Science Visualized

  1. Map of the heart's 'brain'

    A new 3-D map illuminates the ‘little brain’ within the heart

    Microscopy and genetic studies yield a comprehensive map of the nerve cells found in the heart of a rat.

  2. people at a well in Misiones, Argentina

    Up to 220 million people globally may be at risk of arsenic-contaminated water

    A new world map highlights possible hot spots of arsenic contamination in groundwater.

  3. Planet-forming swirl around star AB Aurigae

    Stunning images of swirling gas and dust may show a planet forming

    Infrared images show a spiral of gas and dust around a star 520 light-years away. A smaller, tantalizing twist hints at where a planet is coalescing.

  4. Florence Nightingale
    Health & Medicine

    Florence Nightingale understood the power of visualizing science

    Florence Nightingale showed simple sanitation measures could stop infectious diseases’ spread, a timely message given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

  5. false-color map of moon's surface
    Planetary Science

    This is the most comprehensive map of the moon’s geology yet

    Cartographers merged Apollo-era maps and modern lunar observations to into a new geologic map of the moon.

  6. close-up of the plasma filaments on the sun

    New images of the sun reveal superfine threads of glowing plasma

    Snapshots from NASA’s High-Resolution Coronal Imager show thin filaments of plasma not seen before in the sun’s outer atmosphere.

  7. Tongue-dwelling bacteria
    Health & Medicine

    Here’s where bacteria live on your tongue cells

    Scientists labeled bacteria from tongue scrapings with fluorescent probes to glimpse at how the microbes structure their communities.

  8. slime mold

    How slime mold helped scientists map out the cosmic web

    Tapping a similarity between a slime mold’s lacy web and the vast threads of matter that connect galaxies, astronomers visualized the cosmic web.

  9. isopropanol ethylene glycol mix droplet

    Evaporating mixtures of two liquids create hypnotic designs

    Through the magic of surface tension, mixtures of two liquids form fingerlike protrusions and other patterns as droplets evaporate.

  10. Life

    How thin, delicate butterfly wings keep from overheating

    Structures in butterfly wings help living tissues such as veins release more heat than the rest of the wing.

  11. Spitzer galaxy image

    As NASA’s Spitzer telescope’s mission ends, here’s a look back at its discoveries

    For more than 16 years, the Spitzer Space Telescope has witnessed the births and deaths of stars, charted the Milky Way, found faraway worlds and more.

  12. Life

    How bacteria create flower art

    Different types of microbes growing in lab dishes can push each other to make floral patterns.