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Earth Topics

  • Peering into the Ozone Hole

    2000April 6, 2011

    Concentrations of ozone-destroying gases are down, but the Antarctic ozone hole is bigger than ever. It turns out there's more to ozone destruction than just CFCs. Stratospheric ice crystals, the Antarctic Vortex, and global warming play a role, too.

  • Sun's Got the Beat

    2000April 6, 2011

    Like blood pulsing in an artery, newly discovered currents of gas beat deep inside the Sun, speeding and slackening every 16 months. The solar "heartbeat" throbs in the same region of the Sun suspected of driving the 11-year cycle of solar eruptions. Scientists are hopeful that this pulse can help them unravel the origin and operation of the solar cycle.

  • Learning from Lightning

    2000April 6, 2011

    Little by little, Lightningsensors in space are revealing the inner workings of severe storms. Scientists hope to use the technique to improve forecasts of deadly weather.

  • Ocean Tides Lost and Found

    2000April 6, 2011

    The Moon's gravity imparts tremendous energy to the Earth, raising tides throughout the global oceans. What happens to all this energy? After 200 years of debate, scientists using data from the orbiting TOPEX/Poseiden satellite may now have the answer.

  • A Disintegrating Glacier

    2000April 6, 2011

    Many processes that shape the Earth's landscape happen too slowly to be witnessed in a human lifetime. But recent analysis of satellite imagery shows that a large glacier tongue on the coast of East Antarctica has disintegrated, changing the shape of the coastline almost overnight.

  • Total Lunacy

    2000April 6, 2011

    Sky watchers in Western Europe and the Americas can enjoy the first total Lunar Eclipseof the year 2000 on Thursday night.

  • Pacific Lunar Eclipse

    2000April 6, 2011

    This weekend the Moon, the Sun and the Earth will align for the longest total Lunar Eclipsein 140 years. The best places to see the event are in and around the Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii and Australia. Observers along the west coast of North America will be able to see a partial eclipse just before The Moonsets on Sunday morning.

  • La Nina's Ghost

    2000April 6, 2011

    La Nina has faded away, but will weather patterns change? Some scientists expect the Pacific Decadal Oscillation to pick up where La Nina left off.

  • Sun Sample Return Mission Nears Launch

    2000April 6, 2011

    The science payload for NASA's Genesis spacecraft, which will collect samples of the solar wind and return them to Earth, is now complete. Genesis is primed for liftoff in February 2001. Samples will parachute back to Earth two years later.

  • Continents in Collision: Pangea Ultima

    2000April 6, 2011

    Creeping more slowly than a human fingernail grows, Earth's massive continents are nonetheless on the move. Geologists say that in 250 million years the Atlantic Ocean could be just a distant memory while Earthlings will be able to walk from North America to Africa.