Nope, this isn't how NASA gets ready to roast a chicken. In fact, this image shows its engineers testing the sunshield for the NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. The size of a tennis court, it folds up like an umbrella, thus has to be tested extensively to make sure the five layers of thin membrane can unfurl reliably in space. [NASA]
National Geographic's Photo of the Day—captured by Simon Kwan—shows Hong Kong in all its glorious urban madness. When I first saw it I thought it was a collage made with multiple shots and mirrored images. It's not. It's just the city photographed from Beacon Hill.
Not a jellyfish. Nor a sperm. In fact, this is a cloud formed by a Russian Soyuz rocket as it rose through the thin air of near space on the morning of Tuesday 8 July. The cross, right at the top of the formation, was made by the Soyuz's four boosters, as their plumes ballooned out in the thin air. [Roscosmos via New Scientist]
Photographer Donna Dotan was shooting downwards out of a Manhattan apartment window when she noticed the beautiful symmetrical reflection. It inspired her to create this amazing series in which New York looks like an entirely different place—sometimes a starship, others the endless canyons of an alien megalopolis.