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Monster Storms Raging on Failed Stars

Hurricanes as large as planets may sweep across the face of brown dwarfs—failed stars bigger than planets but smaller than real stars. A new study looks at 44 brown dwarfs using the infrared camera of NASA’s Spitzer space telescope. The astronomers report that they recorded periodic changes in brightness and saw the largest variations ever…

September 22, 2013: Paddling the Americas, Blind Date Adventures, and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, as we pursue adrenaline and white water throughout the Americas, blind date for 200 miles down Alaska’s Lost Coast, and learn to thrive despite past failures.

NG Weekend Reflects on Tim Samaras’ Life, Explorations as Storm Chaser

The death of Tim Samaras, famous storm chaser and National Geographic grantee, is saddening and surprising as National Geographic Weekend interviewed Samaras just hours before he died on Friday chasing a tornado in Oklahoma. Tim visited the show regularly over the years, including on our very first show.  In August 2007, Samaras was a guest…

After the Big Storm: What Next?

By Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation  One recent weekend, I drove north from Washington, D.C., with some trepidation.  It had been a beautiful October day the last time I headed to Long Beach, New York.  Then, I was excited about seeing colleagues in the Surfrider International community who were gathering for their annual…

RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities

By Claire Schoen Media Most of the great cities, the world over, are built along the water. So are many towns, hamlets, and villages. But sea level rise and extreme weather, both fueled by climate change, threaten to reclaim coastal lands and the communities that are built on them. The destruction of New York’s shoreline,…

Geography in the News: Lake-Effect Snow

Lake-effect snow has finally arrived in the Midwest, as winter has finally arrived. This post explains the cause and geography of lake-effect snow events around the Great Lakes, with particular focus on Buffalo, NY.

2012’s Biggest Lesson About the Deficit, the Ocean, and Climate Change

  There are two things I know for sure: 1) we all love the beach; and 2), we all want to help out when others are in need. Here’s the data: According to the U.S. government, American coastal businesses dependent on clean oceans and beaches (mostly fishing and tourism) generated $225 billion in 2008. The…

Powerful Hurricanes Such As Sandy and ‘Black Swan’ Storms Could Alter U.S. Coastline

Scientists and meteorologists examining data from Hurricane Sandy think the massive super-storm that caused widespread devastation from North Carolina to New York City in October could be a harbinger of changes for the U.S. coastline. Exactly how those changes might unfold isn’t clear. But some scientists who study hurricanes and coastal environments outlined some possibilities at…

Tornado Hunter’s First Video of the Year

On his first day of research for the year, NG Emerging Explorer Tim Samaras captures footage of a massive tornado cutting across a Kansas highway just in front of the expedition team.

Moon Used to Peek Inside Jupiter’s “Missing” Belt

Last May amateur astronomers alerted the world to the fact that the gas giant planet Jupiter had lost a belt. Normally the stormy world is encircled by two dark, rusty bands of clouds created by fast-moving jet streams. The features are easy to spot with a backyard telescope (and even easier with pro ‘scopes, such…

Here Comes the [Entire] Sun

Yesterday—Superbowl *Sun*day—NASA released the first global view of our sun, courtesy of a pair of space probes collectively called Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory, or STEREO. Launched in October 2006, the two probes left Earth together but then separated and headed for opposite sides of the solar orb. On February 6, STEREO-A and STEREO-B finally reached…

We Just Can’t Get Enough Sun

After hunkering down to survive D.C.’s “snowpocalypse” this past week, I was definitely ready for some sun. —Image courtesy United Launch Alliance/Pat Corkery via NASA Luckily, NASA obliged me with Thursday’s launch of their latest space probe, the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The SDO is a semi-autonomous craft that will orbit Earth, taking continuous observations of…

Martian “Weather Satellite” Has Dust in its Eye

Any allergy sufferer will tell you that dust can be a killer. But those dust bunnies under the couch have nothing on the planet-wide storms that periodically engulf Mars in late spring and early summer. —Image courtesy NASA, J. Ball (Cornell), M. Wolff (SSI), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Such storms are kind of…

Sun Storms: The Ultimate Homewreckers

I’ve been a baaaad blogger. Headed out to San Francisco for the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, I had grand ambitions of doing it all: writing stories, editing copy, meeting scientists, hobnobbing with other writers, and of course live blogging from the meeting. Life, it seems, had other plans. But never fear. Now…

NASA to Send Snarky High-School Girl to Jupiter

Okay, not really, but I couldn’t resist. In reality, the agency has approved a new spacecraft dubbed Juno that will launch in 2011, making it into an elliptical polar orbit around Jupiter by 2016. The mission isn’t named for the teenage darling of independent film, but for the Roman goddess who was the jealous sister-wife…