Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Alonzo Gonzales with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, walks through an alley in Methar Lam, Afghanistan, looking for signs of sickness or disease. His clothing is patterned with MARPAT, a modern form of military camouflage.
Photo credit: Cpl. James L. Yarboro, USMC
Lion eating buffalo
Male lion (Panthera leo) and cub eating a Cape Buffalo in Northern Sabi Sand, South Africa. Lions are true predators who can require an average of up to seven kilograms (15 lbs) of meat daily to survive. Large mammals comprise an important part of a lion's diet.
The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is a large sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae. Despite the turtle's common name, it is lightly-colored all around while its carapace's hues range from olive-brown to black. The turtle is actually named for the greenish coloration of its fat and flesh.
Photo Credit: Mila Zinkova
Fulmer Falls is a chute type waterfall located in the George W. Childs Recreation Site in Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania, United States. The falls are downstream from Factory Falls and upstream from Deer Leap Falls. At 16.8 meters (55 feet), it is the largest of the three.
Photo Credit: Derek Ramsey
Great white shark
A great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) swims among a shoal of mackerel at Isla Guadalupe, Mexico. Great white sharks' reputation as ferocious predators is well-earned, yet they are not indiscriminate "eating machines". Although the 1975 film Jaws provided the shark with the image of a "man eater" in the public mind, they typically do not target humans as prey.
Photo credit: Terry Goss
Panoramic view of the geodesic dome structures of the Eden Project, a large-scale environmental complex near St Austell, Cornwall, England. The project was conceived by Tim Smit and is made out of hundreds of hexagons (transparent biomes made of ETFE cushions) that interconnect the whole construction together. The project took 2½ years to construct and opened to the public in March 2001.
Photo credit: Jürgen Matern
European Parliament building, Strasbourg
A sculler rowing in front of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg, France. Although Brussels is usually considered the 'capital' of the European Union, the Parliament meets monthly in Strasbourg. The rival demands of Belgium and France to base parliament in their state has prevented a final agreement as to which city would become the sole seat of parliament.
Photo credit: Andreas Tille
Hacha Grande (562m), in the south of the Canary Island of Lanzarote, viewed from the road to the Monumento Natural de los Ajaches (Punta de Papagayo). Lanzarote is a volcanic island with very low rainfall; much of the south of the island is desert and a barren expanse of lava flows.
Photo credit: Yummifruitbat
Pangong Tso is a lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4500 m (14850 ft). It is 134 km long and extends from India to Tibet. Two thirds of the length of this lake falls in the People's Republic of China. It is only 8 km wide at its broadest point. In winter, the lake freezes completely despite being salt water.
Photo credit: martinl
Havasu Falls, one of the four waterfalls of the Havasupai Indian Reservation, is located near the village of Supai, Arizona. It is the second of four falls on Havasu Creek, which empties into the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River. The water of Havasu Creek has a bluish green tint due to the heavy lime content of the water. The fall is forked and looks like two falls when the river is flowing heavily.
A wide-angle view of Horseshoe Bend, a horseshoe-shaped curve in the Colorado River, from State Route 89. It is located approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Page, Arizona, slightly downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell.
Composite photo of the Sun and Earth, showing the difference in size between the two astronomical objects. Although the Sun is an average-sized star, it is so large that its volume is equivalent to 1.3 million Earths and it contains approximately 99% of the total mass of the solar system.
An HDR image of Tower Bridge at twilight crossing the Sacramento River in Sacramento, California. Completed in 1935, this was the first vertical lift bridge in the California Highway System. It is 52 feet (15.8 m) wide, 737 feet (223.3 m) long, and 160 feet (48.5 m) tall. There are four lanes for cars, and one large center lane for a railroad.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, California is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center. The Frank Gehry-designed building, an example of Deconstructivism, opened on October 23, 2003 and features his trademark steel cladding. While the architecture evoked mixed opinions, the acoustics of the concert hall were widely praised in contrast to its predecessor, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
A view of Calvary Cemetery, Queens, New York, facing towards Manhattan at dusk. The cemetery opened in 1848 in reponse to cholera epidemics and a shortage of burial grounds in Manhattan. It is one of the largest cemeteries in the United States, with nearly three million graves.
A panorama of the Melbourne skyline and parts of the Melbourne Docklands from Yarra's Edge at twilight. The Docklands is an urban redevelopment project which will nearly double the size of the city's central business district when completed in 2015. The suburb is expected to become home to 20,000 people by completion, as well as a workplace for 25,000. The estimated number of visitors per day will be 55,000 (over 20 million a year).
Panoramic photo of the historical part of the city of Porto, Portugal, and the Douro river. Historic references to Portugal's second city date back to the 4th century, although Celtic and pre-Celtic remnants of ancient citadels were found in the heart of where Porto now lies.
Panoramic view of the old town of Salzburg, Austria over the River Salzach as viewed from the Festung or Hohensalzburg Fortress. The birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg lies at the northern boundary of the Alps and was the setting for the film The Sound of Music, which was based on the life of Salzburg resident Maria von Trapp. The city has a long history, with traces of human settlements dating back to the Neolithic Age. Today, it is a popular tourist spot, especially for skiers in the winter.
Red sandstone interior of Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona, worn smooth due to erosion by flash flooding and wind over millions of years. Antelope Canyon is one of the best-known and most-photographed slot canyons in the world. The flash floods that created the canyon are a danger to tourists. Rain does not have to fall on or near the area for flash floods to whip through, as rain falling dozens of miles away 'upstream' of the canyons can funnel into them with little prior notice. On 12 August 1997, eleven tourists in Lower Antelope Canyon were killed by a flash flood. Very little rain fell at the site that day.
This photo of the Nilov Monastery on Stolbnyi Island in Tver Oblast, Russia, was taken by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii in 1910 before the advent of colour photography. His process used a camera that took a series of monochrome pictures in rapid sequence, each through a different coloured filter. By projecting all three monochrome pictures using correctly-coloured light, it was possible to reconstruct the original colour scene.
Old Saint Paul's in Wellington, New Zealand, is an example of 19th-century Gothic Revival architecture adapted to colonial conditions and materials. It is constructed entirely from New Zealand native timbers. While no longer a parish church, it remains consecrated, and is a popular venue for weddings, funerals and other services. This photo of the nave is an example of high dynamic range imaging.
Seen here from the rear at twilight, the London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, is the largest observation wheel in the world at 135 m (443 ft) high. The wheel carries 32 sealed passenger capsules and rotates at a rate of 0.26 m/s (about 0.9 km/h or 0.6 mph) so that one revolution takes about 30 minutes to complete.
A panorama of Australia's most substantial mountain range, the Great Dividing Range, which stretches from the northeastern tip of Queensland to the Grampians in western Victoria and divides the watersheds of streams and rivers which flow directly into the Pacific Ocean on the eastern coast of Australia, from those of the Murray-Darling Basin which flow away from the coast into the interior plains.
The giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus), shown here with a school of golden trevally, is the largest bony fish found in coral reefs, and the aquatic emblem of Queensland, Australia. The species can grow as large as 2.7 meters (9 ft) long, weighing up to 400 kg (880 lb). They are fairly common in shallow waters and feed on a variety of marine life, including small sharks and juvenile sea turtles.
Panorama of the fortified city of Carcassonne (Aude, France) and the Pont Vieux crossing the Aude River. The fortress of Carcassonne was considered impregnable and never conquered. It was begun by the Romans and built up through the years. It fell into disrepair was restored in the 19th century. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lower Manhattan (seen here from the Staten Island Ferry) is the southernmost part of the island of Manhattan, the main island and center of business and government of the City of New York. Lower Manhattan includes City Hall, the Municipal Building, the Financial District and the site of the World Trade Center. This area is also the earliest settled (by Europeans) area, and is one of the few areas of Manhattan that does not have its streets arranged in a strict grid pattern.
With its very distinct Renaissance architecture, the Château de Chambord in Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France, is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world. The massive castle, originally built as a hunting lodge for King François I, features 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces, and 84 staircases. The château was never intended to provide any form of defence from imagined enemies. As such, the walls, towers and partial moat are purely decorative.
The Rathaus or City Hall of Graz, the second-largest city in Austria after Vienna, at dusk. Graz was the 2003 European Capital of Culture and its "Old Town" is included in the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage Sites. Occupying a strategic location, Graz began as Roman fort and survived numerous assaults over the centuries.
A panorama of Machu Picchu Sanctuary, showing the prominent peak of Huayna Picchu. Machu Picchu, probably the most familiar symbol of the Inca Empire, is a well-preserved pre-Columbian Inca ruin located above the Urubamba Valley in Peru at about 2,350 m (7,710 ft). Since 1983 the site has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has been the subject of concern about damage caused by tourism.
Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth and outside of his or her spacecraft. EVAs may be made outside a craft orbiting Earth (a spacewalk) or on the surface of the Moon (a moonwalk). Shown here is Steve Robinson on the first EVA to perform an in-flight repair of the Space Shuttle (August 3, 2005).
The Toda people are a small pastoral tribe of less than 1,000 people who reside in the Nilgiri hills of Southern India. Shown here is a typical Toda hut, about 3 m (10 ft.) high, 5.5 m (18 ft.) long and 2.7 m (9 ft.) wide. They are built of bamboo fastened with rattan and thatched. The hut has only a tiny (about 0.9 x 0.9 m, 3 x 3 ft.) entrance at the front, which serves as protection from wild animals.
Mormon row barns, Grand Teton National Park
A barn at the Grand Teton National Park. The United States National Park, named after Grand Teton of the Teton Range, is located in western Wyoming, south of Yellowstone. The park is located in the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the largest intact temperate zone ecosystems remaining on the planet.
A panoramic image of a neighbourhood in Dinner Plain, a town in Victoria, Australia. The town is located on the Great Alpine Road, 10 kilometres from Mount Hotham Alpine Resort, and 375 kilometres from Melbourne. It has a permanent population of approximately 50, yet has over 200 lodges and chalets for tourist accommodation. It is the only freehold village in the Australian Alps.
A panoramic image of the scenery from Mount Hotham during the summer. Located in Victoria, Australia, Mount Hotham is the highest ski resort village in the country. Its summit rises to an altitude of 1,861 metres above sea level, while Mount Hotham village stands at 1,750 metres. Most of the skiing is based on one side of a large valley and the area connects to the Bogong High Plains.
The Spanish shawl (Flabellina iodinea) is a nudibranch native to the North American west coast, ranging from British Columbia, Canada to Baja California Sur, Mexico, and even the Galápagos Islands. Nudibranchs are carnivorous sea slugs. They are among the most colorful creatures on earth. Their color patterns make them invisible or warn off predators as being distasteful or poisonous.
New York City, nicknamed the "Big Apple," is the most populous city in the United States (8.1 million in 2005) and the most densely populated major city in North America. The city is a center for international finance, fashion, entertainment, and culture, and is widely considered to be one of the world's major global cities. The city proper consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. The city is also distinguished for having the lowest crime rate among the 25 largest American cities.
Leadenhall Market is a covered market that dates back to the 14th century in the City of London, located in Gracechurch Street. The ornate roof structure of the current building, designed in 1881 by Sir Horace Jones, and painted green, maroon, and cream, makes the building a tourist attraction.
Shown here is a spherical panorama of 3 images of the market's interior taken in portrait format.
The Loch Ard Gorge, found in Port Campbell National Park, Victoria, Australia, is named after the clipper ship Loch Ard, which ran aground on nearby Muttonbird Island on 1 June 1878 approaching the end of a three-month journey from England to Melbourne.
Shown here is a panorama of 4 segments taken from the cliffs looking down towards Loch Ard Gorge.
An aerial photo of Malé, the capital of the Republic of Maldives. Malé is located on Malé Island in the Kaafu Atoll, but administratively it is not considered part of Kaafu. The island is heavily urbanised, with the city, one of the most densely populated in the world, taking up essentially its entire landmass. The tsunami resulting from the Indian Ocean earthquake in December 2004 flooded two-thirds of the city.
Mount Hood, a dormant stratovolcano, reflected in the waters of Trillium Lake, Oregon, United States. At 11,249 feet (3,429 metres), Mount Hood is the highest mountain in Oregon and the fourth-highest in the Cascade Range. It is considered an active volcano, but no major eruptive events have been catalogued since systematic record keeping began in the 1820s.
Nandi Hills, Bangalore
Golden Gate Bridge
The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station lies within 100 meters (110 yards) of the Geographic South Pole, making it the southernmost continually inhabited place on the planet. Red lights are used outside during the winter darkness as their spectrum does not pollute the sky, allowing scientists to conduct astrophysical studies without artificial light interference. The green light in the sky is the aurora australis.
Nevado Alpamayo, in the Peruvian Andes, is a steep (sixty degrees), almost perfect pyramid of ice, one of a number of peaks that compose the Santa Cruz massif, the northernmost massif of the Cordillera Blanca. Shown here are three climbers making their ascent (the specks in the area below and to the right of center). It is considered a hard climb, demanding good crampon and axe technique.
Shipka Pass is a scenic mountain pass through Stara Planina in Bulgaria. It is crossed by a road, which runs from Ruse on the Danube River to Stara Zagora and then on to Edirne in Turkey. The maximum altitude of the pass is 1,150 m (3,820 ft). During the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878, Shipka Pass was the scene of a series of conflicts collectively named the Battle of Shipka Pass.
Grand Central Terminal (often still called Grand Central Station) is a train station in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. It is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms: 44, with 67 tracks along them. The four-faced clock on top of the information booth in the center of the Main Concourse (shown here) is perhaps the station's most recognizable icon.
Hanko is a small port city on the south coast of Finland, 130 km west of Helsinki. The city has a coastline of approximately 130 km (80 miles), of which 30 km (19 miles) are sandy beaches. There are also over 90 small islands and islets within the city limits. The skyline of Hanko is dominated by the church and the water tower (from which this photo was taken). Both of them received their current appearance after World War II, as their predecessors were either damaged or destroyed by the Soviet Army.
Monument Valley is located on the southern border of Utah with northern Arizona in the United States. The valley is recognized worldwide, having been featured in such films as The Searchers and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and its iconic buttes (seen here) have served as the backdrop for Marlboro cigarette ads since the 1950s.
Hay is commonly used as fodder for livestock. It is usually stored in bales that are assembled by balers. The most frequently used type of baler is a round baler, which produces cylindrically shaped 'round' or 'rolled' bales (shown here). Round bales can weigh several tons, and are well-suited for modern large scale farming operations such as a dairy with 200 or more cows.
A bog is a wetland type that accumulates acidic peat, a deposit of dead plant material. Bogs are widely distributed in cold, temperate climates, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere. Shown here is a bog in Lütt-Witt Moor, Henstedt-Ulzburg, Germany, in late August 2005.
The Reading Room of the British Museum is situated in the centre of the Great Court. It used to be the main reading room of the British Library, but that relocated to the new British Library building at St Pancras, London. The old Reading Room was opened to the public in 2000, following a renovation by noted architect Sir Norman Foster. It contains a collection of books on history, art, travel, and other subjects relevant to the British Museum's collections, on open shelves.
The Tower Bridge is a bascule bridge that crosses the River Thames in London, England. It was completed in 1894 and the original hydraulic machinery still opens the bridge, although it has been modernised. The central span of 200 feet (61 m) between the towers is split into two equal bascules or leaves, which can be raised to an angle of 83 degrees to allow river traffic to pass. The high-level walkways between the towers houses an exhibition on the bridge's history.
The F-15 Eagle is an American-built all-weather tactical fighter designed to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat. As of 2005, the F-15 in all air forces has a combined kill record of 104 confirmed kills to zero losses in air combat, although some F-15s have been claimed by surface-to-air missiles.
Coloured smoke reveals a vortex of air created by the wing of an airplane, also known as wake turbulence or jetwash. This turbulence can be especially hazardous during the landing and take off phases of flight, where an aircraft's proximity to the ground makes a timely recovery from turbulence-induced problems unlikely.
A rooster or cock is a male chicken. The term "rooster" is reputedly so used because the cock is said to roost over clutches of eggs to guard them. In fact, "roosting" is the action of perching aloft to sleep at night, and is done by both sexes. Roosters often are pictured in art as crowing at the break of dawn, and this is accurate. However, they will also crow during the rest of the day, and even sometimes on a bright moonlit night.
San Francisco International Airport (IATA: SFO) opened on May 7, 1927 on 150 acres (607,000 m²) of cow pasture leased from prominent local landowner Ogden L. Mills, and was named Mills Field Municipal Airport. During the economic boom of the 1990s and the dot com boom, SFO became the 6th busiest international airport in the world. However, since the boom times ended, it has fallen back out of the top twenty.
Hereford cattle are a widely-used breed in temperate areas, mainly for beef production. Originating from cool, moist Herefordshire, England, they have found great success, and indeed thrive, in a wide range of climates on nearly every continent. They are especially popular in the temperate parts of Australia and in the desert Southwestern United States.
The Queen Elizabeth II Great Court of the British Museum is a covered square designed by the architects Foster and Partners. It opened in December 2000 and is the largest covered square in Europe. The roof is a glass and steel construction with 1,656 pairs of uniquely shaped glass panes. At the centre of the Great Court is the Reading Room, which is open to any member of the public who wishes to read there.
Vaduz /va du ts/ is the capital of the principality of Liechtenstein. It is the seat of the national parliament. The town has about 5,000 inhabitants, most of whom are Roman Catholic, and is located along the Rhine. It is thought to have been founded in the 13th century by the Counts of Werdenberg. In 1322 there is mention of the castle which was sacked by the Swiss in 1499.
Native to Australia, White's Tree Frog grows up to 10 centimetres in length and is a popular household pet. In captivity, they have an average lifespan of 16 years. Its skin secretions contain caerins, a group of peptides with antibacterial and antiviral properties. Other peptides have been found to destroy HIV without harming healthy T-cells.
Vatnajökull (IPA: [ˈvahtnajœːkʏtl ̥]), the largest glacier in Iceland, is located in the southeast and covers more than 8% of the country. The lakes on the glacier known as Grímsvötn, pictured here, are caused by volcanic eruptions which melt enough ice to fill the Grímsvötn caldera with water.
Montreal is the second-largest city in Canada. It sits in the south western corner of Quebec at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. As in most parts of Quebec, French is the most common spoken language in the city, but there is a substantial anglophone population and many of the residents are bilingual. In 2005, it won the distinction of being chosen UNESCO's "World Book Capital City 2005–2006" due to its vibrant literary scene.
The International Space Station is located in a low Earth orbit, approximately 360 km (220 miles) high. The station has a capacity for a crew of three and there have always been at least two people on board. It has been visited by astronauts from a large number of countries and was also the destination of the first three space tourists.
Cumulus clouds are characterized by dense individual elements in the form of puffs, mounds or towers, with flat bases and tops that often resemble cauliflower. They are formed due to convection. Buoyant, upward air currents, known as thermals rise to a height at which the moisture in the air can condense. Because of this, they "grow" vertically instead of horizontally. Though most common in warm, summer weather, cumulus clouds can be formed at any time of year.
Schloss Blankenhain is an open-air museum and castle near Crimmitschau, a large district town in the Saxon landkreis of Zwickauer Land, Germany.
Cuttlefish are small relatives of squids and nautilus, sometimes called the chameleon of the sea because of their remarkable ability to rapidly alter their skin color at will. They have an internal shell, large eyes, and eight arms and two tentacles furnished with denticulated suckers, by means of which they secure their prey. There are 119 species of cuttlefish.
