This image shows average temperatures in April, 2003, observed by AIRS at an infrared wavelength that senses either the Earth's surface or any intervening cloud. Similar to a photograph of the planet taken with the camera shutter held open for a month, stationary features are captured while those obscured by moving clouds are blurred. Many continental features stand out boldly, such as our planet's vast deserts, and India, now at the end of its long, clear dry season. NASA/JPL
Alan Chinchar's 1991 rendition of the Space Station Freedom in orbit is seen in this photo. The painting depicts the completed space station. Earth is used as the image's backdrop with the Moon and Mars off in the distance. Freedom was to be a permanently crewed orbiting base to be completed in the mid 1990's. It was to have a crew of 4. Freedom was an attempt at international cooperation that attempted to incorporate the technological and economic assistance, of the United States, Canada, Japan, and nine European nations. NASA
Flying over the unlit side of Saturn's rings, the Cassini spacecraft captures Saturn's glow, represented in brilliant shades of electric blue, sapphire and mint green, while the planet's shadow casts a wide net on the rings. This striking false-color mosaic was created from 25 images taken by Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer over a period of 13 hours, and captures Saturn in nighttime and daytime conditions. NASA
A crewmember of Expedition One, cosmonaut Yuri P. Gidzenko, is dwarfed by transient hardware aboard Leonardo, the Italian Space Agency-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), a primary cargo of the STS-102 mission. The Leonardo MPLM is the first of three such pressurized modules that will serve as the International Space Station's (ISS's) moving vans, carrying laboratory racks filled with equipment, experiments and supplies to and from the Space Station aboard the Space Shuttle. NASA
The many wing positions of an Oblique Wing Research Aircraft is shown in this multiple-exposure image from NASA. NASA
Dramatic differences in land use patterns are highlighted in this image of the U.S.-Mexico border. Lush, regularly gridded agricultural fields on the US side (left) contrast with the more barren fields of Mexico (right). This June 12, 2000, sub-scene combines visible and near infrared bands, displaying vegetation in red. NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDA C/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team
AM 0644-741, a ring galaxy approximately 300 million light-years away is seen in this 2004 photo. NASA
Pioneer 6 was the first in a series of solar-orbiting, spin-stabilized, solar-cell and battery-powered satellites designed to obtain measurements on a continuing basis of interplanetary phenomena from widely separated points in space. Although the spacecraft has not been regularly tracked for science data return in recent years, a successful telemetry contact was made in Dec. 2000 to celebrate 35 years of continuous operation since launch. NASA
A nebula in the Orion position is seen, nearly 1,500 light-years away, in this 2000 photo from the Hubble Space Telescope. NGC 1999 is an example of a reflection nebula. Like fog around a street lamp, a reflection nebula shines only because the light from an embedded source illuminates its dust; the nebula does not emit any visible light of its own. NASA/The Hubble Heritage Team
A lumpy bubble of hot gas rises from a cauldron of glowing matter in a distant galaxy, as seen by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Galaxy NGC 3079, located 50 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Ursa Major, has a huge bubble in the center of its disc, as seen in the image on the left. NASA/Space Telescope Science Institute
Sophisticated and lethal, growing in number, Islamic State and other extremist groups won't become a global force. Here's why.
BySeth G. Jones, Contributor
Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State Group/AP
Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim looked like any ubiquitous insurgent commander in southern Afghanistan. He had a sunbaked complexion, serried black beard, charcoal eyes, and the usual accessory – an AK-47 slung over his shoulder.