Earth Science

Light shining through the ice turns a cave's roof (above, Amy Rarig, age 17) an eerie blue.

The "Girls on Ice" Share Their Experiences in the Field


Fault Lines

Weighing threats on land and from the sea


Seeing Science Six Miles Up

City patterns, farm history, ancient seabeds, old mountains and new, the why of clouds: take a look

Equinox seen from the astronomic calendar of Pizzo Vento at Fondachelli Fantina, Sicily


It took two millennia to get the one we now use; we owe a lot to the sun and moon, to Caesar, Pope Gregory and, oh yes, the Earl of Chesterfield


Wiring the Jersey Coast

In one spot on the continental shelf, scientists aim to understand all that happens, 24 hours a day


The Incredible Sponge

It may seem primitive, but it can do some things you wouldn't want to try at home



It's colorless, odorless and gets no respect, but it's vital to the cycle of life— and we may be using too much


Mining the Scrap Heap for Treasure

Across America, a network of scrap-metal firms is supplying much of the raw materials, iron to aluminum, that fuel the growing global economy


Unearthing Secrets Locked Deep Inside Each Fistful of Soil

To scientists at the National Soil Tilth Lab in Ames, Iowa, it's not just dirt they are probing — it's the planet's sustaining surface

During their visits, students participate in activities that complement classroom learning (i.e. school programs) through hands-on experiences that stimulate all of their senses.

A Few Miles of Land Arose From the Sea—and the World Changed

Panama is an event as well as a place. Smithsonian scientists are learning what it has meant for continental animal swapping, ice ages, et al.


However It Began on Earth, Life May Have Been Inevitable

In a universe filled with prebiotic compounds,it may be only a small step for some of them to hook up in ways that lead directly to life

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