Last year I posted about ways you can reduce your carbon footprint but this year I’m more in the mood to motivate you to preserve the Earth through my own favorite photos. The sky over Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, churns with light from an aurora borealis. An aurora borealis sends ribbons of yellow-green light through the sky over northern Canada.
A subdued aurora fills the sky above the Mackenzie River in Canada’s Northwest Territories. A long exposure shows star trails behind a red-and-green aurora in Canada's Northwest Territories. Light from an aurora borealis swirls over Yellowknife, the capital of Canada's Northwest Territories. A cascade of rose-tinted light surges through the sky in an aurora borealis over northern Canada.
Sometimes invisible to the naked eye, faint auroras as far south as Wisconsin sprang to life in long-exposure pictures taken last week. When Wisconsin sky-watcher Brian Larmay was out for a stroll on the night of April 2, he noticed a faint glow near the North Star. Ghostly green curtains of light hang over the frozen Koyokuk River in Alaska in a picture taken April 2.Photographer Wayne Barsky drove more than 300 miles (483 kilometers) north of Fairbanks to witness auroras for the first time. Brilliant auroras dance over snow-capped mountains near the Koyokuk River in Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle, in a long-exposure picture taken April 2"It was an extremely dark and moonless night, and the frozen river and mountains were illuminated only by the aurora[s], which painted them a pale green," photographer Barsky said.For high-latitude observers, auroras like this one are fairly common, occurring as many as two or three times a week during the spring and fall. Faint pillars of auroral light spread across the sky above northern Alberta, Canada, in a 15-second-exposure picture taken in the predawn hours of April 2.Auroras are more common in the Northern Hemisphere during spring and autumn. Fewer than 250 adult Bawean warty pigs are alive todaya€”meaning they're likely an endangered species, a new study says. Humpbacks and bowheads are benefiting from less ice in polar oceansa€”and for now, at least, more food. A tiger peers at a camera trap it triggered while hunting in the early morning in the forests of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. SingaporeThe vertiginous "infinity pool" at the Marina Bay Sands resort offers a sweeping view of Singapore, a country that's achieved success while building up instead of out. After the disasters of March 11, tens of thousands were ordered to leave their homes in the vicinity of the damaged nuclear plant, their footprints now frozen in the mud.

The 15th-century church of Rodel on the Isle of Lewis, built for the warlike chiefs of the MacLeods, towers over the sea lochs of Scotland's Outer Hebrides. RebirthNew York, New YorkThe liveliest show in town, Times Square buzzes with reborn energy. China—As if swimming in a fantasy aquarium, a school of decorative fish hovers inside Beijing's renovated Water Cube. Street LifeIstanbul, TurkeyBy foot, rail, and automobile, people pass through Taksim Square, animating the modern hub of Istanbul.
Stars a hundred times more massive than the sun pierce the roiling haze of the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Democratic Republic of the Congo—Healthy vegetation in a verdant area of South Kivu Province appears reddish when captured with infrared photography. A centuries-old supernova remnant, its rose-tinted shock wave blasting outward at more than 11 million miles an hour, hangs in the Large Magellanic Cloud like an iridescent holiday ornament. Affluent CitySeoul, South KoreaSeoul's electrifying growth, from impoverished war-torn capital in the 1950s to economic powerhouse, has turned its cityscape into a dense grid of housing and office towers.
The fallow deer in the park at Knole, Kent, have looked down at the world with long-nosed lordliness since the days of King James.
White Mesa Arch is one of the natural attractions on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona. The evening sun illuminates El Capitan and the Merced River in California’s Yosemite National Park. Nearby peaks are reflected in the clear surface of Kearsarge Lake in California’s Kings Canyon National Park. A horseback rider is silhouetted against the sea and sky on a Costa Rica beach at twilight. Subscribe to National Geographic magazine and save. Print and digital editions available for as little as $12. Earlier this month I went to the Bucksbaum Lecture at Drake University where National Geographic photographer James Balog spoke about climate change and more specifically all the melting glaciers around the world that he has the privilege to photograph.
Auroras occur when charged particles outside the Earth's atmosphere collide with atoms in the upper atmosphere. Racing for his camera, Larmay captured the ethereal colors of auroras over Pembine (map)a€”farther south than the northern lights usually appear."My adrenaline was in overdrive as I watched the pillars of light pulsate brighter and brighter and then fading as subtly as they arrived," Larmay said in an email to National Geographic News.

Although Barsky saw just a pale green glow with the naked eye, his long-exposure shot brought out fainter blue tones higher in the atmosphere.Two days before the sky show, a gust of solar wind had blasted off from the sun. Tigers can thrive in many habitats, from the frigid Himalaya to tropical mangrove swamps in India and Bangladesh. Nothing in early modern Britain, from its cities to its remotest corners, was more political than religion. A 30-year redevelopment project turned a seedy stretch of Broadway into today's neon-lit shopping and entertainment walkway. Where Olympic swimmers used to compete, visitors now frolic in a wave pool and on elaborate water-park rides. Compensation for loss of life caused by cats outside the park gives villagers some consolation. Schemes to restrict the area to foot traffic worry planners who fear the famous crossroads could lose its creative energy. Gas and dust from exploding stars serve as seed matter for new stars, making this one of the most active stellar nurseries in our galactic neighborhood. That's the name Steve Winter gave this youngster, cooling off in a watering hole in Bandhavgarh National Park, after he slapped the automated camera trap until it stopped clicking.
The cloud of charged particles collided with Earth's magnetic field, and particles flowing along the field lines toward the Poles interacted with Earth's atmosphere.Excited atoms in the atmosphere released the added energy as light, creating the streamers of faint auroras seen April 2 and 3 throughout Canada and parts of the northern United States.
Some dislike the theme park commercialism of the redo, but almost all applaud that the streets are alive with a city's valued resource—people. The grandeur of this aristocratic style seeped into every corner of King James's England—and into the language used by the translators of his Bible. The phenomenon is called aurora borealis or northern lights in the Northern Hemisphere and aurora australis or southern lights in the Southern Hemisphere.
It was an age in which social hierarchy was considered a reflection of the divine order of the universe.
These light shows are often faint to invisible to the naked eye but come alive in long-exposure pictures, just as astrophotographers need long exposure times to capture details in very distant "deep sky" objects such as galaxies and nebulas.

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