Great Big Story

The Colorado Towns That Turned Up the Stars

It wasn’t easy to banish streetlights and signs. “Frontier people don’t like being told what to do.”

Elise Amendola/AP

America's Most Popular Baby Names Inspired by Weather

Autumn ranks first, while surprisingly unpopular monikers include Thunder and Frost.

Capturing the Beauty of Berlin's Skies, One Day at a Time

Ewa Tuteja’s ambitious photography project is a “homage to the beauty of the sky.”


'Terrifying and Gorgeous' Visions of Our Sun

As a solar observatory reaches its 10th anniversary, here are some jewels from its mission.


A Space View of Puerto Rico's Massive Blackout

A catastrophic power interruption has kept much of the island in the dark.

© Mustafah Abdulaziz/WWF-UK

The Global Water Crisis, in Pictures

The photographer Mustafah Abdelaziz documents sustainability and inequality across the world.

A Weird Blob Over Alabama Turns Out to Be a Military Test

The stationary “cloud" was a controlled release of something called chaff.

Michael Fiala/Reuters

California's Soberanes Wildfire Is the Most Expensive in U.S. History

The product of an illegal campfire, the active blaze has cost $207 million to battle.


The Mighty, Ever-Sucking Maw of the Mississippi River

NASA created this animation showing all the rivers that flow into the Mighty Mississip’.

NASA/C. Starr

Another Dismal Year for Arctic Sea Ice

The ice’s summer extent has tied for second-lowest in the modern record.

Karen Parker/FWC

Flooding Pushes 7 Manatees Onto a Florida Golf Course

They got trapped for days in a water hazard.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The Racial Justice Flaws in California's Climate Bill

California’s climate change bill has reduced overall greenhouse gas emissions, but not air pollution in black and Latino neighborhoods.

3 Surreal Scenes From Typhoon Meranti

A runaway moon, a painful lesson on why you never ride a scooter in a hurricane….

Jodie L. Rummer/JCU

Will Global Warming Make Fish Stupid?

Ocean acidification seems to make certain fish blind to predators.

Charlie Riedel/AP

The Earth Gets Scorched With Back-to-Back Hottest Months

August and July tied for the warmest months globally in 136 years of records.

Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

Louisiana's Extreme Rainfall Isn't So Rare Anymore

According to NOAA, climate change has as much as doubled the odds for the kind of heavy downpour that flooded parts of the Central Gulf Coast.

Azimuth Land Craft

Does Washington, D.C., Need a Climate-Change Memorial?

This proposed monument would have rising seas slowly drown D.C.’s famous cherry trees.

Nacho Doce/Reuters

The Earth Lost 10 Percent of Its Wilderness in Only 2 Decades

The rate at which pristine areas are being destroyed is “catastrophic,” say scientists.

Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

Venice's Vast New Flood Barrier Is Almost Here

Work began this week on the last section. Will it do the trick?