Astronaut Scott Kelly is spending part of his year in space sending down stunning images of Earth from above. This image is one of 17 he took on a flyover of Australia. NASA

46 Billion Pixels for 100 Billion Stars

This image is just a small portion of the enormous new photograph of the Milky Way. The full version is the largest astronomical image of all time. It’s searchable and contains five years of observational data.

New Giant Galapagos Tortoises

Scientists recently used genetic testing to prove that what they thought was one species of giant tortoise in the Galapagos was actually two distinct species. There are only a few hundred members of the new species, which is named Chelonoidis donfaustoi after Don Fausto, the caretaker of Lonesome George, the famous giant Galapagos tortoise who was the last of his own species. The new species is one of 15 tortoise species that lived on the islands, although four of them are now extinct.

Pluto Time

Since its debut in June, NASA’s ‘Pluto Time’ project has gathered almost 7,000 images from across the world. Participants were invited to take pictures at dawn and dusk, when light levels most closely resemble that of noon on Pluto. Thousands of pictures make up the mosaics of Pluto and Charon, its largest moon.

The Evolution of Lego

Having realized that certain colors are becoming more common in recent years, a LEGO fan created a visualization showing how the toy’s color palette has evolved since 1975. Dark grey, brown, and dark tan are among the colors that are gaining on bright primary colors. The data was provided by BrickLink inventories.

Scott Kelly’s Good Morning

One NASA astronaut captured sunlight from space and turned it into Twitter gold. Scott Kelly started his year-long tenure at the International Space Station in March 2015. Besides providing valuable information about the health effects of long-term space travel, Kelly provides first-hand documentation of his amazing view.

Earth Art From Space

Astronaut Scott Kelly is spending part of his year in space sending down stunning images of Earth from above. This image is one of 17 he took on a flyover of Australia.

Bee Larvae

These larvae — of a stingless Brazilian bee — depend on a special fungus that grows in their nest. Without the fungus to eat, bee larvae don’t survive, shows a new report in Current Biology. This could have implications for the use of fungicide in agriculture.

Northern Lights Photobomb The Milky Way

A photographer managed to capture the Aurora Borealis and the Milky Way in the same shot. The image was taken over Loch More in Caithness, northern Scotland. The lights of the Aurora Borealis usually come in green, though they have also been spotted in red, yellow, blue, and violet.

Red-Tailed Hawks Shut Down Sirens

The public warning system in San Francisco runs regular tests of its sirens for use in the case of an emergency. At one location, however, the sirens have been turned off so as not to disturb a family of nesting red-tailed hawks. This species is one of the most common raptors in North America, and its range spans most of the continent.

Nike Goes Back To The Future

October 21, 2015 was Back to the Future Day, marking the day Marty McFly visited in hit movie Back to the Future Part II. One of the most memorable “futuristic” devices was a pair of self lacing shoes, and Nike just made them a reality. The shoes are in limited edition and available only by auction, with all proceeds going to Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.