Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
AMSTERDAM (AP) — King Willem-Alexander became the first Dutch male monarch in more than a century Tuesday as his mother Beatrix abdicated to end a 33-year reign.
The generational change in the House of Orange-Nassau gave the Netherlands a moment of celebration and pageantry as this trading nation of nearly 17 million struggles through a lengthy recession brought on by the European economic crisis.
Visibly emotional, the much-loved Beatrix ended her reign in a nationally televised signing ceremony as thousands of orange-clad people cheered outside. Millions more were expected to watch on television.
Willem-Alexander gripped his mother’s hand and looked briefly into her eyes after they both signed the abdication document in the Royal Palace on downtown Amsterdam’s Dam Square.
Beatrix looked close to tears as she then appeared on a balcony overlooking some 20,000 of her subjects.
“I am happy and grateful to introduce to you your new king, Willem-Alexander,” she told the cheering crowd.
Moments later, in a striking symbol of the generational shift, she left the balcony and Willem-Alexander, his wife and three daughters — the children in matching yellow dresses and headbands — waved to the crowd.
The former queen becomes Princess Beatrix and her son becomes the first Dutch king since Willem III died in 1890.
The 46-year-old father of three’s popular Argentine-born wife became Queen Maxima and their eldest daughter, Catharina-Amalia, who attended the ceremony wearing a yellow dress, became Princess of Orange and first in line to the throne.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.