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Japan's earthquakes and tectonic setting

Japan has more measurable earthquakes than any other country and has over 100 active volcanoes. These both result from Japan being wedged among four major tectonic plates. The tectonics are complicated, but in this animation, IRIS attempted to look at the basic...

June 15, 2017

3d meteor shower streams model

3D animated visualization of meteoroid streams

The International Meteor Organization (IMO) has just added a new feature to their online meteor shower calendar - a 3D animated view of the meteoroid streams the Earth will encounter all along its journey around the Sun. The model was created by Ian Webster, and...

January 05, 2017

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Monitoring volcanoes using ASTER satellite imagery

The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) sensor is one of five sensors on board NASA's Terra satellite. ASTER data and imagery are crucial tools for monitoring volcanoes for any clues of imminent eruptions, for studying...

March 25, 2016


Madden-Julian Oscillation: Massive thunderstorm cluster in tropical Indian and Pacific Ocean explained

A team of scientists from the University of Washington (UW) have devised a new mathematical model for the purpose of explaining and forecasting the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), a huge thunderstorm cluster originating in the waters of tropical Indian and Pacific...

January 29, 2016


SOHO celebrates its 20th anniversary of gazing into the Sun

Today marks the 20th anniversary of NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). Originally planned for two-year mission, the project has now almost gone strong for two full solar-cycles, making the project longest Sun watching satellite to this day. When...

December 02, 2015


Seven spectacular weather events – and what causes them

​​The weather might seem like it creates weeks of dreary, grey drizzle. But it can also put on a truly sensational – and, often, deadly – show. But what explains these explosive events? The Earth’s atmosphere is driven by heating from the Sun....

November 29, 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

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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

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What did the ancient people think of the axis mundi (world axis)?

In the footsteps of Mircea Eliade, mythologists and anthropologists tend to think of the axis mundi or ‘world axis’ as a straight object running through the cosmos vertically. While this is, of course, correct for the astronomical axis of the earth, the &lsq

April 09, 2015


Earthquake interaction on the scale of a fault to the planet

Ross Stein (PhD, 1980, Geology), Geophysicist at the USGS gave this interesting presentation a couple of days ago at the Stanford University. He explains the fundamentals of earthquake science and takes listeners to one of its frontiers.His research focuses on

April 25, 2014

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Sonic Geometry: The Language of Frequency and Form

This might be one of the most important videos you have ever seen... "If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6 and 9, then you would have a key to the universe." - Nikola Tesla The World is Waking... Throughout history,

December 23, 2013


Solar Dynamics Observatory - Argos view

Argos (or Argus Panoptes) was the 100-eyed giant in Greek mythology. While NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has significantly less than 100 eyes, seeing connections in the solar atmosphere through the many filters of SDO presents a number of interesting

December 17, 2013


The solar eclipse cycle - Saros cycle

The periodicity and recurrence of eclipses is governed by the Saros cycle, a period of approximately 6,585.3 days (18 years 11 days 8 hours). It was known to the Chaldeans as a period when lunar eclipses seem to repeat themselves, but the cycle is

September 01, 2013


What is a sungrazing comet?

Sungrazing comets are a special class of comets that come very close to the Sun at their nearest approach, a point called perihelion. To be considered a sungrazer, a comet needs to get within about 850,000 miles from the sun at perihelion. Many come even closer, even

August 23, 2013


Earth at aphelion on July 5, 2013

Since Earth`s orbit is an ellipse, on July 5, 2013 our planet will be on the farthest end of the curve, at the most distant point from the Sun. That is called aphelion. In Earth`s orbit the average distance from the Sun is roughly 150 million kilometers, but at

July 05, 2013


Where is the true North Pole?

The North Pole is at the top of the Earth and the South Pole is at the bottom, right? Except that the Earth is kind of a ball, and they don't really have tops and bottoms. Of course Earth isn`t exactly spherical and isn`t spinning through space - spinning about

July 03, 2013


Intro to space weather vocabulary - video

Heliophysics scientists study energy transformation from one event to the other and which electromagnetic waves create which conditions near Earth. Space weather effects can disrupt satellites in space, so scientists need to understand the system in even more detail.

May 06, 2013