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The Voyage of the Atka

Although the International Geophysical Year is in 1957-58, it has actually begun. An icebreaker has cruised to Antarctica not only to survey sites for the IGY but also to gather geophysical facts

By Paul A. Humphrey

The Interior of the Earth

Perhaps more inaccessible than the nearest star, it is revealed by earthquakes. These indicate that matter in the earth's inner core is so highly compressed that it is twice as rigid as steel

By K. E. Bullen

The Origin of Continents

The evidence of the rocks suggests that the great land masses grew by cycles in which chains of volcanoes rose from the sea and sediment washed into the deep troughs along their flanks

By Marshall Kay

Glaciers

Ice plays a critical role in the water economy of the earth. About 86 per cent of it is in the Antarctic, where it exerts a profound influence on the weather in all parts of the world

By William O. Field

The Circulation of the Oceans

Driven by winds, the ocean waters flow in complex patterns whose broad outlines are beginning to be understood. Curiously, tiny ripples rather than large waves take up most of the winds' energy

By Walter Munk

The Earth from Space

The photograph on the next two pages is the most revealing yet made of the earth. It was exposed in a rocket at a height of 143.4 miles, which for all practical purposes is outside the earth's atmosphere

The Circulation of the Atmosphere

Powered by solar energy equivalent to nearly seven million atomic bombs, persistent winds weave vast three-dimensional patterns of which our daily weather charts show mere eddies

By Harry Wexler

The Ionosphere

Above the stratosphere the sparse atoms and molecules of air are disrupted by the harsher radiations of the sun. A revealing and useful property of this mantle is its reflection of radio waves

By T. N. Gautier

Aurora and Airglow

Under bombardment by solar corpuscles the atmosphere lights up like a neon tube in intermittent auroral displays. It also shines with a steady glow which is usually too dim to be seen

By C. T. Elvey and Franklin E. Roach

The Earth's Magnetism

The fact that the grains of ancient rocks are lined up like tiny compass needles has led to the astonishing conclusion that the earth's magnetic poles have wandered and reversed

By S. K. Runcorn

The Earth's Gravity

The attraction of the planet for objects on its surface varies with their geographic position. These differences indicate that the earth has curious bumps. They also cause discrepancies in athletic records

By Weikko A. Heiskanen

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: September 1955

  • Science and the Citizen: September 1955

  • Books

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, September 1955

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist

  • Departments

    The Authors

  • Bibliography

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September 1955

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