This past December, a NOAA team, aboard the Okeanos Explorer, conducted the first of three month-long studies of the deepest parts of the Gulf of Mexico, with the dual aim of exploring the diversity of deep-water habitats and mapping the seafloor. Using a mix of remote-operated submersibles (ROVs), and shore-based instruments, the team brought back stunning images of previously unexplored areas.
NASA's $1 billion Juno spacecraft, launched in August 2011, took five years to reach and settle into orbit around the gas giant, which is more than 415 million miles from Earth. The probe is photographing Jupiter's poles for the first time, detecting bizarre cloud formations, recording mysterious auroras, and scanning deep into the planet's thick cloud tops, sending every piece of information it can get back to Earth.
Paleontologist Lida Xing discovered the first known dinosaur tail which has feathers while collecting samples in Myanmar last year. The tail was preserved in the piece of amber the size and shape of a dried apricot. Scientists believe that the tail is around 99 million years old and that it belonged to a juvenile coelurosaur.
The astronauts from International Space Station take and send back photos of Earth almost daily thanks to powerful digital cameras. The ISS has spent 17 years in space having travelled over 2.6 billion miles around the planet and has circled it more than 100,000 times since. Let's take a look at this eye-pleasing view.
This vault is designed to store valuable seeds from crops all over the world if some worst-case scenario happens on Earth, like climate change, nuclear war or some environmental degradation or some other global crisis. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a highly secured seed bank that is situated on the Norwegian island between the mainland and the North Pole.