Apusiaajik Glacier, Greenland

NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland, or OMG, airborne mission found that most of Greenland's glaciers that empty into the ocean are at greater risk of rapid ice loss than previously understood. OMG's six-year field campaign studied the ocean's role in glacial ice loss by gathering precise measurements of ocean depth, temperature, and salinity in front of more than 220 glaciers. The mission's goal was to clarify our understanding of sea level rise over the next 50 years. This photo of Apusiaajik Glacier was taken near Kulusuk, Greenland, on Aug. 26, 2018, during OMG's field operations.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Source: www.nasa.gov
An adult osprey, carrying a fish in its talons, prepares to land in its nest atop a speaker platform in the Press Site parking lot at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

An adult osprey, carrying a fish in its talons, prepares to land in its nest atop a speaker platform in the press site parking lot at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In the background is the 209-foot-tall U.S. flag painted on the side of the 52-story Vehicle Assembly Building. The parking lot borders the water of the Launch Complex 39 turn basin, making it an ideal source of food for the osprey. The undeveloped property on Kennedy Space Center is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge provides a habitat for a plethora of wildlife, including 330 species of birds. For information on the refuge, visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/merritt-island

Image Credit: NASA/Daniel Casper


Source: www.nasa.gov
Picture of a helicopter flying around an offshore wind farm

Wind Farm

A helicopter lowers a technician to maintain the Horns Rev wind farm in Esbjerg, Denmark. When this photo appeared in the August 2005 issue, wind generated 20 percent of all electricity in Denmark.

Photograph by Sarah Leen, Nat Geo Image Collection



Imaged on June 20 2022, comet C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS) shares this wide telescopic field of view with open star cluster IC 4665 and bright star Beta Ophiuchi, near a starry edge of the Milky Way. On its maiden voyage to the inner Solar System from the dim and distant Oort cloud, this comet PanSTARRS was initially spotted over five years ago, in May 2017. Then it was the most distant active inbound comet ever found, discovered when it was some 2.4 billion kilometers from the Sun. That put it between the orbital distances of Uranus and Saturn. Hubble Space Telescope observations indicated the comet had a large nucleus less than 18 kilometers in diameter. Now visible in small telescopes C/2017 K2 will make its closest approach to planet Earth on July 14 and closest approach to the Sun this December. Its extended coma and developing tail are seen here at a distance of some 290 million kilometers, a mere 16 light-minutes away.


Picture of a man standing with his hands on his knees as he looks through a camera on a tripod

Grosvenor's Camera

Gilbert Grosvenor, the first full-time employee of the National Geographic Society, tests out a new Speed Graphic camera in 1913. But this photo wouldn't appear in print until the October 1963 issue, which celebrated the Society's 75th anniversary. By that point, Grosvenor had served as both director and president of the Society, and editor of the magazine until his retirement in 1954.

Photograph by Wallace W. Nutting, Nat Geo Image Collection


CAPSTONE lifts off

A NASA CubeSat designed to test a unique lunar orbit is safely in space and on the first leg of its journey to the Moon. The spacecraft is heading toward an orbit intended in the future for Gateway, a lunar space station built by the agency and its commercial and international partners that will support NASA’s Artemis program, including astronaut missions.

The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, mission launched at 5:55 a.m. EDT Tuesday, June 28, 2022, on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket from the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Rocket Lab


Source: www.nasa.gov
Picture of three people standing outside the Stonewall Inn in New York City

International Activism

An openly gay Indian-American activist stands outside the historic Stonewall Inn after an event that raised funds for LGBTQ people in India. This photo originally appeared in a September 2018 story, called "Building a New American Dream" about South Asian Americans.

