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Image of the Day: August 2014

Over Earth

Auroras Over North America

(Image credit: NASA)

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this stunning photo of auroras dancing across Earth's atmosphere. Wiseman snapped the image on Aug. 20, 2014, as the International Space Station flew over North America. [Related Gallery: Northern Lights Dazzle in Night-Sky Images]

Picture Perfect

Glacier National Park

(Image credit: National Park Service)

The pristine landscape of Glacier National Park in Montana makes for some breathtaking views. Today (Aug. 25), the National Park Service is celebrating its 98th anniversary by offering free admission to all national parks. Several sites will host special events, including concerts, to mark the occasion.

Glacier National Park covers more than 1,500 square miles (4,000 square kilometers) of land, and encompasses parts of two mountain ranges. The region is home to mountain goats, grizzly bears, wolverines and hundreds of species of birds. [Related: 8 Amazing National Park Structures]

Happy Birthday, Bao Bao!

Panda Cub Bao Bao's Birthday

(Image credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Bao Bao the giant panda cub celebrated her first birthday on Aug. 23. The Smithsonian's National Zoo marked the occasion with a public celebration that included a special talk from the zoo's panda-keeper.

The panda cub also enjoyed a tiered cake made of frozen diluted apple juice with slices of apples and pears. Animal keepers dyed parts of the cake pink with beet juice, and instead of icing, a large number 1 was carved from frozen juice and placed at the top of the festive treat. [Related Gallery: Giant Panda Mei Xiang Gives Birth]

Under the Sea

NASA's SABOR Experiment

(Image credit: NASA/SABOR/Wayne Slade, Sequoia Scientific)

NASA's Ship-Aircraft Bio-Optical Research (SABOR) experiment is designed to study microscopic plants that make up the base of the ocean's food chain. In this photo, a type of seaweed called Sargassum floats by an instrument that was deployed on July 26, 2014.

Scientists are monitoring how light becomes polarized in different conditions above and below the ocean's surface. [Related Gallery: Creatures from the Census of Marine Life]

"Me Time"

Sea Otter in Glacier Bay National Park

(Image credit: National Park Service)

A sea otter grooms itself in Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

Starving Bacteria

Bacillus Subtilis Forming Spores

(Image credit: Masaya Fujita, University of Houston)

This photo shows a population of Bacillus subtilis, which is a bacterium commonly found in soil. A recent study by scientists at Rice University and the University of Houston, both in Texas, found that B. subtilis forms a spore when food is scarce.

In this image, non-sporulating cells are dark blue, and cells that have begun spore formation can be seen dividing asymmetrically into large (yellow) and small (pink). [Related Gallery: Bacteria in Your Belly Button]

Live Science Staff
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