At least two thank yous should be given for the timelapse video above. The first goes to NASA, for sharing the images of earth taken from the International Space Station for free. The second goes to a man named Adonis Pulatus, who downloaded more than 16,000 of those images and turned them into a two-minute video for all to see and share on Vimeo.
Venus will pass directly between the sun and earth on Tuesday in the last Transit of Venus of the 21st century. Beginning at around 6:04 p.m. EST, Venus can be seen passing across the sun in a display that will last for more than six hours. (See when the transit will be visible in your area here.) Scientists are reminding amateur astronomers to protect their eyes from the sun's UV rays. The next Transit of Venus will not occur until December 2117.
Actors Stephen Baldwin and Kevin Costner met in a New Orleans courtroom on Monday to settle a lawsuit over investments in a device used to clean up the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Baldwin is suing Costner for conning him out of shares in Ocean Therapy Solutions, a company created to market Costner's oil-extracting centrifuges, before sealing an $18 million deal with British Petroleum. The oil company bought 32 of the devices, which were deployed in June 2010 to assist in the clean up of the Deepwater Horizon spill. Baldwin, who owned 10 percent of the company the day before the deal, is seeking $21 million in damages. Costner began developing oil separation machines after he produced and starred in the 1995 post-apocalyptic film Waterworld.
A former cage fighter began running from Budapest to London on Saturday with the intention of completing a daily marathon before arriving in time for the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games. Hungarian Norman Varga will run 1,240 miles in an effort to raise money for his children's foundation. "I want to be a role model through the things I do in my life," said Varga, who had his arm reattached after a train accident when he was 16. The route will take him through Austria, Belgium, and France, before reaching London on July 27.
A study published in the journal Nature on Sunday suggests climate change has contributed to a rapid increase in the growth of trees on the Arctic tundra. Researchers determined that small shrubs in the Eurasian tundra previously stunted by cold Arctic weather have unexpectedly grown into trees over the past several decades. Trees were virtually unknown in the region 30 years ago, when the tallest vegetation stood at about 3.3 feet, but trees taller than six feet are now common. "The growth of these shrubs is really linked to temperatures," one researcher said. The study also indicates that the tree growth could contribute to global warming, as the treetops will absorb more energy from the sun instead of allowing the white tundra to reflect energy back into space.