Photograph by Ismail Ferdous, Nat Geo Image Collection



Which part of the Moon is this? No part -- because this is the planet Mercury. Mercury's old surface is heavily cratered like that of Earth's Moon. Mercury, while only slightly larger than Luna, is much denser and more massive than any Solar System moon because it is made mostly of iron. In fact, our Earth is the only planet more dense. Because Mercury rotates exactly three times for every two orbits around the Sun, and because Mercury's orbit is so elliptical, visitors on Mercury could see the Sun rise, stop in the sky, go back toward the rising horizon, stop again, and then set quickly over the other horizon. From Earth, Mercury's proximity to the Sun causes it to be visible only for a short time just after sunset or just before sunrise. The featured image was captured last week by ESA and JAXA's passing BepiColombo spacecraft as it sheds energy and prepares to orbit the innermost planet starting in 2025.


Tyrone McCoy wears a crisp blue suit, light blue button up shirt, and orange and blue paisley tie, looking off into the distance to his right. There's a heroic feel to the captured moment, and the rims of his clear glasses reflect the blues in the scene.

"A piece of my story that I think needs to get told is that broken crayons still color.

"So often we hear that there's this cycle of hurt, and hurt people hurt people, and if you came from something, you have to be a product of your environment. 

"I do feel like, in a lot of ways, we are, whether you want to be or not. The people that raise you give you a bag, and they put things in it, and you carry those things with you, good or bad, for the rest of your life. But just because my dad struggled with addiction and just because my mom wasn't always there didn't mean that I had to be either of those things. 

"I didn't have an example, a great example, of what love looked like all the time, but I did, right? I didn't have the Cosbys, but I had exactly what I needed to be who I needed to be. I think that part of my story is what I'd like to tell more of. 

"Yeah, I came from brokenness, but I'm not broken."

– Tyrone McCoy, Public Affairs Specialist, NASA Headquarters

Image Credit: NASA / Bill Ingalls  
Interviewer: NASA / Tahira Allen

Check out some of our other Faces of NASA.


Source: www.nasa.gov
Picture of a cat sitting in a restaurant booth in Paris

Cafe Cat

A cat named Caramel sits with a visitor at the Le Louis IX cafe in Paris. This now-iconic photo first appeared in the July 1989 issue, which was entirely dedicated to France.

Photograph by James L. Stanfield, Nat Geo Image Collection



The Gum Nebula is so large and close it is actually hard to see. This interstellar expanse of glowing hydrogen gas frequently evades notice because it spans 35 degrees -- over 70 full Moons -- while much of it is quite dim. This featured spectacular 90-degree wide mosaic, however, was designed to be both wide and deep enough to bring up the Gum -- visible in red on the right. The image was acquired late last year with both the foreground -- including Haba Snow Mountain -- and the background -- including the Milky Way's central band -- captured by the same camera and from the same location in Shangri-La, Yunnan, China. The Gum Nebula is so close that we are only about 450 light-years from the front edge, while about 1,500 light-years from the back edge. Named for a cosmic cloud hunter, Australian astronomer Colin Stanley Gum (1924-1960), the origin of this complex nebula is still being debated. A leading theory for the origin of the Gum Nebula is that it is the remnant of a million year-old supernova explosion, while a competing theory holds that the Gum is a molecular cloud shaped over eons by multiple supernovas and the outflowing winds of several massive stars.


Picture of a small bat covered in pollen emerging from a red flower

Pollinating Bat

A pollen-covered bat emerges from a flower of the blue mahoe tree in Cuba. This photo appeared in a March 2014 story showing the fascinating relationship between some tropical flowers and pollinating bats.

Photograph by Merlin Tuttle, Nat Geo Image Collection



What caused this outburst of V838 Mon? For reasons unknown, star V838 Mon's outer surface suddenly greatly expanded with the result that it became one of the brighter stars in the Milky Way Galaxy in early 2002. Then, just as suddenly, it shrunk and faded. A stellar flash like this had never been seen before -- supernovas and novas expel matter out into space. Although the V838 Mon flash appears to expel material into space, what is seen in the featured image from the Hubble Space Telescope is actually an outwardly expanding light echo of the original flash. In a light echo, light from the flash is reflected by successively more distant surfaces in the complex array of ambient interstellar dust that already surrounded the star. V838 Mon lies about 20,000 light years away toward the constellation of the unicorn (Monoceros), while the light echo above spans about six light years in diameter.


