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Science Bulletin

Urban Sprawl: Phoenix

Most people think of urban sprawl as the construction of roads and buildings at a rate that exceeds population growth. Phoenix, Arizona, however, offers a contrasting model of sprawl. Its metropolitan area has grown more than 300 percent in recent decades, but its population has grown even faster. Since the mid-1980's, the city's population density has increased as people continue to move to the region even as the urban area's boundaries have grown more slowly. This trend is by necessity, since the water supply cannot feed an ever-expanding metropolitan area.

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Essay: Stars in Exquisite Accuracy

There’s only one star that astronomers have a firm grasp on: the Sun. Fundamental facts about other stars remain elusive. Find out how a powerful interferometer atop Mount Wilson in Southern California hopes to change that.

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Article

The Enigma of High Energy Cosmic Rays

In 1912, Viktor Hess took to the sky in a hot-air balloon and discovered a radioactive energy now called “cosmic rays.” Travel to Argentina to see how scientists now hope to discover at long last where the highest-energy cosmic rays are coming from.

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Article: An Ode to O

Where would the world be without oxygen? While it's hard to imagine an Earth without it, for nearly the first half of the planet's 4.5-billion-year history, Earth had no oxygen gas as part of its atmosphere.

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Article: Earth Without Oxygen

Where would the world be without oxygen? While it's hard to imagine an Earth without it, for nearly the first half of the planet's 4.5-billion-year history, Earth had no oxygen gas as part of its atmosphere.

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Article: Life Makes a Mark

One of the biggest forces that's shaped planet Earth over time is microscopic in size. Explore the global impact of microbes.

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Ghosts of Tsunamis Past

By unearthing sediment deposits tsunamis leave behind, scientists can study the waves' origins, extent, and frequency — and identify locations that have the geological apparatus to produce a tsunami, but haven't in written history.

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From Math to Maps

A tsunami hasn't affected the Pacific Northwest coast since 1964, yet bright-blue metal signs warning of them dot coastal streets. Find out why scientists are certain these communities are at risk.

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Fear the Future Tsunami?

Why did Hawaiian officials evacuate Hilo Bay in 1986 after a 7.7 earthquake but call off an evacuation in 2003 after a 7.8 one? The answer is DART. Learn more.

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