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Images of the month: July 2014

Pictures from the world of science, selected by Nature’s art team.

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Typhoons, a skeletal mammoth and iron claws all feature in this month's rather scary image collection. And to satisfy those gentler readers, we've also included some colourful flamingos, particle-physics art and a bonsai tree drifting on the edge of space. Please enjoy.

Supertyphoon from space

ESA/NASA

Sometime between 4 July and 7 July, tropical cyclone Neoguri turned into a supertyphoon over the western Pacific Ocean, with winds exceeding 240 kilometres an hour. This picture was taken from the International Space Station by German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who wrote: “Just went right above Supertyphoon Neoguri. It is ENORMOUS. Watch out, Japan!”

Taking stock of flamingos

Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty

Flamingos flock to Fuente de Piedra lake in Spain to breed. This picture was taken on 19 July as researchers tagged chicks at the nature reserve.

Flower power

Michael Hoch

In The GodParticleHuntingMachine_3.1 /Poppy#1 by Michael Hoch, a physicist at CERN, Europe’s particle physics centre near Geneva, Switzerland, a picture of poppies is interlaced with one of the facility's Compact Muon Solenoid detector. The image was one of a number of Hoch’s works on display at the International Conference on High Energy Physics in Valencia, Spain, this month.

Mapping Mars 

USGS

A map of Mars, unveiled by cartographer Ken Tanaka of the US Geological Survey on 14 July. The image is “a culmination of more than a decade of probing the red planet’s geology and history with orbiters and rovers”, reported Nature's Alexandra Witze.

Trees in space

  1. A bonsai tree floats above Earth as part of Japanese artist Azuma Makoto's  'Exobiotanica' project. Makoto has used balloons to launch plants into space — up to 30,000 metres above the Nevadan desert.

    AMKK/EXOBIOTANICA

  2. Shiinoki

  3. Shiinoki

  4. Shiinoki

  5. AMKK/EXOBIOTANICA

  6. AMKK/EXOBIOTANICA

Darwin's library

  1. This image of a boat off Spitsbergen, in Norway's Svalbard archipelago, is from one of the texts in Charles Darwin's library aboard the HMS Beagle. It has never been clear exactly what books Darwin had with him on that voyage, which inspired On the Origin of Species. Now, John van Wyhe of the National University of Singapore has catalogued all the references Darwin made in his notes during the voyage and used them to build an online version of the ship's library. Among those volumes is John Narborough’s account of his voyages in 1694, which includes this image. Read Nature's interview with Van Wyhe here.

    Darwin Online

  2. This image comes from Adam Johann von Krusenstern’s Atlas of the Pacific Ocean, produced in the 1820s

    Darwin Online

  3. An illustration of three human skulls, also from von Krusenstern’s Pacific atlas.

    Darwin Online

  4. An illustration of a catfish from the French zoologist Georges Cuvier’s opus Animal Kingdom.

    Darwin Online

  5. Sketches of landforms from John Hawkesworth’s account of voyages by James Cook and others in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Darwin Online

Siberian scan

Lyuba's skeleton

The baby mammoth Lyuba was probably just one or two months old when it perished in what is now Siberia more than 40,000 years ago. Now, Daniel Fisher, a palaeontologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and his colleagues have used a computed-tomography scanner to produce this haunting animation of the mummified animal.

Credit: University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology

Claws for thought

Luis Alvitres/PERU/Reuters/Corbis

These terrifying metal claws were unearthed from a pre-Incan tomb in northern Peru earlier this year. They are thought to have been created by Moche civilization around 1,500 years ago.

Creating divisions

Reconstructing an animal’s development cell by cell

The rapid development of zebrafish embryos is captured in this video from researchers at the Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia. Cells’ colours indicate their origin as they migrate over a 13-hour period and divide. The two sides of the video show the two hemispheres of the embryo as it develops.

Credit: Fernando Amat, Kristin Branson, Yinan Wan & Philipp Keller, Janelia Farm Research Campus, HHMI

Journal name:
Nature
DOI:
doi:10.1038/nature.2014.15651

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