graphene

Will Graphene Deliver on Its Promise?

Strong, stable, and conductive at one atom thick, graphene has amazing potential in a variety of applications. But is hype all the material has?
A new lava stream cascades into the ocean at the former lava delta site in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Volcanic Ecosystems in the Deep Ocean

Undersea volcanoes, like Hawaii's Kīlauea, foster diverse ecosystems in an environment far from sunlight—and as acidic as lemon juice.
Aeroplankton

Aeroplankton: The Life in the Air We Breathe

Just as the ocean is full of plankton, the air we breathe teems with microorganisms.
Hail

The Science of Hail

How does this mysterious precipitation form?
A lode stone encased in a gilded stand

The Souls of Magnets

Lodestones are dull, lumpy, and slate-gray, but their “magnetic intelligence” made them fabulously expensive.
The Mars Curiosity Rover

The Meaning of Methane on Mars

Curiosity rover's recent report of methane on Mars isn't the first time the gas has been indicated. Does it necessarily mean that Mars harbors life?
Buzz Aldrin and the U.S. Flag on the Moon

Should the Moon Landing Site Be a National Historic Landmark?

Some archaeologists argue it’s essential to preserve the history of lunar exploration. But would it represent a claim of U.S. sovereignty over the moon?
Climbers ascending Mount Everest

Mount Everest’s Death Zone

The zone above 8,000 meters is known among mountaineers as the “Death Zone.” Why do most deaths in the high mountains occur at these extreme heights?
Hurricane Rita

Controlling a Hurricane

In the mid-20th century, the United States government invested in two major projects designed to control hurricanes by seeding the storm clouds.
Tehran, Iran

Why People Live In Earthquake Zones

Millions of people now live atop fault lines because long ago small communities gathered at fresh water sources.