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Your search has returned 2154 articles:
  • News

    Dry sand can bubble and swirl like a fluid

    Under the right conditions, sand can flow. When heavier grains are placed atop lighter grains in a container, the less dense grains can burble upward like the blobs of a lava lamp, a study finds.

    The research is the first to show how the mixing of sand grains can mimic how fluids flow. But even when grainy particles, such as sand or mud, behave like fluids, the underlying forces that...

    04/30/2019 - 14:21 Earth
  • Mystery Solved

    Here’s what causes the aurora-like glow known as STEVE

    We’re one step closer to understanding the mysterious atmospheric light show called STEVE.

    Short for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement, STEVE is an unusual type of sky glow that appears closer to the equator than auroras (SN: 4/14/18, p. 5). Unlike the shimmery green ribbons that make up the northern lights, STEVE consists of a mauve band of light that stretches east to west,...

    04/30/2019 - 07:00 Physics, Earth
  • News

    More than a million tiny earthquakes revealed in Southern California

    In between the “big ones,” millions of tiny, undetected earthquakes rumble through the ground. Now, a new study uncovers a decade’s worth of such “hidden” quakes in Southern California, increasing the number of quakes logged in the region tenfold. Such troves of quake data could shake up what’s known about how temblors are born belowground, and how they can interact and trigger one another,...

    04/18/2019 - 14:00 Earth
  • Science Visualized

    Warm, dry winds may be straining Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf

    Turquoise pools of snowmelt on the Antarctic Peninsula, including on the Larsen C ice shelf, have recently been forming months after the continent’s peak summer melt. Bursts of warm, dry wind cascading over mountains that run along the peninsula are largely to blame, researchers report April 11 in Geophysical Research Letters. In this March 2016 satellite image, meltwater on part of Larsen C...

    04/18/2019 - 06:00 Earth, Climate, Oceans
  • News

    Antarctica’s iceberg graveyard could reveal the ice sheet’s future

    Just beyond the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula lies an iceberg graveyard. 

    There, in the Scotia Sea, many of the icebergs escaping from Antarctica begin to melt, depositing sediment from the continent that had been trapped in the ice onto the seafloor. Now, a team of researchers has embarked on a two-month expedition to excavate the deposited debris, hoping to discover secrets from the...

    04/09/2019 - 09:00 Climate, Oceans, Earth
  • News

    How deadly, fast-moving flows of volcanic rock and gas cheat friction

    Dumping literal tons of hot volcanic material down a lab flume may finally have revealed how searing mixtures of hot gas and rock travel so far from volcanic eruptions.

    These pyroclastic flows can travel tens to hundreds of kilometers over rough terrain and even uphill (SN: 7/7/18, p. 32). Despite being made of gritty volcanic rock, “they seem to have as much friction with the ground as...

    04/08/2019 - 11:00 Earth, Physics
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers seek answers to stories about shingles, Neandertal spears and more

    Life after shingles

    In “With its burning grip, shingles can do lasting damage” (SN: 3/2/19, p. 22), Aimee Cunningham described the experience of Nora Fox, a woman whose bout with shingles nearly 15 years ago left her with a painful condition called postherpetic neuralgia. Fox hadn’t found any reliable treatments, Cunningham reported.

    Fox praised Science News for our portrayal of...

    04/07/2019 - 07:00 Health, Anthropology, Earth
  • News

    The ‘roof of the world’ was raised more recently than once thought

    Plant fossils discovered in rocks from the Tibetan Plateau and a new analysis of the area’s geochemistry are rewriting the uplift history of the region dubbed the “roof of the world.” This new research suggests that the story of the rise to its current dizzying height is far more complicated than just raising the roof.

    Previous research has suggested that the plateau reached its current...

    03/11/2019 - 06:00 Earth
  • Editor's Note

    How newsy science becomes Science News

    Helping people stay up to speed on the latest advances in science is a big part of our mission at Science News. We’re aiming for sophisticated and succinct, in a way that works for readers’ busy lives. That means making tough decisions on which of the countless scientific papers being published are worthy of coverage and what breaking news has science that needs explanation and...
    03/07/2019 - 06:15 Science & Society, Health, Earth
  • News

    Muons reveal the whopping voltages inside a thunderstorm

    An invisible drizzle of subatomic particles has shown that thunderstorms may store up much higher electric voltages than we thought.

    Using muons, heavier relatives of electrons that constantly rain down on Earth’s surface, scientists probed the insides of a storm in southern India in December 2014. The cloud’s electric potential — the amount of work necessary to move an electric charge...

    02/15/2019 - 07:00 Earth, Particle Physics