Daily science, nature and space photos

Science & Nature
Science picture of the day
Tracing the polar bear's ancestry News.science360.gov.org
2 May 2016

Full Text:

Polar bears and brown bears have interbred opportunistically and probably on many occasions during the last 100,000 years. An international research team concluded that all living polar bears trace their maternal ancestor to a brown bear that lived near present-day Britain and Ireland just prior to the last ice age. The research team analyzed 242 brown bear and polar bear mitochondria...

Coexistence of plant and insect species News.science360.gov.org
29 Apr 2016

Full Text:

A silhouette of a monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus) on the leaf of a milkweed plant (Asclepias spp.). Plant-eating insects such as caterpillars have played a central role in the evolution of plants. Scientists are studying these organisms as part of their research on the community and evolutionary ecology of interactions between the milkweed plant and the insect herbivores that p...

Earth science picture of the day
Nabkhas Dunes Epod.usra.edu
2 May 2016


Photographer: David K. Lynch
Summary Author: David K. Lynch

Nabkhas are eolian sand dunes formed when plants catch and accumulate wind-borne soil. They're called phytogenic mounds (phytogenic means originating from plants) and they're most common in desert and semiarid regions. Nabkhas are typically 3 ft to 16 ft (1-5 m) high and 30 ft to 200 ft (9-61 m) across. They're the only kind of dunes ...

Archive - Central Pennsylvania Folded Rocks Epod.usra.edu
1 May 2016


Each Sunday we present a notable item from our archives. This EPOD was originally published May 27, 2004.

Provided by and copyright: Russell Agostaro, Newburgh Enlarged City School District
Summary author: Russell Agostaro

During the Permian Period (290 to 248 million years ago), the continental mass of what is now Africa collided with the continental mass of Laurentia, now known as North Amer...


Crossing Mars Apod.nasa.gov

Where is NASA's rover Curiosity going on Mars? Where is NASA's rover Curiosity going on Mars?

Contemplating the Sun Apod.nasa.gov

Have you contemplated your home star recently? Have you contemplated your home star recently?

Hubble picture of the day
Hubble Discovers Moon Orbiting the Dwarf Planet Makemake Hubblesite.org
26 Apr 2016

Get larger image formats

Makemake is one of several dwarf planets that reside in the frigid outer realm of our solar system called the Kuiper Belt, a "junkyard" of countless icy bodies left over from our solar system's formation.

Hubble Sees a Star 'Inflating' a Giant Bubble Hubblesite.org
21 Apr 2016

Get larger image formats

Twenty-six candles grace NASA's Hubble Space Telescope's birthday cake this year, and now one giant space "balloon" will add to the festivities. Just in time for the 26th anniversary of Hubble's launch on April 24, 1990, the telescope has photographed an enormous, balloon-like bubble being blown into space by a super-hot, massive star. Astronomers trained the i...

NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day

Lagoa Mangueira Earthobservatory.nasa.gov
2 May 2016

Lagoa Mangueira
Sand spits and other wind- and wave-built patterns distinguish the south coast of Brazil.

Biscayne National Park Earthobservatory.nasa.gov
1 May 2016

Biscayne National Park
Maps of the underwater topography reveal reefs and sandbars within the largest marine park in the U.S. National Park System.

NASA Earth Observatory Natural Hazards

Fires and Smoke in Nepal Earthobservatory.nasa.gov
29 Apr 2016

Fires and Smoke in Nepal
In April 2016, smoke blanketed the region during an unusually active fire season.

Looking Through the Storm That Swamped Houston Earthobservatory.nasa.gov
28 Apr 2016

Looking Through the Storm That Swamped Houston
CloudSat observed a destructive rain storm as it passed across the central United States in April 2016.

Animal of the day
Naked Mole Rat - More Than Meets The Eye Thewebsiteofeverything.com
22 Aug 2015
Naked mole ratThe naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) is a rodent, known for its burrowing and is indigenous to East Africa. The mole rat possesses a number of characteristics which allow it to survive in underground and harsh environments.

The average naked mole rat is between 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 centimeters) in length and weighs between 1.1 and 1.2 ounces (30 to 35 grams). They have small eyes, poor...

Northern Pudu - the World's Smallest Deer Thewebsiteofeverything.com
7 Jul 2015
The Northern Pudu (Pudu mephistophiles) is the world's smallest deer. This little inhabitant of the Andes Mountains weighs in at only 3 to 6 kg, or 7 to 13 pounds. The Northern Pudu lives and plays across Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru. They prefer to stay in the higher elevations of the Andes Mountain range. Most of them live at least 2000 meters above sea level. The climate here is a temperate r...

Botany photo of the day

More pictures