NASA and Cassini mission scientists organized the Wave at Saturn event on July 19, 2013. The agency encouraged everyone on the planet to go outside and wave as Cassini turned its camera toward Earth to snap a series of pictures for a large mosaic of the Saturn system.
This newly released collage is made up of images of people around the world who submitted pictures of themselves waving at Saturn last month. Individuals from more than 40 countries and 30 U.S. states shared more than 1,400 images of themselves waving at the Cassini spacecraft. NASA stitched together the submitted photos and assembled them against a base image of the planet to create this tribute to all Earthlings, agency officials said in a statement. [Related Quiz: How Well Do You Know Our Solar System?] Less «
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This incredible photo of southwestern Saudi Arabia was captured by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station on July 26, 2013.…Read More »
The bright lights of several large Saudi Arabian cities seemingly set the coastline aflame in this view from space. In some regions, on the right of the photo, patchy clouds cloak and blur the twinkling lights.
Much of Saudi Arabia is lightly populated desert, where the skies remain relatively dark at night. Several large cities dot the southwestern coast, where the climate is more moderate. At top left in the image, three brightly lit urban centers are visible: Jeddah, Mecca and Taif.
Jeddah is a gateway city for Islamic pilgrims en route to nearby Mecca, on a journey known as the Hajj. The city of Taif is located on the slopes of the Sarawat Mountains, where the Saudi government retreats in the summer to avoid the desert heat of the capital city, Riyadh. [Related: Images of One-of-a-Kind Places on Earth] Less «
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Amazing peacock spider sex dance
Credit: Jürgen Otto
The animal dances and lifts up its tail-flap, which, once unfurled, resembles an abstract Indian blanket of intense color. The tiny creature hops about,…Read More »
lifts up its legs alternately like an air traffic controller, gesturing this way and that. Its large, furry mouthparts almost make it look like it's smiling, or at least mildly amused at this outrageous act.
Meet the peacock spider. Males from several species within this group of spiders put on remarkable mating displays to win over mates of the opposite gender. Jürgen Otto has done perhaps more than anybody else to document and share footage of this arachnid's terrific breeding ritual — it has even won over people who previously hated spiders, Otto told LiveScience.
Credit: ESO/ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/H. Arce. Acknowledgements: Bo Reipurth
A huge radio telescope in Chile has captured some dazzling views of a baby star lighting up an interstellar cloud about 1,400 light-years from Earth.
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The ALMA radio telescope, a joint project between North America, Europe and Asia, recorded the star birth images. They show the nascent star unleashing material at hundreds of kilometers per second, which then slams into carbon monoxide molecules, causing them to glow. The glowing object spawned by the newborn star is what scientists call a Herbig-Haro object. European Southern Observatory officials used the new views to create a video tour of new star birth images.
Long ago, when the Earth had only one continent and one ocean, an earthquake rippled through western North America's great sand sea. The early Jurassic…Read More »
earthquake left its mark in the vast dunes that now form the famous red cliffs of Zion National Park in Utah, a new study finds.
The seismic waves violently shook the water-saturated ground beneath the giant dune field, sending liquefied sand spurting up through the dunes like a volcano, researchers believe. Some 180 million years later, these sand blowouts, which look like cylindrical pipes, were discovered in the Navajo Sandstone.
Last night's Blue Moon captivated stargazers around the world.
Although yesterday's (Aug. 20) full moon didn't look visibly different from other full moons during the year — the Blue Moon moniker simply denotes the third full moon in a season with four full moons — stargazers used the specially named moon as an excuse to look up at the sky for a night.
NASA's long-lived Opportunity Mars rover has reached the site where it will wait out its sixth Red Planet winter.
Opportunity — which touched down on…Read More »
Mars in January 2004 just after its twin, Spirit, arrived on the planet — is studying rocks at the foot of a location called Solander Point, whose north-facing slope will allow the robot to tilt its solar panels toward the sun during the coming southern Martian winter.
A recent helicopter ride over an active volcano resulted in spectacular images of steam, lava and ash billowing from Alaska's Veniaminof volcano. The…Read More »
8,225-foot-tall (2,507 meters) volcano has erupted on-and-off since June 13, melting snow and ice and strewing ash and volcanic debris across the summit.
On Aug. 18, geologists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) and Dickinson College in Pennsylvania flew over the summit to survey the ongoing eruption. Photos taken during the flight show a cone built above the active volcanic vent inside Veniaminof's caldera, a giant crater formed during a massive eruption about 3,700 years ago. Steam rises from the foot of the cone, where streaming lava melts snow and ice. Ash rises in bursts from the vent, according to the AVO's Veniaminof report. The cone is about 1,080 feet (330 m) tall, the AVO said.
Pandas love themselves some bamboo, and the plant makes up most of their diet. Thousands of miles away in Africa, bamboo is also an important food for…Read More »
Its existence there, though, is a bit of a mystery, hidden away as it is up African mountains, a long way from where most varieties live in Asia. Scientists assumed that African and Asian bamboos were similar, but nobody had taken a comprehensive look, until now. New research shows that African bamboos represent two entirely new species, which are quite different from the varieties found in Asia and South America, according to a study published today (Aug. 23) in the journal Phytokeys.
Amazing new photos and video of the elusive red lightning called sprites are helping researchers understand how the mysterious electric bursts form. …Read More »
Sprites last less than a second as they dance on the tops of thunderstorms. Many viewers say the clusters of charged particles look like jellyfish — big, red balls with tendrils that reach down into the clouds. But red sprites take many shapes, from crowns to carrots, and researchers still don't why. Because few sprites are seen from the ground, thanks to obscuring storms, scientists are hunting them from the air.
With a mouse click, viewers anywhere can be transported to the serene underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef.
Google Street View has partnered with…Read More »
scientists to create 360-degree panoramas of the world's coral reefs, called Google Street View Oceans. New ocean sites continue to be added to the project, which was released in 2012. The science team hopes to develop a rigorous system for monitoring the coral's health while giving the public a chance to explore these beautiful but vulnerable ecosystems.