Competitors make their way during the Marcialonga cross-country ski event, in Cavalese, Italy. (AP)
Hundreds of Taiwanese release “sky lanterns” in hopes of good fortune and prosperity in the new year and to celebrate the upcoming traditional Chinese Lantern Festival, in the Pingxi district of New Taipei City. (Wally Santana/Associated Press) Click image to zoom.
This enhanced-color image shows sand dunes trapped in an impact crater in Noachis Terra, Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)
A baboon sits in the sun at the zoo in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Martin Meissner/Associated Press)
The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are seen near the city of Tromsoe, Norway. Stargazers were out in force in northern Europe on Tuesday, hoping to be awed by a spectacular showing of northern lights after the most powerful solar storm in six years. (Rune Stoltz Bertinussen/Scanpix Norway) Click image to zoom.
A solar flare erupts on the Sun’s northeastern hemisphere. Space weather officials say the strongest solar storm in more than six years is already bombarding Earth with radiation with more to come. It’s mostly an issue for astronauts’ health and satellite disruptions, and it can also cause communication problems for airplanes that go over the poles. (NASA/Associated Press) Click image to zoom.
A mallard looks for a place to land amongst the hundreds of ducks wintering over at the Cuddy Family Midtown Park in Anchorage, Alaska during below zero temperatures. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News) Click image to zoom.
A woman emerges from the icy water on Epiphany at a pond in Tyarlevo village, outside St. Petersburg, Russia. Thousands of Russian Orthodox Church followers plunged into icy rivers and ponds across the country to mark Epiphany, during which they cleanse themselves with water deemed holy for the day. Water that is blessed by a cleric on Epiphany is considered holy and pure until next year’s celebration, and is believed to have special powers of protection and healing. (Dmitry Lovetsky/Associated Press) Click image to zoom.
A bird pecks the head of Mitt Romney on Mount Myrtle, a sand sculpture containing the likeness of the GOP presidential candidates, across from the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, which is the site of the South Carolina Republican Party’s presidential debate Monday night. (Charles Slate/The Sun News)