Mysterious Aurora-Like Lights Above Canada Continue to Confuse Scientists

New research into a strange atmospheric effect known as STEVE has failed to associate its enigmatic lights with aurora, pointing to the presence of an entirely new type of atmospheric phenomenon. Read More >>

Scientists Solve Ancient ‘Bright Night’ Mystery With New Satellite Data

Humans are pretty jaded these days. We can write most of the strange phenomena we see off as science (or we honestly don’t care). But when Roman philosophers like Pliny the Elder witnessed moonless nights glow bright like the day, it definitely made an impression. Others since then have been awestruck by these “bright nights,” too. Read More >>

What the Hell is This Beautiful Thing?

Meet Steve, a newly discovered atmospheric phenomenon that’s so strange it still doesn’t have a formal scientific description, hence the placeholder name. Thanks to the work of aurora enthusiasts and atmospheric scientists, we’re now learning more about Steve, but many questions remain. Read More >>

Disturbing 3D Visualisation Will Change the Way You Think About Carbon Emissions

Scientists at NASA have created a stunning high-resolution 3D visualisation showing the complex ebbs and flows of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere over the course of an entire year. It’s a unique perspective that’s sure to change the way you think about this problematic greenhouse gas. Read More >>

An Enormous Cloud of Toxic Sulphur is Spreading Across Iraq

During a fierce battle for control of the Iraqi city of Mosul last week, Islamic state fighters set fire to a gigantic sulphur plant. Days later, a plume of sulphur dioxide continues to spread over surrounding areas, darkening skies and making the air toxic to breathe. Read More >>

Science Gets to the Bottom Of Neptune’s Weird ‘Wobbles’

Neptune, the farthest named planet in our solar system (sorry Pluto), is unusual in a lot of ways. One rotation around the sun lasts about 165 Earth years, and each season is around 40 Earth years. Another noteworthy thing about the planet is its atmosphere, which has a fluctuating brightness. Read More >>

Scientists Find First Instance of Water Clouds Outside Our Solar System

A cloudy day here on Earth might be a sign for gloom, but elsewhere in the universe, to behold one is a scientific achievement. Read More >>

The Ozone Hole Is Finally Healing

Nearly thirty years after an international treaty banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons, the Antarctic ozone hole is finally starting to heal. By mid to late century, it should be fully recovered. Read More >>

Pluto Might Be Home To Methane-Covered Mountain Peaks

Even though New Horizons swept past Pluto last year, more than half the data that it gleaned from the planet during its flyby is still on the spacecraft, which means that there’s still much that we’ll be learning about the dwarf planet. Case in point: methane snow-covered peaks. Read More >>

Remember, Remember: There’s a Downside to All Those Guy Fawkes Bonfires

“Remember, remember the fifth of November....” It’s that time of year again, when we celebrate Guy Fawkes Night with extravagant fireworks displays and bonfires to burn the traitorous Fawkes in effigy. But a new study says that all that extra smoke and debris in the air wreak havoc with visibility. Read More >>

monster machines
The ISS is About to Get a Shipment of Laser CATS

It may not leave a trail of destruction and pew-pews in its wake but NASA's newest atmospheric sensor, the laser-beaming CATS module, could afford researchers a fuller understanding of how our reliance on non-renewable energy fuels climate change. Read More >>

What Causes the Smell After it Rains?

There are three primary sources of smells that commonly occur after rain. The first, the "clean" smell, in particular after a heavy thunderstorm, is caused by ozone. Ozone (scientifically known as trioxygen due to the fact that it is comprised of three oxygen atoms) is notably pungent and has a very sharp smell that is often described as similar to that of chlorine. Read More >>

What Sunsets Painted Centuries Ago Reveal About Global Air Pollution

Dramatic sunsets are undeniably gorgeous, but they portend something ominous: millions of fine particles polluting the air. Researchers are now studying sunsets painted over the past 500 years to find clues to how our air got dirtier after the Industrial Revolution. Read More >>

Four New Gasses Renew Man’s Brutal Attack on the Ozone Layer

Remember the hole in the ozone layer? It was the old environmental crisis, from before everyone got worried about carbon and the ice caps melting so the woolly mammoths would come back to life and eat us all. Well, the ozone layer's back on the doom list, as mystery new gasses appear to be peeling away one of the planet's protective atmospheric layers once more. Read More >>

Bubble Canopy Could be Answer to Urban Air Pollution

Your city's air quality got you down? Consider picnicking inside this glass-topped park proposed by Orproject. The transparent, ultra-lightweight canopy—inspired by the geometry of butterfly wings—would act as a kind of fresh air reserve: part filter, part outdoor hospital, where you and your friends can breathe in peace. [Orproject] Read More >>