The Best Science Photos Of 2013

December 23, 2013

We’ve already given you the year’s most important and most surprising photos, but 2013′s most incredible science photography shouldn’t be left out of the fold. From zoology to physics to astronomy to microbiology, we’re bringing you the year’s best science photos.

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The Aurora borealis' serene color palette as seen from the Arctic Circle.

The ultra-technicolor adhesive pad of a ladybird beetle's foreleg, brought to us by Jan Michels of Germany's Institute of Zoology.

The leafy liverwort's delicate composition as presented by Magdalena Turzanska of Poland's University of Wroclaw.

Chicago's crackled and cold icon, "Cloud Gate", this past March just following a much loathed blizzard's unleashing of 10 inches of snow.

Well, that's one way to put out a fire: Chicago's bitter winters turn what was a raging warehouse fire into a grim ice castle.

Found inside the North American Nebula, the Cygnus Wall boasts one of the highest concentrations of star formations. Astrophotographer Bill Snyder captured this image--over 1,800 light years away--over an 18-hour period.

Ted Kinsman of New York's Rochester Institute of Technology presents a thin section of dinosaur bone preserved in clear agate.

Ivica Brlic captures a double rainbow in Croatia.

Some perspective: what Earth looks like from far beyond Saturn.

South African Greg du Toit captures this magnificent herd of African elephants roaming around Botswana's Northern Tuli Game Reserve.

Iran's Dasht-e Lut salt desert, as seen from space. With temperatures as high as 160 degrees Fahrenheit, many deem Dasht-e Lut the hottest place on Earth.

Israel Sánchez Alcantara demonstrates his light-image and photography savvy.

Jan Smekal of the Czech Republic won 2013 MILSET gold for this aeronautics and space image.

The physics of light energy conveyed in high definition goodness.

With a completion date slated for 2020, the Giant Magellan Telescope will provide Earthlings with celestial sights ten times greater than the Hubble Telescope. Or at least, that's what we hope. The Magellan will have a resolving power ten times greater than Hubble.

Looking somewhat like what you might find in the Badlands, Mars' Hebes Chasma is filled with flat-topped mesas.

The most accurate map yet of the Milky Way's bulge, courtesy of dual data sets from the European Space Observatory's VISTA telescope.

Another shot of the Milky Way, this time seen from astrophotographer Michael Ciuraru's vantage point in Acadia National Park, Maine.

The Milky Way as seen from the European Southern Observatory's aptly named Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Chile's Paranal Observatory.

Zhong Hua's 5x magnification of the a mouse embryo's peripheral nerves.

Reminiscent of a pressed flower, David Ward's thin section of nerve and muscle blurs the thin line between art and nature.

At a cool 45 million light years away, we can find the NGC 660 galaxy. It's classified as a polar ring galaxy, making it one of the rarest types of galaxies known to man.

Californians are all smiles while holding an 18-foot-long oarfish off the Catalina Islands' Toyon Bay.

The International Space Station astronauts snapped this shot of the Pavlof Volcano this past May. The active volcano shot an ash cloud 20,000 feet into the sky.

Abderdeen, Scotland shines in a gilded light during the annual Perseid meteor shower this past August. Photo Credit: Geoffrey Robinson.

A pig basks in the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas' Big Major Cay. The pigs were first introduced to the island and show no intention of migrating elsewhere any time soon. Neither would we.

GJ504 b gets its rich magenta hue from its heat. The recently discovered planet was discovered through direct imaging, and is the lowest-mass planet to orbit a star like our sun.

Captured by Wim van Egmond, this image of a colonial plankton organism won first place in the 2013 Nikon Small World contest. Over 2,000 images from 80 countries vied for the number one spot.

Lava flows from central Russia's Plosky Tolbachik volcano. This past November marked the first time the volcano had ignited in over 36 years.

University College London's Alexandre William Moreau makes art of pyramidal neurons and their dendrites within the visual cortex of a mouse brain.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures Saturn's solar eclipse on July 19, 2013.

The radiant Sh2-64 nebula featured above may be found in the Serpens constellation. Sh2-64 is an emissions nebula, which means that it consists of interstellar gas clouds that, when coming into contact with a nearby energy source, causes the gas to glow.

