Antarctica’s Weddell Sea in the Southern Hemisphere is usually an uninterrupted sheet of ice during the frigid winter months of June, July and August. That is why the appearance of a massive area of open water, or polynya, in the middle of the sea is baffling scientists worldwide. First observed as a small hole in the winter of 2016, the polynya now extends an astounding 80,000 square kilometers, or about as big as the US state of Maine.
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Earlier this year, National Geographic released a list of the world’s 21 most beautiful beaches. High among them, especially for sea-shell lovers, is Shell Beach. Located in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area in Western Australia, it is home to a 37-mile (60 km) stretch of white cockle shells.
While reducing plastic waste is something most consumer wish to do, it is not an easy goal to achieve. That’s because the cheap, versatile, and durable material is found in almost every household item – from dinnerware to drink bottles to even food wrappers. Now, an Indonesian-based startup has come up with a delicious and nutritious solution to help reduce our dependence on this environmental hazard.
On September 15, 2017, Cassini’s 19 year, 11 month, 0 day, 3 hour, 12 minute and 46 second long mission ended with a plunge into Saturn, the planet it had been orbiting for 13 years. The fiery demise was not accidental, but the result of a well-orchestrated plan to ensure that the spacecraft, which was running out of rocket propellant would not crash and pollute Saturn’s pristine moons.
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.
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.