Antarctica: the wind sublimates snowflakes

Researchers have observed and characterized a weather process that was not previously known to occur in Antarctica's coastal regions. It turns out that the katabatic winds that blow from the interior to the margins of the continent reduce the amount of precipitation (mainly snowfall) -- which is a key factor in the formation of the ice cap. By forming a very dry layer of air in the first kilometer or so of atmosphere, the winds turn the falling snowflakes during their fall directly from their solid state into water vapor in a process known as sublimation.

Hundreds of Species Hitched a Ride Across the Pacific Aboard 2011 Tsunami Debris

When a magnitude 9 earthquake shook the western Pacific Ocean floor and sent a tsunami crashing into Japan in 2011, millions of pieces of debris — from docks and fishing boats to plastic pollution — were swept out to sea. Now, a new studyfinds that nearly 300 species hitchhiked aboard that debris across the Pacific and were scattered along the west coast of North America.

Electrically Heated Textiles Now Possible via UMass Amherst Research

Commuters, skiers, crossing guards and others who endure frozen fingers in cold weather may look forward to future relief as manufacturers are poised to take advantage of a new technique for creating electrically heated cloth developed by materials scientist Trisha Andrew and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. They have made gloves that keep fingers as warm as the palm of the hand.

NASA Finds Hurricane Lee's Strength Shift

Hurricane Lee began weakening as NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead and collected temperature information. Satellite data showed that Lee's strongest side was south of its center.

NASA Glenn Tests Thruster Bound for Metal World

As NASA looks to explore deeper into our solar system, one of the key areas of interest is studying worlds that can help researchers better understand our solar system and the universe around us. One of the next destinations in this knowledge-gathering campaign is a rare world called Psyche, located in the asteroid belt.

NASA Sees Maria Weaken to a Tropical Storm

NASA and NOAA satellites provided information and imagery to forecasters that showed Hurricane Maria weakened to a tropical storm on Sept. 28.

Gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger observed by LIGO and Virgo

The following news article is adapted from a press release issued by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Laboratory, in partnership with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration. LIGO is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and operated by MIT and Caltech, which conceived and built the project.

India Aims to Electrify All Households by End of 2018

India has launched a new $2.5 billion initiative to provide power to the 40 million households in the country that still don’t have electricity. The project aims to electrify the homes — which represent about a quarter of India’s households — by the end of 2018, Reuters reported.

NASA Satellites Peer into a Lop-sided Hurricane Maria

NASA’s Aqua satellite and Global Precipitation Measurement mission, or GPM, satellites have been peering into what appears to be a somewhat lop-sided Hurricane Maria. The storm appears asymmetric because vertical wind shear is pushing clouds and showers to the eastern side of the storm.On Sept. 27, NHC forecaster Daniel Brown noted, “Deep convection and banding has increased over the eastern and northeastern portion of the large circulation of Maria since yesterday.”

A First Look at Geographic Variation in Gentoo Penguin Calls

Vocal communication is central to the lives of many birds, which use sound to attract mates and defend territories.