It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Clouds flow like a river over the lights of Swiss villages as the rising sun crowns the Alps with morning gold in a January 30 picture. To the right, a crescent moon and the bright dot of Venus decorate the paling sky. Venus is closer to the sun than Earth, so—like a car going around a racetrack—Venus periodically overtakes Earth as it orbits. This means Venus changes from the evening star, visible after sunset, to the morning star, visible before sunrise, every 584 days
Stars wheeling across the sky seem to cut through a fiery aurora in a recently released long-exposure picture taken in western Sweden. Auroras can appear in different colors depending on the types of gases in the atmosphere and where these gases are. Auroras happen when energized particles form the sun interact with air molecules and give them extra charge. These "excited" molecules then emit light. Oxygen, for example, can create auroras in yellow-green to red, while nitrogen emits light in blues and purples.
The south pole of Mars: Seasonal carbon dioxide frost has given rise to a pit that bears an eerie resemblance to a deranged clown face. Scientists compared this newly released picture from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with another taken in 2007 to see how the pit has changed over time. The team saw signs of growth inside the "happy face," which they think is caused by frost that sublimates—turns directly from solid to gas—from the pit walls and then recondenses on its surfaces
The photo comes courtesy of NASA's twin STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) spacecraft, which aligned exactly opposite each other on opposite sides of the sun to capture the image. The ability to see the whole sun, front to back, will allow scientists to better understand complicated solar weather patterns and plan for future robotic or crewed spacecraft missions throughout the solar system