Best Science Images of July 2014 Chosen by Journal Nature

The best science images of July 2014 were chosen by the journal Nature. Choosing the best images from scientific articles each month is a regular feature of the journal and the images are chosen by the art team at Nature. The winning pictures for July include images with a view from space, an artistic image of a particle accelerator, a map of Mars and images from books Darwin likely had with him on the ship The HMS Beagle.

The first image is a photograph from space of a super typhoon over the Pacific Ocean. The photograph was taken from the International Space Station; the massive size of the typhoon is very apparent and the eye of the storm is clearly visible. The image makes it appear as if the storm is covering nearly the entire face of the earth. The photograph was shot by one of the astronauts on the International Space Station.

The second image is a beautiful picture of a sunset with a flamingo and its reflection in the center. The upside down reflections of the humans on the shore and the upside down reflection of the flamingo with a reflection of the sunset on the bottom of the image make for a thought-provoking experience. The photograph needs a bit of study to figure out what is really being depicted in the photo.

The third image is a beautiful composite image of a particle accelerator ad CERN in Switzerland with a picture of poppies superimposed and interlaced. This artistic image is titled The GodParticleHuntingMachine_3.1/Poppy#1 and it was created by Michael Hoch. Hoch is a physicist at CERN and is also an artist. Many of Hoch’s works were on display at the International Conference on High Energy Physics in Valencia, Spain.

The fourth image in the series is a map of the planet Mars. The image is a composite of results from probes of the “red planet’s” geology and history, including data from orbiters and Mars rovers. Ken Tanaka of the U.S. Geological Survey revealed the map to the public.

The fifth winner in this month’s contest is a series of photographs of trees and plants in space. Japanese artist Azuma Makoto uses balloons to launch plants into space and then he takes photographs of the trees while they are high above the Earth. One of the images is of a bonsai tree in space and another image is of a bouquet of flowers with petals and flowers drifting away. The bright cerulean blue atmosphere around the earth looks thin in the image.

The next set of images chosen as a winner for July are images from various texts that are believed to have been in the library of the HMS Beagle during Darwin’s voyage. These images are pencil drawings and likely were referenced in Darwin’s notes.

A video showing 360 degree images of the skeleton of a baby mammoth from Siberia was created using a computed-tomography scanner and this was chosen as one of the images for the month. Daniel Fisher, who is a palaeontologist at the University of Michigan, and his colleagues created this video that gives a very realist view of the now extinct animal.

An image of metal claws that were found in a tomb in northern Peru was chosen as one of the images of the month. They were likely created by the Moche civilization about 1,500 years ago and resemble animal claws. What they were used for is anyone’s guess.

The last image for June 2014 is a video of an embryo developing cell by cell. This imagery was made possible with new technology that uses fluorescence to capture individual cells and the coloration can be used to trace the origins of a cell during the process of embryonic development.

Opinion By Margaret Lutze


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