This image depicts a vast canyon of dust and gas in the Orion Nebula from a 3-D computer model based on observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and created by science visualization specialists at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md. A 3-D visualization of this model takes viewers on an amazing four-minute voyage through the 15-light-year-wide canyon. G. Bacon/L. Frattare/Z. Levay/F. Summers/STScI/AURA/NASA
The Aurora Australis, or the Southern Lights, is viewed from the Space Shuttle Endeavour, part of which can be seen in top right foreground of this April 1994 NASA photograph. Newscom/FILE
Spring has sprung on Mars, bringing with it the disappearance of carbon dioxide ice (dry ice) that covers the north polar sand dunes. In spring, the sublimation of the ice (going directly from ice to gas) causes a host of uniquely Martian phenomena. In this image streaks of dark basaltic sand have been carried from below the ice layer to form fan-shaped deposits on top of the seasonal ice. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Aurora Australis lights up the sky over the Australian research station of Davis in the Australian Antarctic Territory in March 2007. Hosung Chung/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom/FILE
This image obtained June 21 from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite observed both storms, Blas (l.) and Celia (r.). The storms were expected to follow westward tracks over the eastern Pacific Ocean. Blas appears in the west and Celia appears in the east, closer to Central America. Jeff Schmaltz/AFP/NASA/Newscom
The red-colored object in this new infrared image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is a sphere of stellar innards, blown out from a humongous star. The star (white dot in center of red ring) is one of the most massive stellar residents of our Milky Way galaxy. Objects like this are called Wolf-Rayet stars, after the astronomers who found the first few, and they make our sun look tiny by comparison. Called V385 Carinae, this star is 35 times as massive as our sun, with a diameter nearly 18 times as large. It's hotter, too, and shines with more than one million times the amount of light. JPL-Caltech/AFP/NASA/Newscom
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hayabusa spacecraft streaks across the sky like a saber of light through the clouds as it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere over the Woomera Test Range in Australia. In Kingoonya, the spacecraft’s re-entry was visible to the human eye for only 15 seconds. Ed Schilling/NASA
Seen here, from the European Southern Observatory (ESO), is the Jupiter-like transiting planet around its solar host star. Astronomers have measured a superstorm for the first time in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, the 'hot Jupiter.' The distant world, orbiting a bright star in the constellation of Pegasus 150 light years from Earth, is known officially as HD 209458b, but has been nicknamed Osiris, the god of the Egyptian underworld. ESO/AFP/Newscom
The Aurora Australis is viewed in June 2008 from Antarctica. Newscom/FILE
The Southern Lights are seen from the International Space Station (ISS) on May 29 as the ISS was located over the Southern Indian Ocean. NASA/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom
Seventy years ago, AP's Joe Rosenthal took the now iconic photo of US Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. The Christian Science Monitor reported why the tiny island played such a huge role in the war's Pacific theater.
ByJoseph C. Harsch, Staff writer
This article originally ran in The Christian Science Monitor on Feb. 23, 1945, on the same day when Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal took the now iconic photo of US Marines raising the nation's flag on the island of Iwo Jima in the Pacific Ocean. The Monitor's Joseph C. Harsch explained at the time why Iwo Jima played such an important role in the US campaign in the Pacific during World War II.