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APOD: The Milky Trail (2013 Jun 01) Image Credit & Copyright: Wally Pacholka (AstroPics.com, TWAN) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130601.html Explanation: Have you ever hiked the Queen's Garden trail in Bryce Canyon, Utah, USA, planet Earth? Walking along that path in this dark night skyscape, you can almost imagine your journey continues along the pale, luminous Milky Way. Of course, the name for our galaxy, the Milky Way (in Latin, Via Lactea), does refer to its appearance as a milky band or path in the sky. In fact, the word galaxy itself derives from the Greek for milk. Visible on moonless nights from dark sky areas, though not so bright or quite so colorful as in this image, the glowing celestial band is due to the collective light of myriad stars along the plane of our galaxy, too faint to be distinguished individually. The diffuse starlight is cut by dark swaths of obscuring galactic dust clouds. Four hundred years ago, Galileo turned his telescope on the Milky Way and announced it to be "... a congeries of innumerable stars ..." http://twanight.org/pacholka http://astropics.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130601 Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD http://asterisk.apod.com/view_retro.php?date=0601

Autumn on Titan, a hurricane on Saturn and fire on the international space station – in pictures | A month in space

http://www.theguardian.com/science/gallery/2013/may/31/titan-saturn-international-space-station-pictures<p>720<p>This month's roundup of the best …

Noctilucent cloud season is here!

Adrian Strand caught these noctilucent or “night-shining” clouds over Whitehaven, England on May 30, 2013.<p>Our friend Adrian Strand was able to …

Astronomy

Restored Faith in Humanity of the Day: A Kindergartner Read 875 Books in One School Year

People say kids don’t read enough books these days, but one young pupil at T.S. Cooley Elementary Magnet School in Lake Charles, Los Angeles, would beg to differ. Over the course of the past school year, five-year-old Sophia Moss read through nearly the entire kindergarten and first-grade sections of her school’s library. According to the local news report, her father Carl helped her check out five books a week this fall, which eventually grew to more than 20 books per week. In addition to her …

Aurora over Oregon’s Mt. Hood this weekend

Beautiful aurora seen in Oregon on Friday night (May 31-June 1). Ben Coffman was at Trillium Lake, near Mount Hood, when he captured it.<p>Ben Coffman …

Astronomy

An island-hopper's guide to the Azores

Until recently, even seasoned travellers would have been hard pushed to pinpoint the Azores on a map. But finally the world is waking up to the allure of these nine volcanic islands, scattered like stepping stones in the mid-Atlantic. Whether you're watching the sunrise creep up Pico's perfect …

Three epic icy journeys

The spirit of expedition continues to thrive as travellers seek out epic journeys to broaden their minds and stimulate their senses. Winter months or chilly climates might seem like challenges, but breathtaking snow-capped mountains and windswept views of glacial lakes create a magical travel …

Hit the road! Sydney to the Central West.

When Sydney is sweltering, head inland for higher-altitude cool temperatures, unique wines, fine dining and historic towns that look straight from a movie set.<p><b>Duration:</b> Four to six days<p><b>Distance:</b> 700km loop<p><b>Best time to go:</b> Late spring or summer<p>The Great Western Hwy is the most direct route from …

Travel

When is the best time to visit US and Canada's National Parks?

When is the best time to visit the National Parks of the US and Canada? You might think the answer would be one of the summer months. But when we looked at the 'best time to go' picks by Lonely Planet guidebook authors for the most visited and best-known parks in the US and Canada and stacked them …

National Parks

Antarctica: planning the trip of a lifetime

A trip to majestic, remote Antarctica is truly the journey of a lifetime. Calving icebergs, breaching whales, deep-diving seals and cavorting penguins are just a few of the marvellous sights visitors can expect to encounter. Historic explorers' huts emphasise the adventure that it is to survive on …

Habib Ullah Khan's answer to What are the most surreal places to visit?

You could end up near a hot stream flowing under a glacier in Kamchatka making it seem like you're in a fantasy universe when the sun shines …

European Travel