Every year on September 19, residents of Mexico City conduct an emergency evacuation drill to mark the anniversary of an 8.0 magnitude earthquake that killed about 10,000 residents in 1985. Yesterday was no exception. At 11:00 am, thousands of people left their homes, offices, and shops and made their way to the predesignated safe zones. Little did they know that within just two hours, the evacuation warning bells would ring again. Only this time, they were instantly followed by the violent shaking of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.
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On September 6, the sun let its presence be felt by unleashing two massive solar flares. The first eruption, classified as an X2.2 flare, the strongest since 2008, occurred at 5:10 a.m. ET. Shortly after, at about 8:02 a.m ET, the star spewed out a bigger, and more spectacular, X9.3 flare — the most powerful on record since December 2006.
A team of astronomers, led by Alexander Boetticher of the University of Cambridge have stumbled upon what is being touted as our galaxy’s smallest known star. According to experts, EBLM J0555-57Ab, (57-Ab), which is slightly larger than Saturn, is the smallest possible size for a star. Boetticher says, “Had this star formed with only a slightly lower mass, the fusion reaction of hydrogen in its core could not be sustained, and the star would instead have transformed into a brown dwarf."
Just days after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas and parts of Louisiana, leaving behind unprecedented destruction, an even stronger tropical cyclone was reported heading towards Florida. Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history, first brought chaos to the Caribbean, devastating islands like Barbuda and St. Martin on September 6, where it struck with Category 5 winds that at times reached up to 185 mph.
Scientists have long known that the world’s first flower bloomed between 250 million and 140 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs dominated the earth. The single mutation was so successful that flowering plants, or Angiosperms, now make up almost 90% of all plant species, far outnumbering seed plants like conifers, that appeared on earth much earlier, between 350 million and 310 million years ago.
On Monday, August 21, millions of Americans across the country donned their protective eyeglasses to watch the highly anticipated total solar eclipse. Though the eclipses, which occur about every 18 months, are not rare, this one was historic. It was not only the first total solar eclipse visible from the mainland U.S. in more than 38 years, but also the first to be seen coast to coast in almost a century.
Governments, corporations, and even individuals concerned about losing valuable data or photos in the event of a cataclysmic disaster can now rest easy thanks to the recently opened Arctic World Archive. Located 300-meters (984-feet) below the ground inside an abandoned coal mine in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole, the “Doomsday Vault” is equipped to keep information safe in the event of a natural or man-made catastrophe.
The total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, is the first of its kind to go coast-to-coast across the continental United States in nearly a century. While the partial eclipse will start earlier and end later, the total eclipse will travel from Oregon to South Carolina in a speedy 93 minutes. Its narrow, 70-mile-wide, path of totality will begin at Lincoln Beach, OR at 10:15 a.m PDT (1:15 p.m. EDT) and continue through Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina, before ending in Charleston, SC at 11:48 a.m. PDT (2:48 p.m. EDT).