Earth from the ISS: live HD streaming

The live streaming of Earth from the ISS is available on YouTube in HD quality.

When I was a child, I always dreamed about going to space, traveling between planets, and watching Earth from space. Back in the 1980s, we were almost sure that around the year 2000, space travel would be so common. Remember TV shows like “Space: 1999”, where we’ve had a moon base called “Alpha”. Unfortunately, the space race lost its momentum during the 1990s and 2000s.

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Calbuco volcano erupts (video)

Calbuco volcano, the stratovolcano in southern Chile has erupted twice for the first time since 1972 and the people have been evacuated from the area. It is the first eruption of the stratovolcano in 43 years; it results in a huge ash cloud over a mountainous area in the south of Chile.

The amazing footage from the area shows a huge column of lava and ash being sent several kilometers into the air.

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Maps can be deceptive

Yes, maps can be deceptive. The standard maps we see every day use Mercator Projection, a cylindrical map projection presented by the Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. It was developed for navigational purposes and has often been used in world maps. But, like all the other types of projections, it can be deceptive.

In fact, every map tells lie, since it’s impossible to transform perfectly the three-dimensional world into two-dimensional surfaces like paper or computer screens.

Map projections are necessary for creating maps and every map projections distort the surface in some fashion (a map projection is a systematic transformation of the latitudes and longitudes of locations on the surface of a sphere or an ellipsoid into locations on a plane).

Every map projection introduces distortion, and each has its own set of problems.

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If Earth had rings like Saturn, this is what it would look like

What if Earth had rings like Saturn? What it would look like? Probably, our sky would look amazing. The rings would look quite different from the cities and latitudes across the world. It’s interesting to imagine how it would affect the culture throughout time. It would have influenced religion, mythology, navigation, etc.

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Earth: a fast-moving Spacecraft

In fact, we’re all living in a fast-moving spacecraft named Earth. Our planet is moving around our sun in an elliptical (an ellipse that is very close to a circle) orbit.

The Sun is (our solar system, the Sun, Earth, and all the other planets and objects) whirls around the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. And, our galaxy and the other galaxies in our neighborhood are also rushing towards a structure called the Great Attractor, a region of space roughly 150 million light-years away from us.

This Great Attractor, having a mass 100 quadrillion times greater than our sun and a span of 500 million light-years, is made of both the visible matter that we can see along with the so-called dark matter that we cannot see.

So, even when you’re resting on your armchair, you’re flying through space faster than the fastest human-made object. But how fast actually?

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Changing Earth

The ever-changing Earth: our planet is constantly changing over the years. Some changes are part of nature, and some of them are on humanity’s shoulders. Some scientists even suggest that the Earth has entered a new geological epoch defined by human impact, called “Anthropocene“. Over the years astronauts have taken photos of the Earth from space and documented these changes. NASA’s World of Change series shows how our planet’s land, oceans, atmosphere, and Sun are changing over time.

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World’s largest living cat: Hercules, the liger

Ligers are the largest cats on Earth. A liger can be more than 900 pounds (about 408 kg) in weight and 12 feet (about 3.65 m) long, weighing almost 100 times more than house cats and almost twice as much as either Panthera tigris (tiger) or Panthera leo (lion).

The liger, the largest of all known extant felines, is a hybrid cross between a male lion and a female tiger.

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Google vice president breaks the skydiving record with a peak altitude of 135,908 feet

Alan Eustace, a senior vice president of Google, parachuted from a balloon near the top of the stratosphere on Friday, October 24, 2014, falling faster than the speed of sound and beating the skydiving record set by the Austrian Felix Baumgartner in 2012.

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Japanese Giant Hornet cooked by Honey Bees (video)

In the insects’ world, the Japanese Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica) is a real beast. It is one of the subspecies of the Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia), which is the world’s largest hornet. As its name suggests, it is endemic to the Japanese islands, where it prefers rural areas where it can find trees to nest in.

Using its scissor-like teeth that can wreak havoc on its prey, a single Japanese giant hornet can kill up to forty European honeybees a minute. So, a few of them can decimate an entire colony containing 30,000 European honey bees. Compared to honeybees, it is a really giant: adults can be more than 4.5 centimeters (1.8 in) long, with a wingspan greater than 6 centimeters (2.4 in).

But, the Japanese honey bees have developed an amazing defense against these giants during their evolutionary process.

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The man who swims with a crocodile: the story of Chito and Pocho

A unique friendship between a man and a crocodile: nicknamed “Chito”, Gilberto Shedden, a Costa Rican fisherman, and naturalist had an unusual friend: “Pocho”, a huge crocodile longer than 5 meters (16 feet 5 inches), with a weight up to half a ton.

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