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We invite you to join the Earth Portal Community now and receive updates about its progress and about the Earth Portal. Credit: NOAA. A thunderstorm is a form of severe weather involving lightning and thunder.
Thunderstorms have had a lasting and powerful influence on mankind. Romans thought them to be battles waged by Jupiter. Thunderstorms were associated with the Thunderbird , held by Native Americans to be a servant of the Great Spirit. Credit: John Kerstholt. Gypsum , by JJ Harrison. Antarctica , the continent surrounding the Earth 's South Pole , is the coldest place on earth and is almost entirely covered by ice.
Antarctica was discovered in late January Too cold and dry to support virtually any vascular plants, Antarctica's flora presently consists of around lichens , mosses , liverworts , and around terrestrial and aquatic algal species.
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Petrified wood , by Daniel Schwen. Mount Redoubt eruption , by R. Winter is one of the four seasons of temperate zones. Meteorological winter is the season having the shortest days which vary greatly according to latitude and the lowest temperatures. Credit: Richard Fabi.
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Ant trapped in Baltic amber , by Baltic-amber-beetle edited by AmericanXplorer Amethyst , by JJ Harrison. Cirrus clouds are composed of ice crystals and shaped like hairlike filaments. They are formed at an altitudes above metres 16, feet. The streaks are made of snowflakes that are falling from the cloud and being caught by the high level winds. The streaks point in the direction of the wind and may appear straight giving the clouds the appearance of a comma cirrus uncinus , or may by seem tangled, an indication of high level turbulence.
Credit: Piccolo Namek. Erosion of the bluff in Pacifica , by mbz1. At higher and higher altitudes, the atmosphere becomes so thin that it essentially ceases to exist. Gradually, the atmospheric halo fades into the blackness of space. Etna is the largest of Italy's three active volcanoes and one of the most active in the whole entire world.
This eruption, one of Etna's most vigorous in years, was triggered by a series of earthquakes.
Credit: Expedition 5 crew. The Richat Structure is a depression in the country of Mauritania , almost 50 km 30 mi across. It was originally thought to be the impact of a meteorite. Now it is thought to be a symmetrical uplift circular anticline or dome that has been exposed to erosion. In this false-color photo, bedrock is brown, sand is yellow and white, vegetation is green, and salty sediments are blue. Credit: Landsat 7. A true-color picture of Ireland , as seen from space, with the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Irish Sea to the east.
This global, interconnected body of salt water , called the World Ocean, is divided by the continents and archipelagos into the following five bodies, from the largest to the smallest: the Pacific Ocean , the Atlantic Ocean , the Indian Ocean , the Southern Ocean , and the Arctic Ocean.
Official boundaries are defined by the International Hydrographic Organization. Credit: Alexandre Van de Sande. Crystalline dolomite and magnesite , by Didier Descouens. Opal , by JJ Harrison. Cassiterite , by Alchemist-hp. Smoky quartz , by JJ Harrison.
Satellite image of Cyclone Gafilo , a powerful Category 5 tropical cyclone which struck Madagascar in March , causing devastating damage. At least people were listed dead, with more missing, and , people were left homeless due to Gafilo. Dundasite by JJ Harrison.
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Azurite , by JJ Harrison. This map shows the tracks of all tropical cyclones that formed worldwide from to The points show the locations of the storms at six-hourly intervals and use the color scheme shown on the right from the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Credit: Nilfanion. Cinnabar , by JJ Harrison.
Northern shore meadows of Sihlsee , an artificial lake near Einsiedeln in the Canton of Schwyz , Switzerland. Credit: Markus Bernet. Volcanic tephra , by Godot Incandescent Pahoeoe Fountain at Shield volcano , by J. Griggs, USGS. It is 22 km long North-South and 5 km wide.
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Its dunes reach a maximum height of meters. It is located roughly 40 kilometers south-east of Erfoud.
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The local center for tourists is the village of Merzouga. Credit: Rosa Cabecinhas and Alcino Cunha. Quartz , by JJ Harrison. Diatomaceous earth , by Richard Wheeler. Mount Hood reflected in Mirror Lake , Oregon. Credit: Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory. Concretions , by Mbz1. Specimen from a palaeontological site of Lebanon , by Mila Zinkova. Creedite , by JJ Harrison.