save the state's water resources has begun at the state level. Governor Jerry Brown recently imposed a 25 percent mandatory restriction on urban water use. This takes effect in July 2015.This is only the beg

April 26, 2015

Magma intrusion is likely source of Columbia - Ecuador border quake swarms

The “seismic crisis” around the region of the Chiles and Cerro Negro de Mayasquer volcanoes near the Columbia-Ecuador border is likely caused by intruding magma, according to a report by R. Corredor Torres of the Servicio Geológico Colombiano and coll

April 24, 2015

International experts analyze impacts of Ethiopian dam

According to present plans, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) — now under construction across the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia — will be the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa, and one of the 12 largest in the world. But controversy has surrounded t

April 22, 2015

Explainer: the wild storms that lash Australia’s east coast

Over the past 24 hours, the Sydney, Central Coast, and Hunter regions of New South Wales have experienced very heavy rain, gale-force winds with gusts over 100 km per hour, and waves of more than 10 m in height.For Sydney it was the wettest single day since February 200

April 21, 2015

Super Typhoons 2013 - 2015

This video shows top four Super Typhoons in the Southwest Pacific region from 2013 - 2015.GPM/GMI precipitation rates are displayed as the camera moves in on the storm. A slicing place move across the volume to display precipitation rates throughout the structure of the

April 21, 2015

Michael Steinbacher's EU2015 presentation, introduction and overview

A growing community of scientists and independent investigators are exploring the effects of electrical discharges on planetary surfaces. A key figure in this blossoming field is Michael Steinbacher, a professional photographer who has studied the geological formations

April 19, 2015

What happens when a missile or meteor hits

When a missile or meteor strikes the earth, the havoc above ground is obvious, but the details of what happens below ground are harder to see.Duke University physicists have developed techniques that enable them to simulate high-speed impacts in artificial soil and sand

April 19, 2015

Earth from space 2014

Every day of every year, NASA satellites provide useful data about our home planet, and along the way, some beautiful images as well. This video includes satellite images of Earth in 2014 from NASA and its partners as well as photos and a time lapse video from the Inter

April 18, 2015

Carcass of whale species feared to be extinct found on Western Australia beach

The carcass of Omura's whale, extremely rare species of whale that was feared to be extinct, was found washed up in Exmouth, Western Australia following Tropical Cyclone "Olwyn" which tore through the area last month.The 5.68 m juvenile female whale was id

April 15, 2015

Dawn's new Ceres color map reveals surface diversity

A new color map of dwarf planet Ceres, which NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting since March 2015, reveals the diversity of the surface of this planetary body. Differences in morphology and color across the surface suggest Ceres was once an active body, Dawn

April 14, 2015

Fragment of continental crust found under south east Iceland

An international team, including researchers at the University of Liverpool, have shown that south east Iceland is underlain by continental crust.The team found that the accepted theory, that Iceland consists only of very thick oceanic crust, is incorrect. Maps of crust

April 14, 2015

Around 150 dolphins stranded northeast of Tokyo, Japan

Around 150 dolphins were found stranded on the Hokota beach in Ibaraki prefecture, about 100 km northeast of Tokyo, Japan on April 10, 2015. Some dolphins, mostly melon-headed whales (also known as electra dolphins) or blackfish were found alive, but were extremely weak

April 10, 2015