Cool Astronomy Stuff: Messenger Movie and APOD photo of Katrina
1. The Messenger spacecraft, which was launched on August 2, 2004, did a flyby of Earth exactly one year later for a gravity assist. (It's next flyby will be past Venus, sometime in October of 2006.) The spacecraft took a series of pictures of our planet as it flew by, and NASA put them together into an Earth Departure Movie which you can find by clicking on the link.
2. In the meantime, as Hurricane Katrina devastates the American Gulf, one of our geostationary satellites snapped a picture of it which you can find at today's Astronomy Picture of the Day. What astonishes me is how huge the storm is; it could easily cover all of Florida. Reminds me of Jupiter's Great Red Spot, which is as large as three planet Earths.
(Thanks to many, many people for pointing these out.)