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Nasser Al-Attiyah driving his Ford Fiesta S2000 at Rannakylä shakedown in Muurame of the Neste Oil Rally Finland 2010.

Soyuz spacecraft at launchpad

The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft is seen as it is raised into a vertical position on the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Expedition 52 flight engineer Sergei Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos, flight engineer Randy Bresnik of NASA, and flight engineer Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency), are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Friday, July 28, at 11:41 a.m. EDT (9:41 p.m. Baikonur time).

Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)
Source: www.nasa.gov
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Rebar mesh of steel wires are used to reinforce concrete when constructing buildings and structures.

Glowing green aurora photographed from low Earth orbit

Expedition 52 Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA shared photos and time-lapse video of a glowing green aurora seen from his vantage point 250 miles up, aboard the International Space Station. This aurora photo was taken on June 26, 2017.

More: Aurora Image Gallery

Image Credit: NASA

Source: www.nasa.gov
July 25

Flocks of rainbow lorikeets will congregate around fruit trees and flowers, their primary food sources. But they’re more likely to pair off, like these two upside-down lorikeets in the photo. The species is native to rainforests and woodlands of Australia’s eastern seaboard, but has been introduced to more suburban environments in the west, where it’s considered an invasive pest.

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Vault ceiling of the entrance to the Ganjali Bathhouse, built in 1631 and part of a building complex, located in the old center of city of Kerman, Iran. The frescos are painted with ornaments of the Safavid era.

wispy assymetrical galaxy

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Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Jenny Hottle
Tucked away in the small northern constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs) is the galaxy NGC 4242, shown here as seen by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy lies some 30 million light-years from us. At this distance from Earth, actually not all that far on a cosmic scale, NGC 4242 is visible to anyone armed with even a basic telescope, as British astronomer William Herschel found when he discovered the galaxy in 1788.

This image shows the galaxy’s bright center and the surrounding dimmer and more diffuse “fuzz.” Despite appearing to be relatively bright in this image, studies have found that NGC 4242 is actually relatively dim (it has a moderate-to-low surface brightness and low luminosity) and also supports a low rate of star formation. The galaxy also seems to have a weak bar of stars cutting through its asymmetric center, and a very faint and poorly-defined spiral structure throughout its disk. But if NGC 4242 is not all that remarkable, as with much of the Universe, it is still a beautiful and ethereal sight.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Text credit: European Space Agency

Source: www.nasa.gov
July 24

Just as the flora and fauna of the Monegros Desert have adapted to the region’s arid climate, so have the humans who live in the nearby town of Los Monegros. Residents of this region in northeast Spain have found creative ways to farm the harsh land, growing crops that can withstand the semidesert climate of the area. The farmers here work carefully to manage not just the land, but the water as well, putting to efficient use what little rainfall and ground water is available for irrigation.

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Oxyopes javanus is a spider in the family Oxyopidae, commonly known as Lynx spiders.

July 23

If you’re celebrating National Hammock Day today, we envy you and your comfortable ways, just as we envy this hammock camper along the banks of the Econlockhatchee River in Florida. The upper course of the Econlockhatchee is just outside Orlando, where it flows through a portion called the Econlockhatchee River Swamp. As it pushes east, the river winds through the Little Big Econ State Forest, where kayakers may take a break from the river’s nearly 55-mile path to come ashore and camp in hammock tents like the one seen in this photo. For those folks, every day is hammock day.

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Summer Evening at Skagen beach (1899) by the Danish painter P.S. Krøyer, is a double portrait of the artist and his wife Marie. In the 1890s, P.S. Krøyer painted a number of evocative scenes of people walking along the shore. The painting was probably commissioned by Heinrich Hirschsprung and included in what later would come to be known as the Hirschsprung Collection.

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Organ of the church of Mary Magdalene in Eberswalde, Brandenburg, Germany.

Panorama of Mars surface showing crest of crater rim

Toward the right side of this enhanced-color scene is a broad notch in the crest of the western rim of Endeavour Crater on Mars. Wheel tracks in that area were left by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity as it observed "Perseverance Valley" from above in the spring of 2017. The valley is a major destination for the rover's extended mission. It descends out of sight on the inner slope of the rim, extending down and eastward from that notch.

Opportunity's panoramic camera (Pancam) took the component images for this view from a position outside the crater during the span of June 7 to June 19, 2017, sols 4753 to 4765 of the rover's work on Mars.

This scene includes features that might have been ancient channels from water, ice or wind moving toward the notch in the rim, which might have been a spillway. Perseverance Valley, just on the other side, was likely carved by action of some fluid, such as water, water-lubricated debris, or wind. The mission is investigating to learn more about that process from evidence in place.

The panorama spans about three-fourths of a full-circle view, from southeastward on the left, through westward in the middle, to northeastward on the right. High points visible on the rim of Endeavour Crater include "Winnemucca" on the left and "Cape Tribulation" on the right. Winnemucca is part of the "Cape Byron" portion of the crater rim. The horizon at far right extends across the floor of Endeavour Crater, which is about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter. Opportunity has been investigating sites on and near the western rim of Endeavour since 2011, following seven years of exploring smaller craters after its 2004 landing. Images showing more of the crater's rim, for context, are at PIA21496, PIA21490 and PIA17758.

