Atmospheric Science

The atmosphere is the key to life on Earth. This thin layer is what protects us from the hostile environment of space. Here you can learn all about the atmospheric sciences.

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Can we control the weather?

Who likes getting caught in a downpour without an umbrella? Not this guy and not us. Are we ever going to achieve rainmaker status so we can dial up a few gentle showers one day and a blast of sunshine the next?


'Pilot's Glory': Why a Rainbow Encircles an Airplane Shadow on Clouds

Very specific atmospheric conditions and just the right perspective are necessary to see the phenomenon.

Weather Patterns Are Getting Stuck as Climate Changes Affect the Jet Stream

Polar temperatures are changing more rapidly than equatorial ones, making the jet stream slower and wider, and extreme events longer-lasting.

Becoming Better Solar Meteorologists, With Help From Some Monster Waves

Explosive solar events are bad news for Earth, so it's good to keep an eye on space weather. Newly discovered "Rossby-like" waves could help them out with that big job.

Yes, Wind Can Blow You Away If It's the Right Speed

We've all seen shots of meteorologists fighting gale-force winds to report on storms. So just how high can the winds get before the reporters are knocked off their feet?

Earth's Early Atmosphere Was Briefly a Methane Haze

Earth's atmosphere used to be full of toxic hydrogen, but a brief period of methane smog cleared the way for valuable oxygen to set up shop.

Green Fireball Lights Up Midwestern Night Skies

Midwestern night owls got a meteoric surprise this week.

NASA Investigates Cosmic Ray Impact on High-altitude Travelers

The atmosphere protects those of us here on land from cosmic radiation. So what about those who spend time above the clouds?

Weather Bombs Are Spectacularly Destructive

Weather bombs have produced some of the most destructive storms on record. So what is one exactly?

200 Years Ago, We Had a Year Without a Summer

More than two centuries ago, the biggest volcanic explosion in human history occurred. And it had far-reaching effects.

You Haven't Seen Lightning Until You've Seen This Slow-motion Lightning

Florida Tech filmed lightning strikes with powerful cameras that show the strikes almost 30 times slower than real life.