Did you get wind of the geomagnetic storm?

A geomagnetic storm is a temporary disturbance of the Earth's magnetosphere caused by a solar wind shock wave and/or cloud of charged particles,​which interacts with the Earth's magnetic field.  Space weather phenomena associated with,​ or caused by geomagnetic storms​ include: Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) events, geomagnetically induced current (GIC), ionospheric disturbances, and auroral displays at much lower latitudes than normal.

Learn More:

Geomagnetism FAQs

Introduction to Geomag

Real-Time Geomagnetic Conditions

USGS and Its Role in Space Weather Monitoring

USGS Observatories

Space Weather Applications

Monitoring the Earth's Dynamic Magnetic Field

Sign me up!

Did you know that you may volunteer with USGS?  Whether it is online help with our National Mapping efforts, in the field aiding our Hawaiian Volcanoes team, or supporting many other USGS tasks, you, can make a contribution to science.  Often you will have the best success in finding a volunteer position by directly contacting a USGS office or USGS scientist and asking them about possibilities.

Learn More:

Basics About USGS

Volunteer for Science: Questions and Answers




A Canary in a Coal Mine?

Well into the 20th century, coal miners brought canaries into coal mines as an early-warning signal for detecting toxic gases. Coal use in the United States began around 2,000 years ago, when early inhabitants of this continent probably gathered coal from outcroppings, beaches, and streambeds. Coal mining by European-Americans began in Virginia, in the Richmond Basin, between 1720 and 1750.  Our Energy Resources Program maintains Coal Databases.

Learn More:

Coal FAQs
Coalbed Gas
Glossary of Coal Classification System
Coal Assessments

What do glaciers and pigs have in common?

They both have snouts.  Glaciers periodically retreat or advance, depending upon their mass balance. This is their snow accumulation balanced against evaporation and melting (ablation)​. Glacial retreat and advance refer only to the position of the terminus, or snout, of the glacier.  To better understand the modern glacier environment, take a look at the photo Glossary of Glacier Terminology.

​Learn More:

Glacier FAQs

Glaciers and icecaps: Storehouses of freshwater

Retreat of Glaciers in Glacier National Park

Benchmark Glaciers

Is that Santa and his reindeer?

It might just be the Landsat 8 satellite streaking northward in the nighttime sky. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) are instruments onboard the Landsat 8 satellite, which was launched in February of 2013. The satellite collects images of the Earth with a 16-day repeat cycle, referenced to the Worldwide Reference System-2.  (Landsat 8 doesn't use reindeer.)

Learn More:

Landsat 8 FAQs
International Ground Station Network
Landsat Image Gallery
Satellite and Sensor Information
Landsat 8 History