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Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations

The globe’s biggest Carnival bash opened Friday, when Rio de Janeiro’s mayor handed the key to the city to rotund King Momo, the mythical jester figure who reigns over Carnival.

About 850,000 tourists are expected in Rio during the raucous, five-day free-for-all. Millions of people across the country will take to the streets and sambadromes to dance and party, effectively putting Brazil on a week-long hiatus.


A dancer from the Mocidade samba school performs at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press) Continue reading »

Spectacular Images of Northern Lights Captured from Space


The aurora borealis steals the show in this nighttime photograph shot from the International Space Station as the orbital outpost flew over the Midwest recently. Cloud cover makes it difficult to identify the cities that are within the captured area. The spacecraft was above south-central Nebraska when the photo was taken. The angle of the look is northward to northeastward. (ISS030-E-061267 http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/) Continue reading »

NASA: Spectacular Images from Space – Galaxy Encounter, Flooding Thailand, and 12-Billion-Year-Old Stars

This NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team image obtained November 4, 2011 shows dust as it blew over the Gulf of Alaska in early November 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on November 2, 2011. Blowing toward the south-southwest, the dust plume remains discernible for roughly 100 kilometers (60 miles). The dust emerges from the Copper River Valley, which zigzags through the glacier-rich Chugach Mountains. The slow movement of glaciers over bedrock grinds the rock into glacial flour. This fine sediment is easily lofted into the air by winds blowing through mountain valleys. This image also shows swirls of iridescent green in the waters along the shore. The bright green probably results from sediment and phytoplankton. Dust can fertilize phytoplankton, prompting big blooms, but the microscopic organisms also thrive in high-latitude seas especially near coastlines, without dust. (Jeff Schmaltz / NASA via AFP – Getty Images) Continue reading »

Solar Storm Threatens to Slam Into Earth, Spectacular Flares Detected by NASA

Solar blasts of energy from the sun began reaching the Earth on Friday and could disrupt some communications, according to scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Storms are brewing some 93 million miles away and three solar flares erupted on the sun starting Tuesday, touching earth’s magnetic field on Friday in the form of fast-moving “solar wind” and is blowing by the Earth. (NASA / NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center / IBITimes) Continue reading »

Photo of the Day: Spectacular Photos of World’s Largest Fish Whale Sharks Seen Almost Swallowing Dive

A diver was almost swallowed by a whale shark while he was staring into the mammoth jaws of the largest fish in the world that feed mainly on plankton. The breathtaking photograph was captured by photographer Mauricio Handler in the waters of Mujeres Island in Mexico. (Mauricio Handler/handlerphoto) Zoom.