For those who dread a scorching summer after the balmy winter, take heart. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts say it may be above normal, but not an oven.
NOAA notes above normal temperatures may sizzle the southern U.S. and eastern seaboard. But from Mid-Missouri to the Pacific Northwest, temperatures may be normal or even a bit cooler than normal.
“There’s a tilt in the odds toward a warmer summer for the southern two-thirds of the country, but it’s not a guarantee,” Mike Halpert, deputy director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center told OurAmazingPlanet. “We don’t give guarantees in the climate business.”
Humans may figuratively glow from within, but many species literally emit a natural glow. Here, we celebrate just some of these flashy organisms, such as these fireflies. Photographer Tsuneaki Hiramatsu used slow–shutter speed photos to produce images like this one of firefly signals.
In conjunction with the American Museum of Natural History’s upcoming “Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence exhibition,” curator John Sparks of the museum’s Department of Ichthyology explains how and why some creatures have a glow.
Above images are of fireflies and a scorpion.
photo 1: Tsuneaki Hiramatsu
photo 2: AMNH\D. Finn
Photograph by Greg Girard
Buried under an elevated highway for decades, the Cheonggyecheon stream once again flows in the open air through downtown Seoul. A 3.6–mile–long stretch of the stream was restored in 2005.
A very different, and very cool type of northern lights, via Chet-Apichet NASA SDO
Despite all the exotic exoplanetary systems discovered so far, the one potential system that has the power to truly galvanize astronomers as well as the public is Alpha Centauri A and B.
The star system lies a mere 4.3 light years away, but unfortunately it is only clearly visible from southern skies. The third member of the system, a red dwarf star called Proxima Centauri, yields no evidence for planets and is so far from the binary pair as to be inconsequential.
No planets have yet been discovered orbiting A and B either, but given the preponderance of planets everywhere else we look in our galaxy, it would be a much bigger shock if planets weren’t found in the Centauri system after detailed surveys.
Red-bellied short-necked turtle on Flickr.
Disco turtle has moves!
If you’re like me this is your first time seeing the rare red-bellied short-necked turtle and you’re pleased about it.
The enormous eyes of giant and colossal squid may help them spot predatory sperm whales in their dim undersea habitat, a new study finds.
These mysterious squid are tough to spot and even tougher to study in their natural habitat. But squid that have been caught or observed have huge, basketball-size peepers — three times the diameter of another other animal, including behemoths of similar size, such as swordfish.
Buckyballs — or buckminsterfullerines, named after American architect Richard Buckminster Fuller — are the fun-sized micro-soccer balls of the molecular world. Composed of 60 carbon atoms linked through strong bonds, buckyballs are known to be floating around inside beautiful nebulae in the furthest-most reaches of our galaxy. They are also found in the soot produced by a burning candle.
These carbon molecules, and their larger family of fullerines and graphine, have many futuristic applications for industry on Earth. Everything from boosting superconducting materials to improving body armor to investigating some of the oddities of the quantum world; it seems there’s no limit to these different arrangements of carbon atoms.
Now our understanding of cosmic buckyballs has increased with the Spitzer Space Telescope discovery of buckyball “particles” surrounding the binary star system XX Ophiuchi. Finding cosmic sources of these particles may ultimately help us understand where life itself began.
So, let’s celebrate the buckyball by looking at some of the best artistic renderings and real photos of these captivating structures.
Installation PLUNGE by Michael Pinsky is a pretty scary and pretty graphic reminder of the impact of climate change on a city like London. In a very dramatic way, it depicts what the impact of rising sea levels, due to climate change, will be in 3012.
“One thousand years in the future, rising sea levels will have changed the city beyond recognition. As glaciers melt and temperatures rise and the oceans expand, the waters will rise to a staggering 28 metres (90 feet) above their current level…
It’s a mess. The banks of the Thames River will no longer hold and the water will flood the city. This column is at Paternoster Square, home of Occupy London. It is 23 metres high, was bombed in 1940 and rebuilt in the 1960’s. It is the largest freestanding monument to be built in London in the last century and is illuminated by fibre-optic lighting at night. The water could be higher than the doors to the famous St. Paul’s Cathedral, standing behind it.”
Springboks, South Africa
Photograph by Morkel Erasmus, Your Shot
The golden light at dusk and dawn in the Kalahari is amazing and can enhance the mood of a scene greatly. On this particular morning in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, the rising sun was filtered by an ancient forest of camel thorn acacia trees, with a herd of springbok gazelles in attendance to complete the scene.