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State of Alaska Claims Jeweler Sold Fake Gold Nuggets
JCKonline
NOAA Predicts Above-Normal 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

From the article: "La Nina and warmer-than-average ocean temperatures are major drivers of tropical activity." The satellite image above shows Hurricanes Idalia and Franklin on August 29, 2023. Image captured by NOAA's GOES-16 satellite.

How Are Hurricanes Named?
Geology.com

Hurricane Fran: Satellite image of a hurricane named "Fran." Hurricane Fran was a large, powerful, destructive hurricane that made landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina on September 5, 1996. Fran was the sixth named storm of the 1996 hurricane season because "F" is the sixth letter in the alphabet. It was so destructive that the name "Fran" was retired from use. Satellite image by NASA.

Papua New Guinea Asks for Help After More than 2000 People Are Buried by a Landslide
Associated Press
From the article: "A Papua New Guinea government official has told the United Nations that more than 2,000 people are believed to have been buried alive by last Friday's landslide and has formally asked for international help."
Papua New Guinea Landslide: Geologist Comments and Images
The Landslide Blog
Oldest Known Aboriginal Pottery Discovered in Australia
Smithsonian
Telecom Fibers Are Sensing Earthquake Hazards in Istanbul
EOS Science News
More Than 100 Feard Dead in Massive Landslide in Papua New Guinea
CBS News
The May 24th Landslide at Kaokalam in Enga Province, Papua New Guinea
The Landslide Blog
Quote from the article: "On first inspection, this is a large rock slope failure that has transitioned into a rock and debris avalanche."
Satellite View of the Aurora Borealis
NASA Earth Observatory

The VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) on the Suomi NPP satellite can detect nighttime light in a range of wavelengths. In the image above from May 11, it could "see" the aurora borealis as a wispy white band across the northern United States. Image by Wanmei Liang, using VIIRS day-night band data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership.

Is Geothermal Power Heating Up as an Energy Source?
Smithsonian
The Seven Most Amazing Discoveries We've Made by Exploring Jupiter
Smithsonian

A composite image of Jupiter produced using data from the Juno spacecraft. Image by NASA/ JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Kevin Gill.

White and Black Volcanoes of Saudi Arabia
NASA Earth Observatory

Contrasting colors of lava and ash reveal the geologic origins of Harrat Khaybar's volcanic cones.

What Are Cinder Cones?
Geology.com

Cumbre Vieja Volcano erupting cinders on the Canary Island of La Palma, in September, 2021.

Guyana Becomes Key Contributor to Global Crude Oil Supply Growth
U.S. Energy Information Administration
Where is Guyana?
Geology.com

Guyana is located in northern South America. Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Venezuela to the west, Brazil to the south, and Suriname to the east.

Louisiana's Disappearing Coastline
NASA Earth Observatory

This satellite image pair shows the surprising amount of land that has vanished from the Louisiana coast in a 6-year period. Although hurricanes are the main culprit for this destruction, other contributing factors include rising sea levels, subsidence of the land, oil and gas exploration, and degradation from oil spills. Images by Michala Garrison, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Mapping the Lava Caves of Auckland, New Zealand
BBC
Beneath the city of Auckland, New Zealand, there is a huge network of empty lava tubes. A new project aims to map this network of caves for preservation and safety purposes.
Where is New Zealand?
Geology.com

New Zealand is an archipelago of hundreds of islands, located southeast of Australia. New Zealand is bordered by the South Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea.

Weekly Rig Counts
Energy Information Administration

A total of 603 rigs were actively drilling for oil and natural gas during the week ending on Tuesday, May 7th, 2024. That is 128 rigs fewer than were active during the same week in 2023. The main reason for this reduction in rig count is increased drilling efficiency. Data for the weekly rig count is compiled by Baker Hughes Company.

Geography Teacher in England Finds Stone With 1,600-Year-Old Inscriptions in His Garden
Smithsonian
Lightbox Jewelry Lowering Prices, Adding GIA "Verification"
JCKonline
When Lightbox Jewelry started selling lab-grown diamond jewelry in 2018, the price was $800 for an item with a one-carat diamond. Now they are selling one-carat items at $500, $600, or $900 depending upon color grade.
Anglo American Confirms De Beers Is Up for Sale
JCKonline
Anglo American owns 85% of the company. The government of Botswana owns 15%. The company mines natural diamonds, produces the Lightbox brand of lab-grown diamonds, and is the iconic brand of the diamond industry.
Does This Gold - Advertised as "Recycled" - Have Positive Social and Environmental Benefits?
JCKonline
Does gold currently labeled as "recycled" really deliver the advertised benefits?
U.S. Bans Russian Uranium Imports, Key to Nuclear Fuel Supply
Gift Article from the Washington Post
From the article: "American companies pay roughly $1 billion a year for enriched uranium, the main fuel used by nuclear reactors, from Moscow."
Images of the Northern Lights, Spotted in Unusual Places
Smithsonian

Normally, the aurora borealis is a spectacle reserved for viewers in northern latitudes. However, due to unusually strong solar activity recently, the phenomenon was visible to those living farther south, like people in New York, Indiana, Oregon, and California. The photo above shows a rare green and purple aurora. Image by National Park Service Photo / Kent Miller.