This view merges exposures taken through three of the Pancam's color filters, centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet). Color is enhanced in this version to make differences in surface materials more easily visible.

The rover team calls this the "Sprained Ankle" panorama because the images were collected during a driving moratorium while engineers diagnosed a temporary steering stall with one front wheel pointed outward more than 30 degrees. The team was able to straighten the wheel to point straight ahead, and then resumed driving.

The location from which this scene was recorded is labeled as "Sol 4752" on a later traverse map. Opportunity subsequently entered the upper end of Perseverance Valley and returned views looking down the valley and back up toward the rim crest from the location it reached on July 7 (Sol 4782).

Feature: From Mars Rover: Panorama Above 'Perseverance Valley'

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.

Source: www.nasa.gov
Skógafoss July 2014.JPG

Skógafoss is a waterfall situated on the Skógá River in the south of Iceland at the cliffs of the former coastline. After the coastline had receded seaward (it is now at a distance of about 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) from Skógar), the former sea cliffs remained, parallel to the coast over hundreds of kilometres, creating together with some mountains a clear border between the coastal lowlands and the Highlands of Iceland.

Lunar module on surface of moon with astronaut's shadow in lower left of frame

This photograph of the Lunar Module at Tranquility Base was taken by Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission, from the rim of Little West Crater on the lunar surface. Armstrong's shadow and the shadow of the camera are visible in the foreground. When he took this picture, Armstrong was clearly standing above the level of the Lunar Module's footpads. Darkened tracks lead leftward to the deployment area of the Early Apollo Surface Experiments Package (EASEP) and rightward to the TV camera.  This is the furthest distance from the lunar module traveled by either astronaut while on the moon.

View a panorama of this image

Image Credit: NASA

Source: www.nasa.gov
July 20

Just a dozen humans currently reside on Aldabra, a remote island in the Seychelles archipelago. They’re part of a scientific research project, studying the island’s unique ecosystem. Aldabra is the second-largest coral atoll on Earth, and its isolated position in the Indian Ocean means the island habitat has developed with little human influence. It’s also home to a growing population of Aldabra giant tortoises. Unlike other Indian Ocean tortoise species, which were driven to extinction by European sailors, the Aldabra tortoises have been protected since the late 19th century.

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Cruise ship Celebrity Summit towed by the tugboat Vanna C leaving Venice. In the background the basilica Santa Maria della Salute.

Image of sun's surface with solar flare visible

A medium-sized (M2) solar flare and a coronal mass ejection (CME) erupted from the same, large active region of the sun on July 14, 2017. The flare lasted almost two hours, quite a long duration. The coils arcing over this active region are particles spiraling along magnetic field lines, which were reorganizing themselves after the magnetic field was disrupted by the blast. Images were taken in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light.

Solar flares are giant explosions on the sun that send energy, light and high speed particles into space. These flares are often associated with solar magnetic storms known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs). While these are the most common solar events, the sun can also emit streams of very fast protons – known as solar energetic particle (SEP) events – and disturbances in the solar wind known as corotating interaction regions (CIRs).

The Solar Dynamics Observatory is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Its Atmosphere Imaging Assembly was built by the Lockheed Martin Solar Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL), Palo Alto, California.

More: Animations of the solar flare

Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Solar Dynamics Observatory

Source: www.nasa.gov
July 19

Both male and female geladas have a red, hourglass-shaped patch of skin on their chests. But the male's patch is usually a brighter red. This marking is the inspiration behind the gelada’s other common name: the bleeding heart monkey. Though similar to baboons, geladas are usually classified in their own genus. They spend most of their day grazing on grasses in the high mountain plateaus of northern Ethiopia, their sole natural habitat.

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Tulum is the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya walled city serving as a major port for Cobá. The ruins are situated on 12-meter (39 ft) tall cliffs, along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya; it was at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries and managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico.

Orion capsule floats in sea with crew in orange flight suits in raft nearby

When astronauts return to Earth from destinations beyond the moon in NASA’s Orion spacecraft and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, they’ll still need to safely get out of the spacecraft and back on dry land. Using the waters off the coast of Galveston, Texas, a NASA and Department of Defense team tested Orion exit procedures in a variety of scenarios on July 10-14, 2017.

During the crew egress testing, a joint team from the Orion and Ground Systems Development and Operations programs, along with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force, evaluated how the crew will get out of the capsule with assistance and by themselves.

Astronauts and engineering test subjects wore Orion Crew Survival System spacesuits, modified versions of NASA’s orange Advanced Crew Escape suits in development for use during Orion launch and entry, making the testing as true to mission scenarios as possible.

More: In Gulf of Mexico, NASA Evaluates How Crew Will Exit Orion

Image Credit: NASA

Source: www.nasa.gov