A storm cloud threatens to develop into a full blown tornado behind a cluster of family homes in Taber, Canada. The photographer said: “Our area of the country seldom sees tornadoes so this was a rare sight indeed and with the rainbow underneath it, made it even more special to see.” This picture was created by stitching together multiple photographs in a vertical panorama. Photographer Pat Kavanagh
Astronomers have discovered the darkest known exoplanet – a distant, Jupiter-sized gas giant known as TrES-2b. Their measurements show that TrES-2b reflects less than one percent of the sunlight falling on it, making it blacker than coal or any planet or moon in our solar system.
The Lockheed Martin High Altitude Airship (HAA™) – and its sub-scale demonstrator, the High Altitude Long Endurance-Demonstrator (HALE-D) – is an un-tethered, unmanned lighter-than-air vehicle that will operate above the jet stream in a geostationary position to deliver persistent station keeping as a surveillance platform, telecommunications relay, or a weather observer.
DARPA’s Falcon HTV-2 unmanned aircraft has been launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, as part of a critical test flight at hypersonic speeds. The experimental aircraft is fast enough to travel from New York to Los Angeles in just 12 minutes.
update: The U.S. military said it launched the Falcon HTV-2, which reached speeds of 13,000 mph, but lost control after about nine minutes of flight and, they believe, crashed in the Pacific Ocean. Last year, the first Falcon vanished over the Pacific Ocean, leaving absolutely no trace.