This image from NASA's Terra satellite covers an area of 34 by 25 miles over the southwest part of the Malaspina Glacier and Icy Bay in Alaska. The composite of infrared and visible bands results in the snow and ice appearing light blue, dense vegetation is yellow-orange and green, and less vegetated, gravelly areas are in orange. The Malaspina Glacier is currently thinning. Its terminal moraine protects it from contact with the open ocean; without the moraine, or if sea level rises sufficiently to reconnect the glacier with the ocean, the glacier would start calving and retreat significantly. NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDA C/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team
Astronaut Joseph R. Tanner, STS-82 mission specialist, is backdropped against Earth's limb and a sunburst effect in this 35mm frame exposed by astronaut Gregory J. Harbaugh, his extravehicular activity crew mate. Harbaugh's torso is reflected in Tanner's helmet visor. The two were making their second space walk in 1997. NASA
The history of sea islands in the Altamaha River delta on the coast of Georgia, USA is revealed in this image produced from data acquired by the Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar, developed and operated by NASA. The outlines of long-lost plantation rice fields, canals, dikes and other inlets are clearly defined. Salt marshes are shown in red, while dense cypress and live oak tree canopies are seen in yellow-greens. NASA/JPL/University of Edinburgh
The Lunar Roving Vehicle gets a speed workout by astronaut John W. Young in the 'Grand Prix' run during the third Apollo 16 Extravehicular Activity (EVA-3) at the Descartes landing site. This view is a frame from motion picture film exposed by a 16mm Maurer camera held by astronaut Charles M. Duke, Jr. While astronaut's Young, commander, and Duke, lunar module pilot, descended in the Lunar Module (LM) 'Orion' to explore the Descartes highlands region of the Moon, astronaut Thomas K. Mattingly II, command module pilot, remained with the Command and Service Module 'Casper' in lunar orbit. NASA
Astronaut Ellen Ochoa, STS-110 mission specialist, looks through the window of the Destiny laboratory on the International Space Station as she views portions of the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Canadarm2. It was during the STS-110 mission in 2002 that the Canadian-developed ISS robotic arm was used to maneuver spacewalkers around the station for the first time. NASA
These images of 'yardangs', features sculpted by wind-blown sand seen here near Olympus Mons on Mars, were obtained by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on board the ESA Mars Express spacecraft. This scene shows a structure south of Olympus Mons, which was probably formed by the action of the wind. Loose sand fragments were transported by wind, and impacted on the bedrock, slowly removing parts of the surface, like a sand-blaster. ESA/NASA
In one of the most detailed astronomical images ever produced, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured an unprecedented look at the Orion Nebula. This turbulent star formation region is one of astronomy's most dramatic and photogenic celestial objects. More than 3,000 stars of various sizes appear in this image. Some of them have never been seen in visible light. NASA/ESA/T. Megeath/University of Toledo/M. Robberto/STScI
NASA's Langley Research Center scientists use this plexiglass space station airlock test model to determine astronauts' ability to move in and out through an airlock with the restraint of a pressurized suit in 1966. Operations in space that call for crew transfer between spacecraft require airlocks of some kind. Mobility and performance in airlock systems must be determined to establish geometry and associated hardware for equipment suitable for manned space vehicle use. The airlock prevents artificial atmosphere loss when an astronaut transfers from one spacecraft to another or from the interior to the exterior in the performance of duties. NASA
This prominent circular feature, known as the Richat Structure, in the Sahara desert of Mauritania is often noted by astronauts because it forms a conspicuous 30-mile-wide bull's-eye on the otherwise rather featureless expanse of the desert. Initially mistaken for a possible impact crater, it is now known to be an eroded circular anticline (structural dome) of layered sedimentary rocks. NASA/JPL/NIMA
On December 27, 2004, a neutron star flared up so brightly, it temporarily blinded all the X-ray satellites in space for an instant, and lit up the Earth's upper atmosphere. This tremendous blast of energy was from a giant flare created by the neutron star's twisting magnetic field. Objects like this are called magnetars, and they produce magnetic fields trillions of time more powerful than those here on Earth. These fields are so strong they can actually buckle the surface of the neutron star causing these powerful star quakes. NASA
On Sunday, South African President Jacob Zuma said former president and national hero Nelson Mandela's health was improving. Mandela has been in the hospital for 9 days with a recurring lung infection.
Jason Straziuso, Associated Press /
June 16, 2013
Former South African President Nelson Mandela is engaging with his family and seeing improvement from the recurring lung infection that forced him to spend a ninth day in the hospital Sunday, the president said.