1. THE BIG PICTURE

    Extraordinary Microscope Photographs

    The Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition honors the world’s most extraordinary microscope images and videos of biological subjects.

     
  2. THE BIG PICTURE

    Ring of Fire Eclipse: 2012 

    - A rare annular eclipse - a ring of sunlight as the new moon, passing between Earth and sun, blocks most, but not all, of the sun’s disc. Differing from a total solar eclipse, the moon in an annular eclipse appears too small to cover the sun completely, leaving a ring of fire effect around the moon. (49 photos total)

     
  3. THE BIG PICTURE

    Daily life: March 2012 

    - Nearly 2,000 images moved across the wires last month under the category “daily life.” They may not be photographs that fit into any particular news category or event, but we’d hate not to share them with you, so we’re adding an occasional feature on The Big Picture blog: daily life captured around the globe. Here is the first installment. (31 photos total)

     
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    Syrian refugees

    - Syrians by the thousands are fleeing the violence in their home country and seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Turkey this week is said to be considering a buffer zone in Syria to secure its own national security as well as aid fleeing civilians. Turkey is already sheltering some 17,000 of those who have fled. (32 photos total)

     
  5. THE BIG PICTURE

    Signs of Spring: 2012 

    - Seemingly strange weather patterns continue to break high temperature records and beckon to those weary of the indoors to venture outside to soak up the sun. (45 photos total)

     
  6. THE BIG PICTURE

    Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race 2012 

    - The 40th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race came to an end earlier this week in Nome, Alaska. Dallas Seavey, 25, bested both his father and his grandfather with his team of nine dogs, becoming the youngest musher ever to win the nearly 1,000-mile race across the Alaskan wilderness. Gathered here are images from the Iditarod and other events from around the globe. (29 photos total)

     
  7. THE BIG PICTURE

    Afghanistan: February 2012 

    - February was a violent month in Afghanistan and harsher than usual winter weather added to the misery. (48 photos total)

     
  8. THE BIG PICTURE

    Reflections

    - They can appear in a mirror, water, or glass. Capturing a reflection in a photograph is a simple process but it takes skill to be compelling

     
  9. THE BIG PICTURE

    Seeing red: Valentine’s Day 2012

    - People around the world once again expressed their affection for one another in many ways with balloons, cards, flowers, chocolates, gifts, and kisses to name just a few.

    (34 photos total)

     
  10. THE BIG PICTURE

    Skating

    - It’s time to celebrate the simple joys of ice skating. Gathered here are images of people enjoying the combination of smooth ice and steel blades. (33 photos total)

     
  11. THE BIG PICTURE

    Afghanistan, January 2012 

    - The New Year began violently in Afghanistan, with three bombings killing 13 people in one day in Kandahar. Meanwhile, the foreign troop withdrawal process continued, as more responsibility was transferred to Afghan security forces. The goal is a complete withdrawal by the end of 2014. (41 photos total)

     
  12. THE BIG PICTURE

    Lunar New Year 2012

    - This year is the Year of the Dragon on the Chinese zodiac, and is viewed as very auspicious. In China, the holiday is known as 春节, the Spring Festival, and kicks off 15 days of celebration. It also triggers the largest human migration in the world, as hundreds of millions of Chinese trek to see families. 新年快乐! — Lane Turner/ 雷恩 (38 photos total)

     
  13. THE BIG PICTURE

    Costa Concordia cruise ship runs aground off coast of Italy

    - The search continued for those still missing after the Costa Concordia luxury cruise ship smashed into a reef off the coast of Giglio, Italy, and partially sank last weekend. Eleven deaths were confirmed on Tuesday. (34 photos total)

     
  14. THE BIG PICTURE

    Haiti slow to recover from 2010 quake

    - Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake killed about 300,000 people. Though half of the rubble has been cleared and reconstruction has begun, Haiti has a long way to go in its recovery effort. Collected here are images made available by wire services leading up to the anniversary. (25 photos total)

     
  15. THE BIG PICTURE

    Afghanistan, December 2011

    - As the transition in Afghanistan draws closer, problems with security, the economy, and cultural mores are growing even more apparent. Included in this monthly look at Afghanistan are images that highlight these issues.

    (37 photos total)