With every passing day, increasing light and air pollution from growing cities diminishes our ability to observe the cosmos. French artist Thierry Cohen draws attention to this creeping loss in his series Villes éteintes (Darkened Cities), which imagines the world’s largest cities under clear night skies.
There are many great Earth-observing satellites circling the planet these days. Digital Globe's new WorldView 3 has incredible 30-centimeter resolution, and Planet Lab's flock of minisatellites may someday soon be able to image every spot on Earth, every single day. But taken together, NASA has by far the best collection of satellites designed to monitor the planet.
While the Blackbird SR-71 was the fastest manned airplane ever created, the fastest manned aircraft title goes to the North American X-15, a rocket plane that flew for the first time on June 8, 1959 released from the NASA NB-52B (below.) On October 1967 it pulverized all records: 4,520 miles per hour (7,274 km/h).
Life is pretty interesting, and at the microscopic scale, it can also be beautiful, strange, intriguing, frightening and gross. The winning photos and videos from this year’s Olympus BioScapes competition span the whole range. From rat brains to butter daisies to weevils and barnacle appendages, these microscope photos will amaze.