the earth adorned in a phosphorescent crown of light, as supercharged plasma spewed from the sun smashes into the planet’s magnetosphere, exciting our atmosphere at the poles and generating up to a million megawatts of power in the process. photos by reid weisman and roscosmos from the international space station, which passes over the earth’s poles every ninety minutes. 


Astronaut Terry Virts has been on the space station for months but called this the most spectacular Aurora he’s seen while up there.


Flight over Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) and calf in El Doradillo, Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

Recently, researchers began to use extremely high-resolution satellite pictures and image-processing software to detect whales on or near the ocean’s surface, using these patrons found in right whale’s head (see more  at Nature). The platform can pinpoint things as small as 50 centimeters, although waves and murky water can confuse the program. Southern right whales were chosen to test because they are slow and shallow swimmers, but it could be used to track other animals.