Science Visualized

  1. image of laser hitting ink drop

    Assaulting ink drops for science

    A pulse of laser light obliterates a free-falling ink drop in an image from the American Physical Society’s 2014 Gallery of Fluid Motion competition. The work may help engineers build the next generation of computer chips.

  2. HL Tau dust disk
    Planetary Science

    Planets stake their claim around infant star

    At the center of the newly released telescope image is HL Tau, a star located about 450 light-years away in the constellation Taurus. A dense disk of gas and dust surrounds the star, which is a youthful million years old.

  3. rings in disk of gas around star HL

    Infant worlds carve gaps in planet-forming disk

    A new image shows planets sweeping up gas and dust in a disk encircling the infant star HL Tau.

  4. walrus group

    Melting ice forces walrus detour

    Warming temperatures and shrinking summer ice cover have forced the animals to seek solid ground during feeding season.

  5. a full-circle rainbow

    Complete double rainbow encircles Australian town

    A photographer in a helicopter captured a double circular rainbow while flying around a storm near Perth, Australia.

  6. paintings by Frédéric Bazille and Norman Rockwell

    Computer program reveals artists’ influences

    The algorithm can figure out a particular painting’s style — whether it’s abstract, impressionist or Baroque, for example — and tease out possible connections among artists.

  7. map of simulated supervolcano eruption in North America

    Supervolcano blast would blanket U.S. in ash

    A new simulation illustrates the explosiveness of the volcano that lurks beneath Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

  8. Astronomy

    Subatomic particles give glimpse into sun’s core

    For the first time, a subterranean detector has captured neutrinos generated in the main nuclear reactions that power the sun.

  9. swarm of Kilobots

    Robot swarm takes many shapes

    One Kilobot is not very smart. But 1,000 can follow simple instructions to assemble into multiple shapes without human intervention.

  10. Environment

    Ups and downs in the quest for clean air

    Satellite views reveal good news on U.S. air pollution trends.

  11. Earth

    Wonders of the northern lights

    An Icelandic aurora catches a photographer’s eye and a contest prize.

  12. Earth

    Bird’s-eye views of the globe highlight avian trouble spots

    Recent maps reveal trouble spots for the world’s imperiled birds.