During the week of May 13th, the CO2 level at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii topped 400 ppm repeatedly. Daily levels of CO2 can vary due to weather, and there are seasonal trends as well. The level of atmospheric greenhouse gases continues to increase, now over 120 ppm since the Industrial Revolution began. For more on the Keeling Curve, see http://keelingcurve.ucsd.edu/. Find out more about greenhouse gases and warming.
The week of May 19 brings dozens of tornadoes to Tornado Alley in the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. On May 20th, a massive tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, devastating communities - destroying over 100 homes and hitting two elementary schools and a hospital - with many casualties and deaths. Our thoughts are with our friends and colleagues suffering from these storms. For more on the May 20th storms, see the NOAA Storm Prediction Center Storm Report.
Even though the sleeping man is no longer on the bed, you can still see where he was lying down. The heat from his body warmed up the bed sheets which are now radiating infrared light toward your eyes....more
All warm objects (not just people) radiate in the infrared. Warmer objects give off more infrared radiation. Very hot objects radiate other types of light in addition to infrared. Click on the picture...more
Your eye is a wonderful detector of visible light. Different frequencies of light produce different sensations in the eye which we interpret as colors. Our eyes detect light by using light sensitive components...more
Imagine you found a pair of special glasses that not only gave you telescopic vision but gave you the ability to see all forms of radiant energy. The universe in visible light contains all the familiar...more
This is a volcano on the island of Miyake in Japan. It has erupted, sending hot lava and ash into the air, a total of ten times. The time after one eruption until the next occurred was about twenty years...more
This is a picture of a galaxy in visible light. A galaxy is a large number of stars, some like our sun, some bigger, some smaller and all moving together through space. This galaxy is called Centaurus...more
This is a plant in Gary, Indiana where power is made. We use power to run things like television sets, radios, lights, and microwave ovens. The picture looks very strange because it was taken in infrared....more