Earth ChangesS


February 20th's Eclipse of the Moon

The full Moon is going to get totally eclipsed on the night of February 20 - 21, putting on a gorgeous show as it glides through Earth's shadow. Skywatchers in nearly the entire Western Hemisphere will get an excellent view.

In the Americas, the eclipse happens during convenient evening hours on Wednesday, the 20th, when people are up and about. In the time zones of Europe and West Africa, the eclipse happens during the early-morning hours of Thursday, the 21st.

Earth's shadow will totally engulf the Moon from 10:00 to 10:52 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, or 7:00 to 7:52 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, as shown at lower right. The partial phases of the eclipse last for about an hour and a quarter before and after totality.

Total Lunar Eclipse
©Sky & Telescope / Sean Walker
Total lunar eclipse
The last sunlit rim of the Moon was about to slip into the Earth's red shadow when Sean Walker of Sky & Telescope magazine took this picture on Aug. 28, 2007. It's easy to take good eclipse shots. Use a long lens and a tripod for your camera if you have an SLR, or just point any digital camera into a telescope. For best results see Sky And Telescope's lunar eclipse photography guide.

Cloud Lightning

Storm pelts Lebanon with snow, hail, rain

A new winter storm started to batter Lebanon on Monday noon, spreading heavy rainfalls, snow, speedy winds and thunderstorms across the country, with weather forecasters expecting the tempest to recede as of Thursday. Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Department at the Rafik Hariri International Airport said on Monday the weather in Lebanon will be cloudy and rainy on Tuesday, with a noticeable drop in temperatures. Snow is expected to fall at an altitude of 800 meters, the forecast added.


'Frog from hell' fossil unearthed

A 70-million-year-old fossil of a giant frog has been unearthed in Madagascar by a team of UK and US scientists. The creature would have been the size of a "squashed beach ball" and weighed about 4kg (9lb), the researchers said.


Unveiling the underwater ways of the white shark

It's hard to study a creature when you only catch fleeting glimpses of it. Up until recently, that was one of the big stumbling blocks for marine biologists and ecologists, but advances in electronic tracking technology have allowed them to peer farther across, and deeper under, the surface of the oceans than ever before.

Satellite tracking systems and acoustic sensors are giving researchers insights into the behavior and lifestyles of some very elusive animals in the ocean, including the fabled white shark.


Sharks In Peril: Ocean's Fiercest Predators Now Vulnerable To Extinction

Sharks are disappearing from the world's oceans. The numbers of many large shark species have declined by more than half due to increased demand for shark fins and meat, recreational shark fisheries, as well as tuna and swordfish fisheries, where millions of sharks are taken as bycatch each year.


Snow blankets Greece

Dozens of villages cut off, flights cancelled due to cold spell

Greece under snow
Snow covered many parts of Greece, including the Acropolis in central Athens, yesterday. Flights were disrupted and tens of villages, mainly in central Greece's Evia and the Aegean islands, were cut off due to the snowfall, the result of two cold fronts moving south from Russia and Scandinavia. Authorities warned drivers to be more cautious today due to the icy conditions expected. Experts forecast improving conditions as of today.


Why are thousands of bats dying in New York?

Mysterious 'white nose syndrome' spreading at alarming rate

Bats dying
©Mike Groll / AP
A team led by Alan Hicks, a wildlife biologist for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, looks for bats in an abandoned limestone mine in Rosendale, N.Y., on Feb. 7.


Hare-less: Yellowstone's Rabbits Have Vanished, Study Says

A new study by the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society found that jack rabbits living in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem have apparently hopped into oblivion. The study, which appears in the journal Oryx, also speculates that the disappearance of jack rabbits may be having region-wide impacts on a variety of other prey species and their predators.

Cloud Lightning

Migratory birds disappear in China storms

BEIJING - About 100,000 migratory birds disappeared in recent fierce snow storms in eastern China, state media reported Sunday.

Cloud Lightning

Tornado Rips Through Alabama Town

Prattville, Ala. - The mayor of a town near Montgomery, Ala., says a tornado has destroyed numerous homes and may have trapped victims in the wreckage.