The bush is a term used for rural, undeveloped land or country areas in many places, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, and Alaska. Because the geography varies greatly between these different places, what constitutes bush also widely differs. In Australia (as seen here), the term is quite specific: It can include agricultural areas and regional settlements, and does not include the even more remote areas that constitute the outback.
Lava tubes are natural conduits through which lava travels beneath the surface of a lava flow. They can be actively draining lava from a source, or can be extinct, meaning the lava flow has ceased and the rock has cooled and left a long, cave-like channel. Tubes form in one of two ways: by the crusting over of lava channels and from Pahoehoe flows where the lava is moving under the surface.
The Notre-Dame de Montréal Basilica in Montreal, Quebec, Canada is a prime example of Gothic Revival architecture. It was designed by James O'Donnell and was completed in 1879, at which time it was the largest church in North America. In 1982, Pope John Paul II raised the status of the church to basilica.
Schloss Neuschwanstein ("new swan stone castle") in southwest Bavaria is one of Germany's most popular tourist destinations. Construction was started by King Ludwig II and took 17 years. After his death in 1886, the castle was opened to the public. During World War II, many valuable items (all stolen) were stored at the castle, destined for Adolf Hitler's personal collection.
Loch Lomond is a Scottish loch located in both the western lowlands of Central Scotland and the southern Highlands. Its surface area is the largest of the lochs, and is second biggest after Loch Ness in terms of water volume in Great Britain. The loch famously features in Andrew Lang's verse, The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond, published around 1876, the chorus of which is well known.
On January 28, 1986, a ruptured O-ring in the right solid rocket booster caused the Space Shuttle Challenger to explode soon after launch. This photograph shows the main engines and solid rocket booster exhaust plumes entwined around a ball of gas from the external tank. Because shuttle launches had become almost routine after fifty successful missions, those watching the shuttle launch in person and on television found the sight of the break up especially shocking and difficult to believe until NASA confirmed the accident.
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
The Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Liverpool, England. The church was consecrated in 1967 and was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd. Commonly called "Paddy's Wigwam" because of its largely Irish Catholic congregation and its general resemblance to a Native American teepee, the cathedral has the largest stained glass window in the world.
Apollo 17 was the eleventh manned space mission in the NASA Apollo program and was the sixth and last mission to date to land on the Moon. It was the first night launch, and the final mission, of the Apollo program.
Deep Impact is a NASA space probe designed to study the composition of the interior of comet Tempel 1. At 5:52 UTC on July 4, 2005, one section of the Deep Impact probe successfully impacted the comet's nucleus, excavating debris from the interior of the nucleus. Photographs of the impact showed the comet to be more dusty and less icy than expected. The impact generated a large, bright dust cloud that obscured the hoped-for view of the impact crater.
A waterfall is usually a geological formation resulting from water, often in the form of a stream flowing over an erosion-resistant rock formation that forms a sudden break in elevation. Waterfalls may also be artificial, and they are sometimes used for garden and landscape ornaments. Some waterfalls form in mountain environments where erosion is rapid and stream courses may be subject to sudden and catastrophic change.
The Plumed Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons) is a species of lizard native to Latin America. Its natural range covers a swath from Mexico to Ecuador.
Plumed basilisks are omnivorous and will eat insects, small mammals (such as rodents), smaller species of lizards, fruits and flowers. Its predators include raptors, opossums and snakes.
Plumed Basilisks are noted for a remarkable ability to, in an attempt to evade possible threats, run across bodies of water using their extremely fast-moving, large, webbed feet.
A TRACE image of sunspots on the surface, or photosphere, of the sun from September 2002, is taken in the far ultraviolet on a relatively quiet day for solar activity. However, the image still shows a large sunspot group visible as a bright area near the horizon. Although sunspots are relatively cool regions on the surface of the sun, the bright glowing gas flowing around the sunspots have a temperature of over one million °C (1.8 million °F). The high temperatures are thought to be related to the rapidly changing magnetic field loops that channel solar plasma.
The Emperor Gum Moth caterpillar feeding on a eucalyptus leaf. Caterpillars of the Emperor Gum Moth pass through five stages, shedding their skin and changing their appearance at each stage of development, before spinning a dark brown silken cocoon and metamorphosing into the adult moth.
Six F-16 Fighting Falcons with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team fly in delta formation in front of the Empire State Building during an air show. The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a modern multi-role jet fighter aircraft built in the United States. Designed as a lightweight fighter, it evolved into a successful multi-role aircraft, and is serving 24 countries.
Zion National Park is a United States National Park located near Springdale, Utah in the southwestern United States. The principal feature in the 229 square mile (593 km²) park is the 15 mile (24 km) long and up to half a mile (1 km) deep Zion Canyon, which was cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River. The geology of the Zion and Kolob canyons area includes nine formations that together represent 150 million years of mostly Mesozoic-aged sedimentation. At various periods in that time, warm, shallow seas, streams, ponds and lakes, vast deserts and dry near-shore environments covered the area.
Crepuscular rays is a term used in atmospheric optics for rays of sunlight that appear to radiate from a single point in the sky. The name comes from their frequent occurrences during twilight, where the contrasts between light and dark are the most obvious. Crepuscular rays are parallel, but appear to diverge because of linear perspective. They are often seen through sunlight shining through holes or breaks in cloud cover.
At the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, newly commissioned officers celebrate their new positions by throwing their midshipmen covers into the air as part of the graduation and commissioning ceremony. The "hat toss" has been a traditional ending to the ceremony at the Academy since 1912.
Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the United States, with an estimated population of 3.85 million people. Los Angeles is one of the cultural, economic, scientific and entertainment centers of the country. Due to the city's geography as well as the population's heavy reliance on automobiles as a major form of transportation, the city suffers from severe air pollution in the form of smog. The Los Angeles Basin and the San Fernando Valley hold in the fumes from automobiles, diesel trucks, shipping, and locomotive engines, as well as manufacturing and other sources.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is one of the world's most recognizable buildings and a symbol of France. The 300 m (986 ft) high tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel as a gateway to the Exposition Universelle of 1889. It was the world's tallest structure for forty years. Eiffel used his experience in building railway bridges when designing the tower, prefabricating the 18,038 wrought iron pieces off site then assembling the pieces with the help of 300 workers.
The Three Sisters is a famous rock formation in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. They are close to the town of Katoomba and are one of the Blue Mountains' most famous sights, towering 900m (≈2953 ft) above the Jamison Valley. Their names are Wimlah, Meehni and Gunnedoo.
The San Juan Mountains are a rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The Rio Grande rises on the east side of the range. The other side of the San Juans, the western slope of the continental divide, is drained by tributaries of the San Juan, Dolores and Gunnison rivers which all flow into the Colorado River. The San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forest cover a large portion of the San Juan Mountains.
The first aircraft ejector seats were developed during WWII by Heinkel. The first test was with the Heinkel He 280 prototype jet fighter, and one of its test pilots, Helmut Schenk, was the first person to eject from a stricken aircraft on January 13, 1942. By December 2003, Martin-Baker ejector seats had saved 7028 lives. The total figure for all types is unknown but must be considerably higher. This photo shows USAF Capt. Christopher Stricklin ejecting from an F-16 a second before it crashed on September 14, 2003; Stricklin was not seriously injured.
Three Polar bears approach the starboard bow of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Honolulu (SSN 718) while surfaced 280 miles from the North Pole. Sighted by a lookout from the bridge (sail) of the submarine, the bears investigated the boat for almost 2 hours before leaving. USS Honolulu is the 24th Los Angeles-class submarine, and the first original design in her class to visit the North Pole region.
The Tuamotus are the largest chain of atolls in the world, spanning an area of the Pacific Ocean roughly the size of Western Europe. Despite the vast spread of the archipelago, the combined land area is only about 885 km² (345 sq. mi.). The climate is warm tropical, without pronounced seasons and a relatively continuous average temperature of 26°C (79°F). Water sources such as lakes or rivers are absent, leaving the only source of fresh water as catchments of rain water.
Cirrus clouds are composed of ice crystals and appear as hairlike filaments. They are formed at altitudes above 5000 metres (16,500 feet). The streaks are made of snowflakes that are falling from the cloud and being caught by the high level winds. The streaks point in the direction of the wind and may appear straight giving the clouds the appearance of a comma (cirrus uncinus), or may seem tangled, an indication of high level turbulence.
The lemon, Citrus × limon, is a citrus tree, a hybrid of cultivated origin. The fruit are cultivated primarily for their juice, though the pulp and rind (zest) are also used, primarily in cooking or mixing. Lemon juice is about 5% citric acid, which gives lemons a sour taste; its pH is 2.3, so because of its acidity, lemon juice is commonly used in chemistry experiments.
The Moscow Metro is the world's most heavily used metro system. Kievskaya station is one of the oldest stations on the network and lies on the Kol'tsevaya line (the central ring line) which was completed in 1937. Several of the central stations are remarkable for their ornate architecture, with marble columns, granite floors and chandeliers. Kievskaya station is particularly noted for its wall mosaics which depict socialist realist scenes from the history of the Ukraine.
The orb-weaver spiders (family Araneidae) are the familiar builders of spiral wheel-shaped webs often found in gardens, fields and forests. The family is a large one, including over 2800 species in over 160 genera worldwide, making it the third largest known (behind Salticidae and Linyphiidae). The web has always been thought of as an engineering marvel.
A selection of Alaskan wild berries from Innoko National Wildlife Refuge. This selection of woodland berries, including raspberries and blueberries are actually false berries. The common use of the word berry, simply refers to any small, sweet, fleshy fruit. The botanical use of the word is based on which part of the plant's ovary develop into the fruit.
A rainforest is a forested biome with high annual rainfall. Tropical rainforests arise due to the Intertropical Convergence Zone, but temperate rainforests also exist. As well as prodigious rainfall, many rainforests are characterized by a high number of resident species and tremendous biodiversity.
Botanical gardens grow a wide variety of plants primarily categorized and documented for scientific purposes, but also for the enjoyment and education of visitors, a consideration that has become essential to secure public funding.
The Dettifoss is a waterfall located in the Mývatn area of North Central Iceland. It is situated in the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river which flows from glaciers. It is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe having a flow variously estimated at between 200 and 500 cubic metres of water per second depending on the season and the summer ice melt. The falls are 100 m wide with a drop of 44 m.
The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal near Falkirk in central Scotland. It consists of two diametrically opposed caissons which rotate to transfer boats between the two canals through a height of 35 metres. Thanks to Archimedes' principle, the caissons always weigh the same, whether carrying up to 600 tonnes worth of canal barges, or just water. As such, the wheel is always perfectly balanced and despite its enormous mass, rotates through 180° in less than four minutes using just a few kilowatts.
The Common Hazel is a shrub native to Europe and Asia. Its flowers are produced very early in spring before the leaves, and are monoecious. The seed is a nut, known as a hazelnut or cobnut. The nut falls out of the husk when ripe, about 7-8 months after pollination. The kernel of the seed is edible and used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste.
Zabriskie Point is an area in Death Valley National Park noted for its beautiful erosional landscape. It is called a badlands due to its difficult-to-traverse topography. The area is composed of sediment from Lake Zabriskie, which dried-up 9 million years ago - long before Death Valley existed. Zabriskie Point is named after Christian Brevoort Zabriskie of Wyoming Territory.
Dione is a moon of Saturn discovered by Giovanni Cassini in 1684. It is named after the titan Dione of Greek mythology and is also designated Saturn IV. Dione is composed primarily of water ice, but as the densest of Saturn's moons (aside from Titan, whose density is increased by gravitational compression) it must have a considerable fraction of denser material like silicate rock in its interior.
The island Ko Samui has a population of about forty thousand, and survives on a successful tourist industry, as well as exports of coconut and rubber. It even has its own international airport, with flights daily to Bangkok and other major airports in Southeast Asia. It has not forgotten its roots, however, and the people are still by-and-large the same easygoing island folk they were before the world landed on their doorstep.
The Palace of Westminster occupies a site of approximately 3.24 hectares (8 acres) on the west bank of the Thames, it has approximately 1,000 rooms, 100 staircases, and 4.8 km of passageways. The 96 m high slim Clock Tower is undoubtedly the most famous feature, and houses the bell known as Big Ben, from which the Clock Tower is colloquially, but inaccurately named.
The Domestic Sheep is the most common species of the sheep genus. It is a woolly ruminant quadruped that probably descended from the wild moufflon. Many breeds of sheep exist, generally classified as wool class breeds and hair class breeds. Farmers develop wool breeds for superior wool quantity and quality (fineness of fibers), wool staple length and degree of crimp in the fiber. Hair class sheep are the original class of sheep, developed worldwide for meat and leather.
Lake Tanganyika is situated within the Western Rift of the Great Rift Valley and is confined by the mountainous walls of the valley. It is the largest rift lake in Africa and the second largest lake by surface area on the continent. It is the deepest lake in Africa and holds the greatest volume of fresh water.
Historically, the first soda waters were prepared by adding sodium bicarbonate to lemonade. A chemical reaction between sodium bicarbonate and citric acid occurred to create carbon dioxide. The person who is usually credited with first successfully creating carbonated water is Joseph Priestley in 1796.
The flower-flies or hover-flies are a family of flies (Diptera), scientifically termed the Syrphidae. As their name suggests, they are most often seen around flowers; the adults feed mainly on nectar and pollen, while the larvae (maggots) eat a wide range of foods. Some flower-flies, such as Volucella pellucens, mimic bees or wasps in appearance, both in shape and coloration. It is thought that this mimicry protects hover-flies from falling prey to birds and other insectivores which avoid eating true wasps because of their sting.
The State Library of Victoria is the central library of the state of Victoria, Australia, located in the city of Melbourne. The Library's combined collections contain over 1.5 million books and 16,000 serials, including the diaries of the city's founders, John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner, as well as the folios of Captain James Cook
Glacier retreat is a type of glacial motion in which more material ablates from its terminus of the glacier than is replenished by flow into that region. In this region of the Bhutan-Himalaya, glacial lakes have been rapidly forming on the surface of the debris-covered glaciers and researchers have found a strong correlation between increasing temperatures and glacial retreat.
In English usage a fjord is a narrow inlet of the sea between cliffs or steep slopes, which results from marine inundation of a glaciated valley. Fjords are found in locations where current or past glaciation extended below current sea level. The fractal coastline of eastern Greenland, seen here, has many fjords. At the bottom is the longest fjord in the world, Scoresby Sund.
A low pressure area is a region where the atmospheric pressure is lowest with relation to the surrounding area. Air will tend to flow in to fill a low pressure area, but will be deflected perpendicular to its velocity by the Coriolis effect. A system of equilibrium can then establish itself creating circular movement, or a cyclonic flow.
Bangkok, known in Thai as Krung Thep, is the capital and largest city of Thailand, with an official 1990 population of 8,538,610. Bangkok is one of the fastest-growing, most economically dynamic cities in Southeast Asia, but it suffers from major infrastructure and social problems as a result of its rapid growth. Air pollution is a significant problem, blamed on the city's massive traffic jams. The recent construction of elevated second-level expressways and the BTS Skytrains have eased the problem a little.
Saint Vitus Cathedral in Prague, Czech Republic, is the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. It is located within Prague Castle and contains the tombs of many Bohemian kings. Although the current building was founded in 1344 by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV together with Arnost of Pardubice, it wasn't completed until 1929 — almost 600 years later.
Sake is a Japanese alcoholic beverage, brewed from rice. In Japan, the word simply means alcoholic beverage. As with other alcohol in Japan, sake is poured with the palm of the hand facing down and the back of the hand facing up, particularly when it is poured for another person. Pouring with the palm of the hand facing up is considered rude and is likely to elicit surprise and disapproval.
Maize is a cereal grain that was domesticated in Mesoamerica. Maize is grown in variety of cultivars, with many traditional varieties having predominantly blue colored ears, also known as blue corn.
In 1983, Barbara McClintock received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovery of transposons while studying maize. Maize is still an important model organism for genetics and developmental biology today.
The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third largest in the world, next to those in New Zealand.
The vivid colors in the spring are the result of pigmented bacteria in the microbial mats that grow around the edges creating the greens, yellows, oranges, reds, and the bright blue in the center of the pool.
The art of bonsai originated from China over two thousand years ago, where it has been called penzai, it spread to Korea during the Tang or Song Dynasty (the 7th–13th century). As the Chinese art is intended for outdoor display the plants tend to be some what larger than seen in Japanese bonsai. A bonsai is not a genetically dwarfed plant; it is kept small by shaping and root pruning.
Night view of the Yarra River as it flows through the centre of Melbourne, with the central business district on the left and Southbank on the right. The river's source is a series of swamps in the upper reaches of the Yarra Ranges National Park, and travels 242 kilometres through southern Victoria before entering Melbourne's suburbs at Chirnside Park.
Melbourne is the state capital and largest city in the Australian state of Victoria, and the second largest city in Australia (after Sydney), with a population of approximately 3.8 million. The central business district (the original city) is laid out in the famous mile-by-half-a-mile Hoddle Grid, its southern edge fronting on to the Yarra River.
Superconductivity is a phenomenon occurring in certain materials at low temperatures, characterised by the complete absence of electrical resistance and the exclusion of the interior magnetic field (the Meissner effect). The Meissner effect can be used to demonstrate superconducting magnetic levitation. Here a block of "high temperature" ceramic superconductor, cooled in a bath of liquid nitrogen, repels the round permanent magnet above. Flux pinning stops the magnet from sliding away.
The plough is a development of the pick, and was initially pulled by oxen or humans, and later horses. Modern ploughs are, in industrialized countries, powered by tractors. Ploughing has several beneficial effects. The major reason for ploughing is to incorporate the residue from the previous crop into the soil. Ploughing also reduces the prevalence of weeds in the fields, and makes the soil more porous, easing later planting.
Crepuscular rays is a term used in atmospheric optics for rays of sunlight that appear to radiate from a single point in the sky. The name comes from their frequent occurrences during twilight, where the contrasts between light and dark are the most obvious. The rays are parallel, but appear to diverge because of linear perspective. They are often seen through sunlight shining through holes or breaks in cloud cover.
Mały Szyszak (Czech Malý Šišák, German Kleine Sturmhaube, literally Small Helmet) is a mountain in Poland, close to the border with Czech Republic. It is situated in the central (Silesian) part of the main mountain range of the Karkonosze, right above the village of Przesieka. Its peak is at 1436 m above sea level.
The planes that serve as Air Force One can be operated as a military command center in the event of an incident such as a nuclear attack. Operational modifications include aerial refueling capability, electronic countermeasures (ECMs) which jam enemy radar, and flares to avoid heat-seeking missiles. The heavily shielded electronics onboard include around twice the amount of wiring found in a regular 747.
"The Blue Marble" is a famous photograph of Earth. NASA officially credits the image to the entire Apollo 17 crew — Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans and Jack Schmitt — all of whom took photographic images during the mission. Apollo 17 passed over Africa during daylight hours and Antarctica is also illuminated. The photograph was taken approximately five hours after the spacecraft's launch, while en route to the Moon. Apollo 17, notably, was the last manned lunar mission; no humans since have been at a range where taking a "whole-Earth" photograph such as "The Blue Marble" would be possible.
A Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) is a jet pack (propulsion backpack that snaps onto the back of the spacesuit) which has been used on untethered spacewalks from NASA's space shuttle, allowing an astronaut to move independently from the shuttle. The MMU was used on three Shuttle missions in 1984. It was first tested on February 7 during mission STS-41-B by astronauts Bruce McCandless (seen here) and Robert L. Stewart.