Picture of a father watching over his child as they admire flowers in a garden

Smell the Flowers

A father shows his child the blossoms at Sherwood Gardens, Maryland, in the mid-1950s. A portion of the May 1956 issue was dedicated to the vibrant blooms that appear every May in the garden since its genesis in the 1920s.

Photograph by Kathleen Revis, Nat Geo Image Collection



Simultaneous images from four cameras were combined to construct this atmospheric predawn skyscape. The cooperative astro-panorama captures all the planets of the Solar System, just before sunrise on June 24. That foggy morning found innermost planet Mercury close to the horizon but just visible against the twilight, below and left of brilliant Venus. Along with the waning crescent Moon, the other bright naked-eye planets, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn lie near the ecliptic, arcing up and to the right across the wide field of view. Binoculars would have been required to spot the much fainter planets Uranus and Neptune, though they also were along the ecliptic in the sky. In the foreground are excavations at an ancient Roman villa near Marina di San Nicola, Italy, planet Earth.


Picture of a parent and child at a Pride March in New York City

Pride March

A parent and child take part in a Pride march in New York City. This previously unpublished photo was taken as a part of Lynn Johnson's coverage for the January 2017 cover story on gender.

Photograph by Lynn Johnson, Nat Geo Image Collection



A solar filament is an enormous stream of incandescent plasma suspended above the active surface of the Sun by looping magnetic fields. Seen against the solar disk it looks dark only because it's a little cooler, and so slightly dimmer, than the solar photosphere. Suspended above the solar limb the same structure looks bright when viewed against the blackness of space and is called a solar prominence. A filaprom would be both of course, a stream of magnetized plasma that crosses in front of the solar disk and extends beyond the Sun's edge. In this hydrogen-alpha close-up of the Sun captured on June 22, active region AR3038 is near the center of the frame. Active region AR3032 is seen at the far right, close to the Sun's western limb. As AR3032 is carried by rotation toward the Sun's visible edge, what was once a giant filament above it is now partly seen as a prominence, How big is AR3032's filaprom? For scale planet Earth is shown near the top right corner.


Picture of lightning flashing across a purple sky over a butte in a Wyoming desert

Desert Lightning

Lightning flashes over a butte in Adobe Town, Wyoming. This photo appeared in a July 2005 story about the battle over natural gas drilling in the Rockies.

Photograph by Joel Sartore, Nat Geo Image Collection


Picture of two clownfish huddling together in a host anemone

Couple of Clownfish

Two clownfish huddle in their host anemone in the Philippines. A 2019 study found that clownfish eggs weren't hatching when exposed to artificial light at night.

Photograph by Jennifer Hayes, Nat Geo Photo of the Day



Ten thousand years ago, before the dawn of recorded human history, a new light would have suddenly have appeared in the night sky and faded after a few weeks. Today we know this light was from a supernova, or exploding star, and record the expanding debris cloud as the Veil Nebula, a supernova remnant. Imaged with color filters featuring light emitted by sulfur (red), hydrogen (green), and oxygen (blue), this deep wide-angle view was processed to remove the stars and so better capture the impressive glowing filaments of the Veil. Also known as the Cygnus Loop, the Veil Nebula is roughly circular in shape and covers nearly 3 degrees on the sky toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus). Famous nebular sections include the Bat Nebula, the Witch's Broom Nebula, and Fleming's Triangular Wisp. The complete supernova remnant lies about 1,400 light-years away.


Picture of a mother and her three children, who are South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, standing against the bedsheet that carried their belongings when they fled

Bedsheet Backdrop

When war broke out in South Sudan, hundreds of thousands of people fled for Uganda, carrying their belongings in bedsheets. Photographer Nora Lorek took portraits of families against the backdrop of their bedsheet, and a selection was published in the May 2018 issue.

Photograph by Nora Lorek, Nat Geo Image Collection