Scientists added a record 715 more planets to the list of known worlds beyond the solar system, boosting the overall tally to nearly 1,700, astronomers said on Wednesday.
The additions include four planets about two and a half times as big as Earth that are the right distance from their parent stars for liquid surface water, which is believed to be key for life. Read more
Deforestation, fires, flooding and melting ice are among the images captured by European Space Agency and Nasa satellites last month
Photos: 1. Swirling patterns created by ploughs in the rolling hills of farmland in the northwest US. In this image, taken over Washington state, the diagonal line running next to the Touchet River is a road that connects the town of Prescott to the west to Waitsburg to the eastPhotograph: KARI/ESA
2. A nocturnal image of the area of Phoenix, Arizona, taken on 16 March. Like many large urban areas of the central and western US, the Phoenix metropolitan area is laid out along a regular grid of city blocks and streets. The image area includes parts of several cities in the metropolitan area including Phoenix proper (right), Glendale (centre), and Peoria (left)Photograph: ISS/Nasa
3. Springtime in the Bay of Biscay, off the coast of France, as in most places, is a season of abundant growth. This image, taken on 20 April, shows a phytoplankton bloom. The swirling colors indicate the presence of vast numbers of phytoplankton, tiny plant-like microorganisms that live in both fresh and salt water. Although these organisms live year-round in the Bay of Biscay, it is only when conditions are right that explosive blooms occurPhotograph: Modis/Aqua/Nasa
A handout picture released by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows a composite of 25 separate images of the sun spanning the period of April 16, 2012, to April 15, 2013 to create a snapshot of the most active zones on the sun’s surface.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s photograph reveals Berlin’s ongoing struggle for reunification. The snap, taken from the International Space Station, shows a divide between the whiter lights of former west Berlin and the yellower lights of the east.
The Orion nebula is featured in this sweeping image from Nasa’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The constellation of Orion is prominent in the evening sky throughout the world from about December through to April of each year. See more images from a month in space