Earth and Scott Kelly’s Feet

Nasa astronaut Scott Kelly wowed us again with another picture from the Space Station, specifically the cupola, the windowed module installed on the station in 2010. In this one, Kelly appropriately looks like he’s standing on top of the world.

Birth Control

Dutch photographer Maurice Mikkers captures stunning macro photos of narcotics and medicines. Mikkers takes a sample of the drug, crushes it with a mortar and pestle, and then dilutes the powder and puts it on a slide. He then applies heat to the slide and air-dries it to produce the crystals that he photographs. Under a microscope the drugs sometimes look like amoebas, pop art, or nebulas.

The Sun Seen in X-rays

Data collected from NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array shows the sun’s surface lit up by x-rays. High-energy x-rays are shown in blue, green shows lower-energy x-rays, and the yellows and reds are ultraviolet light. NuSTAR is typically used to investigate black holes and supernovae, but using it to look at the sun could yield important data. Not only could it be used to find out the precise location of where energy from solar flares is released, but there is also a chance that the telescope might detect “the axion,” a hypothesized dark matter particle.

Black-Winged Cuckoo Orchid Bee (Exaerete frontalis)

Biologists Sam Droege and Laurence Packer show the world’s incredible bee diversity in their new book: Bees: An Up-Close Look at Pollinators Around the World. The book includes hundreds of photographs of bees as well as interesting facts. Check out our top 15 buzz-worthy bee pictures from the book here.

Space Waves

The Silver Surfer would love to ride on these giant space waves. NASA’s Cassini mission captured the above surfer wave pattern, which can be observed all over the universe. The waves can also be seen at the edges of Earth’s magnetic environment where they result from the constant flow of solar particles and energy that blow past our magnetosphere.

Dive into the Beach at the National Building Museum

Snarkitecture, a Brooklyn-based architecture studio, has transformed an area of National Building Museum in Washinton D.C. into a 10,000 square-foot faux indoor beach. The team used astroturf and around 1 million translucent plastic balls to mimic the ocean, as well as white deck chairs and umbrellas to replicate the feeling of going to the beach. For 16 dollars, visitors can lounge around the “beach” or wade through the sea of recyclable balls without having to worry about embarrassing tan lines.

San Francisco International Airport

Airports across the country were left looking like giant mosh pits when a United Airlines glitch left thousands of people grounded and packed like sardines on July 8. The system-wide computer failure left it impossible for United Airline planes to take off for about two hours, however some pilots offered free tours of the flight deck to calm some passengers.

Snoopy Quadcopter

Otto Dieffenbach built a quadcopter that looks like Snoopy sitting on top of his doghouse. Dieffenbach was inspired by the upcoming film, The Peanut’s movie, and built the remote-controlled Snoopy drone for the San Diego Comic-Con. A YouTube video of his Snoopy in flight got over 50,000 likes.

Pluto And Charon

Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, differ greatly in their size, color, and composition, as shown in this image from 3.7 miles away on July 8.
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