Astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt collects rock samples at Station 1 during the first Apollo 17 extravehicular activity at the Taurus-Littrow landing site, December 1, 1972, using a lunar rake tool.
Credits: Eugene A. Cernan, Apollo 17 Commander / NASA

Researchers from Mount Holyoke College and UMass Amherst are among the teams chosen by NASA to study moon rocks gathered during Apollo missions 50 years ago. These rock samples haven't been unsealed before now. 

Editor's note: After this story was posted Monday afternoon, Mount Washington recorded a peak wind gust of 171 miles per hour - the highest since 1985, and a new February record for the summit.

The original story continues below: 

The Mount Washington Summit Observatory saw some of its highest winds in more than a decade Monday.

Meteorologist Tom Padham said the strong gusts, forecast up to 165 miles per hour, had been buffeting the 6,288-foot-elevation weather station all day.

The Connecticut River.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

As the standoff in Washington, D.C., continues, environmental researchers in western Massachusetts are worried a second government shutdown could throw a wrench in their spring field studies.

The Marine Stress and Ocean Health Lab at the New England Aquarium looks like your typical laboratory. It’s full of humming and whirring machines, beakers and test tubes, digital scales and centrifuges.

What sets it apart is the freezer. At negative 80 degrees Celsius, it houses the world’s largest collection of right whale poop.

Yes, poop.

It's cold outside, you're sick and all you want to do is curl up under the covers until you feel better.

In fact, the need for sleep can be so strong when we're sick that this may be all we can do.