Aurora Australis from Space
Geology.com

Aurora Australis: A composite satellite image of the Aurora Australis (southern lights) over Antarctica from space. The image was compiled by superimposing data of the Aurora Australis collected by NASA's IMAGE satellite atop of an image of Earth from a south polar perspective from the Blue Marble project. The result simulates what the Aurora Australis would look like from a satellite orbiting above. Image by NASA.

Retired Geologist Finds Bronze Age Arrowhead in His Backyard
Fox News
Andrew Beckly of Wellington, England is a retired geologist and an avid fan of Time Team (a British TV show about archaeology and history). He had recently rewatched the series when, by chance, he happened to unearth an archaeological treasure in his very own backyard.
Peat Landslide in Scotland's Shetland Islands
The Landslide Blog

The video above shows a peat landslide in action on May 7, 2024 in northern Scotland. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the incident. Click here to read an accompanying article by Dave Petley of The Landslide Blog.

How a Fantastical Labyrinth Became a Crucial Habitat for Europe's Bats
Smithsonian

The Piusa Sand Caves in southern Estonia were tunnelled out by glass sand miners back in the 1920s. When the miners left, bats took up residence in the miles of underground tunnels. Now the caves are an important habitat for the local bat population. Image by Tpani, displayed here under a Creative Commons License.

Sand Grains from Around the World
Geology.com

Green olivine sand from Papakolea Beach, Hawaii. The white grains are coral fragments, and the gray-black grains are pieces of basalt. If you think the grains have a "gemmy" appearance, olivine is the mineral name of a gemstone known as "peridot." This image represents a 10 millimeter x 10 millimeter view. Photograph by Siim Sepp, used here under a Creative Commons License.

Astronomers Discover an Atmosphere on a Hot, Rocky Exoplanet With an Ocean of Magma
Smithsonian
Complex Beauty in the Gulf of Oman
NASA Earth Observatory

NASA's new PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem) satellite captured this image of a phytoplankton bloom in the Gulf of Oman. NASA image by Joseph Knuble, using PACE data from NASA/GSFC.

Satellite Views of Phytoplankton Blooms in Oceans and Seas
Geology.com

Phytoplankton Bloom Off New Jersey: An unusual phytoplankton bloom occurred in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New Jersey on July 6, 2016. This bloom received nutrients from a process known as "upwelling". Strong, persistent winds, blowing off the continent and towards the east, carried surface waters away from the coast. This brought cold, nutrient-rich waters up the continental slope to replace the waters that were blown out to sea. The result was a near-shore phytoplankton bloom. Similar blooms occur periodically along the Atlantic coast in the summer. This NASA satellite image was prepared by Jeff Schmaltz.

More Than Half of U.S. Landfills May Be Methane "Super-Emitters"
Smithsonian
From the article: "Aerial observations of hundreds of large landfills across 18 states found they are leaking 40 percent more methane than is reported to the EPA."
Chicago Museum Unveils the "Most Important Fossil Ever Discovered": the Feathered Dinosaur Archaeopteryx
Smithsonian
From the article: "Archaeopteryx provided the missing link between dinosaurs and the avians of today, serving as critical evidence for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution."
EIA Expects U.S. Electricity Growth to be Mostly Met by Renewables
U.S. Energy Information Administration
In 2024, the EIA predicts that U.S. electricity generation will increase about 3%, with solar energy supplying about 60% of that growth. Generation from solar energy is on track to surpass generation from hydropower as early as 2025.
New Findings Point to an Earth-Like Environment on Ancient Mars
Los Alamos National Laboratory
From the article: "Manganese-rich sandstones indicate there were once habitable conditions in the Gale Crater."
Rocks on Mars that Look Just Like Rocks on Earth
Geology.com

Photo of an outcrop of sedimentary rocks inside the Gale Crater on Mars. The rocks here are almost identical to some of the shales and siltstones found here on Earth. Image by NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover.

