Sunshades Bloom To Protect These Towers From The Brutal Desert Sun

When the sun comes up, the flowers come out. Inspired by the design of Arabic windows known as mashrabiya, these 14m wide, flower-shaped sunshades “blossom” in minutes to cover the facades of these twin towers designed for two (anonymous!) Middle Eastern media companies.

How Big Is The Universe Explained In A Way You Will Easily Understand

The Royal Observatory of Greenwich, England, has crafted three simple animations to explain three very complex things: What’s inside a black hole, how do we know the age of the sun — did you know the Sun weighs 4,000 trillion trillion hippopotamuses? — and how big is the Universe.

The Earth Was Almost Fried Back In 2012

A massive solar storm in July 2012 was more intense than thought — and it blasted right through the Earth’s orbit. Luckily for us, we were on the other side of the sun, thus missing the chaos completely. But if that storm had hit this beautiful little blue marble in space? “The solar bursts would have enveloped Earth in magnetic fireworks matching the largest magnetic storm ever reported on Earth, the so-called Carrington event of 1859,” Science Daily reports.

New Satellite Shield Uses Pigment Found In Prehistoric Cave Paintings

The European Space Agency’s new solar satellite will be partially shielded using a bone-based pigment found in prehistoric cave paintings. The result will be a surreal cross between the earliest era of human cognition and creativity — that underground cinematic world of flickering animal images found in European caves — and the outer reaches of our current mechanical sciences.

The Best Science Visualisations Of The Year

From microscopic coral to massive planets, the natural world is full of beauty on a scale that can only be seen with the aid of a microscopic or a telescope. Announced today, the winners of the 11th annual International Science and Engineering Visualisation Challenge — sponsored by the journal Science and the US National Science Foundation — zoom into microscopic scales and zoom out onto planetary scales.

This Is How The Sun Looks Through 12,800km Of Earth Rock

This picture isn’t new, but it’s nonetheless, amazing. You’re looking at an image of the sun taken at night through 12,800km of Earth’s rocky matter. How is this wizardry possible? Because you the Sun’s neutrinos can pass through anything.

The Sun Looks Evil In Ultraviolet

It’s amazing to see how different the sun looks depending on the filters you use. Here you can see it in ultraviolet light, looking as evil as the darkest pits of Mordor. I imagine those sinuous filaments are nefarious serpents made from the souls of dead evil people.

This Isn't Abstract Art, It's The Sun

It might look more like abstract art than anything else, but you’re actually looking at a series of observations of the sun. Captured by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), this data was recorded to study the evolution of reconnection jets — streams of plasma that loop out an back into a star — on a small patch of the sun’s surface.

New Sunspot Four Times The Size Of Earth Is Largest In Almost A Decade

A titanic sunspot — about four times the size of Earth — has appeared on January 1, 2014. Called AR1944, it’s the largest sunspot in almost a decade. This image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows it compared to our planet. They are so large you can see them with your naked eye.

NASA Shows You The Sun Like You've Never Seen It Before (in Colours!)

This video is for all the times you’ve been told not to look at the Sun (hopefully you listened and never did). But unlike other videos of the Sun, this one shows the Sun like you’ve never seen it before: in different colours. That’s because it’s made from data from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and reveals wavelengths invisible to the naked eye.