Diatoms. Differential interference contrast micrograph of a group of Achnantes longipes diatoms. Diatoms are a group of photosynthetic, single-celled algae containing about 10,000 species. They form an important part of the plankton at the base of the marine and freshwater food chains. Their characteristic feature is the intricately patterned glass-like cell wall, or frustule, which often has rows of tiny holes, known as striae.
Astronaut Steve Robinson on the robotic arm of the International Space Station. This mission, STS-114 or Return to Flight, launched on 26th July 2005. It was the first shuttle mission since Columbia was lost on re-entry on 1st February 2003. Photographed on 3rd August 2005.
In 2012, NASA's GEOS-5 global atmosphere model helped to predict Hurricane Sandy's true course. The NASA model not only produced an accurate track of Sandy, but also captured fine-scale details of the storm's changing intensity and winds.