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TIME Beautiful Phenomena

TIME Beautiful Phenomena

TIME Beautiful Phenomena

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, celebrate the planet and the global holiday that spawned the modern environmental movement devoted to preserving, protecting, and celebrating earth with Beautiful Phenomena from editors of TIME. This special edition pairs stunning photographs with clear, authoritative text that explains the how, what, why and when of nature’s wonders, including eclipses, rainbows, lightning, supermoons, auroras and so much more. Learn about the scientific breakthroughs that come from observing solar eclipses and other natural phenomena over the centuries, and discover the latest theories about them that are emerging today. From space, to the oceans, or land, these natural wonders hold the keys to our understanding of the world around us. Explore their mysteries with TIME Beautiful Phenomena.

Land:
United States
Sprache:
English
Verlag:
Meredith Corporation
Erscheinungsweise:
One-off
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2 Min.
happy birthday, earth day!

Five decades ago, in the spring of 1970, the lengthy U.S. war in Vietnam had driven Americans into bitterly opposed camps. Yet citizens of all stripes came together that year to support a new cause that crossed lines of age, politics and incomes: the environmental movement. The first green shoots of this new crusade emerged in 1962, when writer Rachel Carson published her broadside against chemical pesticides, Silent Spring. Then, in 1969, an oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif., brought images of dying marine animals covered with oily goo into U.S. homes. Later that year, Cleveland’s polluted Cuyahoga River caught fire, a telling image of the nation’s fouled landscape. These events spurred Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin to call for a nationwide “Earth Day” to focus attention on…

1 Min.
earth’s extremes

Earth is a water planet: the oceans cover some 71% of its surface, and that’s a good thing, for life as we know it demands water to flourish. Life requires other necessities as well, including a climate that’s neither too hot nor too cold. Earth is the right distance from the sun to offer such a range of benign temperatures; it orbits the nearest star within a ring scientists call the Circumstellar Habitable Zone or, more memorably, the Goldilocks Zone—where key factors of temperature and atmosphere are “just right” for humans, plants and animals to thrive. Yet if our planet occupies a fortunate middle ground in the solar system, the globe itself is home to wild extremes of height and depth, heat and cold, wet and dry. We open our…

1 Min.
lofty and low

Where Old Salts Gather Here’s the lowdown on the Dead Sea: its surface and shores are the lowest places on the land planet, lying about 1,371 feet below sea level. The landlocked lake (it’s not a real sea) lies in a rift valley between two tectonic plates and is fed by the Jordan River. More than 30% of its content is salt, making it almost 10 times as salty as the oceans. As with Utah’s Great Salt Lake, immersing yourself in its waters is more like floating than swimming. Citadel Under Siege Soaring into the sky, the summit of Mount Everest is the highest point on Earth, at 29,029 feet above sea level. But Everest, known to the indigenous Nepalese as Sagarmatha, is a victim of its own grandeur: in recent years too…

1 Min.
tempests and deserts

Here’s That Rainy Day What’s the rainiest single place on the planet? That would be the tiny village of Mawsynram in India’s northeastern state of Meghalaya. It’s perched some 4,600 feet above sea level, amid the Khasi Hills, whose bluffs force incoming winds into a tight channel of uplifting air that is filled with condensing moisture. Result: Mawsynram receives 465 inches of rain in an average year. Locals adapt by weaving rain covers out of bamboo, broom grass and plastic sheeting. These “knups” shield against the torrents—and make wearers resemble human tortoises. The Dry and the Mighty The planet’s driest desert is the Atacama, a 600-mile-long elevated plateau that lies west of Chile’s Andes and east of its Chilean Coast Range. These towering heights form what meteorologists call a “rain shadow” that bars…

1 Min.
hottest, coldest

Sunscreen Recommended July 10, 1913, was a warm day in California’s Death Valley, above. OK, it was very warm: that’s when the legendary hot spot recorded the highest ambient air temperature ever measured on Earth, a toasty 134°F. The 140-mile-long valley notched the highest ground temperature in 1972: 201°F. Both hallmarks were set at the aptly named Furnace Creek. Death Valley is the lowest, hottest and driest area in the U.S. Its average rainfall: less than 2 inches a year. A Frozen Desert Australians call their nation, which is a full continent, “Down Under.” But down under Down Under, there’s another continent almost twice its size: Antarctica. Surrounded by the Southern Ocean, Antarctica’s 5.5 million square miles of land are, on average, the coldest, driest and windiest region on the planet. Its climate…

1 Min.
extreme waters

Russia’s Mystery Lake Smack-dab in the middle of southern Siberia lies one of the most unusual bodies of water on the planet: Lake Baikal. Less famed than it ought to be, Baikal commands a full shelf of trophies: it is, by far, the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world, equivalent to all five of the Great Lakes combined. It is also the world’s deepest and oldest lake: scientists estimate it is 25–30 million years old. Its waters extend more than 5,300 feet below its surface, yet more than four more miles of heavy sediment lie between the lake’s lowest waters and the bottom of the rift valley that shaped it—the deepest tectonic-rift valley on the land planet. Superiority Complex If the state of Maine craved a bath, Lake Superior might be…