View of Lake Lugano and the city of Lugano, Switzerland, from the foot of Monte San Salvatore in 1909. Lying on the border of Italy, Lugano is located in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino.
This image was taken before the advent of color film. It is composed of three monochrome pictures shot through different colored filters and could only be viewed at the time via projection. It was only with digital image processing that the images could be satisfactorily combined into one.
"Earthrise", the first view of the Earth rising above the surface of the Moon by humans, taken during the Apollo 8 mission, December 24, 1968. This view was seen by the crew at the beginning of its fourth orbit around the Moon, although it is not the first photograph of Earthrise. Note that the Earth is in shadow here. A photo of a fully lit Earth would not be taken until the Apollo 17 mission.
Panoramic shot of the interior of the Panthéon, a church and burial place located in the Latin Quarter of Paris, France. Originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, the National Convention ordered it to be changed from a church to a mausoleum for the interment of great Frenchmen. Among those buried in its necropolis are Voltaire, Rousseau, Marat, Victor Hugo, Émile Zola, Jean Moulin, Marie Curie, and Louis Braille.
Flowers, leaves and buds of Lantana camara (Verbenaceae family), an evergreen shrub native of tropical regions but common in Europe and America, growing up to about 2 m high. The small flowers are held in umbels up to about 5cm across, with colours varying, in the same plant and also with time, from white, yellow and orange to rose and pink.
The Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), also known as the Siberian, Korean, Manchurian, or North China Tiger, is a critically endangered subspecies of tiger (P. tigris). About 500 individuals are left in the wild, mostly in the regions of Primorye and Khabarovsk of eastern Russia.
A domesticated Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides) with a "knob" (found in some variations) above its beak. This knob is more prominent on males than on females and can be used for sexing by 6–8 weeks of age. Wild Swan Geese can be found in Mongolia and eastern Russia. They are migratory and winter mostly in south and east China.
The American Bison (Bison bison), is a bovine mammal that is the largest terrestrial mammal in North America, and one of the largest wild cattle in the world. With their huge bulk, bison are only surpassed in size by the massive Asian gaur and wild water buffalo, both of which are found mainly in India.
Carts have many different shapes but the basic idea of transporting material (or maintaining a collection of materials in a portable fashion) remains. Carts usually have two or four wheels. Those with four wheels (also known as drays or wagons) will often have a pivoting front axle that has a pole connected to the collars or yoke of the two guiding draught animals.
The Weedy sea dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) is a marine fish related to the seahorse. It is native to the shallow water around the southern coastline of Australia, between Port Stephens and Geraldton, as well as Tasmania. Weedy sea dragons are named for the weed-like projections on their bodies, which serve to camouflage them as they move among the seaweed beds where they are usually found.
A female Mallard and ducklings. Mallards are probably the best-known of all ducks. The breeding male is unmistakable, with a green head, black rear end and blue speculum feathers edged with white. The female Mallard is light brown and can be distinguished from other ducks, by the distinctive speculum.
Panoramic view of the Dingle Peninsula, the westernmost point of the Republic of Ireland. The peninsula is named after the town of Dingle and is the location of numerous prehistoric and early medieval remains, for example the Gallarus Oratory in the very west of the peninsula near the village of Baile an Fheirtéaraigh in Ard na Caithne.
Hills southwest of Sanandaj near the village of Kilaneh, Kurdistan Province, Iran. This province, not to be confused with the greater geographical area of Iranian Kurdistan, is located on the border with Iraq, and is one of the most mountainous regions in Iran. It is a popular tourist destination, featuring mountaineering, skiing and water sports.
The eastern face of the Matterhorn, reflected in the Riffelsee. Perhaps the most familiar mountain in the European Alps, the Matterhorn sits on the border between Switzerland and Italy. The peak has four faces, facing the four compass points, with the north and south faces meeting to form a short east-west summit ridge. Despite its prominence in a general sense, the Matterhorn is not among the top 100 mountains in the Alps measured by topographic prominence. Several of its close neighbors, including Monte Rosa, the Dom, Liskamm and the Weisshorn, have higher summits.
An early colour photograph of the Emir of Bukhara, Mohammed Alim Khan, in 1911, taken by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii as part of his work to document the Russian Empire from 1909 to 1915. Alim Khan, a direct descendant of Genghis Khan, was the last emir of the Manghit dynasty. He reigned from 1911 to 1920, fleeing to Afghanistan when the Bolsheviks annexed Bukhara and proclaimed the Bukharan People's Republic.
A Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus lateralis) in Mount Rainier National Park, its cheek pouches full of food. This species of squirrel is native throughout North America and can be found in a wide variety of forest habitats as well as rocky meadows, and even sagebrush flats. It is similar to a chipmunk not only in appearance but behavior as well.
The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is an atypical member of the cat family that hunts by speed rather than by stealth or pack tactics. It is the fastest of all land animals and can reach speeds of up to 70 mph (120 km/h) in short bursts up to 500 yards (500 m). The cheetah is well known for its amazing acceleration (0 to 100 km/h (~62 mph) in 3.5 seconds which is faster than the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, the Lamborghini Murciélago and the F/A-18 Hornet).
A stitched panorama of Metung Wharf on Bancroft Bay, Gippsland Lakes, Metung, Victoria, Australia. Metung is a small town located 315 km (197 mi) east of Melbourne, a popular holiday spot, near to larger towns, but off any main routes itself.
Migrant Mother, Dorothea Lange's 1936 photograph of Florence Owens Thompson and her daughters in Nipomo, California, became the most famous image of the Great Depression in the United States. It is one of the classic photographs of the 20th century, and is now an icon of resilience in the face of adversity. In the 1930s, the FSA employed several photographers to document the effects of the Great Depression on the population of America. Many of the photographs can also be seen as propaganda images to support the U.S. government's policy distributing support to the worst affected, poorer areas of the country.
Delicate Arch is a freestanding natural arch and the signature landmark of Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, USA. Surprisingly, the arch played no part in the original designation of the area as a U.S. National Monument in 1929, and was not included within the original monument boundary. It was added when the monument was enlarged in 1938.
An infrared (IR) photograph of a tree. Not to be confused with thermal imaging, IR photography is accomplished with an infrared filter, which lets infrared light pass through to the camera but blocks all or virtually all of the visible light spectrum (and thus looks black). The effect is mainly caused by foliage (like tree leaves and grass) strongly reflecting in the same way light is reflected from snow.
Zuni girl with jar
A head-and-shoulders portrait of a Zuni girl with a pottery jar on her head, circa 1903. The Zuni are a Native American tribe, one of the Pueblo peoples, who live beside the Zuni River, in western New Mexico, United States. The Zuni language is unique and unrelated to the languages of the other Pueblo peoples. The Zuni continue to practice their traditional shamanistic religion with its regular ceremonies and dances and an independent mythology. Archaeological evidence shows they have lived in their present location for about 1,300 years.
Moai, Rano Raraku crater, Easter Island
A cluster of Moai found in the Rano Raraku crater on Easter Island. These monolithic statues, carved from compressed volcanic ash, may weigh more than 20 tonnes and be more than 6 m (20 ft) tall. About 95% of the 887 moai known to date were constructed at Rano Raraku, where 394 moai still remain visible today. It is not known exactly how the moai were moved, but Pavel Pavel demonstrated that only 17 people with ropes are needed for relatively fast transportation of the statues.
Bruno Senna, during the 2006 Australian Grand Prix
Bruno Senna drives a Dallara F304 Formula Three (F3) car during a support race at the 2006 Australian Grand Prix. F3 has traditionally been regarded as the first major stepping stone for Formula One hopefuls—it is typically the first point in a driver's career at which most of the drivers in the series are aiming at professional careers in racing rather than being amateurs and enthusiasts.
Cumulonimbus capillatus incus cloud floating over Swifts Creek, Victoria in Australia
Cumulonimbus cloud floating over Swifts Creek, Victoria in Australia. Cumulonimbus are tall, dense, and involved in thunderstorms and other bad weather. They are characterized by a flat, anvil-like top and can be tall enough to occupy middle as well as low altitudes.
The Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) is a species of hawk moth with a long proboscis, and is capable of hovering in place, making an audible humming noise. These two features make it look remarkably like a hummingbird when it feeds on flowers. They fly during the day, especially in bright sunshine.
Two male Common Crossbills
Two male Common Crossbills (Loxia curvirostra), small passerine birds of the finch family. The crossbill is characterised by mandibles that cross at their tips, lending the group its English name. It feeds on conifer cone seeds, particularly those of spruce, Douglas-fir, and pine. The unusual bill shape is an adaptation to assist the extraction of the seeds from the cone.
Mont Saint-Michel and its abbey at night. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a rocky tidal island roughly one kilometre from the north coast of Normandy, France at the mouth of the Couesnon River, near Avranches. Mont Saint-Michel was previously connected to the mainland via a thin natural land bridge, which before modernization was covered at high tide and revealed at low tide.
Chapel, Palace of VersaillesThe chapel of the Palace of Versailles, one of the palace's grandest interiors. Located in Versailles, France, Versailles is famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy which Louis XIV espoused. Originally the royal hunting lodge when he decided to move there in 1660, the building was expanded over the next few decades to become the largest palace in Europe. Louis XIV officially moved in 1682 and the Court of Versailles was the centre of power in Ancien Régime France until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in 1789.
Grauman's Chinese TheatreOne of Hollywood, California's most famous tourist attractions, Grauman's Chinese Theatre is steeped in Hollywood history, having been home to numerous premieres and two Academy Awards ceremonies. Among the theatre's most famous traits are the autographed cement blocks that reside in the forecourt, which bear the signatures and markings of many of Hollywood's most noted stars and starlets. Built in 1927, the exterior of the movie theater supposedly resembles a giant, red Chinese pagoda. The architecture features a huge Chinese dragon across the front, two stone Fu dogs guarding the main entrance, and the silhouettes of tiny dragons up and down the sides of the copper roof.
Abbey spire, Mont Saint Michel, FranceMont Saint Michel, a small rocky tidal island in Normandy, is famous for its Benedictine abbey (spire pictured here) and steepled church (built between the 11th and 16th centuries) which occupy most of the island. The abbey was constructed in the 11th century, but by the time of the French Revolution its popularity had waned to the point where there were scarcely any monks in residence and it was converted to a prison. However, in 1874 it was declared a national monument and is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
White-lipped snailThe white-lipped snail (Cepaea hortensis) is a very close relative of the grove snail. It is very slightly smaller than the grove snail, but shares the same variation in shell colour and banding. The principal distinguishing feature is a white band at the lip of the shell, although this is not reliable for accurate identification. The two species can mate and reproduce. The two species share the same habitats, although the range of the white-lipped snail extends closer to the Arctic in Northern Europe.
Dante and Virgil in Hell, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1850)Dante and Virgil in Hell (1850), inspired by Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy, was William-Adolphe Bouguereau's first major work. In this depiction of Hell, Dante and the Roman poet Virgil (in the background) observe a pair of Hell's inhabitants.In his own time, Bouguereau was considered to be one of the greatest painters in the world, but he fell into disregard in the early 20th century, due perhaps to his staunch opposition to the Impressionists. However, today there is a new appreciation of his works, with over one hundred museums throughout the world exhibiting his oeuvre.
Grave marker of Jimmie W. Monteith Jr., Normandy, FranceLocated on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach, the World War II Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France honors American soldiers who died in Europe during World War II. Shown here is the grave marker of Jimmie W. Monteith, a United States Army officer who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions and sacrifice of life on D-Day.
Cyclone Gafilo, 2004Satellite image of Cyclone Gafilo, a powerful Category 5 tropical cyclone which struck Madagascar in March 2004, causing devastating damage. This was taken just before landfall, when the system was at its peak intensity about 333 km (207 mi) east of Madagascar, with sustained windspeed of 260 km/h (160 mph). At least 250 people were listed dead, with more missing, and 300,000 people were left homeless due to Gafilo.
Lockheed SR-71 BlackbirdThe Lockheed SR-71, commonly known as the "Blackbird", was an advanced, long-range, Mach 3 strategic reconnaissance aircraft that flew from 1964–98. The SR-71 was one of the first aircraft to be shaped to have an extremely low radar signature. The aircraft flew so fast and so high that if the pilot detected a surface-to-air missile launch, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate. During its entire operational life, more than 3,000 missiles were fired at the aircraft, yet no SR-71 was ever shot down.
Anthomyiidae flies"Root-maggot flies" are of the family Anthomyiidae, so named as the species' larvae are typically found in the decaying stems and roots of plants. Some species within the family include the onion fly (Delia antiqua), the wheat bulb fly (D. coarctata), the turnip root fly (D. floralis), the bean seed fly (D. platura) and the cabbage root fly (D. radicum).
JupiterJupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and by far the largest within the solar system. It is 318 times more massive than Earth, with a diameter 11 times that of Earth, and with a volume 1300 times that of Earth. Its best known feature is the Great Red Spot, a storm larger than Earth, which was first observed by Galileo four centuries ago. This picture, taken by the Cassini orbiter was one of 26 thousand images taken of Jupiter during the course of its flyby and is the most detailed global color portrait of the planet ever produced.
Frogs, by Ernst HaeckelA frog is an amphibian characterized by long hind legs, a short body, webbed digits, protruding eyes and the absence of a tail. Frogs are most noticeable through their call, which can be widely heard during the mating season. It is estimated that up to 20% of amphibian species may care for their young in one way or another, and there is a great diversity of parental behaviours. For example, frogs in the Gastrotheca genus (upper left) carry their eggs in a pouch, and females of the Eleutherodactylus lineatus species (center left) carry their young on their back.
B-1B Lancer over the Pacific Ocean
A B-1 Lancer dropping back after aerial refueling training over the Pacific Ocean. The B-1 is a long-range strategic bomber in service with the United States Air Force. Together with the B-52 Stratofortress and the B-2 Spirit, it is the backbone of the United States's long-range bomber force.
Tulip Stair, Queens House, Greenwich, England
The Tulip Stairs and lantern, as seen from below, of the Queen's House in Greenwich, England. Designed by Inigo Jones, the stairs are the first centrally unsupported stairs constructed in England. The stairs are supported by a combination of support by cantilever from the walls and each stair resting on the one below. The first reference to the iron balustrade design as 'tulips' was in 1694 and the name 'Tulip Stairs' dates to the 18th century.
The pennant coralfish (Heniochus acuminatus) is a tropical fish of the family Chaetodontidae found in the Indian and Pacific oceans in reef settings. It is commonly sold for marine aquariums as an alternative to the Moorish idol, which are considered to be nearly impossible for most hobbyists to keep.
Vitrification is a process of converting a material into a glass-like amorphous solid which is free of any crystalline structure, either by the quick removal or addition of heat or by mixing with an additive. In this photo, nuclear waste has been combined with glass-forming materials, vitrified, and is being poured into a container, after which it will be sealed. The final waste form resembles obsidian and is a non-leaching, durable material that effectively traps the waste inside. The waste can be stored for relatively long periods in this form without concern for air or groundwater contamination.
A burning match, a consumable artifact for producing fire under controlled circumstances on demand. A match is typically a wooden stick (usually sold in boxes) or stiff paper stick (usually sold in matchbooks) coated at one end with a material, the match head, often containing the element phosphorus, that will ignite from the heat of friction if struck against a suitable surface.
Upper Thracian Plain
Two people gaze out upon the city of Sliven and the Upper Thracian Plain in Bulgaria. This area constitutes the northern part of the historical region of Thrace. A fertile agricultural region, the Upper Thracian Plain has an area of 6,032 km² and an average elevation of 168 m.
The Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri, female shown here) is a small hummingbird found in open semi-arid areas near water in the western United States, northern Mexico and southern British Columbia. They are migratory and most winter in Mexico.
A timed exposure of the first Space Shuttle mission, STS-1. The shuttle Columbia stands on launch pad A at Kennedy Space Center, the night before launch. The objectives of the maiden flight were to check out the overall Shuttle system, accomplish a safe ascent into orbit and to return to Earth for a safe landing.
Pine cones, male and female
A branch from a pine tree, with both male and female pine cones. The male cones produce pollen and are orange, growing in a cluster. The female seed-producing cone, located at the end of the branch, is still immature.
An anole lizard of the family Polychrotidae found in Hilo, Hawaii, United States. Anoles are small and common lizards that can be found throughout the various regions of the Western Hemisphere. They are frequently and incorrectly called chameleons or geckos due to their ability to alter their skin color and run up walls, respectively.
The Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) is a large white-headed gull that lives on the western coast of North America. It is a large gull, around 60 cm long with a white head and body, and gray wings. It has a yellow bill with a red subterminal spot (this is the small spot near the end of the bill that chicks peck in order to stimulate feeding).
Honeybee collecting pollen
A honey bee extracts nectar from a flower using its proboscis. Tiny hairs covering the bee's body maintain a slight electrostatic charge, causing pollen from the flower's anthers to stick to the bee's hairs, allowing for pollination when the bee moves on to another flower.
Clock Tower, Palace of Westminster
The Clock Tower is a turret clock structure at the north-eastern end of the Houses of Parliament building in Westminster, London. It is colloquially and popularly known as Big Ben, however this name actually belongs to the clock's main bell. It was raised as a part of Charles Barry's design of a new palace, after the old one was destroyed by fire. The tower is designed in the Victorian Gothic style, and is 96.3 metres (316 feet) high.
An Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) egg hatching. The Alevin (larva) has grown around the remains of the yolk sac - visible are the arteries spinning around the yolk and little oildrops, also the gut, the spine, the main caudal blood vessel, the bladder and the arcs of the gills. In about 24 hours it will be a fry without yolk sac.
The Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) is a South American penguin, breeding in coastal Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands, with some migrating to Brazil. It is the most numerous of the Spheniscus penguins. Its nearest relatives are the African Penguin, the Humboldt Penguin and the Galapagos Penguin. The main threat to this species is oil pollution which kills more than 20,000 adults and 22,000 juveniles every year off the coast of Argentina.
Roman Baths, Bath, England
The Great Bath of the Roman Baths in Bath, England, with Bath Abbey in the background. The complex, a grade I listed building, was constructed during Roman Britain, during which time the town was known as Aquae Sulis. It was rediscovered in the 18th century and, as well as being a major archaeological find, it has become one of the city's main attractions. The entire structure above the level of the pillar bases is a later reconstruction.
Treasury of Athens at Delphi
The Treasury of Athens is a building at Delphi, the holiest of Ancient Greek sites and shrine to the god Apollo. It was built to commemorate the Athenians' victory at the Battle of Marathon. It is one of a number of such treasuries, built by the various states—those overseas as well as those on the mainland—to commemorate victories and to thank the oracle for advice important to those victories. The Athenians had previously been given the advice by the oracle to put their faith in their "wooden walls" – taking this advice to mean their navy, they won a famous battle at Salamis.
The plum is a stone-fruit tree in the genus Prunus. Its fruit is sweet, juicy and edible, and it can be eaten fresh, or dried, in which case they are known as prunes.
The plum blossom, along with the peony, are considered traditional floral emblems of China.
The Common Raccoon (Procyon lotor) is a widespread, medium-sized, omnivorous mammal of North America. They have black facial colorings around the eyes, and have a bushy tail with light and dark alternating rings. The coat is a mixture of gray, brown, and black fur. The characteristic eye colorings make the animal look like it is wearing a "bandit's mask," which has enhanced the animal's reputation for mischief, vandalism, and thievery.
