Geology

This is what Niagara Falls looks like when all the water is shut off

Would you believe the millions of gallons of water that rush over Niagara Falls can be turned off? It’s happened before and is about to happen again. All the water from the American side of Niagara Falls (the American Falls) will be rerouted in order to allow repairs to infrastructure. When that happens, we’ll see the bone-dry cliff where the water previously roared. The last time the falls were shutoff was 1969 (see photo above and pictorial gallery below). The Army Corps of Engineers stopped the flow in order to see how the rushing water was eroding the falls. To do this, the 60,000 gallon-per second flow was diverted to Horseshoe Falls and the Robert Moses generating plant upriver. Now the parks department once again wants to…
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Science Photos

Look how cute giraffes are when they sleep (hint: they use their butt for a pillow)

They tower nearly two stories tall (up to 20 feet), weigh well over 2,000 pounds, and stand on long, lanky legs that let them reach speeds up to 40 mph. But with such a massive, gangly frame, how do they lay down to sleep? First, to lie down, the giraffe kneels on its front legs, folding them under its body, and then lowers its body to the ground, sort of like an accordion. Getting back up is pretty much the opposite process – the giraffe first gets on its knees and then spreads its hind legs to raise its back-end to full height. Then they straighten their front legs and viola, they’re back upright again. Luckily giraffes don’t have to do this awkward routine very…
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Space

Amazing Philae comet pictures

The European Space Agency’s Philae comet probe became the first spacecraft to land on a comet on November 12, 2014.  At over 317 million miles away from earth, Philae’s radio signal takes nearly 30 minutes to reach earth.  Here are the most amazing Philae comet pictures to date.  Click on the picture for a full-size view and details about the pic.
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Science Photos

The Northern and Southern Lights (Aurora Borealis or Aurora Australis)

An Aurora is a beautiful natural light display in the sky that occurs above the magnetic poles in the northern and southern hemispheres (in the Arctic or Antarctic regions).  In northern areas of the world, the lights are known as aurora borealis (or northern lights).  In southern areas, the lights are known as aurora australis (or southern lights).  The northern lights are often visible in Alaska, Russia, and Canada.  The southern lights are often visible from Antarctica, South America, New Zealand, and Australia.  During a  geomagnetic storm, the lights can spread to other lower latitude areas. The northern and southern lights are caused by energetic charged particles from the sun colliding with gas particles in the sky.  These charged particles arrive from the sun via…
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