A Million Years Without a Megaslide
EOS Science News
From the article: "A new study goes deep into the Gulf of Alaska to examine the sixth-largest underwater landslide and investigate why a similar event hasn't happened since."
The Largest-Known Subaerial and Submarine Landslides
Geology.com

This article features Heart Mountain - largest-known subaerial landslide and Storegga - the largest-known submarine landslide.

China Has a "Fake Gold" Problem. Sellers Offer 999 Gold and Deliver Inferior Merchandise
CNBC
What Is Fool's Gold?
Geology.com

"Fool's gold" is a common nickname for pyrite. Pyrite received that nickname because it is worth virtually nothing, but has an appearance that "fools" people into believing that it is gold. With a little practice, there are many easy tests that anyone can use to quickly tell the difference between pyrite and gold.

China Launches a Rock to Visit the Moon, Collect and Return About Two Kilos of Lunar Material
BBC
AI Could Drive a Natural Gas Boom as Power Companies Face Surging Electricity Demand
CNBC
Tatooine, Trisolaris, Thessia: Sci-Fi Exoplanets Reflect Real-Life Discoveries
EOS

In 1977, the fictional world of Tatooine was immortalized on the silver screen in Star Wars: A New Hope (Episode IV). However, it wasn't until 2005 that astronomers discovered HD 202206 c, the first known exoplanet in a binary star system. What influence does real-life science have on science fiction... and vice versa? Image credit: Journal of Science Communication - JCOM.

'Star Wars': Summary of the Franchise and Its Effect on Space Technology
Space.com

Pictured above: Mimas, one of Saturn's moons, bears an uncanny resemblance to the "Death Star" from Star Wars. Image by NASA/JPL/SSI.

G7 Agree to End Use of Unabated Coal Power Plants by 2035
The Guardian
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
USDA.gov

Are you thinking about starting a garden, but you're not sure which plants to choose? The U.S. Department of Agriculture has an interactive map that will help you make informed decisions based on your location in the United States. The different color zones represent the average annual extreme minimum temperature over a 30-year period. Simply type in your zip code to find your zone, and then you can use your zone number to choose plants with an appropriate hardiness range.

Global Accounting of Earth's Rivers
NASA Earth Observatory

Quote from the article: "A novel approach to estimating river water storage and discharge also identifies regions marked by 'fingerprints' of intense water use" (shown in gray on the map above). NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using data from Collins, E.L., et al. (2024).

Russia Energy Report
Energy Information Administration

This annual report reviews Russia's production and consumption of oil, natural gas, coal and renewable energy.

Gold Billed As "Recycled" Often Does Not Have the Advertised Environmental Benefits
JCKonline
The Many Uses of Gold
Geology.com

The United States government currently mints coins from gold and other precious metals; however, they are intended for investment and collecting. They are not intended for use as legal tender.

The Highest Observatory on Earth Sits Atop Chile's Andes Mountains -- And It's Finally Open
Space.com
The Japanese University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory is at an altitude of 5640 meters above sea level. The higher the observatory, the less atmospheric distortion in its view.
Birthstone for the Month of May: Emerald
Geology.com

Emerald is a very popular green gemstone of the beryl mineral family. Image copyright iStockphoto / mikheewnik.

25 Years, 25 Images
NASA Earth Observatory

Happy 25th Birthday to NASA Earth Observatory! To celebrate, the people at NASA have created a short video featuring 25 of their favorite images. Above is a visualization of tiny atmospheric particles, or aerosols, as measured by satellites in the sky and sensors on the ground. Image by Joshua Stevens, using GEOS data from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA GSFC.

Ten Amazing Facts About Tornadoes, Explained
Smithsonian

The photo above shows twin tornadoes near Pilger, Nebraska in 2014. Public domain image by Ethan Schisler / NOAA Photo Library.

Earth's Mini-Moon Linked to Farside Lunar Crater
Sky & Telescope
A small asteroid named Kamo'oalewa orbits the Earth as we circle the sun. Scientists think that they've figured out the origin of our mysterious "mini-moon".
The Story of the West Gold Hill Dinosaur Tracksite
Ouray County Plaindealer
Year after year, the Charles family visited their Colorado mining claim and searched for gold, without any luck. As it turns out, a much more valuable treasure was right there beneath their feet all along.
Swift Quakes: Seismic Signals from Taylor Swift Concerts
EOS Science News
Quote from the article: "Each song typically had a seismic frequency that synced up with the song's beat rate as well as its harmonics, which have frequencies that are multiples of the beat rate."
U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions for 2023
Energy Information Administration
Quote from the article: "U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions decreased slightly in 2023 compared to 2022. Although emissions decreased across many economic sectors, more than 80% of U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions reductions in 2023 occurred in the electric power sector...."
Deciphering India's Luna Crater
NASA Earth Observatory

This round depression in western India, called the "Luna Crater" after a nearby town, measures about one mile (1.8 kilometers) across. People have long speculated that the crater might have formed as the result of a meteorite impact. Now that samples from the site have been analyzed, scientists are able to shed some light on the mystery of its formation. NASA Earth Observatory image by Michala Garrison, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Vredefort Impact Crater
Geology.com

A Landsat image of the Vredefort Impact Crater. It was formed when an asteroid struck Earth about two billion years ago in an area that is now the country of South Africa. At the time of formation, the crater is believed to have been about 300 kilometers across. The Vaal River can be seen traversing the northern part of the structure. This image was composed by Angela King of Geology.com using Landsat Geocover data from NASA.