Victoria Crater, Mars
Victoria Crater, an impact crater at Meridiani Planum, near the equator of Mars. The crater is approximately 800 meters (half a mile) in diameter. It has a distinctive scalloped shape to its rim, caused by erosion and downhill movement of crater wall material. Layered sedimentary rocks are exposed along the inner wall of the crater, and boulders that have fallen from the crater wall are visible on the crater floor. The floor of the crater is occupied by a striking field of sand dunes. The Mars rover Opportunity can be seen in this image, at roughly the "ten o'clock" position along the rim of the crater.
The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus, female shown here) is a member of the Old World sparrow family Passeridae. It occurs naturally in most of Europe and much of Asia, but has been introduced to most other parts of the world. Despite being so common, it is often confused with the smaller and slimmer Tree Sparrow.
The Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is a North American jay which can be found over a very large area of the eastern side of the continent. It is mainly a bird of mixed woodland, but also of parks and gardens in some towns and cities. Its food is sought both on the ground and in trees and includes virtually all known types of plant and animal sources.
Downtown Long Beach, California
Downtown Long Beach, California at night, as seen across Queensway Bay from the RMS Queen Mary, with the Queensway Bay Bridge on the left. This portion of Long Beach is the home of most of the city's major tourist attractions and municipal services. It is also the location for numerous businesses. There are many hotels and restaurants in the area that serve locals, tourists, and convention visitors.
A stitched panorama of a canal in the city of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. A series of concentric, semi-circular canals ("grachten") were dug around the old city centre in the 17th century, along which houses and warehouses were built. The canals still define Amsterdam's layout and appearance today.
A stitched image of the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, England, as seen from the tower of the Church of St Mary the Virgin. The building, often abbreviated as 'Rad Cam', was built by James Gibbs in 1737–1749 to house the Radcliffe Science Library. After the Radcliffe Science Library moved into another building, the Radcliffe Camera became a reading room of the Bodleian Library.
Mexican redknee tarantula
The Mexican redknee tarantula (Brachypelma smithi) is a species of terrestrial tarantula native to Mexico, but might be found in small numbers in neighboring countries. They are among the most popular tarantulas available in the pet trade, due to their impressive size and striking coloration. An adult female has a body roughly 10 cm (4 in) long, with a legspan of 15-18 cm (6-7 in), and a weight of approximately 15-16 g (0.7 oz).
A male lion (Panthera leo) lying down in Namibia. One of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera, the lion is the second largest cat, after the tiger. Males weigh between 150-250 kg (330-550 lb), and are easily recognizable by their manes. Though they were once found throughout much of Africa, Asia and Europe, lions presently exist in the wild only in Africa and India.
A female American Wigeon (Anas americana), a common and widespread duck which breeds in northern North America. It is the New World counterpart of the Eurasian Wigeon. This dabbling duck is strongly migratory and winters further south than its breeding range.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Eleven (EODMU-11) members parachute from the ramp of a C-130 Hercules using a static line, a line connecting the deployment bag of the parachute to the aircraft from which the parachutist jumps. Static lines are used in order to make sure that a parachute is deployed immediately after leaving the plane.
A geisha at work in GionGeisha ("person of the arts") are traditional Japanese artist-entertainers. Geisha were very common in the 18th and 19th centuries, and are still in existence today, although their numbers are dwindling. Geisha take lessons in several arts forms for most of their lives, not for just entertaining customers but for a lifetime of learning.
Wernher von Braun and Saturn V rocketA portrait of Wernher von Braun standing in front of the cluster of F-1 rocket engines on the base of the first stage of a Saturn V launch vehicle. Von Braun had a lifelong aspiration to fly to the moon. A pioneer of rocket development, in the Second World War von Braun led the German development of the V2 rocket at Peenemünde. Along with his team of engineers, he surrendered to the American forces in the closing stages of the war, then helped to establish the military rocket program in the United States. In 1958 he transferred to the newly established NASA program, developing the Saturn V rocket that successfully delivered a man to the moon in 1969.
Morning Glory flower close upMorning glory is one of several annual, dicot, climbing plants of the following species, all belonging to the Convolvulaceae family and grown in blue, pink, purple, red, or white blooms. As its name implies, morning glory flowers open at morning time, allowing them to be pollinated by hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other daytime insects and birds. The flower lasts for a single morning and dies in the afternoon.
Bridge over the Rogue River, Oregon, USAA footbridge crossing a portion of the Rogue River near Prospect, Oregon, United States. The river originates from Crater Lake, running 215 miles (344 km), of which 84 miles (134 km) is a designated National Wild and Scenic River. It is popular among whitewater rafters, featuring Class IV rapids.
Antony Gormley's "Angel of the North"
Antony Gormley's most famous work, Angel of the North, is a steel sculpture of an angel in Gateshead, England, standing 20 metres (66 feet) tall, with wings 54 metres (178 feet) — making it wider than the Statue of Liberty is tall. The wings themselves are not flat, but are angled 3.5 degrees forward, which Gormley has been quoted as saying was to create "a sense of embrace".
A Nishi tribesman, IndiaA Nishi tribesman wearing the traditional head-dress having a hornbill beak. The Nishi are found in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The custom of wearing a hornbill beak has had a deleterious effect on the bird's population. Nature reserves are being set up to protect the birds, while artificial materials, such as fibreglass, have been introduced as an alternative.
Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USAAn aerial view of Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park, located at the end of the Florida Keys, United States. As seen easily in the photo, the clear waters in shallow areas surrounding Fort Jefferson are popular for snorkeling and scuba diving. Visible on the right side of the image is a breach of the seawall caused by the direct strike of Hurricane Charley in August 2004.
Two Northern GannetsTwo Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus), displaying affection, an example of pair bonding. Gannet pairs may remain together over several seasons. They perform elaborate greeting rituals at the nest, stretching their bills and necks skywards and gently tapping bills together.
Tibetan prayer flagA vertical Tibetan prayer flag in the Zanskar region of northern India. The vertical style, called darchor, is less common than the horizontal style, called lungta. Horizontal prayer flags are squares connected at the top edges with a long thread. The vertical prayer flags are usually single squares or groups of squares sewn on poles which are planted in the ground or on rooftops. Unique to Tibetan Buddhism, these flags are panels or rectangles of colourful cloth strung along mountain ridges and peaks in the Himalayas to bless the surrounding countryside. Prayer flags are believed to have originated with the original Bön religion which pre-dated Buddhism in Tibet.
Male mallard in mid-flightA male Mallard in mid-flight. The fundamentals of bird flight are similar to those of aircraft. Lift force is produced by the action of air-flow on the wing, which is an airfoil. This occurs because the air has a lower air pressure just above the wing and higher pressure below. When a bird flaps its wings continue to develop lift but they also create an additional forward and upward force, thrust, to counteract its weight and drag.
Bang Pa In floating pavilion, Ayutthaya province, ThailandThe Aisawan Thiphya-Art (Divine Seat of Personal Freedom), a pavilion found at Bang Pa In Royal Palace in Bang Pa In, Ayutthaya Province, Thailand. The palace complex was formerly used by the Thai kings as a summer dwelling. Most of the present buildings were constructed between 1872 and 1889 by King Chulalongkorn.
US Capitol BuildingThe United States Capitol at night. The U.S. Capitol serves as the location for Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located in Washington, D.C., on top of Capitol Hill at the east end of the National Mall. The building is marked by its central dome above a rotunda and two wings. It is an exemplar of the Neoclassical architecture style.
Camouflaged flounderA camouflaged flounder. Camouflage is the method which allows an otherwise visible organism or object to remain indiscernible from the surrounding environment. Besides blending in with their surroundings, animals may disguise themselves as something else to avoid predation.
Vibrissae (whiskers) of a Patagonian fox
A close-up of the face of a Culpeo, clearly showing its vibrissae, or whiskers. Vibrissae are specialized hairs that grow around the nostrils or other parts of the face in most mammals. They offer an advantage to animals that do not always have sight to rely on to navigate, or to find food, or when the usefulness of non-tactile senses is limited.
Australian Blue Skimmer
The Blue Skimmer (Orthetrum caledonicum) is a common Australian dragonfly. The species is widespread throughout mainland Australia and extending to Tasmania. It is also found in New Guinea, New Caledonia, Loyalty Islands and Lesser Sunda Islands. It inhabits a range of still and flowing water habitats including temporary waters.
The Washington Monument at dusk. The monument is a large white-colored obelisk at the west end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. It is a United States Presidential Memorial constructed for George Washington, the first President of the United States, and is made of marble, granite, and sandstone. Construction began in 1848 but did not complete until 1884, due to lack of funds and the intervention of the American Civil War. Upon completion, it became the world's tallest structure at 558 ft (169 m), a title it inherited from the Cologne Cathedral and held until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was finished.
Common European Squid
The European Squid (Loligo vulgaris) is a large squid belonging to the family Loliginidae. It occurs abundantly in coastal waters of the North Sea to at least the west coast of Africa. This species lives from sea level to depths of 500 m.
Cerro de la Silla
Cerro de la Silla, or Saddle Hill, is an imposing landmark and Natural Monument of the city of Monterrey in Mexico. The tallest of its four peaks, the Pico Norte, is 1820 m (5970 ft) high. The mountain is a popular recreational area, although since the city is at an altitude of 560 m (1837 ft) the climb to the top is relatively challenging. This picture, taken from the west, shows the profile of the "saddle" to its best advantage.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVI
A Supermarine Spitfire Mark XVI. The Spitfire was an iconic British single-seat fighter used by the RAF and many Allied countries in the Second World War. The Spitfire saw service during the whole of WWII in all theatres of war, and in many different variants. It is often credited with winning the Battle of Britain.
A series of torii at Fushimi Inari shrine, Kyoto, Japan
A series of torii, the defining feature of Fushimi Inari-taisha, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the spirit Inari in Kyoto, Japan. The thousands of vermilion torii gates are all donations from individuals, families or companies. The shrine was recently featured in the 2005 film Memoirs of a Geisha.
Solar eclipse of 11 August 1999
The solar eclipse of 1999 August 11, as seen from France. This was the most viewed total eclipse in human history, although some areas offered impaired visibility due to adverse weather conditions. The path of the Moon's shadow began in the Atlantic Ocean, before traversing Cornwall, northern France, southern Germany, Austria, Hungary and northern Serbia .Its maximum was in Romania, and it continued across the Black Sea, Turkey, Iran, southern Pakistan and India.
Photo Credit: Luc Viatour
F/A-18 Hornet during takeoff
An F/A-18 Hornet during takeoff from the USS Kitty Hawk. Takeoff is the phase of flight where an aircraft goes through a transition from moving along the ground (taxiing) to flying in the air, usually on a runway. For a balloon, helicopter and some specialized fixed-wing aircraft (VTOL aircraft such as the Harrier), no runway is needed. Takeoff is the opposite of landing.
Statue of Joan of Arc, Notre Dame de ParisThe "Maid of Orleans", Joan of Arc is a national heroine of France and a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. She helped inspire Charles VII's troops to retake most of his dynasty's former territories, which had been under English and Burgundian dominance during the Hundred Years' War. She later was convicted of heresy (overturned posthumously) and burnt at the stake at the age of nineteen. Pope Benedict XV canonized her on 16 May 1920 and she is now one of the most popular saints of the Catholic Church.Shown here is a statue of Joan of Arc inside Notre Dame de Paris, a Gothic cathedral in Paris, where she was beatified in 1909.
Petrified wood, such as this sample found in Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona, United States, is a fossil wood where all the organic materials have been replaced with minerals, while retaining the original structure of the wood. The petrifaction process occurs underground, when wood becomes buried under sediment. Mineral-rich water flowing through the sediment deposits minerals in the plant's cells and as the lignin and cellulose decay, a stone cast forms in its place.
Lightning over Denver, Colorado, USA
A large bolt of lightning strikes west of downtown Denver, Colorado, with the Qwest Tower (center) in plain view. Denver, known as the "Mile-High City" because its official elevation is one mile (1.6 km), is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Colorado. In the spring and summer, Denver is subject to monsoon conditions with frequent thunderstorms.
Nepenthes rafflesianaAn image of an ant drinking nectar from the peristome of an upper pitcher of a Nepenthes rafflesiana, a species of carnivorous pitcher plant found in Borneo, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. It produces two distinct types of pitchers, which are used to capture and kill insect prey for nutrients. The lower pitchers are generally round, squat and 'winged', while the upper pitchers are more narrow at their base. N. rafflesiana is very popular in cultivation and is commonly recommended as a "first plant" to new Nepenthes growers. Most N. rafflesiana plants on the market today are propagated by tissue culture or other forms of vegetative propagation.
1895 train wreck, Gare Montparnasse
On October 22, 1895, the Granville–Paris Express train overran the buffer stop at Gare Montparnasse station. The engine careened across almost 30 metres (100 feet) of the station concourse, crashed through a 60 centimetre thick wall, shot across a terrace and sailed out of the station, plummeting onto the Place de Rennes 10 metres (30 feet) below where it stood on its nose. While all of the passengers on board the train survived, one woman on the street below was killed by falling masonry.
A macro shot of the head of a dragonfly, focusing on its compound eyes. Dragonfly eyes have up to 30,000 facets; each one is a separate light-sensing organ or ommatidium, arranged to give nearly a 360° field of vision.
A satellite image of the Sahara, the world's largest hot desert and second largest desert after Antarctica at over 9,000,000 km² (3,500,000 mi²), almost as large as the United States. The Sahara is located in Northern Africa and is 2.5 million years old.
A twilight panorama of Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany with the 12th century bridge Steinerne Brücke and Regensburg Cathedral on the left and the river Danube in the foreground. Located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, the first settlements in the area date to the Stone Age. A Roman fort was constructed in 179. In contrast to almost all other major German cities, Regensburg had little damage from Allied air raids in World War II and thus has an almost intact medieval city center, which is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
A composing stick and movable type, the system of printing and typography using pieces of metal type, made by casting from matrices struck by letterpunches. The text on the stick reads, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog and feels as if he were in the seventh heaven of typography together with Hermann Zapf, the most famous artist of the" [sic].
The Hopi Chipmunk (Tamias rufus) is a chipmunk found in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico, in the Southwestern United States. Chipmunks are small squirrel-like rodents, native to North America except for one species in northeastern Asia. Though they are commonly depicted with their paws up to the mouth, eating peanuts, or with their cheeks bulging out on either side, chipmunks are actually omnivorous.
The marketplace of Göttingen, a city in Lower Saxony, Germany, with the old city hall, Gänseliesel fountain and pedestrian zone. Founded before 1200, the city is famous for Georg-August University, which was founded in 1737 and became the most visited university of Europe.
A micrograph of a peacock mite (Tuckerella sp.) on a tea stem, taken by a low-temperature scanning electron microscope at 260X magnification. The peacock mites, an important pest on citrus in the tropics, are so named because of the elaborate ornamentations adorning the dorsal surface of their bodies. They possess five to seven pairs of whip-like setae which are used to defend themselves against predators. They may also help in wind-borne dispersal.
A panorama of Zabriskie Point, an area in Death Valley National Park, California, noted for its beautiful erosional landscape. It is called a badlands due to its difficult-to-traverse topography. The area is composed of sediment from Furnace Creek Lake, which dried-up 5 million years ago—long before Death Valley existed. It is named after Christian Brevoort Zabriskie, the vice-president and general manager of the Pacific Coast Borax Company in the early twentieth century.
Erg Chebbi, the sole Saharan erg in Morocco. An erg is a large, relatively flat area of desert covered with wind-swept sand with little to no vegetation cover. Approximately 85% of all the Earth's mobile sand is found in ergs that are larger than 32,000 km². Individual dunes in ergs typically have widths, lengths, or both dimensions greater than 500 m.
Ergs can be found where an atmosphere capable of significant wind erosion acts on the surface for a significant period of time, creating sand and allowing it to accumulate. Today at least three bodies, apart from Earth, are known in the solar system to feature ergs on their surface: Venus, Mars and Titan.
Picture 47 of the Ambrosian Iliad, a 5th century illuminated manuscript of Homer's Iliad, and one of only three surviving illustrated manuscripts of classical literature to survive from antiquity. This miniature depicts Achilles sacrificing to Zeus.
An F-15D Eagle from the 325th Fighter Wing based at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida releasing flares. The F-15 is a multi-role tactical fighter designed by McDonnell Douglas. The first flight of the F-15A was in July 1972, but since then it has been produced in six model variations with both single seat and dual seat versions. The original and largest operator of the F-15 is the United States Air Force, but it is also operated by the air forces of Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
Battle of the Somme
A Cheshire Regiment sentry in a trench near La Boisselle during the Battle of the Somme. The battle is best remembered for its first day, 1 July 1916, on which the British Army suffered 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 dead. With more than one million casualties over five months, it was one of the bloodiest battles in human history. The Allied forces attempted to break through the German lines along a 25-mile (40 km) front north and south of the River Somme.
Three radomes at the Cryptologic Operations Center, Misawa Air Base, Japan. Short for "radar dome", a radome is a weatherproof enclosure used to protect an antenna. It is used mainly to prevent ice (especially freezing rain) from accumulating directly onto the metal surface of the antenna.
A House Sparrow, a "true sparrow" of the family Passeridae, as opposed to American sparrows. There are other birds, such as the Dunnock, also known as a Hedge Sparrow — a relic of the old practice of calling any small bird a "sparrow". There are 35 species of Old World sparrows, in four genera.
Ferrofluid on glass, with a rare-earth magnet underneath. A ferrofluid is a liquid that becomes strongly polarised in the presence of a magnetic field. Ferrofluids are composed of nanoscale ferromagnetic particles suspended in a carrier fluid, usually an organic solvent or water. Ferrofluids do not actually display ferromagnetism, since they do not retain magnetisation in the absence of an externally-applied field.
The first of a magnification series of a snow crystal (view the entire series) using a low temperature scanning electron microscope with magnification up to 100,000X, compared to 30X – 500X available with a light microscopes. Snow samples are very fragile and exposure to the light necessary to photograph them, using light microscopes, can damage the crystals and even melt them. A low temperature SEM operating at -170°C avoids disturbing the structure.
The Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) is a large diving duck. Its breeding habitat is lowland marshes and lakes in southern Europe and southern and central Asia. It is somewhat migratory, and northern birds winter further south and into North Africa. These birds feed mainly by diving or dabbling. They eat aquatic plants, and typically upend for food more than most diving ducks.
Fred Meyer hypermarket
Aisles of packaged food in a Fred Meyer hypermarket in Portland, Oregon. A hypermarket is a combination of a supermarket and a department store and the Fred Meyer chain is one of the pioneers of the hypermarket format in the United States. Kroger, which owns Fred Meyer, is the top grocery retailer in the country and third-place general retailer in the country.
A female Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis), a medium-sized grouse native to the boreal forests or taiga across Alaska, Canada and the northern United States. Grouses nest on the ground in dense growth. They are not migratory, but some move short distances by foot to a different location for winter.
The Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) is a small gull which breeds in much of Europe and Asia, and also in coastal eastern Canada. Despite the name, the gull's head is only black during the summer. In winter the head becomes white as seen here, leaving just dark vertical streaks.
A street corner in the ghost town of Bodie, California, named after William S. Bodey who discovered gold in the area in 1859. By 1880 Bodie had a population of nearly 10,000. Bodie is also notable for a hydroelectric plant built 13 miles (21 km) away in 1893, one of the first transmissions of electricity over long distance. The town was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and has been in a state of arrested decay ever since.
The quadrangle of Windsor Castle, one of the principal official residences of the British monarch. On the far left is the State Apartments, at the end of the quad is the Private Apartments, where Queen Elizabeth II resides on weekends, and on the right, the South Wing. Located at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, it is the largest inhabited castle in the world and, dating back to the time of William the Conqueror, the oldest in continuous occupation.
