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Best Earth Images of the Month September 2012

Twice the beauty

A double rainbow photographed on Sep. 1., 2012.

(Image credit: Jonmikel Pardo)

Wyoming resident Jonmikel Pardo took this spectacular photograph of a double rainbow on Sep. 1. from his backyard in Lander, Wyo.

"It was just after a fast-moving thunderstorm passed through," he told OurAmazingPlanet. "There was a break in the clouds just as the sun was about to set behind the mountains. The break was large enough to allow the full sunlight through and the rainbow was incredibly bright, even more so with the dark storm surrounding us."

[Full Story: Amazing Photo: Double Rainbow Over Wyoming]

Double trouble

Tropical Depression Kristy and Hurricane Lane

(Image credit: NASA)

Hurricane season is still in full force in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean basins, as can be seen in a NASA satellite photo that shows two storms churning over the eastern Pacific.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite took the above image of Tropical Depression Kristy and Tropical Storm Lane at 11:45 a.m. PDT on Sept. 16.

[Full Story: Arresting Image: Two Storms Swirl Over Pacific]

Bird's-eye view

Guatemala's Fuego volcano

(Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

When Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted yesterday afternoon (Sept. 13), a NASA satellite had a bird's-eye view on the spectacle.

The Fuego eruption is causing ash to fall in the surrounding area, prompting evacuation orders for as many as than 33,000 people, according to news reports. It is also spewing lava flows that are traveling up to 2,000 feet (500 meters) down the mountain and creating pyroclastic flows, clouds of flowing hot gas and debris.

[Full Story: Satellite Gets Bird's-Eye Shot of Guatemala Volcano Erupting]


cute baby animals

(Image credit: Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park)

The San Diego Zoo's panda cub is starting to open his eyes, to adorable effect.

During an exam on Wednesday morning, animal care staff could see the cub's eyes beginning to open, the zoo said in a release. The development is right on track for the 45-day old male cub. It will take about another 20 days for the eyes to be fully open.

[Full Story: Panda Plays Peak-a-Boo During Checkup]

Timid find

Camera trap image of a lesula monkey

(Image credit: Courtesy of Kate Detwiler)

A shy, brightly colored monkey species has been found living in the lush rainforests at the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a find that utterly surprised the researchers who came upon it.

"When I first saw it, I immediately knew it was something new and different I just didn't know how significant it was," said John Hart, a veteran Congo researcher who is scientific director for the Lukuru Wildlife Research Foundation, based in Kinshasa.

[Full Story: New, Colorful Monkey Species Discovered]

Shimmering Crowd

A large school of sardines in the Monterey Bay Aquarium's "Open Sea" exhibit.

(Image credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Hovden Cannery in Monterey, Calif., once took Pacific sardines by the thousands and put the silvery fish into tins to be eaten. But the cannery is long gone, and (live) sardines serve a different purpose at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where the cannery once stood: amazing curious visitors.

This photograph shows a large school of sardines in the aquarium's "Open Sea" exhibit. Sardines school to avoid predators, said curator Paul Clarkson. "It's a safety-in-numbers gambit," he told OurAmazingPlanet. "This makes it harder for a predator to target any single individual."

[Full Story: Cool Photo: A Glistening School of Sardines]

Billowing Mist

San Francisco Fog Satellite Image

(Image credit: NASA)

If any type of weather is synonymous with San Francisco, it's probably fog. It rolls in off the Pacific Ocean and envelops the city, swathing famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite caught an overhead view of fog rolling in to the city on Aug. 16.

[Full Story: Satellite Sees Fog Roll Into San Francisco]

Surprising shark shot

Hammerhead sharks

(Image credit: Wayne Davis)

Wayne Davis has been spotting fish for 40 years, flying his airplane low over the water in search of bluefin tuna and swordfish. Usually he guides commercial fishermen to them.

But in all of his flights over the Atlantic from his home in Wakefield, R.I., he's seen a lot of other animals, including sharks and whales. And he's taken photographs.

[Full Story: Whales & Sharks from Above: A Fish Spotter's Amazing Tale]

Live Science Staff
For the science geek in everyone, Live Science offers a fascinating window into the natural and technological world, delivering comprehensive and compelling news and analysis on everything from dinosaur discoveries, archaeological finds and amazing animals to health, innovation and wearable technology. We aim to empower and inspire our readers with the tools needed to understand the world and appreciate its everyday awe.