jane winthorpe

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Comet Siding Spring set to have rare near miss with Mars

An extremely rare celestial event will play out on Sunday night, with an ancient comet hurtling narrowly past Mars, prompting observing spacecraft to take evasive action.<p>The comet, called Siding Spring – or more formally as C/2013 A1 – will pass within 140,000km of Mars at a speed of around 56km a …

Terrawatch: Mount Ontake eruption

At the time of writing at least 43 people are thought to have died, and dozens have been injured, during the eruption of Japanese volcano Mount Ontake. It was a well-monitored volcano, so why wasn't there more warning?<p>"The sudden nature of the eruption suggests that it may have been caused by a …

An undersea world of peaks, canyons and volcanoes

An image from Geoscience Australia shows the MH370 search area including Broken Ridge. The scale of the newly discovered underwater terrain dwarfs many mountains above sea level<p>Until now, scientists had better maps of the surface of Mars than of this ocean floor.<p>These images show for the first time …

Voters play it cagey at Scotland's most northerly polling station

The North Unst Public Hall is a low, pebbledashed building set among a cluster of buildings in an otherwise vast, open moorland near Haroldswick on the Shetland island of Unst. It is also – for the time being at least – the most northerly polling station in the United Kingdom.<p>Here, and at 41 other …

50 Years of Wildlife Photographer of the Year – in pictures

Natural History Museum’s new book released on Wednesday marks five decades of the WPY competition, celebrating the art of wildlife photography. Started in the 1960s, the 160 prize-winning and commended images represent 50 years of different times, styles and specialisms – showcasing some of the …

Dizzying optical illusions by Akiyoshi Kitaoka – in pictures

Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, has spent more than a decade creating his collection of moving optical illusions. Images: Caters News Agency

The Milky Way Galaxy, As Seen From a 747

On the right of this image is our home galaxy, the Milky Way. On the left, the wing of a Boeing 747. How, pray tell, does one acquire such a …

Milky Way Galaxy

A Park Ranger's Guide to Yosemite

TravelInsider's Guide<p>Both the solitude of the alpine ridge and the throngs of the valley are part of the experience when you visit <b>Yosemite National Park</b>. “No temple made with human hands can compare with Yosemite,” wrote John Muir, whose crusading led to the creation of the park.<p><b>Kari Cobb</b> has been …

The Tinkerbell Fairyfly, also known as Tinkerbella nana, is one of the Top 10 New Species of 2014. Photograph by Jennifer Read. To see the full list of species, visit science.time.com.

Photography & Travel Product Reviews

Product Reviews

Cherry trees blossom six years early after a trip to space

In 2008 Japanese scientists decided to take a handful of cherry tree seeds (and by "handful" we mean over 250) to space. The embryonic plants spent eight months aboard the International Space Station as part of an educational project aimed at children. When the stones returned, 14 of them were …

Dawn

EU's first Sentinel satellite images Earth

<b>The European Union's new Sentinel-1a radar satellite has returned its first images of Earth.</b><p>Launched on 3 April, the spacecraft is part of a fleet of orbiting sensors that will go up over the next few years to monitor the state of the planet.<p>Its maiden pictures depict Brussels, flooding in Namibia …

Space

14 legendary natural wonders of South America

Tucked in a corner at the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, the 275 falls of Iguazu dwarf Niagara and have to be one of the most amazing …

South America

The Grasses along the Trails

The Waterboys - Strange Boat (High Quality)

Blue flower with needle leaves

Bigar Waterfall Looks Just Like Something Out Of A Fairytale

Sometimes you see a photo of nature and think "well, that just can't be real." This is one of those times.<p>Izvorul Bigăr, or the Bigar Waterfall in Romania looks like something straight out of a fairytale. (We're thinking along the lines of the "Kiss The Girl" scene from "The Little Mermaid", …

Siamese fighting fish

These stunning portraits show Siamese fighting fish seemingly floating in mid air, displaying their long, flowing fins and brilliant colours. Thai photographer Visarute Angkatavanich uses specialist lighting and crystal-clear water to capture exuberantly finned and coloured varieties of <i>Betta</i> …

Photography & Travel Product Reviews

4,000-year-old Dartmoor burial find rewrites British bronze age history

Some 4,000 years ago a young woman's cremated bones – charred scraps of her shroud and the wood from her funeral pyre still clinging to them – was carefully wrapped in a fur along with her most valuable possessions, packed into a basket, and carried up to one of the highest and most exposed spots …

Cotton Candy

The Murmurations of Starlings

When starlings flock together, wheeling and darting through the sky in tight, fluid formations, we call it a murmuration. These murmurations can range from small groups of a few hundred starlings in a small ball, to undulating seas of millions of birds, blocking out the sun. I thought today would …

This Is The First Public Art Installation To Use Google Glass

Head on over to the National Portrait Museum if you want to try out Google Glass (and see some art, I guess).<p>Artist David Datuna has an ongoing series called “Viewpoint of Billions,” in which a large collage is layered over with different optical lenses. But for his newest entry in that series, …

Google Glass

Sochi 2014: 10 high contrast shots at the Winter Olympics – in pictures

The Winter Olympics are immensely colourful, but sometimes you don’t need much colour to make a beautiful picture. Here are 10 examples of images which excel on account of the simple contrast between light and dark

Beautiful Games: frozen waterfall climbing

These remarkable photos of professional ice-climbers tackling huge frozen waterfalls and icefalls in Eidfjord, Norway, were created by photographer Thomas Senf. He used spotlights and flares to illuminate the spectacular landscapes at night-time, achieving results which look other-worldly. It took …

Everytime I See You

Neil Young - Like A Hurricane (Unplugged 1993)