A painting depicting Ivan Tsarevich, one of the main heroes of Russian folklore, riding a magic carpet after having captured the Firebird, which he keeps in a cage. This work was Viktor Vasnetsov's first attempt at illustrating Russian folk tales and inaugurated a famous series of paintings on the themes drawn from Russian folklore.
30 St Mary Axe
30 St Mary Axe, otherwise known as "The Gherkin" or the Swiss Re building, at 180 m (590 ft) is the 6th tallest in London, England. Designed by Foster and Partners, the architectural design of the tower contrasts sharply against more traditional buildings in London. Its design won the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize for the best new building by a RIBA architect in 2004 and the 2003 Emporis Skyscraper Award for the best skyscraper in the world completed that year. The building is visible from a long distance from Central London: from the north for instance, it can be seen on the M11 motorway some 32 km (20 mi) away.
Saturn eclipsing the Sun, as seen by the Cassini orbiter. Individual rings seen in this image include (in order, starting from most distant): E ring, Pallene ring (visible very faintly in an arc just below Saturn), G ring, Janus/Epimetheus ring (faint), F ring (narrow brightest feature), Main rings (A,B,C), and D ring (bluish, nearest Saturn).
Maik' (apprentice geisha) and nape make-up
A photo of two maiko (apprentice geisha), with the typical make-up clearly visible, leaving portions of the nape uncovered. This is done to accentuate what is a traditionally erotic area. The white face make-up is supposed to resemble a mask, and a line of bare skin around the hairline helps create that illusion. Established geisha generally wear full white face makeup characteristic of maiko only during special performances.
The Richat Structure is a huge depression in the country of Mauritania. It was originally thought to be the impact of a meteorite. Now it is thought to be a symmetrical uplift (circular anticline or dome) that has been exposed to erosion. In this false-color photo, bedrock is brown, sand is yellow and white, vegetation is green, and salty sediments are blue.
A test firing of twin linear XRS-2200 aerospike engines, originally built for the Lockheed Martin X-33, a next-generation, commercially operated reusable launch vehicle. The aerospike engine is a type of rocket engine that maintains its efficiency across a wide range of altitudes through the use of an aerospike nozzle. A vehicle with an aerospike engine uses 25-30% less fuel at low altitudes, where most missions have the greatest need for thrust.
This photo of an opened oviduct with an ectopic pregnancy features a spectacularly well preserved 10-millimeter five-week-old embryo. It is uncommon to see any embryo at all in an ectopic, and for one to be this well preserved (and undisturbed by the prosector's knife) is quite unusual. Even an embryo this tiny shows very distinct anatomic features, including tail, limb buds, heart (which actually protrudes from the chest), eye cups, cornea/lens, brain, and prominent segmentation into somites.
Richard's Pipit chicks
Three Richard's Pipit (Anthus richardi) chicks in a nest. This species of pipit is a medium-sized passerine bird which breeds in open grasslands in Siberia. It is a long distance migrant moving to open lowlands in South Asia, East Africa and Australia. It is a rare but regular vagrant to Western Europe.
Two Melangyna viridiceps (called Common Hoverflies in Australia) mating in mid-air. The male, which can be identified by the eyes meeting at the top of its head, is on top. The term "hoverfly" refers to about 6,000 species of flying insects in the family Syrphidae. They are often seen hovering at flowers and are important pollinators.
A P-51 Mustang in a heritage flight during an airshow at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, USA. The P-51 was a long-range single-seat fighter aircraft that entered service with Allied air forces in the middle years of World War II. It remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s.
The Australian Pelican (Pelicanus conspicillatus), also known as the Goolayyalibee is a species of pelican widespread on the inland and coastal waters of Australia and New Guinea. Compared to other pelican species, they are medium-sized: 1.6 to 1.8 m (5.25 to 6 ft) long with a wingspan of 2.3 to 2.5 m (7.6 to 8.25 ft) and weighing between 4 and almost 7 kg (9 to 15 lbs). They are predominantly white, with black and white wings and a pale, pinkish bill which, like that of all pelicans, is enormous—particularly in the male.
The carta marina is the earliest detailed map of the Nordic countries. It took twelve years to finish and the first copies were printed in 1539 in Venice. Its existence had long been considered apocryphal, until a copy was discovered in Munich in 1886. The map is divided in 3×3 sheets with the dimension 55x40 cm (22x16 in), each made from a separate woodcut block. Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus (Rome, 1555) is a much larger commentary on the map.
A 1942 mass production line of North American Aviation B-25 Mitchell bombers at Fairfax Airport, Kansas City, Kansas, USA. This twin-engine aircraft was used with devastating effect against German and Japanese targets in every combat theater of World War II. More than half of the 10,000 planes built during the war were constructed at Fairfax Airport.
The skyline of Chicago, Illinois, USA, as seen from the Adler Planetarium. The scene stretches from Shedd Aquarium on the left to Navy Pier on the right. In between, other Chicago landmarks can be seen, such as, from left to right, Sears Tower (tall black building), the Aon Center (tall white building), and the John Hancock Center (black trapezoidal building).
Photo credit: Buphoff
Rope trick effect
A photo of the rope trick effect, the name for the lines and spikes which emanate from the fireball of a nuclear explosion just after detonation, from the Tumbler-Snapper test series of 1952. The fireball has a surface temperature of over 20,000 kelvins and emits huge amounts of visible light radiation. The "rope tricks" which protrude from the bottom are caused by the heating, rapid vaporization and then expansion of the mooring cables tethering the tower supporting the nuclear bomb at the start of the test.
A live specimen of an Atlantic Bobtail squid (Sepiola atlantica) from the Belgian continental shelf. The animal was released after the picture was taken.
Broadway Tower is a folly located near the village of Broadway, Worcestershire, England, at one of the highest points of the Cotswolds. Its base is 1,024 feet (312 metres) above sea level, the tower itself standing 55 feet (17 metres) tall. On a clear day, thirteen counties of England can be seen from its top.
The Egyptian Grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium) is one of a dozen species that may be called a locust during its swarming phase. Common in the southern Europe and around Mediterranean, it is similar to the gregarious phase of the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria), but is clearly distinguished by the striped eyes and, unlike that species, causes little damage.
NASA astronaut Robert Curbeam (left) and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Christer Fuglesang participate in STS-116's first of three planned sessions of extra-vehicular activity (EVA) as construction resumes on the International Space Station. The landmasses depicted in the background are the South Island (left) and North Island (right) of New Zealand.
A statue of Louis Agassiz, a Swiss-American geologist, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, on the campus of Stanford University. It is said that when the earthquake struck, "[the statue of] Agassiz stuck his head underground to find out what was going on in the earth below and with his finger pointing saying, 'Hark! Listen!'"
The head of a Rothschild's Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), a subspecies of giraffe found in Uganda and north-central Kenya. It has deep brown, blotched or rectangular spots with poorly defined cream lines and its hocks may be spotted.
A man riding a bucking bronco on the open range in Bonham, Texas, USA. The word is used in the United States and Canada to refer to an untrained horse and comes from the Spanish word bronco, meaning "rough", which in Mexican usage also describes a horse. It was then borrowed and adapted in American cowboy lingo.
A captive Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA. This critically endangered subspecies of the Gray Wolf once ranged from central Mexico to the Southwestern United States. In 1980, the last five known surviving members were captured to save the species. Now, over 300 wolves are taking part in a wolf reintroduction program, with at least fifty individuals in the wild.
A pile of saffron threads (each about 20 mm in length) from Iran. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of the saffron crocus and is among the world's costliest spices by weight. In Western countries, the average retail price is $2200/€1550/£1100 per kilogram ($1,000/€700/£500 per pound). Besides its use as a seasoning, it has also been used in its history as fragrance, dye, and medicine.
St Isaac's Square
A photochrom of St Isaac's Square in St Petersburg, Russia from the 1890s, as seen from the dome of St Isaac's Cathedral towards Marie Palace. Behind the palace, the capital of the Russian Empire is seen all the way to the Trinity Cathedral. The square is dominated by the equestrian Monument to Nicholas I.
Joseph Kittinger jumps
Captain Joseph Kittinger steps from a balloon-supported gondola at the altitude of 102,800 feet (31.3 km), or almost 20 miles on August 16, 1960, as part of Project Excelsior, a series of high-altitude parachute jumps, testing a system that would allow a safe controlled descent after a high-altitude aircraft ejection. In freefall for 4.5 minutes at speeds up to 625 mph (1,005 km/h) and temperatures as low as −94°F (−70°C), he opened his parachute at 17,500 feet (5.3 km). The whole descent took 13 minutes and 45 seconds, and set the current world record for the highest parachute jump and the longest parachute freefall.
A female Metallic Ringtail (Austrolestes cingulatus), an Australian damselfly, eating its prey. Each abdominal segment is marked by a pale "ring"; this combined with its glossy metallic coloration give the insect its common name.
A 2.38 g piece of aerogel supporting a 2.5 kg brick. Aerogels are stiff foams composed of up to 99.8% air and with a density as low as 1 mg per cubic centimetre.
Aerogels hold 15 different records for material properties, including best insulator and lowest-density solid.
Mark 45 gun
The Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Benfold fires its five-inch 54-caliber MK45 gun during routine training operations off the coast of Southern California. The gun mount features an automatic loader with a capacity of 20 rounds. These can be fired under full automatic control taking a little over a minute to exhaust those rounds at maximum fire rate. For sustained use, a three-man crew can keep the gun supplied with ammunition.
A macro shot of the interior of an Echinopsis spachiana flower, showing both carpels (center) and stamen (forming a ring around the carpels), making it a "complete flower", a term used in describing plant sexuality. Flowers, the reproductive structures of angiosperms, are more varied than the equivalent structures of any other group of organisms, and flowering plants also have an unrivalled diversity of sexual systems.
Lesser brown blowfly
A female lesser brown blowfly (Calliphora augur), also known as the bluebodied blowfly. This species of blowfly is native to Australia. It is a common visitor to houses and is also noted as a perpetrator of flystrike on sheep. It lays living maggots unlike most blowfly species which lay eggs.
A whole and a half-shelled Persian Walnut (Juglans regia), also known as Common Walnut or English Walnut. This species of walnut is native from the Balkans, east through southwest and central Asia and the Himalayas to southwest China.
An 1891 photograph of Cliff Palace, the largest cliff dwelling—a structure built within caves and under outcroppings in cliffs—in North America, located in what is now Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, USA. There are about 150 rooms in the 288 ft (88 m) long structure, although only 25 to 30 of those were used as living space by Ancient Pueblo Peoples. it is estimated that the population of Cliff Palace was roughly 100–150 people.
Glacier Girl, a P-38 Lightning dug out from 268 feet (81.2 m) of ice in eastern Greenland in 1992. The P-38, with its distinctive shape, was used most successfully in the South West Pacific theater, where it flown by the American pilots with the highest number of aerial victories in World War II.
Hawk eating vole
A juvenile Red-tailed Hawk eating a California Vole. This act, called predation, is a biological interaction where a predator species kills and eats others, known as prey. Predators are either carnivores or omnivores. Herbivores are usually treated separately, but from an ecological perspective, the activities of the herbivorous species that kill the organism they feed on is functionally the same as predation.
Eastern Gray Squirrel
An Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) eating a nut in St. James's Park, London. Although native to eastern North America, the species has been introduced into a variety of locations. In England, gray squirrels have mostly replaced native Red Squirrels and have no natural predators, which has added to their rapid population growth and has led to the species being classed as a pest.
RMS Titanic wreckage
Wreckage of the RMS Titanic's bow as seen from the Russian submersible MIR I. The shipwreck had been underwater for just under 95 years at the time of the photo, and has decayed considerably. It was discovered in 1985 at a depth of 12,500 feet (3800 m), 13 nautical miles (24 km) from where the Titanic was originally thought to rest. The bow section, which had split from the stern, had embedded itself more than 60 feet (18 m) into the silt on the ocean floor and was mostly intact.
Visits by tourists in submersibles and the recovery of artifacts are hastening the decay of the wreck. It is estimated that the hull and structure of the ship may collapse to the ocean floor within the next 50 years.
Da Vinci cartoon
Leonardo da Vinci's cartoon The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist combines two themes popular in Florentine painting of the 15th century: the Virgin and Child with St John the Baptist and the Virgin and Child with St Anne. St Anne's enigmatic gesture of pointing her index finger towards the heavens recurs in two of Leonardo's last paintings, his St John the Baptist and his Bacchus, and is regarded as the quintessential Leonardesque gesture. It currently hangs in the National Gallery in London.
False-color Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image of a side of the Chasma Boreale, a canyon in the polar ice cap of the Planum Boreum (north pole of Mars). Light browns are layers of surface dust, greys and blues are layers of water and carbon dioxide ice. Regular geometric cracking is indicative of higher concentrations of water ice.
The Planum Boreum's permanent ice cap has a maximum depth of 3 km (1.9 mi). It is roughly 1200 km (750 mi) in diameter, an area equivalent to about 1½ times the size of Texas. The Chasma Boreale is up to 100 km (62.5 mi) wide and features scarps up to 2 km (1.25 mi) high. For a comparison, the Grand Canyon is approximately 1.6 km (1 mi) deep in some places and 446 km (279 mi) long but only up to 24 km (15 mi) wide.
The Tower Bridge, a bascule bridge that crosses the River Thames in London, England, at twilight. It is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London and is sometimes mistakenly called London Bridge, which is the next bridge upstream. The bridge replaced the Tower Subway for carrying pedestrian traffic across the river.
Power house mechanic working on steam pump
Lewis Hine's 1920 Power house mechanic working on steam pump, one of his "work portraits", shows a working class American in an industrial setting. The carefully posed subject, a young man with wrench in hand, is hunched over, surrounded by the machinery that defines his job. But while constrained by the machinery, the man is straining against it—muscles taut, with a determined look—in an iconic representation of masculinity.
A whole and cross-section of a red bell pepper (pepper in the UK and capsicum elsewhere in the Commonwealth). This cultivar of Capsicum annuum has a recessive gene that eliminates the capsaicin in the fruit. The pepper scores zero on the Scoville scale, meaning it has none of the "heat" that other chili peppers do.
A male Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) in flight. This species of pigeon, native to western and southern Europe and North Africa, is known throughout the world, although pure Rock Pigeons are increasingly rare, having been displaced by the domesticated version. Some pigeon breeds such as homing pigeons have been extremely useful to humans.
Black-bellied Whistling Duck
A Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) in mid-flight. This species of whistling duck breeds in the southernmost United States and tropical Central and South America. As the name implies, these are noisy birds with a clear whistling waa-chooo call.
This image features the Crystal Mountains within the Desolation Wilderness in the U.S. state of California with Lake Aloha in the foreground. This range is a subrange of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The southernmost and highest peak seen here on the left is Pyramid Peak, reaching 9,987 ft (3,026 m). The northernmost summit in the range is Tells Peak, however the peak all the way to the right in the image is in the middle of the range and is called Little Pyramid Peak. These mountains are visible from the city of Sacramento on clear days viewed from the other side.
Great Red Spot
False-color detail of Jupiter's atmosphere, imaged by Voyager 1, showing the Great Red Spot and a passing white oval. The wavy cloud pattern to the left of the Red Spot is a region of extraordinarily complex and variable wave motion. To give a sense of Jupiter's scale, the white oval storm directly below the Great Red Spot is approximately the same diameter as Earth.
Whaling in the Faroe Islands
Atlantic White-sided Dolphins, on a concrete-floored dock at the port of Hvalba, which is in the Faroe Islands, north of the United Kingdom. Whaling in the Faroe Islands has been practised since at least the 10th century. It is strongly regulated by Faroese authorities and is approved by the International Whaling Commission.
The Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), also known as the Spiny Anteater because of its diet of ants and termites, is one of four living species of echidna. The species is found throughout Australia, where it is the most widespread native mammal, and in coastal and highland regions of southwestern New Guinea.
This false-color radar image taken by the Cassini orbiter provides convincing evidence for large bodies of liquid methane on Titan. Images taken during a fly-by of the moon on July 22, 2006 show more than 75 large bodies of liquid ranging in diameter from three to 70km (1.9 to 43.6 mi) in the moon's northern hemisphere. Intensity in this colorized image is proportional to how much radar brightness is returned. The lakes, darker than the surrounding terrain, are emphasized here by tinting regions of low backscatter in blue. Radar-brighter regions are shown in tan. Smallest details in this image are about 500 m (1,640 ft) across. On January 3, 2007, NASA announced that scientists have "definitive evidence of lakes filled with methane on Saturn's moon Titan."
The Wright Flyer takes off on December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in the first successful attempt of sustained powered flight. In this photograph of the first flight, Orville Wright is at the controls lying prone on the lower wing with hips in the cradle that operated the wing warping mechanism. Wilbur Wright running alongside, has just released his hold to balance the machine.
Queen meat ant
A queen meat ant burrowing a hole after her nuptial flight, an important phase in the reproduction of most ant and some bee species. Young queens and males stay in their parent colony until conditions are right. During the flight, the queen will usually mate with several males, after which mated queens land and remove their wings. They then attempt to found a new colony.
An Eastern Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus ornatus) with nesting material in its mouth. This subspecies of the Striated Pardalote, the least colourful and most common of the four pardalote species, is found in subtropical areas of Eastern Australia. They are more often heard than seen, foraging noisily for lerps and other small creatures in the treetops.
Polar map of Jupiter
This polar map of Jupiter, taken by the Cassini orbiter as it neared Jupiter during a flyby on its way to Saturn, is the most detailed global color map of the planet ever produced. The south pole is in the center of the map and the equator is at the edge. The map shows a variety of colorful cloud features, including parallel reddish-brown and white bands, the Great Red Spot, multi-lobed chaotic regions, white ovals, and many small vortexes. Many clouds appear in streaks and waves due to continual stretching and folding by Jupiter's winds and turbulence.
An arching fountain of pāhoehoe lava, approximately 10 m (33 ft) high, issuing from a spatter cone of Pu‘u Kahaualea, Hawaii. Pāhoehoe is basaltic lava that has a smooth, billowy, undulating, or ropy surface. These surface features are due to the movement of very fluid lava under a congealing surface crust. Pāhoehoe lavas typically have a temperature of 1100°C–1200°C.
L'Hemisferic, an IMAX Cinema, planetarium and Laserium, on the grounds of the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències ("City of Arts and Sciences"), in Valencia, Spain.
A common hoverfly, Melangyna viridiceps, approximately 12 mm in size, resting on a stalk. Many hoverfly species, such as this one, mimic the appearance of bees or wasps, which is thought to protect them from falling prey to birds and other insectivores. About 6,000 species of hoverflies in 200 genera have been described.
Blessed milk thistle
The flower of a Blessed milk thistle (Silybum marianum). Originally a native of Southern Europe through to Asia, it is now found throughout the world and considered an invasive weed. Thistles can be toxic to cattle and sheep, but their extract can be used to cure amanita poisoning. A different extract can also be found in Rockstar Energy Drink.
A stitched panorama of the Morteratsch Glacier, the largest glacier by area in the Bernina Range, Switzerland. By volume, it is the largest glacier in the Eastern Alps. In spring, depending on the snow conditions, a 10 km (6.25 mi) long ski-run is marked on the glacier, which takes up to two hours to descend.
Green tent spider
A green tent spider, approximately 15 mm in length, of the genus Cyrtophora on a blade of grass. These spiders create tent-like, highly complex non-sticky webs, sometimes considered a precursor of the simplified orb-web. These webs are aligned horizontally, with a network of supporting threads above them. These spiders often live in colonies.
