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AstroPictures of the day: Mind blowing pictures taken by Reid Wiseman from the ISS.


The people onboard the International Space Station have been spoiling us with a lot of amazing pictures – and this one is no exception. Here, we see Africa embracing its northern neighbor, the Mediterranean sea. Reid Wiseman (which you can also follow on Twitter) often posts mind blowing pictures, like the ones above and below. All pictures taken from his Twitter, with his captions.    ……

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Photographer Takehito Miyatake – the brilliant light shows of Japan


Japanese photographer Takehito Miyatake is known for his breathtaking pictures, especially long exposure takes on fireflies, volcanic eruptions, and beaches awash in bioluminescencnt firefly squid. He likens his meditative photography to poetry, explaining that the exposure for his pictures can last anywhere between 15 seconds and half an hour. But the time spent on the exposure isn’t in vain. iyatake recently won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Nikkei National Geographic Photo Awards. You can see more of his photography on his website. Via This is Colossal…….

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Antarctica from Pole to coast, captured in stunning detail


A mosaic of more than 3,150 high-resolution satellite images creates the best continent-wide view since 1997. The result is the one you see below: The over three thousand pictures were taken in the Southern Hemisphere’s autumn of 2008, and tiled together into a coast-to-coast view of the entire continent with its coastal waters. The result is not only lovely to look at, but it’s also very useful – enabling researchers to better study the ice changes that occurred in Antarctica, says Ellsworth LeDrew, director of the Canadian Cryospheric Information Network and a professor at University of Waterloo. This will enable a better understanding of how climate change affects Antarctic ice, and will…

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Satellite image shows the massive impact of forest fire


Big forest fires almost always hit the news and you hear about the destruction an carnage they cause – but you rarely hear about how difficult it is to treat their aftermath. This image highlights what remained behind the  huge compound wildfire triggered by multiple lightning strikes erupted in Washington state. The wildfire is reportedly 96 percent under control, and the image depicts a burn scar that stretches for hundreds of square miles. People living in the area, even those not affected directly by the wildfire will face threats from accentuated erosion, ecosystem degradation and flooding. A study of a massive 1970 forest fire in the Pacific Northwest showed that 34 years…

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Stunning pictures of drugs under the microscope


Most people have a heart time putting into words what they experience when under the influence of some psychoactive drug – but Sarah Schönfeld decided to make this experience visual. The experiment was meant to transpose the change into another kind of sensory experience. The goal was observing the reaction of negative film to both legal and illegal combinations of substances to which it was exposed. Here are the results: SPEED - methamphetamine, C10H15N, it is a very powerful stimulant, chemically related to amphetamine, but with more severe side effects. It is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol. SPEED + MAGIC – the combination between methamphetamine and mephedrone also…

Feature Post, Great Pics, Space

Eight planets and a dwarf in one

The eight planets of our solar system and one dwarf planet shown approximately to scale. Image: Lunar and Planetary Institute

This magnificent painting by  Steve Gildea combines the planets of our solar system in one beautiful planetary mosaic. It’s a celebration of the geological diversity our solar system possess, illustrating each planet’s surface in the order they orbit the sun, starting from the battered Mercury to lonely Pluto. Speaking of which, Pluto is of course no longer classed as a planet – it’s technically a dwarf planet, but Gildea couldn’t have known this in 1990 when he first revealed the piece. Of course, the painting was made to hold each planet in proportion. The image below shows how each planet differs in size from one another. Jupiter (69,911 km / 43,441…

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Stunning image of the Ebola virus emerging from a cell (Vero)


This stunning image was posted by reddit user AGreatWind and it depicts a cell line called Vero, from which the Ebola virus is emerging. Here, the thread like particles are the virus. “They are epithelial cells from the kidneys of green monkeys. Cells generally stick to a surface (such as a petri dish), forming a single layer, but after a few replication cycles (passages) they stop sticking and stop replicating, this is called senescence. Occasionally, after many passages (or manipulation) some cells transform and keep replicating, they become immortalized. Such immortalized cells that can be passaged indefinitely are very useful for science experiments and are called cell lines.”, he explains.  ……

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100 years ago, this telephone tower in Stockholm connected 5000 telephone lines


From 1887 – 1913 this amazing Telephone Tower served as the biggest telephone hub in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. About 5000 telephone lines were connected here. The building was so admired that even after it was decommissioned in 1913 it still remained as a historic building, until it was destroyed by a fire 40 years later. In this amazing series of photos courtesy of Tekniska Museet, we get a glimpse at how the world was connected over a century ago. ……

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The winners of the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest


They received almost 20.000 entries and had to select the very best ones – but ultimately, a photograph of a dramatic storm cloud taken by Marko Korošec of Sezana, Slovenia won it all.Korošec has won an eight-day National Geographic Expedition to Alaska’s Inside Passage for two aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion or the National Geographic Sea Bird. While on storm chasing expeditions in the Tornado Alley in USA I have encountered many photogenic supercell storms. This photograph was taken while we were approaching the storm near Julesburg, Colorado on My 28th, 2013. Meanwhile, the second place tells a much different story: Mea Shearim, ultra Orthodox district of Jerusalem. Newly…