A portrait at MoMa or science? Pedro Barrios-Perez of the National Research Council of Canada/Information and Communication Technologies presents silicon dioxide on polydimethylglutarimide-based resist.

This composite of November's solar eclipse features the glowing sun behind the moon as well as the solar corona (the heavenly-looking particles that we see emanating from the sun's surface when it's obscured by the moon).

One hapless bird finds itself in the clutches of a red-legged golden orb-web spider. These spiders can grow to the size of a human hand.

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captures W5, a star-forming region, in infrared. The blue dots are the oldest stars, and the younger stars can be seen in pink. The youngest of all are found in the white, knotted areas. What's the green? Dense cloud formations.

Iceland's Strokkur geyser is predictably temperamental: every four to eight minutes, the geyser shoots steaming hot water 130 feet in the air.

Looks can be deceiving: while NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory presents us with a fiery image of the sun, the center of the universe is actually composed of plasma.

The International Space Station captures a peaceful sunrise over the South Pacific Ocean in May 2013.

A beautiful thunderstorm rages over False Kiva, Utah.

Formed by millions of years of water erosion, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park's limestone pinnacles resemble a formation from a James Cameron film. Even more astounding, the pinnacles are actually remnants of sandstone mountains.

All photos come courtesy of Business Insider, Space, MILSET, New York Daily News, Time, and Wired

A Stunning Time Lapse Of The Grand Canyon

December 18, 2013

At the end of November, something particularly strange transpired within the cavernous depths of the Grand Canyon. Cool air rose from the canyon bottom, met warm air a ways up, and created a thick layer of fog from top to bottom. The process is known as inversion, and it’s absolutely mind blowing to watch.

The 10 Most Surprising Stress Effects

December 18, 2013
Stress

Source: Under 30 CEO

Life is stressful. Whether it’s a divorce, a high-profile job or studying for a history exam, anxiety always finds a way to creep into our lives. As bad as stress is on its own, medical professionals continue to uncover more ways that stress, particularly chronic stress, can impact our bodies and our lives. Read on to discover the most surprising way stress could be affecting your life.

Stress Effects No. 1: Memory Loss

Have you noticed that you are often more forgetful while stressed? Researchers have found that stress has a negative effect on cognitive functions, resulting in reduced concentration and memory loss. For many, a lack of concentration greatly reduces productivity at work and can have incredibly frustrating consequences.

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The Mars Landscape’s Staggering Diversity

December 15, 2013
Mars Landscape Planet Mars

Source: Wikipedia

More than any other planet beyond Earth, more than any other heavenly body discovered since the rapid expansion of telescopes, Mars has made a multi-millennia-long career out of taunting humanity. Named for the Roman god of war, Mars is usually visible to the naked eye as a red, flickering pinhole in the night sky. But with only a beginner’s telescope, the many contours and colors of the Martian landscape become clear, and a bizarre and intriguing world lays waiting to be discovered.

Mars Landscape Blue Rock

Source: Wikipedia

Mars is often called the red planet due to its blood-red appearance to the naked eye. But one look through the telescope shows that in fact Mars is rusty orange-brown, streaked with long, jagged black lines and capped on both ends with swirls of pure white. Mars is literally rusted over with iron oxide, but recent meddling by Mars probes has uncovered interiors of a much brighter and more colorful nature.

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The Science Of Baking Cookies

December 8, 2013

As the holidays approach, many of us will spend significantly more time in the kitchen–either creating or consuming the colorful carbohydrates seen above. Why not feed your brain with a bit of an understanding of the chemistry behind the cookie?

The Incredible Chinese Pollution Problem

November 28, 2013

Imagine a place where the word “sky” doesn’t conjure the color blue but an ashy grey. No, such a place isn’t in another planet or the set of a dystopian sci-fi film. That place is present-day China, a country now living and breathing the harsh effects of dogged industrialization. In northern China, the heavy use of coal coupled with the ever-increasing population has led to an alarmingly extreme case of air pollution. It’s so extreme, in fact, that a person’s life expectancy in northern China is a full five years shorter than someone residing in southern China. As the size of the middle class continues to balloon, there is an insatiable need for cheap and easy energy. Quickly turning to oil and gasoline for fuel and coal for heat, the Chinese love affair with fossil fuels has plunged an astounding amount of people into an atmosphere ripe with danger.

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