What is antimatter and how is it used?

Answered by Jagoda Urban-KlaehnIdaho American Nuclear Society (ANS) Board MemberRadiation & Positron SpectroscopyIsotope Production & Co-AssayIdaho National Laboratory Antimatter might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it’s more fact than fiction. Antimatter is a mirror reflection of matter that was originally created in the Big Bang, in the very beginning of the…

What makes a heat wave?

Question Answered by Nicole Desmet, Meteorologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello, Idaho A heat wave is simply a period of prolonged period of very hot, uncomfortable temperatures. Typically a heat wave lasts two or more days. Several factors can influence how hot temperatures can get, where temperatures will be warmest and how long it will be that…

What happens to rain when lightning strikes it?

Answered by Travis Wyatt, Meteorologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello, ID Any rain in the path of lightning will turn to steam. Lightning can heat the air anywhere from 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 60,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The surface of the sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. So, lightning is extremely hot. Lightning traveling down a…

Are there any ecological impacts from the dam and power plant system in Idaho Falls, especially relating to fish movement across the concrete barrier at the Broadway Bridge?

Great question about dams!   While dams change the ecological makeup of any river that they are placed in, their biggest impact for fish comes in relation to movement.  Unless a dam is specifically built to allow fish to move both downstream and upstream, it becomes a barrier.  To some fish this is more critical than…

What makes a foggy day?

Answered by Nicole Peterson, Meteorologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello Office Fog is simply a cloud, but on the ground. In order for fog to form, there needs to be moisture in the air. Fog typically forms overnight when the air near the ground cools, and disappears in the morning when the sun warms up the air.…

I noticed this week (October 8th), that though the water of the South Fork in the Ririe area is clear, there are huge clumps of algae in the water and covering the rocks. I’ve never noticed this much algae before. Is there a reason?

Question answered by Gregg Losinski, Environmental Science Educator This is a great question based on an interesting observation. Like many great questions, the answer may not be a simple one. Without knowing what exactly was being observed it is hard to give a definitive answer, but the potential answers are all possible. The most important…