A grasshopper nymph (Dissosteira carolina species), approximately 17 mm long. Often confused with crickets and katydids, there are about 11,000 valid species described to date in 2,400 genera, including those known as locusts. Many undescribed species exist, especially in tropical rainforests.
A stitched panorama taken from St Jerome, the summit of Montserrat, a 1,236 m (4,055 ft) mountain near Barcelona, Spain. The mountain's name means "jagged mountain" and is used because of the peculiar aspect of the formation, which is visible from a great distance.
A plate of Limburger cheese and pumpernickel bread. Limburger originated from Limburg, Belgium, and is known for its strong odor, which is due in part to being fermented with the same bacteria partially responsible for human body odor.
The skyline of Toledo, Spain, at sunset, with the Alcázar on the left and Cathedral on the right. The city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the capital of the province of Toledo and of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. It is one of the former capitals of the Spanish Empire and a place of coexistence of Christian, Jewish and Moorish cultures.
Comet McNaught, as seen from Swifts Creek, Victoria, Australia. This non-periodic comet, the brightest in over 40 years, was discovered on August 7, 2006 by British-Australian astronomer Robert H. McNaught. It was first visible in the northern hemisphere, reaching perihelion on January 12, 2007 at a distance of 0.17 AU.
The Ulysses Butterfly (Papilio ulysses) is a large Australian swallowtail with a wingspan of about 14 cm (5.5 in). The top of the butterfly’s wings are an iridescent electric blue; the underside is a more subdued black and brown coloration. When the butterfly is perched the intense blue of its wings is hidden (as seen here), helping it to blend in with its surroundings.
A stitched panorama of Alcatraz Island, in San Francisco Bay, California, as seen facing east. Alcatraz is most famous for its prison, which closed in 1963, but whose legacy lived on in films such as Escape from Alcatraz and The Rock. Today it is a National Recreation Area
The Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) is a member of the grebe family of water birds. In summertime, adults are unmistakable, due to their red neck and white throat. In winter, the Red-necked Grebe is duskier than most grebes, with no white above the eye, and a thick, yellowish bill. It is a somewhat large grebe, about the same size as an average duck.
The Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus) is a species of fish from the cichlid family. In South America, where the species occurs, they are often found for sale as a food fish in the local markets. The species is also a popular aquarium fish. They have been reported to grow to a length of 45 cm (ca. 18 in) and a mass of 1.6 kg (3.5 lb).
A Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit in flight. The B-2 is a stealth bomber able to drop conventional and nuclear weapons. There have been 21 of these flying wings built, down from an initial projection of 135, the collapse of the Soviet Union having rendered void the Spirit's primary mission.
Luna Park Scenic Railway
The Scenic Railway, the world's oldest continually-operating roller coaster, found at Luna Park in Melbourne, Australia. Built in 1912, this is a side-friction wooden roller coaster, meaning it lacks an extra set of wheels under the track to prevent cars from becoming airborne. Instead, a brakeman stands between the two cars (visible here wearing a purple vest and a backwards cap) and slows the ride down when necessary. It is one of only nine remaining side-friction coasters in the world.
Union Stock Yards
The maze of livestock pens and walkways of the Union Stock Yards of Chicago, Illinois, circa 1947. From the American Civil War until the 1920s, more meat was processed in Chicago than in any other place in the world. The stockyard opened in 1865 and closed in 1971 after several decades of decline during the decentralization of the meat packing industry.
The Cairns Birdwing (Ornithoptera euphorion) is a birdwing butterfly of the Papilionidae family. It is Australia's largest butterfly, and is native to the tropical north of Queensland.
Western honey bee
A Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) about to land on a milk thistle flower. This species of honey bee consists of several subspecies, originating from throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. The honey bee is an important pollinator, but Colony Collapse Disorder threatens the existence of commercial beekeeping operations worldwide.
The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a medium large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution. It is often known by other colloquial names such as Fish Hawk, Sea Hawk or Fish Eagle.
The Osprey is particularly well adapted to its diet, with reversible outer toes, closable nostrils to keep out water during dives, and backwards facing scales on the talons which act as barbs to help catch fish.
A visible light image of the Helix Nebula, one of the closest planetary nebulae (about 650 light-years away) to Earth, located in the constellation Aquarius. It was discovered by Karl Ludwig Harding before 1824 and was created at the end of the life of a Sun-like star. The outer gases of the star expelled into space appear from our vantage point as if we are looking down a helix. The remnant central stellar core, destined to become a white dwarf star, glows in light so energetic that it causes the previously expelled gas to fluoresce.
Hrant Dink funeral
Over 100,000 people attended the funeral of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink. Dink, noted for his opinions on Turkish-Armenian reconciliation, had been prosecuted three times for denigrating Turkishness, receiving multiple death threats which culminated in his assassination on January 19, 2007. During the march, funeral attendees carried placards reading "We are all Hrant Dink" and "We are all Armenians" in Turkish, Armenian and Kurdish. The building on the right with the black banner is the office of Agos, where Dink was killed.
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster at dusk, showing the Victoria Tower (left) and the Clock Tower colloquially known as 'Big Ben'. The palace lies on the bank of the River Thames in the heart of London. The oldest part, Westminster Hall, dates to 1097, but most of the present structure dates from the 19th century, when it was rebuilt after it was almost entirely destroyed by a fire in 1834. Together with Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret's Church, the palace is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Torre Agbar is a landmark skyscraper and the third tallest building in Barcelona, Spain. It was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, who stated that the shape of the Torre Agbar was inspired by the mountains of Montserrat that surround Barcelona, and by the shape of a geyser of water rising into the air. Its design combines a number of different architectural concepts, resulting in a striking structure built with reinforced concrete, covered with a facade of glass, and over 4,500 window openings cut out of the structural concrete.
Egeskov Castle is a Danish castle located on the island of Funen. The castle is constructed on oaken piles and located in a small lake of maximum depth five meters. Originally, the only access was by means of a drawbridge. According to legend, it took an entire forest of oak trees to build the foundation, hence the name Egeskov (literally: Oak forest).
The Starry Night
The Starry Night is the title given to one of the best known and most reproduced paintings by Dutch post-impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh. A year after his painting Starry Night Over the Rhone, he announced "a new study of a starry sky." He finished The Starry Night in September 1889, but was unsatisfied with the final work, feeling it lacked "individual intention and feeling in the lines."
This photo of an archetypal aviator from 1942 shows U.S. Army test pilot Lt. F.W. "Mike" Hunter wearing a flight suit and aviator sunglasses. An aviator (also pilot or airman) is a person who flies aircraft, whether for pleasure or as a profession. The word "aviatrix" was used to refer to female aviators, reflecting the word's Latin root, but is now seldom used, even as a gender-specific term. In civilian usage, the word airman is analogous with the nautical term seaman.
A female Great Eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina), a species of butterfly found in Madagascar, South and Southeast Asia, South Pacific islands, Australia, Japan and New Zealand. The female of the species mimics the inedible Euploea core.
A stitched panorama of Zabriskie Point, a section of Death Valley National Park (in the United States) noted for its strikingly beautiful erosional landscape. The terrain is referred to as badlands due to its very difficult-to-traverse topography. It is composed of sediments from Furnace Creek Lake, which dried up 5 million years ago — long before Death Valley came into existence.
A smoky day at the Sugar Bowl, a photograph of a Hupa fisherman by Edward S. Curtis. The Hupa are an Athabaskan tribe of over 2,600 individuals that inhabits northwestern California. They are the southernmost representatives of the Northwest Coast culture, although some of their customs are not characteristic of that culture area.
Curtis was a practitioner of salvage ethnography, which is the practice of documenting what is left of a culture before it disappears. This assumed a particular significance during the 18th century and early 19th century as the American Indians were becoming separated from their traditional culture.
A mole cricket, an insect belonging to the Gryllotalpidae family. Mole crickets are common insects, found on every continent except Antarctica, but because they are nocturnal and spend nearly all their lives underground in extensive tunnel systems, they are rarely seen. This specimen is likely to be Gryllotalpa brachyptera and is about 3.5 cm (1.4 in.) in size.
Lichtenstein Castle is a fairy-tale castle located near Honau in the Swabian Alb, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. Although there have been previous castles on the site, the current castle was constructed by Duke Wilhelm of Urach in 1840 after being inspired by Wilhelm Hauff's novel Lichtenstein. The romantic Neo-Gothic design of the castle was created by the architect Carl Alexander Heideloff.
Library of Congress Great Hall
The Great Hall inside the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. This building is the oldest of the Library's three buildings and is known for its elaborately decorated facade and interior, for which more than forty American painters and sculptors produced commissioned works of art. Originally called simply the "Library of Congress Building" its name was changed to honor former President Thomas Jefferson, who had been a key figure in the establishment of the Library in 1800.
NGC 602 is the designation for a particular young, bright open cluster of stars located in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to our own Milky Way. Radiation and shock waves from the star cluster have pushed away much of the lighter surrounding gas and dust that compose the nebula known as N90, and this in turn has triggered new star formation in the ridges (or "elephant trunks") of the nebula. These even younger stars are still enshrouded in dust but are visible to the Spitzer Space Telescope at infrared wavelengths. A number of other, more distant galaxies also appear in the background of the image.
Smithsonian Institution Building
The Smithsonian Institution Building, popularly known as The Castle, is the administrative office and information center of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. It was the first Smithsonian building, completed in 1855 by architect James Renwick, Jr. and is constructed of red sandstone in the Norman style.
Vernal Fall is a 317 ft (97 m) tall waterfall on the Merced River just downstream of Nevada Fall in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. It is accessible via the Mist Trail, which climbs close enough to the fall so that hikers must travel through the fall's mist. The waterfall runs all year long, although by the end of summer, it is substantially reduced in volume and can split into multiple strands, rather than a single curtain, of water.
The Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens, female shown here) is a large hummingbird that breeds in mountains from the southwestern United States to western Panama. The bird appears very dark unless the sun catches the iridescence of the plumage and the brilliant colours flash in the sunlight. It is generally about 13 cm long, with males weighing 10 g and females 8.5 g. The black bill is long and slightly curved.
The brise soleil on Santiago Calatrava's Quadracci Pavilion of the Milwaukee Art Museum in the open position. French for "sun break", a brise soleil serves to provide shade from the sun. Calatrava's brise soleil opens up for a wingspan of 217 feet (66.1 m) during the day, folding over the tall, arched structure at night or during inclement weather.
Peugeot 206, Swedish Rally
Juuso Pykälistö, driving a Peugeot 206 WRC at the 2003 Swedish Rally, lands a high-speed "yump" on two wheels in the snow. This rally competition is part of the World Rally Championship and was the first rally to be held on snow.
The Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) is a species of owl resident in much of Europe and southern Russia. It is a medium-sized earless owl, 37-43 cm in length with an 81-96 cm wingspan. The Tawny Owl is stocky with a large rounded head and rounded wings. This species probably injures more people than any other European bird. It is fearless in defence of its nest and young, and strikes for the intruder's face with its sharp talons. Since its flight is silent, at night in particular it may not be detected until too late.
A path of shelled pecans makes its way through a host of unshelled ones. Pecans can be eaten fresh or used in cooking, particularly in sweet desserts, such as the pecan pie, a traditional southern U.S. recipe. Pecans are also a major ingredient in praline candy. The U.S. produces between 80% and 95% of the world's pecans, with an annual crop of 150–200 million kg (300–400 million pounds).
Second Severn Crossing
A view of the Second Severn Crossing, as seen from Severn Beach, England. This bridge carries the M4 motorway across the River Severn between Severn Beach and Caldicot in south Wales. It has a total span of 5.1 km and includes a cable-stayed section called the Shoots Bridge which spans the shipping channel between the two towers. The River Severn has a vast tidal range—the point from which this photograph was taken is covered at high tide.
Calisthenics at Manzanar
Female internees practicing calisthenics at Manzanar War Relocation Center, California. In 1943, Ansel Adams was invited to photograph the everyday life of the Japanese American internees in the camp. Adams' intent was to "show how these people, suffering under a great injustice, (…) had overcome the sense of defeat and despair by building for themselves a vital community in an arid (but magnificent) environment."
The Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the only marsupial found in North America. A solitary and nocturnal animal about the size of a domestic cat, it is a successful opportunist and is found throughout North America from coast to coast (introduced to California in 1910), and from Central America and Mexico to southern Canada.
The 66th plate from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur (1904), depicting organisms classified as Arachnida. This book of lithographic and autotype prints consists of 100 prints of various organisms, many of which were first described by Haeckel himself. Fifteen different arachnids from various orders are included in this illustration.
An image of the top layers of Earth's atmosphere leading to outer space. Atmospheric gases scatter blue wavelengths of visible light more than other wavelengths, giving the Earth’s visible edge a blue halo. At higher and higher altitudes, the atmosphere becomes so thin that it essentially ceases to exist. Gradually, the atmospheric halo fades into the blackness of space.
The morphology and locomotive system of Equus callibus (a common horse). Because horses and humans have lived and worked together for thousands of years, an extensive specialized vocabulary has arisen to describe virtually every horse behavioral and anatomical characteristic with a high degree of precision. Horse anatomy comes with a large number of horse-specific terms.
A picture of cutlery made of biodegradable plastic. The image was created using photoelasticity, an experimental method to determine stress distribution in a material. The method is based on the property of birefringence, which occurs when a ray of light passing through a transparent material experiences two refractive indices.
Sather Tower on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, as seen from California Memorial Stadium at sunset. The campanile (bell and clock tower), home of a full concert 61-bell carillon, serves as the school's most recognizable symbol and has been a major point of orientation in almost every campus master plan. The tower has thirteen floors, with the observation deck on the eighth.
An 1888 cigarette card featuring King Kelly, a catcher for the Boston Beaneaters, part of a 50 card set depicting athletes from a variety of sports, including eight baseball players. This is an early example of the use of pointillism in printmaking to create a wide variety of colors with a small number of plates. The pointillist technique was later advanced to create halftoning and Benday dots.
Edwards Air Force Base
The world's largest compass rose, drawn on the desert floor at Edwards Air Force Base in California, United States. Painted on the playa near Dryden Flight Research Center, it is inclined to magnetic north and is used by pilots for calibrating heading indicators.
Las Vegas Strip
A panorama of a portion of the Las Vegas Strip at night (facing east), as seen from the Bellagio. Despite the name, the majority of The Strip is not actually within the city limits of Las Vegas, Nevada. Visible in the image are (left to right) Bally's, Paris, Aladdin (now Planet Hollywood), MGM Grand, Monte Carlo, New York-New York, the Project CityCenter construction site, as well as a number of other smaller hotels and casinos.
A mammatus cloud formation over Swifts Creek, Victoria, Australia. The name "mammatus" derives from the Latin mamma, or breast, due to their rounded, hanging shape. Mammatus clouds only occur where cumulonimbus are present and are often the byproduct of strong storm activity. Detailed observations of mammatus have been meager and usually occur only by chance, since they do not pose a meteorological threat to society.
Salar de Uyuni
Salt mounds in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, the world's largest salt flat. It is the remnant of a prehistoric lake surrounded by mountains without drainage outlets. Salt is harvested in the traditional method: the salt is scraped into small mounds for water evaporation and easier transportation, dried over fire, and finally enriched with iodine.
A black-tailed prairie dog at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., looks out from a system of burrows, characteristically scanning the horizon. On average, these rodents grow to between 12 and 16 inches (30 and 40 cm) long, including their short tails.
This watercolor painting shows Cleveland Tower on the campus of Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey as seen from just outside Procter Hall at the Old Graduate College in the noon autumn sun. The tower was built in 1913 as a memorial to former United States President Grover Cleveland, who also served as a university trustee. One of the largest carillons in the world, the class of 1892 bells, was installed in 1927. The Chapel Music program plays the bells Sunday afternoons during each semester, except during exam periods.
Weeki Wachee spring, Florida
A 1947 fashion photograph taken at Weeki Wachee spring, Florida, by Toni Frissell, who took up fashion photography professionally only after she got fired as a caption writer for Vogue. Even though her work spans the spectrum from society photography to social issues, she is remembered as a fashion photographer and recognized for her stark imagery and as being among the first to take fashion models out of the studio into nature, as this picture at the newly opened Weeki Wachee Springs roadside attraction shows.
Nine Marines from Mike Battery, 4th Battalion, 14th Marines operate the 155mm M198 howitzer in November 2004. The battery was based at Camp Fallujah, Iraq and was supporting Operation Phantom Fury. All nine members of the M198 crew are present.
The two Antennae Galaxies (NGC 4038 on the left and NGC 4039 on the right) are a pair of interacting galaxies in the constellation Corvus that are undergoing a galactic collision. They are known as the 'Antennae' because the two long tails of stars, gas, and dust thrown out of the galaxies as a result of the collision resemble the antennae of an insect. The nuclei of the two galaxies are joining to become one supergalaxy. This is likely the future of our Milky Way when it collides with Andromeda.
Eastern Banjo Frog
The Eastern Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes dumerilli) is native to eastern Australia and has been introduced to New Zealand. The frog is also commonly called the pobblebonk after its distinctive "bonk" call, which is likened to a banjo string being plucked. Adults are roughly seven to eight cm long.
A Common Jassid leafhopper (Eurymela fenestrata) nymph. This species lives in a symbiotic relationship with meat ants, shown here "milking" the honeydew secretions.
Buzz Aldrin's footprint
Apollo 11 Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin's bootprint. Aldrin photographed his bootprint about an hour into their lunar extra-vehicular activity on July 20, 1969 as part of investigations into the soil mechanics and regolith of the lunar surface. This photo also shows the undisturbed patch of ground before he placed his boot there.
Along the River During Qingming Festival
A detail from the 1736 remake of Along the River During Qingming Festival (see the entire painting, which is over 11.5 m / 37.7 ft. wide), a 12th century painting attributed to Zhang Zeduan. The original painting captures the daily life of people from the Song Dynasty at the capital, today's Kaifeng. The remake updates the scenery to include Qing Dynasty motifs and shows the influence of Western painting techniques.
A clerid beetle of the species Trogodendron fasciculatum, commonly known as the yellow-horned clerid, sits atop a eucalyptus branch in Victoria, Australia.
The German wasp (Vespula germanica) is a wasp found in much of the Northern Hemisphere, native to Europe, northern Africa, and temperate Asia. It is more commonly known in North America as a yellowjacket.
Battle of Normandy
Landing ships putting ashore on Omaha Beach at low tide during the first days of the Battle of Normandy, mid-June, 1944. Barrage balloons fly overhead and U.S. Army "half-tracks" form a convoy on the beach. The Normandy landing was the largest seaborne invasion in history, with almost three million troops crossing the English Channel.
Two sets of late 19th century collecting cards (see all cards), depicting historical events in ballooning and parachuting history from 1783 to 1846. The cards show first flights, military accomplishments, triumphs and tragedies, such as the death of Tom Harris in 1824, who sacrificed his life when his balloon lost altitude and threatened to kill Harris and his fiancée.
United States Capitol
The western (front) side of the United States Capitol. The U.S. Capitol serves as the location for Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located in Washington, D.C., on top of Capitol Hill at the east end of the National Mall. The building is marked by its central dome above a rotunda and two wings. It is an exemplar of the Neoclassical architecture style.
Royal College of Music
The front facade of the Royal College of Music in Kensington, London. This prestigious music school was founded in 1882 as a successor to the National Training School for Music by the then-Prince of Wales (later Edward VII). The college building was designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield.
