Fall Is in the Air, Part II

The days are getting shorter and the nights chillier as fall descends on the Northern Hemisphere. Autumn is the season of harvests, festivals, migrations, winter preparations, and of course, spectacular foliage. Across the north, leaves are reaching peak color, apples and pumpkins are being gathered, and animals are on the move. Collected here are more images from this year's autumn. Be sure to also view Part I, from earlier this season. [38 photos]

Using Giant Mirrors to Light up Dark Valleys

The villages of Rjukan, Norway, and Viganella, Italy, are both situated in deep valleys where mountains block the sun's rays for up to six months every year. To illuminate those darker winter months, the two towns have built gigantic mirrors that track the sun and reflect daylight downwards. Viganella completed its huge computer-controlled mirror in 2006, and Rjukan followed suit just this month, mounting a mirror that will reflect a 600 square meter (6,500 square foot) beam of sunshine into the town square below. [9 photos]

Robots at Work and Play

Advancements in robotics are continually taking place in the fields of space exploration, health care, public safety, entertainment, defense, and more. These machines - some fully autonomous, some requiring human input - extend our grasp, enhance our capabilities, and travel as our surrogates to places too dangerous or difficult for us to go. Gathered here are recent images of robotic technology at the beginning of the 21st century, including robotic insurgents, NASA's Juno spacecraft on its way to Jupiter, and a machine inside an archaeological dig in Mexico. [32 photos]

A Season With Swiss Cheesemakers

In Gruyeres, western Switzerland, from mid-May to mid-October, the fifth generation of the Murith family produces its distinctive mountain pasture Gruyere cheese. Each wheel of cheese weighs between 25 and 40 kilograms, and takes a minimum of six months to mature. The family produces 200 wheels each year to sell locally, using unpasteurized milk from their own herd of cows. Reuters photographer Denis Balibouse spent time with the Murith family over this past grazing season, capturing days and nights in the alpine pastures of Switzerland. [23 photos]

Powerful Earthquake Strikes the Philippines

On Tuesday, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook Bohol province in the central Philippines, tearing up roads, collapsing hundreds of structures - including more than a dozen historic churches - and claiming more than 140 lives. All but two of the 20 bridges on Bohol Island were destroyed, hampering rescue efforts. Residents have been warned to stay out of large buildings until their structural integrity can be checked. In the meantime, thousands are temporarily homeless. [28 photos]

Eid al-Adha 2013

Now that the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, is complete, Muslims all over the world are observing Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice. These "days of remembrance" feature a feast honoring Abraham who, according to Muslim tradition, was prepared to sacrifice his son Ishmael before God sent a ram in his place. To commemorate this event, worshippers sacrifice sheep, cows, and camels, and share the meat among family, neighbors, and the needy. Collected here are scenes of this year's Hajj and Eid al-Adha, from Mecca and around the globe (with a few photos from last year as well). [33 photos]


Since the 1850s, engineers have been experimenting with powered lighter-than-air flight, essentially balloons with steering and propulsion. Like other early aeronautical experiments, the trial-and-error period was lengthy and hazardous. Dirigibles (with internal support structures) and blimps (powered balloons) were filled with lifting gases like hydrogen or helium, intended for many uses, from military and research to long-distance passenger service. The growth of the airship suffered numerous setbacks, including the famous Hindenburg disaster in 1937, and never developed into a major mode of travel. Despite the challenges, more than 150 years later, a number of airships are still in use and development around the world as cargo carriers, military platforms, promotional vehicles, and more. [38 photos]

The Hyperrealistic Sculptures of Ron Mueck

London-based sculptor Ron Mueck, formerly a model maker and puppeteer for children's television and films, has been creating fine art sculptures since 1996. Using resin, fiberglass, silicone, and many other materials, Mueck constructs hyperrealistic likenesses of human beings, while playing with scale. The detailed sculptures are captivating when viewed up close, as they may be many times larger or smaller than expected. [23 photos]

Fall is in the Air

The autumnal equinox took place on September 22, marking the end of summer and the start of fall across the Northern Hemisphere. Autumn is the season of harvests, festivals, migrations, winter preparations, and of course, spectacular foliage. Across the north, people are beginning to feel a crisp chill in the evening air, leaves are reaching peak color, apples and pumpkins are being gathered, and animals are on the move. Collected here are some early images from this year's autumn. [30 photos]

Adventures of a Serial Trespasser

Bradley Garrett, a photographer and researcher with a background in anthropology and archeology, has spent the past five years of his life exploring hidden and forgotten parts of cities all over the world. Sneaking into sewers and bunkers, through metro tunnels and up skyscrapers, Garrett calls his work place-hacking: "I see the access to secret spatial information available to those willing to dive through the loopholes in the system as akin to virtual hacking." These images, selections from his new book Explore Everything, from over 300 locations in eight countries, relays some of the excitement, terror, and wonder that comes with being a serial trespasser. [21 photos]