Space & Innovation

Must-See Planet Pics (May 27)

Check out some of our favorite photos from around -- and above -- the world this week.

Satellite imagery shows how New Orleans and the surrounding area gradually are sinking, due to both natural geologic processes and human activity, such as pumping out groundwater. The green areas have sunk since 2009, while the pink areas are rising as a result of the shift. Credit: NASA

Every spring, the sea ice that covers the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska starts to thin and break up. Normally that process doesn't reach full swing until late May. But this year, the ice started to disintegrate in mid-April. Credit: NASA

Here's another satellite image that shows the after-effects of the massive fire that raged around Fort McMurray in the Canadian province of Alberta. The fire left a massive scar that covers 930 square miles. Credit: NASA

This 12 foot by 7 foot sponge that was found in Hawaiian waters at depth of 7,000 feet by robotic vehicles from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's research ship, the Okeanos Explorer. It's the biggest sponge ever discovered. Credit: NOAA

Kīlauea is the youngest and southeastern most volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. This image captures a rainbow near the gas plume from the Halemaʻumaʻu crater. Credit: USGS

The National Science Foundation tweeted this photo of researchers working in Antarctica by the light of the research vessel Laurence M. Gould. They're studying seals. Credit: NSF

A European satellite took this picture of the ocean waters off Australia, in which reflected sunlight shows the complex interaction of waves. Credit: ESA