"Earth has lost a lot of animals over the past four decades. A major new study by the World Wildlife Fund estimates that the overall number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish has declined 52 percent between 1970 and 2010.
The main culprits? Humans, who have been wiping out other animals through hunting, fishing, deforestation, pollution, and various forms of habitat destruction.”
A full circle rainbow over Australia
Have you ever seen an entire rainbow? From the ground, typically, only the top portion of a rainbow is visible because directions toward the ground have fewer raindrops. From the air, though, the entire 360 degree circle of a rainbow is more commonly visible. Pictured here, a full circle rainbow was captured over Cottesloe Beach near Perth, Australia last year by a helicopter flying between a setting sun and a downpour. An observer-dependent phenomenon primarily caused by the internal reflection of sunlight by raindrops, the 84-degree diameter rainbow followed the helicopter, intact, for about 5 kilometers. As a bonus, a second rainbow that was more faint and color-reversed was visible outside the first.
Image credit & copyright: Colin Leonhardt (Birdseye View Photography)
Staring at the Sun, [to scale]
Yelp, we’re the teeny marble. Now do you have your perspective on straight?
Unusual rocks near Pahrump Hills on Mars
How did these Martian rocks form? As the robotic Curiosity rover has approached Pahrump Hills on Mars, it has seen an interesting and textured landscape dotted by some unusual rocks. The featured image shows a curiously round rock spanning about two centimeters across. Seemingly a larger version of numerous spherules dubbed blueberries found by the Opportunity rover on Mars in 2004, what caused this roundness remains unknown. Possibilities include frequent tumbling in flowing water, sprayed molten rock in a volcanic eruption, or a concretion mechanism. The inset image, taken a few days later, shows another small but unusually shaped rock structure. As Curiosity rolls around and up Mount Sharp, different layers of the landscape will be imaged and studied to better understand the ancient history of the region and to investigate whether Mars could once have harbored life.
Image credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, MSSS
Cloudy climate change: How clouds affect Earth’s temperature
As the Earth’s surface temperature gradually rises, it has become vital for us to predict the rate of this increase with as much precision as possible. In order to do that, scientists need to understand more about aerosols and clouds. Jasper Kirkby details an experiment at CERN that aims to do just that.
Lesson by Jasper Kirkby, animation by Cedric Richer.
Uploaded by: TED-Ed.
The Chinese have orbited a new satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Sunday. Utilizing their Long March 2C (Chang Zheng 2C) launch vehicle, the mission involved…