Here are some of the most insightful -- and visually cool -- pictures of our planet that we've seen recently.
Taken from the International Space Station, we see the extremely arid Atlantic coast of West Africa (above) and the reflection of the Sun's rays on the ocean and salty lagoons known as sabkhas.
In late May, a huge mudslide cascaded down a mountain in the Grand Mesa region of western Colorado. Here's an image snapped by the Landsat 8 satellite on June 7. Unstable surfaces in many areas are being destabilized by heavy winter rainfall.
When it comes to photosynthesis, cornfields in the U.S. Midwest are the most productive area on the planet, as this spectacular visualization of NASA satellite data shows. Scientists are worried, though, that future drought may harm crops.
The Northern Patagonian Icefield in the Andes Mountains in Chile is the remaining fragment of an ice sheet that covered the entire region a million years ago. It's one of the biggest remaining glaciers in non-polar temperate regions of the world. Satellite images show that it's been losing a lot of mass in recent years, due to climate change.
Remember those scary twin tornadoes that terrorized Pilger, Neb., in mid-June? Here's a NASA satellite visualization of the carnage. The Red squares are plant-covered fields, and the tan-brown streaks are the tracks of the tornadoes.
Here's an overhead view of the Kizimen volcano on Russia's sub-Arctic Kamchatka Peninsula. Despite nine months of volcanic activity, the volcano remains covered in snow, and the twin lakes at the foot of the crater remain frozen.
From the U.S. Geological Survey, here's an image of the sun rising over the Arctic Ocean. It was taken from taken from atop the bridge over the bow of the USGC Healy, a research ship.