Eta Carinae Nebula
The Eta Carinae Nebula is a large bright nebula which surrounds several open star clusters and contains multiple O-type stars. It lies at an estimated distance between 6,500 and 10,000 light years from Earth and is located in the constellation of Carina.
A c.1866 panorama of Edo consisting of five albumen silver prints joined together. Edo is the former name of the Japanese capital Tokyo, and was the seat of power for the Tokugawa shogunate which ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868. Pictured here are daimyo houses used by feudal lords for the purposes of sankin kōtai. Following the end of the shogunate, they were razed so that government, commercial and industrial buildings could be built in their place.
NGC 2244 as imaged by the Spitzer Space Telescope (SIRT) in infrared, is an open cluster of stars inside the Rosette Nebula. These super hot stars generate high velocity winds, which cause the gas to be pushed outwards (green clouds).
Battle of Chancellorsville
Confederate dead behind the stone wall of Marye's Heights, Fredericksburg, Virginia, killed during the Battle of Chancellorsville, May 1863. The battle pitted the Union Army of the Potomac against a force half its size, the Army of Northern Virginia. Despite the odds, Robert E. Lee's tactics ensured a Union defeat.
Bryce Canyon hoodoos
Bryce Canyon in the U.S. state of Utah, seen here from Bryce Point. Despite its name, this is not actually a canyon, but rather a giant natural amphitheater. Bryce is distinctive due to its unique geological structures, called "hoodoos", formed from wind, water, and ice erosion of the river and lakebed sedimentary rocks.
Sparrenburg Castle, located in Bielefeld, Germany, as seen from the western lawn. The castle was constructed between 1240 and 1250 by the Counts of Ravensberg. The castle has been rebuilt many times. Although often under siege, it was never stormed. After extensive restoration work, the castle now presents itself as an imposing historic site.
An approximately natural color mosaic of Iapetus, the third-largest moon of Saturn, taken on December 31, 2004 by the Cassini orbiter at a distance of about 173,000 km. Two huge and ancient impact craters are visible as well as a mountain range running precisely along the equator. The north pole is approximately at the 1 o'clock position and is in darkness here. Named after the mythical Iapetus, the moon was discovered by the orbiter's namesake, Giovanni Domenico Cassini, in 1671.
The Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is a migratory wading bird in the ibis family Threskiornithidae. It is the most widespread ibis species and can be found in warm regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Atlantic and Caribbean region of the Americas. The Glossy Ibis falls under the conservation protection of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds.
The Externsteine, a distinctive rock formation located in the Teutoburger Wald region of northwestern Germany, are a popular tourist attraction. Stairs and a small bridge connecting two of the rocks lead to the top.
The Colosseum in Rome, Italy, at dusk. Although it is now in a severely ruined condition, the Colosseum has long been seen as an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome and is one of the finest surviving examples of Roman architecture.
Two Punctate flower chafers (Polystigma punctatum) mating on a carrot flower head. Flower chafers are a group of scarab beetles. There are over 4,000 species, many of which are diurnal and visit flowers for pollen and nectar, or to browse on the petals. These specimens are approximately 25 millimetres (1 in) in length.
F6F Hellcat crashes on USS Enterprise
Crash landing of an F6F Hellcat into the port side 20mm gun gallery of the USS Enterprise, November 10, 1943. Lieutenant Walter L. Chewning, Jr., USNR, the Catapult Officer, is climbing up the plane's side to assist the pilot from the burning aircraft. The pilot, Ensign Byron M. Johnson, escaped without significant injury. Note the plane's ruptured belly fuel tank.
Backdropped by a blanket of clouds, the Soyuz TMA-7 mission departs from the International Space Station. The spacecraft is a Soyuz-TMA ship, which features several changes from the Soyuz-TM design to accommodate requirements requested by NASA in order to service the ISS.
Saint Peter's Square
A stitched mosaic of Saint Peter's Square, in Vatican City, the papal enclave within Rome, Italy, as seen from the top of St. Peter's Basilica. The area was redesigned by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, from 1656 to 1667, and was extended by the Via della Conciliazione (seen leading out of the plaza here), Mussolini's grand avenue of approach.
Large brown mantid
An adult large brown mantid (Archimantis latistyla, approx. 11 cm / 4 in long) hanging upside-down on a carrot flower. The majority of the species within the order Mantodea are praying mantises. The closest relatives of mantids are the orders Isoptera (termites) and Blattodea (cockroaches), and these three groups together are sometimes ranked as an order rather than a superorder.
Early morning mist clings to the hills southeast of Ensay, Victoria, Australia. The township is named after the now-unpopulated island of Ensay in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. "Ensay" is a Gaelic translation for Jesus.
The Milky Way above Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park, California. The Milky Way, when observed from Earth's surface, is the hazy band of white light that is seen in the night sky, arching across the entire celestial sphere. It is comprised of stars and other material lying within the galactic plane of our galaxy, The Milky Way Galaxy.
Whirlpool Galaxy and NGC 5195
The Whirlpool Galaxy (left) and its companion NGC 5195 (right). The pair are located at a distance of approximately 23 million light-years in the constellation Canes Venatici. Both are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars.
Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur
An 1878 painting by Maurycy Gottlieb depicting Ashkenazi Jews praying in the synagogue on Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. Traditional elements shown include tallitot, kippot, the Torah, and the segregation of men and women in the synagogue. The artist has painted himself (to the right of the seated rabbi, looking outwards) among the people of his hometown of Drohobych.
USS Shaw explodes
The forward magazine of the destroyer USS Shaw explodes as a result of combat damage during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. At right, the bow of USS Nevada can be seen after her aborted escape attempt out channel. Many people mistakenly believe the ship shown exploding is USS Arizona, whose destruction during the attack accounted for over half of the men killed in action during the battle.
Washington National Cathedral
A high dynamic range image of the sanctuary at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.. Located in the east end of the cathedral, the Ter Sanctus reredos features 110 carved figures surrounding the central figure of Jesus. The choir is seen in the foreground. The cathedral is the designated "National House of Prayer" of the United States.
Hyperion, a moon of Saturn, is one of the largest highly irregular (non-spherical) bodies in the solar system. Enhanced image processing was used to bring out details and color differences in this photo taken by the Cassini orbiter. Hyperion is entirely saturated with deep, sharp-edged craters that give it the appearance of a giant sponge. Dark material fills the bottom of each crater.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Kings Creek, with Lassen Peak in the background, inside Lassen Volcanic National Park, Northern California, United States. The park was established in 1916 during the last eruption of Lassen Peak. California State Route 89, which passes through the park, is the highest road in the Cascade Mountains at 8,512 feet (2,594 m).
British Columbia Parliament Buildings
Located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and officially opened in 1898 with a 500 feet (152.4 m) long facade, central dome, two end pavilions, and a gold-covered statue of Captain George Vancouver, the British Columbia Parliament Buildings are home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.
A vast alluvial fan blossoms across the desolate landscape between the Kunlun and Altun mountain ranges that form the southern border of the Taklamakan Desert in China's Xinjiang Province. The left side of this satellite image is the active part of the fan, and appears blue from water currently flowing in the many small streams.
This approximate true-color image taken by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the 130-meter (427 ft) wide impact crater known as "Endurance". This image mosaic consists of a total of 258 individual images.
U.S. Army soldiers during the Bougainville campaign (in the Solomon Islands) during World War II. Japanese forces tried infiltrating the U.S. lines at night; at dawn, the U.S. soldiers would clear them out. In this picture, infantrymen are advancing in the cover of an M4 Sherman tank.
Maslenitsa, a 1919 painting depicting the carnival of the same name, which takes place the last week before Great Lent. The painting encompasses a broad range of things associated with Russia, such as snowy winter weather, a troika, an Orthodox church with onion domes. Painted in the aftermath of the October Revolution, the canvas was intended as a farewell to the unspoilt "Holy Russia" of yore.
Buried machinery in a barn lot, Dallas, South Dakota, United States, due to Dust Bowl conditions, May 1936. Dust storms from 1930–1939 caused major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands. This ecological disaster was a result of drought conditions coupled with decades of extensive farming using techniques that promoted erosion.
A Sami family in Norway around 1900. Also known as Lapps, the Sami are among the largest group of indigenous peoples of Europe, inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. This image is a photochrom (a hand-coloured monochrome plate), a common practise at the time.
Soyuz TMA-9 launch
The Soyuz TMA-9 mission on the Soyuz rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, September 18, 2006 carrying a new crew to the International Space Station. The spaceflight was the first time since before the Columbia accident that twelve humans have been in space simultaneously; three aboard the International Space Station (Expedition 13), three aboard Soyuz TMA-9, and six aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis, flying mission STS-115. The observer in the lower right gives a distorted sense of scale because the rocket is actually 46.1 metres (151.2 ft) tall, although it appears to be much smaller here.
A view of Portland, Oregon from the east waterfront depicting the skyline of the downtown district. The Hawthorne Bridge is prominent on the left. Although Portland is Oregon's largest city, it is not the state capital; that designation falls to Salem.
Detail from "The Pantomimes" by D.H. Friston from the January 6, 1872 Illustrated London News, showing a scene from Thespis, the first Gilbert and Sullivan opera. This is one of the few surviving contemporary images of the production.
Replica of a compass rose from the chart of Jorge de Aguiar (1492), the oldest known signed and dated Portuguese nautical chart. It is a 32 point compass rose, meaning that the lines that irradiate from its centre indicate 32 different geographic directions. The original chart is in the Beinecke Library at Yale University.
The Rhodes Colossus
The Rhodes Colossus is an iconic editorial cartoon of the Scramble for Africa period, depicting British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes as a giant standing over the continent, after his announcement of plans to to extend an electrical telegraph line from Cape Town to Cairo. Rhodes is shown in a visual pun as the ancient Greek statue the Colossus of Rhodes, with his right foot in Cape Town and his left in Cairo, illustrating his broader "Cape to Cairo" concept (see Cape-Cairo railway) for British domination of Africa.
Vibrating glass beam
The vibration of a beam, such as this cantilever made of borosilicate glass, can be described with the Euler-Bernoulli beam equation alongside a loading function which includes inertia, gravity, and possibly drag, and functions describing the variable section modulus and linear density. The traces of the exposure show decaying oscillations and motion that is not simple harmonic.
Mountains of Iapetus
A close-up of 10 km (6.2 mi) high mountains within the equatorial ridge on Saturn's moon Iapetus, photographed by the Cassini orbiter. Above the middle of the image can be seen a place where an impact has exposed the bright ice beneath the dark overlying material. The image was taken on September 10, 2007, with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera at a distance of approximately 3,870 km (2,400 mi) from Iapetus.
World Trade Center rubble
An aerial photo of the World Trade Center complex, 12 days after its destruction on September 11, 2001. This image, as taken by a NOAA Cessna Citation from an altitude of 1 kilometre (0.6 mi), shows NYC firefighters and construction equipment surrounding the debris created by the attack. Also noticeable is how the shrapnel caused further structural damage on the surrounding buildings.
A female lioness in Ishasha Southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. Ishasha lions are famed for tree climbing, a trait only shared with lions in the Lake Manyara region. They often spend the hottest parts of the day in the large fig trees found throughout the area. It is still unclear why so few lions exhibit this behavior.
28 August 2007 lunar eclipse
A sequence of images from the 28 August 2007 lunar eclipse from Swifts Creek, Victoria, Australia. Each image was taken at about a three-minute interval except the last image in the sequence which shows what the moon looked like at about the middle of the eclipse. The majority of the Americas observed an abbreviated eclipse, with moonset occurring at some time during the eclipse. Siberia, far eastern Russia, eastern South Asia, China, the rest of eastern and southeastern Asia, New Guinea, and the rest of Australia missed out on the beginning of the eclipse, because the eclipse occurred at or close to moonrise in those regions. The Philippines, particularly Metro Manila, missed the rare eclipse entirely, due to clouds from the rainy season.
A stitched panorama of the skyline of downtown Portland, Oregon on the Willamette River, taken from the east waterfront.
Photo credit: Eric Baetscher
Rye, by Ivan Shishkin (1878). Shishkin was a leading Russian landscape painter associated with the realistic Peredvizhniki movement. The painting represents boundless rye fields in the Central Black Earth Region. The canvas still hangs in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
The interior of the Neue Wache, the central memorial of Germany for victims of war and tyranny. Located in Berlin, the building was originally built as a guardhouse, and has been used as a war memorial since 1931. The statue, Mother with her Dead Son is directly under the oculus, and so is exposed to the rain, snow and cold, symbolising the suffering of civilians during World War II.
Mulberry Street, Manhattan, 1900
A photochrom of Mulberry Street in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, from the year 1900. Mulberry Street is the center of New York's Little Italy and continues into Chinatown. The street is often misidentified as the setting of Dr. Seuss' story, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, but that distinction belongs to Springfield, Massachusetts.
Shaftesbury Avenue from Piccadilly Circus, in the West End of London, c. 1949. The Circus, a famous traffic intersection and public space in the City of Westminster was built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the major shopping street of Piccadilly. Its status as a major traffic intersection has made it a busy meeting point and a tourist attraction in its own right.
Humpback Whales feeding
Off the coast of Juneau, Alaska, a group of 15 Humpback Whales works in tandem to catch herring using the bubble net fishing technique, in which they exhale through their blowholes, creating a ring of bubbles up to 30 m (100 ft) in diameter. The whales then suddenly swim upwards through the bubble net swallowing thousands of fish in each gulp.
Photo credit: Georgia Evelyn Stants
Gold dust day gecko
A Gold dust day gecko (Phelsuma laticauda laticauda) licking nectar from a bird of paradise flower in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Native to Madagascar and the Comoro Islands, this day gecko has been introduced to Farquhar Atoll in the southern Seychelles, and onto the Hawaiian Islands.
Wildfire on the island of Hawaiʻi caused by pāhoehoe lava flowing on the coastal plain of Kīlauea. The new lava is moving across the old surface, which is covered with a roughly 1-inch (2.54 cm) thick layer of moss. The burning moss generates the smoke visible in the image. This kind of fire cannot be easily prevented or suppressed.
A 360° panorama of London taken from the dome of St Paul's Cathedral. Built from 1675 to 1708, the Cathedral is still one of the highest buildings in western London.
An iceberg floats in Baffin Bay, off the coast of Cape York, Greenland. The hole in the iceberg was caused by erosion by waves, wind and melting.
Pancratium zeylanicum is a bulbous perennial herb. It grows in India and on the islands of the Indian Ocean where it is commonly known as “rain flower.”
Atomic bombing of Nagasaki
The mushroom cloud caused by the detonation of the "Fat Man" bomb during the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan in 1945, rising approximately 18 kilometres (11 mi) above the hypocenter.
On the morning of August 9, 1945, the U.S. B-29 Superfortress Bockscar flew towards its primary target Kokura, but a 7/10 cloud cover had obscured the city, prohibiting the visual attack required by orders. They flew on to Nagasaki, which was likewise obscured. At 11:01, a last minute break in the clouds allowed the bomb to be dropped over Urakami Valley, which protected much of the city from the bomb's effects.
A Humpback Whale breaching in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The purpose of breaching is unknown. It may be a form of communication, a method of stunning fish prey, or a way to remove parasites from the skin. In this behaviour, up to 90% of the animal's body clears the surface of the water, and a vertical speed of 29 km/h is reached.
A terrestrial subadult Eastern newt or red eft (Notophthalmus viridescens). Salamanders of the family Salamandridae with aquatic adult stages are called newts. Some newts, including the Eastern newt, have a juvenile terrestrial stage called the eft. The red eft has bright aposematic coloration to warn predators of its highly toxic skin.
Long-tongued tachinid fly
A Long-Tongued Tachinid Fly (Senostoma species, approximately 12 mm (0.5 in) in length), feeding on nectar. This is one of the 240,000 known species of true flies, which are distinguished by a single pair of wings on the mesothorax and a pair of halteres, derived from the hind wings, on the metathorax.
A bouncing ball captured with a stroboscopic flash. As the ball falls freely under the influence of gravity, it accelerates downward, its initial potential energy converting into kinetic energy. On impact with a hard surface the ball deforms, converting the kinetic energy into elastic potential energy. Each impact of the ball is a partially inelastic collision, meaning that energy is lost at each bounce.
Mt. Etna eruption
An October 2002 eruption of Mount Etna, a volcano on the Italian island of Sicily, as seen from the International Space Station. Etna is the largest of Italy's three active volcanoes and one of the most active in the world. This eruption, one of Etna's most vigorous in years, was triggered by a series of earthquakes. Ashfall was reported as far away as Libya, 600 km (373 mi) to the south.
Brandenburg Gate quadriga
Close-up of the quadriga (four-horse chariot) on top of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin (Germany) at night. The sculpture was produced by Johann Gottfried Schadow in 1793. The word quadriga may refer to the chariot alone, the four horses without it, or the combination. All modern quadrigas are based on the Horses of Saint Mark, a Roman or Greek sculpture which is the only surviving ancient quadriga.
Edwin Smith Papyrus
Plates 6 and 7 of the Edwin Smith Papyrus, the world's oldest surviving surgical document. Written in hieratic script in ancient Egypt around 1600 BC, the text describes anatomical observations and the examination, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of 48 types of medical problems. The document reveals the sophistication and practicality of ancient Egyptian medicine.
A photochrom print of the front of Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany taken as few as ten years after the completion of the castle's construction. The palace was built by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner, the King's inspiring muse. About 1.3 million people visit annually, making it one of Germany's most popular tourist attractions.
False-color mosaic shows the entire hemisphere of Iapetus (1,468 kilometers/912 miles across) visible from the Cassini orbiter on the outbound leg of its encounter with the two-toned moon of Saturn in September 2007. The central longitude of the trailing hemisphere is 24 degrees to the left of the image's center. It is hypothesized that the moon's two-toned nature is due to the sublimation of various ices evaporated from the other hemisphere, which faces the sun.
US Brig Niagara
The original US Brig Niagara, which played a pivotal role in defeating the British at the Battle of Lake Erie. It was sunk in 1820 for preservation but raised again in 1913 for the centennial anniversary of the battle (seen here). A modern replica based out of Erie, Pennsylvania now travels the Great Lakes as an educational and training vessel.
The Vinland map is purportedly a 15th century mappa mundi, redrawn from a 13th century original. Drawn with black ink on animal skin, the map is the first known depiction of the North American coastline. The map has been controversial since it was first revealed in 1965, and both the most recent chemical analysis and the most recent scholarly monograph on the subject have suggested that it is a forgery.
Love or Duty
Love or Duty, an 1871 chromolithograph by Gabriele Castagnola. The painting depicts a nun and an artist who have fallen in love, but the nun is torn between her heart and her duty to God. The image contains several symbolic suggestions. From her wrist, two charms can be seen: a human skull and a crucifix; the latter partially hidden in her sleeve. Meanwhile, the artist's cape has shifted slightly to reveal a dagger.
These two Glaucus atlanticus, a species of nudibranch, were washed up on Surfers Paradise Beach in Queensland, Australia. The larger one is about 35 mm (1.4 in) in length. G. atlanticus preys on the Portuguese Man o' War and other surface-dwelling sea animals. Occasionally Glaucus will feed on others of its kind.
Cappadocia, a region in central Turkey, is known for its Göreme National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is famous for its "fairy chimney" rock formations, some of which reach 40 metres (131 ft) in height. From the 4th to 13th century AD, occupants of the area dug tunnels into the exposed rock face to build residences, stores, and churches.