Dentist Discovers Human-Like Jawbone and Teeth in a Floor Tile at His Parents' Home
Smithsonian
Quote from the article: "Scientists are planning to study the specimen, embedded in travertine from western Turkey, in hopes of dating and identifying it."
Misconceptions About the Anthropocene
Smithsonian
Should the so-called "Anthropocene epoch" be added to the Geologic Time Scale? Scientists are divided. This article outlines some of the common arguments against the Anthropocene, and provides counterpoints for consideration.
NASA's Voyager 1 Resumes Sending Engineering Updates to Earth
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Voyager 1 was launched in 1977, and it has been sending data back to Earth ever since. In November 2023, its signals became unintelligible. Engineers have now identified the problem and are fixing the code so that the spacecraft can resume sending science data from its far-out location in interstellar space. Image by NASA / JPL-Caltech.

Deluge in the United Arab Emirates
NASA Earth Observatory

The United Arab Emirates was inundated when several slow-moving storms dropped over a year's worth of rain in less than 24 hours. The satellite image above shows the numerous flooded areas near the port city of Jebel Ali. NASA Earth Observatory images by Wanmei Liang, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Artificial Islands of Dubai
Geology.com

Did you know that there are hundreds of man-made islands in the Persian Gulf? Shown above are Bluewaters Island and the Palm Jumeirah. The satellite image was produced using 2018-2019 data from USGS LandsatLook.

Is Geothermal Power Heating Up as an Energy Source?
Smithsonian
Quote from the article: "Long confined to regions with volcanic activity, the method of harnessing energy from the Earth promises to become much more versatile thanks to new technologies."
Extensive Desert 'Lava Tubes' Sheltered Humans for 7,000 Years
Smithsonian
Massive Floods Threaten Tens of Millions as Intense Rains Batter Southern China
CNN
Establishing Mount Shasta's Summit Elevation in the 20th Century
United States Geological Survey
Following a 1904 topographic survey of California, the U.S. Geological Survey revised the mountain's height from 14,444 feet (4,403 m) to 14,380 feet (4,383 m). This was a bit of a surprise! Today, even more sophisticated satellite elevation mapping has established Shasta's height at 14,163 feet (4,137 m) above sea level. What's going on?
NASA Selects New Aircraft-Driven Studies of Earth and Climate Change
NASA

Uncovering Earthquake Evidence in Azerbaijan's Greater Caucasus Mountains
EOS Science News
Quote from the article: "A new study unearths geological evidence that corroborates historical accounts of large earthquakes along the Kura fold-thrust belt."
The Seven Most Amazing Discoveries We've Made by Exploring Mercury
Smithsonian

An image of Mercury with false-color enhancement to show the the age and mineral composition of surface materials. Image by NASA, JHU Applied Physics Lab, Carnegie Inst. Washington.

Earth Day Resources for Science Teachers
National Science Teaching Association
Earth Day is on Monday, April 22, 2024. The National Science Teaching Association has a wealth of resources and free lesson plans available for teachers at all grade levels.
National Park Service Seeks Help to Identify Lake Mead Vandals
FOX5 Las Vegas

On the evening of Sunday, April 7, two men were seen destroying rock formations in the Redstone Dunes Trail area of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The park is located about 30 miles east of Las Vegas, Nevada, and is home to geological formations that date back millions of years.

If you have any information about the suspects, please call the National Park Service Tip Line at 888-653-0009, or click here.

Biden Administration Restricts Oil and Gas Leasing in 13 Million Acres of Alaska's Petroleum Reserve
Associated Press
Father-Daughter Team Helps Discover Giant Prehistoric Sea Beast
Gift Article from the Washington Post
NASA's Juno Gives Aerial Views of Mountain, Lava Lake on Io
NASA

This animation is an artist's concept of Loki Patera, a lava lake on Jupiter's moon Io, made using data from the JunoCam imager aboard NASA's Juno spacecraft. With multiple islands in its interior, Loki is a depression filled with magma and rimmed with molten lava. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS