A massive crack in the ice may herald an enormous rift in the ice of the Pine Island Glacier in western Antarctica.
Credit:NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Satellite images suggest that the glacier is poised to calve off an iceberg or icebergs that size of New York City. Sea ice has kept the unstable region locked in, but as this Oct. 26, 2012 Landsat 7 image reveals, the spring melt has cleared the sea in front of the glacier’s calving face.
The photo above showing the dazzling northern lights as observed from Reykjavik, Iceland was captured on September 9, 2012.
This beautiful green aurora, resembling a treble clef, is seemingly emanating from Reykjavik’s concert hall ‘Harpa’ (at bottom center). It erupted during a “substorm.” Auroral substorms are typically confined to polar areas and persist for hours and not a day or more as is the case with geomagnetic storms.
They result from brief disturbances in the Earth’s magnetosphere and may be identified by abrupt brightening and movement of auroral arcs and streamers. — Eva Seidenfaden, Jim Foster
This dreamlike view looking south from the historic mountain top Pic du Midi Observatory combines moonlit domes, a winter night sky, and the snowy peaks of the French Pyrenees.
Encroaching on the night, lights from the La Mongie ski resort illuminate the mountain slopes nearby while the glow along the distant horizon is from urban areas in southern France and Spain.
The night sky features stars of the constellations Orion and Gemini with a bright planet Mars very near the top edge, left of center. The three prominent domes visible (from left to right) house a 0.6 meter telescope reserved for amateur astronomers, a 1 meter telescope that was used to support the Apollo lunar landing missions, and the new, Sun-watching CLIMSO.
This cosmic pillar of gas and dust is nearly 2 light-years wide. The structure lies within one of our galaxy’s largest star forming regions, the Carina Nebula, shining in southern skies. The pillar’s convoluted outlines are shaped by the winds and radiation of Carina’s young, hot, massive stars. But the interior of the cosmic pillar itself is home to stars in the process of formation.