It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

With only a few days left until Christmas, lighted displays, colorful markets, and Santa’s helpers are out in force. From Europe to the Americas and Asia, gathered here as an early gift to you, is a collection of holiday cheer and light wrapped up in 30 photographs.

[30 photos]

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An Icy Start to Winter

Recent storms and plunging temperatures have encrusted regions of Germany, Austria, and Hungary in thick sheets of ice. Freezing fog and icy rain coated nearly every surface, leaving road signs and trees looking like works of abstract art. The weather has closed some schools and left residents without power as crews work to clear heavy tree branches from roads, buildings, and power lines.

[18 photos]

2014 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar

It’s that time of year again—time for my favorite holiday tradition: the 2014 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar. Every day until Thursday, December 25, this page will present an amazing new image of our universe from NASA’s Hubble telescope. Be sure to visit every day until Christmas, or follow me on Twitter (@in_focus), Google+, Facebook, or Tumblr for daily updates. I hope you enjoy these amazing and awe-inspiring images and the efforts of the science teams who have brought them to Earth. Merry Christmas, and peace on Earth to all. (Also, choosing the “1280px” viewing option below, if you can support it, is always a good option.)

[25 photos, eventually]

Lichtgrenze 2014: Commemorating the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Numerous events were held this weekend across Berlin, Germany, remembering the November 9, 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall that once divided the city. A project called “Lichtgrenze 2014” (literally “Lightborder 2014”) was erected, temporarily dividing the city once more with a line of 8,000 illuminated balloons along the 9.5 mile (15.3 kilometer) path once occupied by the Berlin Wall. The weekend was capped off by a large concert at Brandenburg Gate, attended by thousands.

[15 photos]

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