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Image description: This graphic shows a wobbly polar vortex configuration in comparison to a more typical, compact configuration.
Learn how this wobbly polar vortex caused the recent cold spell across the country. 
Image from NOAA.

Image description: This graphic shows a wobbly polar vortex configuration in comparison to a more typical, compact configuration.

Learn how this wobbly polar vortex caused the recent cold spell across the country.

Image from NOAA.

Image description: This is Niijima, Earth’s newest island. It formed in late November as a result of volcanic activity in the Pacific “Ring of Fire.” The island is located about 1,000 miles south of Tokyo. Learn more about this new island.Photo from NASA.

Image description: This is Niijima, Earth’s newest island. It formed in late November as a result of volcanic activity in the Pacific “Ring of Fire.”

The island is located about 1,000 miles south of Tokyo.

Learn more about this new island.

Photo from NASA.

Image description: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer isn’t just a children’s story. New research shows that some reindeer actually do have red noses. 
Read the new science from Smithsonian Magazine on what makes some reindeer noses red.
Photo from Smithsonian Magazine.

Image description: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer isn’t just a children’s story. New research shows that some reindeer actually do have red noses.

Read the new science from Smithsonian Magazine on what makes some reindeer noses red.

Photo from Smithsonian Magazine.

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From the Department of Interior:

The mixture of blowing snow and clouds creates a wintery scene on the divide in Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado. Clouds form due to orographic lift, when air masses rise as they hit mountain ranges and condense into these low clouds that blanket the peaks. Photo: Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Image description:

From the Department of Interior:

The mixture of blowing snow and clouds creates a wintery scene on the divide in Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado. Clouds form due to orographic lift, when air masses rise as they hit mountain ranges and condense into these low clouds that blanket the peaks.

Photo: Rocky Mountain National Park. 

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From the National Archives:

Wright Brothers Take Flight
On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful sustained powered flight of a heavy-than-air vehicle near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Surfman John T. Daniel of the U.S. Life-Saving Service snapped this picture when the Wright Flyer made its historic first flight.

“Original Wright Brothers 1903 Aeroplane (‘Kitty Hawk’) in first flight, December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, NC. Orville Wright at controls. Wilbur Wright at right (First flight was 12 seconds)”By Orville Wright and John T. Daniels, December 17, 1903 (165-WW-713-6); Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs; Record Group 165; National Archives.

via Archives.gov: Testimony to Flight

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From the National Archives:

Wright Brothers Take Flight

On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful sustained powered flight of a heavy-than-air vehicle near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Surfman John T. Daniel of the U.S. Life-Saving Service snapped this picture when the Wright Flyer made its historic first flight.

Original Wright Brothers 1903 Aeroplane (‘Kitty Hawk’) in first flight, December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, NC. Orville Wright at controls. Wilbur Wright at right (First flight was 12 seconds)
By Orville Wright and John T. Daniels, December 17, 1903 (165-WW-713-6); Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs; Record Group 165; National Archives.

via Archives.gov: Testimony to Flight