A 1691 French map of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine, depicting the city's old town neighborhood and castle, surrounded by the winding Smotrych River. It was originally part of Kievan Rus' and annexed into the First Polish Republic, but at the time of the map's creation, the city was part of Turkey. It later became part of the Russian Empire with the Second Partition of Poland in 1793.
A flower bud of a Nodding Pincushion (Leucospermum 'Veldfire'), a Leucospermum cultivar, found in San Francisco Botanical Garden. This genus consists of about 50 species. The flowers are produced in dense inflorescences, which have large numbers of prominent styles, which inspires the name.
L'Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe at night. Commissioned by Napoleon after the victory in the Battle of Austerlitz, it stands in the middle of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. At 51 metres (167 ft) high and 45 m (148 ft) wide, it is the second-largest triumphal arch in the world. The monument honors soldiers throughout French history, and houses the tomb of the unknown soldier.
Diffusion tensor imaging
Visualization of a diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measurement of a human brain. Depicted are reconstructed axon tracts that run through the mid-sagittal plane. Especially prominent are the U-shaped fibers that connect the two hemispheres through the corpus callosum (the fibers come out of the image plane and consequently bend towards the top) and the fiber tracts that descend toward the spine (blue, within the image plane).
Mira A is a red giant variable star in the constellation Cetus. This ultraviolet-wavelength image mosaic shows a comet-like "tail" stretching 13 light-years across space, which consists of hydrogen gas blown off of the star, with the material at the furthest end of the "tail" having been emitted about 30,000 years ago. Mira itself is seen as a small white dot inside a blue bulb.
An unmarked Hereford calf. Hereford cattle (Bos taurus) are a widely used breed in temperate areas, mainly for beef production. Originally from Herefordshire, England, they are found in the temperate parts of Australia, the Southwestern US, Western Canada, Argentina, Uruguay and New Zealand.
The Magpie-goose is a type of waterbird found in the countries of Australia and New Guinea. In the state of Victoria, Australia, the bird was listed 'near threatened' in 2007, but is not considered threatened in the rest of the country. It is a unique member of the order Anseriformes, and arranged in a separate family and genus.
The aircraft carrier USS Franklin is afire and listing by 13° after being hit by a Japanese air attack on March 19, 1945, during World War II. The crew is clearly seen on the flaming deck, watched by the crew of the light cruiser USS Santa Fe (from where this was taken), which was alongside assisting with firefighting and rescue work. The casualties totaled 724 killed and 265 wounded.
Chechen man praying
A Chechen man prays during the First Battle of Grozny, January 1995. The flame in the background is coming from a gas pipeline which was hit by shrapnel.
This battle was the Russian army's invasion and subsequent conquest of the Chechen capital, Grozny, during the early months of the First Chechen War. The attack lasted from December 1994 to March 1995, resulted in the military occupation of the city by the Russian Army and rallied most of the Chechen nation around the separatist government of Dzhokhar Dudayev.
The Emperor Tamarin (Saguinus imperator) is a tamarin native to the Amazon Basin and neighboring parts of South America. It was allegedly named for its similarity to William II, the last German Emperor. The name was first intended as a joke, but has become the official scientific name.
The Cessna 182 (182P model shown here) is a four-seat, single-engine, light airplane. Introduced in 1956, it is the second most popular Cessna model, after the 172.
Tufa, Mono Lake
Tufa towers in Mono Lake, California. Tufa are spires and knobs made of calcium carbonate formed by interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. Tufa can reach heights of 30 ft (9.1 m).
Pāhoehoe lava overflows from this open lava channel on the island of Hawaiʻi as a result of a fissure vent eruption. The channel is crusting over with a V-shaped opening pointing upstream. The crusting-over process usually starts at the upstream end. The crust grows downstream for a considerable distance, then the crust founders and sinks, opening the channel to crusting over again.
Olympic Stadium, Montreal
The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, at night. The stadium was originally built for the 1976 Summer Olympics and its inclined tower, called la tour de Montréal, is the tallest inclined tower in the world at 175 m (574 ft) and is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.
The Manhattan Bridge, under construction in 1909, nine months before its opening on December 31, 1909. This suspension bridge crosses the East River, connecting Lower Manhattan with Brooklyn, just upriver of the Brooklyn Bridge. All of the buildings in foreground of this photograph, with the exception of the Empire Warehouse on the left, are no longer standing.
The California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) is a critically endangered species of North American bird in the New World vulture family Cathartidae. It has the largest wingspan of any bird found in North America and is one of the heaviest. The condor is a scavenger and eats large amounts of carrion. The California Condor is one of the world's rarest bird species. In 1987, all 22 remaining wild individuals were captured. Thanks to captive breeding, numbers rose, and beginning in 1991, they were reintroduced to the wild. As of March 2008, there are 297 condors known to be living including 146 in the wild.
Two Catrina figurines, approximately 38 cm (15 in) tall in the City Museum of León, Guanajuato, Mexico. Popularized by José Guadalupe Posada, the Catrina is the skeleton of an upper class woman and one of the most popular figures of the Day of the Dead celebrations, which occur across two days, on November 1–2, corresponding with the Catholic holy days of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. It has its origins in an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl, which is represented by the Catrina.
A dust storm rushes towards a military camp as it rolls over Al Asad Airbase, Iraq, just before nightfall on April 27, 2005. A dust storm (or sandstorm) is a meteorological phenomenon common in dry, arid and semi-arid regions, usually the result of convection currents created by intense heating of the ground. These currents then carry clouds of sand over large distances.
The Willet (Tringa semipalmata) is a large shorebird in the sandpiper family. Adults have gray legs and a long, straight, dark and stout bill. The body is dark gray above and light underneath. The tail is white with a dark band at the end. The distinctive black and white pattern of the wings is a common sight along many North American coastal beaches.
Panel of azulejo (Portuguese blue glazed tiles) by artist Jorge Colaço (1922) representing an episode of the Battle of Aljubarrota (1385) between the Portuguese and Castilian armies. The Ala dos Namorados ("Wing of the fiancés") depicted in this scene was the left wing of the Portuguese defense formation.
The Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) is a large prosimian, a lemur belonging to the family Lemuridae. The Ring-tailed Lemur is the only species within the monotypic genus Lemur and, like all other lemurs, is found only on the island of Madagascar.
This infrared image shows hundreds of thousands of stars crowded into the swirling core of our spiral Milky Way galaxy. In visible-light pictures, this region cannot be seen at all because cosmic dust lying between Earth and the galactic center blocks our view.
A panoramic view of the Melbourne Docklands and the city skyline from Waterfront City looking across Victoria Harbour. Features include (from left): residential and commercial buildings along the harbour at New Quay, the Seven Network digital broadcast centre, some of the original Melbourne docks sheds on Central Pier, the Telstra Dome (Docklands Stadium), apartments and commercial buildings, including the National Australia Bank headquarters. In the background is the Melbourne CBD skyline, including the Rialto Towers and the Eureka Tower.
False color image of a landslide on Mars. The blue area represents the landslide debris, which has not yet been covered by the off-white Martian dust. The event took place in Zunil crater, a geologically recent (approximately less than 10 million years old) well-preserved 10-km impact crater and was most likely triggered by a Marsquake or a small impact event.
A juvenile male Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo), a European damselfly. The male has dark brown-black wingtips with blue veins. Immature males often have much paler brown wings. They have metallic blue-green bodies and blue-green eyes.
Little Joe 1
The Little Joe 1 was a solid fuel booster rocket that was designed to test the Mercury spacecraft Launch Escape and Recovery systems. The Little Joe program was developed to minimize the cost per launch for the numerous early test flights when compared to similar launch systems as the Atlas and the Redstone rockets. The name "Little Joe" comes from the game of craps, because a cross-section of the designers' blueprints of the four engines looked like four dots, or a double-deuce throw of dice, or in craps parlance, "Little Joe from Kokomo".
Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms. A bolt of lightning can travel at a speed of 220,000 km/h (136,000 mph), and can reach temperatures approaching 30,000ºC (54,000ºF), hot enough to fuse soil or sand into glass channels.
Bark Mimicking Grasshopper
A Bark Mimicking Grasshopper (Coryphistes ruricola), one of the many members of the family Acrididae, which comprises some 10,000 of the 11,000 species of the entire suborder Caelifera. This specimen is approximately 60 mm (2.4 in) in length
This 1898 chromolithographic panorama of Milwaukee, Wisconsin shows the German Renaissance Revival style City Hall in front center. By the mid-19th century, Wisconsin and the Milwaukee area had become the final destination of many German immigrants fleeing the Revolution of 1848. One of the most salient consequences of this migration was the emergence of a brewing industry in Milwaukee, such as the establishment of the Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz and Miller breweries, all established by German immigrants between 1840 and 1855.
Terraforming of Mars
Artist's conception of the terraforming of Mars in four stages of development. Terraforming is the hypothetical process of changing a planet's environment to produce a world that is habitable by humans. The globe in the final stage (on the right) is based on data from the Mars Global Surveyor. All the shore lines are approximate to where it is believed they would be if all the permafrost on Mars melted.
Pink pimelea (Pimelea spicata) is an endangered plant species native to New South Wales, Australia. It is also known as rice flower. The pictured specimen was grown at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra.
The pupae of western honey bee drones. After passing through their larval stage within cells of the honeycomb, they continue there until they develop into their adult form. Due to the protection this provides, the pupae do not need to be surrounded by a chrysalis or other shell, but instead have their legs and proboscis free.
Nesjavellir power plant
The Nesjavellir geothermal power plant, located near Þingvellir, Iceland is the largest of five such plants in the country. Because of the high concentration of volcanoes in Iceland, geothermal energy is so inexpensive that in the wintertime, some pavements in Reykjavík and Akureyri are heated.
An oil on canvas portrait of George IV of the United Kingdom as the Prince Regent, by Sir Thomas Lawrence. In 1814, Lord Stewart, who had been appointed ambassador in Vienna and was a previous client of Thomas Lawrence, wanted to commission a portrait by him of the Prince Regent. He arranged that Lawrence should be presented to the Prince Regent at a levée. Soon after, the Prince visited Lawrence at his studio in Russell Square. Lawrence wrote to his brother that: To crown this honour, [he] engag'd to sit to me at one today and after a successful sitting of two hours, has just left me and comes again tomorrow and the next day.
V-2 rocket attack
The smouldering body of a boy killed by a V-2 rocket attack on the main intersection in Antwerp, Belgium, November 27, 1944, on the main Allied supply line to Holland. The V-2, one of the German Vergeltungswaffen, was the first ballistic missile and first man-made object to achieve sub-orbital spaceflight. Over 3,000 V-2s were launched as military rockets by the Wehrmacht against Allied targets in World War II.
A stitched panorama of the Willamette River as it passes through downtown Portland, Oregon. The bridges, from right to left, are the Sellwood, Ross Island, Marquam, Hawthorne, Morrison, Burnside, Steel (partially obscured) and Fremont. The mountains, from right to left, are Mount Hood, Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens.
Varroa destructor, a species of mite, is seen parasitizing a honeybee host in this digitally colorized low-temperature scanning electron microscope image. Varroa mites threaten agricultural pollination directly by weakening and destroying bee colonies. They also mandate more regular management of hives that is both labor-intensive and expensive.
The Murerplan, a 1576 woodcut map of Zürich, Switzerland. The caption at the top reads, "The aspect and situation of the ancient and famous town of Zurich / as it has been at this time / drawn and etched / by Jos Murer / and by Christoph Froschauer / printed for the glory of the nation / AD 1576".
The Flammarion woodcut is an enigmatic wood engraving by an unknown artist that first appeared in Camille Flammarion's L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire (1888), a work on meteorology for a general audience. The image depicts a man peering through the Earth's atmosphere as if it were a curtain to look at the inner workings of the universe. The caption translates to "A medieval missionary tells that he has found the point where heaven and Earth meet..."
The vigorous young growth of the Tempranillo grape vine vitis vinifera in a typical vineyard in the Catalan Penedès region. One of the most ancient wine regions in Europe, el Penedès is home to some of the most innovative of the so-called Old World growers.
Ivan the Terrible Showing His Treasury to Jerome Horsey
Alexander Litovchenko's 1875 painting depicting Ivan IV of Russia seated in the Kremlin Armoury, his half-witted heir Fyodor standing behind, a group of distrustful boyars whispering at a distance, and the Tsar's jester in a skomorokh cap addressing the English diplomat Jerome Horsey. Horsey was a resident of the Russia Company in Moscow from 1572 to 1585.
Kalmar Union flag
A medieval ship flag captured by forces from Lübeck in the 1420s showed the arms of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Pomerania. At the time, Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united in the Kalmar Union. The flag is believed to originate from the reign of king Eric of Pomerania due to its inclusion of Pomerania's griffin symbol. For the following five hundred years, the flag was displayed as a war trophy in a Lübeck church until destroyed during a World War II air raid on the city. A 1880s copy of the flag is preserved in the museum at Frederiksborg Palace, Denmark. The saint accompanying the Virgin Mary and infant Christ is Saint James the Greater, identified by his scallop shell emblem. The flag was made of coarse linen. All figures and heraldic insignia were created using oil-based paint.
Montreal City Hall
The five-story Montreal City Hall (Hôtel de Ville) was built between 1872 and 1878. Its architecture is in the Second Empire style, also known as Napoléon III-style. In 1967 Charles de Gaulle, then President of France, gave his famous Vive le Québec libre speech from the building's balcony.
The skyline of Seattle, Washington at dusk, viewed from the south. The Columbia Center (middle) is the second tallest building on the West Coast of the United States, and the twelfth tallest in the United States. Smith Tower (left), completed 1914, was at one time the fourth tallest building in the world. The highway in the foreground is Interstate 5.
Kuwaiti oil fires
USAF aircraft of the 4th Fighter Wing (F-16, F-15C and F-15E) fly over Kuwaiti oil fires, set by the retreating Iraqi Army as part of a scorched earth policy during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Nearly 800 oil wells were set ablaze and the fires were not fully extinguished until eight months after the end of the war.
A male Kirby's Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) dragonfly in Tsumeb, Namibia. The species may be found throughout Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean Islands and in southern Asia. This specimen is displaying the pose that gave its genus the name "Dropwings".
A winch and associated parts sitting on the deck of the SS Thistlegorm, a transport ship that was sunk by a German bomber during World War II, on 5 October 1941 near Ras Muhammad in the Red Sea. The wreck was originally located by Jacques-Yves Cousteau in 1956, yet only in the last two decades has it become a busy recreational dive site.
Casting tin soldiers
Tin soldiers, approx. 65 mm (2.6 in) high, being cast in German moulds from the early 20th century. The two mould halves are clamped together, and the molten metal, an alloy of tin and lead, heated to approx. 300 °C (572 °F) is poured into the mould. When the metal has solidified, the mould is cracked open. Sprues (pouring channels) and extraneous flash (metal that has penetrated cracks and air channels in the mould) are seen in the third image, and have been removed from the castings in the last image.
Eristalis tenax is a European hoverfly, also known as the drone fly. Adults appear similar in appearance to honey bees, likely giving it some degree of protection from this resemblance to a stinging insect.
St. Louis, Missouri
A panorama of the St. Louis, Missouri skyline, as seen from across the Mississippi River in East St. Louis, Illinois, centered on the Gateway Arch. The Arch, as the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, sits near the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and commemorates the Louisiana Purchase, the first civil government west of the Mississippi, and the debate over slavery raised by the Dred Scott case.
Macro of a naturally mummified seahorse, which is considered a fundamental ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM practices include theories, diagnosis and treatments such as herbal medicine, acupuncture and massage. In the West, traditional Chinese medicine is considered alternative medicine, but in mainland China and Taiwan, it is considered an integral part of the health care system.
The main pyramids of the Giza Necropolis (front to back): Pyramids of the Queens, Pyramid of Menkaure, Pyramid of Khafre, and Pyramid of Khufu. The pyramids are the sole remaining of the Seven Wonders of the World, and, along with the ancient city of Memphis and the pyramids of Dahshur, are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A female red-veined darter (Sympetrum fonscolombei), a dragonfly common to southern Europe and, from the 1990s onwards, has increasingly been found in northwest Europe, including Great Britain and Ireland. Adults are red (males) or yellow (females), showing beautiful saturated colours. Juveniles are greenish with black stripes on the thorax and abdomen.
Battle of Okinawa
The American aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill burns after sustaining two successive kamikaze strikes within thirty seconds during the Battle of Okinawa on May 11, 1945. Nearly 350 died, making this the deadliest kamikaze attack on a US ship during World War II. Although badly damaged, the carrier was able to return to Puget Sound Navy Yard under her own steam.
SS American Star
The remains of the SS American Star, an ocean liner originally built for the United States Lines, ten years after its 1994 shipwreck off Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. The stern broke off and sank, leaving only the bow section on the sandbar. Since this photo was taken, the ship has listed to port and become almost completely submerged.
Eastern Screech Owl
The Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) is a small owl native to eastern North America. Usually solitary, they nest in a tree cavity, either natural or excavated by a woodpecker; they will also use nesting boxes. They are strictly nocturnal, roosting during the day in cavities or next to tree trunks. They mainly eat large insects and small rodents, as well as small birds. They are active at night or near dusk, using their excellent hearing and night vision to locate prey.
Full moon is a lunar phase that occurs when the moon is on the opposite side of the earth from the sun, and when the three celestial bodies are aligned as closely as possible to a straight line. At this time, as seen by viewers on earth, the hemisphere of the moon that is facing the earth (the near side) is fully illuminated by the sun and appears round. Only during a full moon is the opposite hemisphere of the moon, which is not visible from earth (the far side), completely unilluminated.
Two honeybees collect nectar from Cirsium arvense (commonly known as Creeping Thistle) flowers. Although this plant is considered as a weed and invasive species, it provides food for the Goldfinch and Linnet, as well as over 20 species of Lepidoptera, including the Painted Lady butterfly, and the Engrailed, a species of moth, and several species of aphids. It is also edible by humans, but rarely used due to its propensity to induce flatulence in some people.
F-111 fuel dumping
Fuel dumping is a practice used by aircraft that are equipped to jettison fuel in the event of certain types of emergency situations. This RAAF F-111 aircraft is performing a dump-and-burn fuel dump at the Australian International Airshow, a procedure where the fuel is intentionally ignited using the plane's afterburner. This type of fuel dumping is also referred to as "torching" or a "zippo".
Panoramic view from the Symbolic Mountain at the Japanese garden in Cowra, New South Wales, Australia. One of the principles in designing Japanese gardens is adapting common elements, such as stones and water, to the conditions of the land. The Cowra garden is a kaiyū-shiki or strolling garden. The view takes in the gardens and the plains of the Cowra Shire across to the nearby mountains.
A scanning electron microscope image of a single neutrophil granulocyte (large yellow cell), engulfing anthrax bacteria (orange rod-shaped structures). Scale bar is 5 micrometers.
Generally referred to as neutrophils, they are the most abundant type of white blood cells in humans and form an integral part of the immune system. These phagocytes are normally found in the blood stream. However, during the acute phase of inflammation, particularly as a result of bacterial infection, neutrophils leave the vasculature and migrate toward the site of inflammation in a process called chemotaxis.
A photo of an original page from Leonardo da Vinci's journal, showing the world-renowned drawing known as the Vitruvian Man, created around the year 1492. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or, less often, Proportions of Man. Leonardo based his drawing on some hints at correlations of ideal human proportions with geometry in Book III of the treatise De Architectura by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, thus its name. The accompanying notes are written in mirror writing and describe the drawing as a study of the proportions of the (male) human body as described by Vitruvius.