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Party slugs, pseudo-Saturn and a dancing Moon rover


June’s sharpest science shots, selected by Nature’s photo team.

Taxonomic titan

Disco rover

In preparation for a Moon mission, the European Space Agency has been putting some of its rover technology through their paces on the Spanish island of Tenerife this month. Here, the Rover Autonomy Testbed shows off its ability to spin round and round … and round and round. Credit: Fernando Gandía (GMV), courtesy of GMV and ESA

Cassini’s swansong continues

The Cassini mission continues to send back amazing pictures of Saturn as it prepares for its death dive into the planet’s atmosphere in September. Earlier this month, NASA released this image of the rings, taken from a mere 1 million kilometres away. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute


This might look like one of those Saturn images that Cassini keeps sending back. In fact it’s a droplet of water, suspended in an electric field by Quentin Brosseau and Petia Vlahovska of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. The image is part of a series of experiments investigating a phenomenon called electrohydrodynamic tip streaming, in which drops emit tiny fluid jets from their surfaces. Credit: Brosseau et al. 2017/Phys. Rev. Letters

Helpful  Hyalinobatrachium

The eggs inside this pregnant ‘glass frog’ (Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum) are clearly visible through its transparent belly. And that was convenient for Jesse Delia at Boston University in Massachusetts, who took the photo and is studying how glass frogs care for their offspring2. Credit: Jesse Delia, Boston Univ.

Secure seeds

Coral crystals

Stanislas Von Euw at Rutgers University in New Jersey and his colleagues used a scanning helium ion microscope to peer at corals as they build their skeletons. They found that the growth of their aragonite skeletons is controlled biologically, rather than by the chemistry of the oceans1. Credit: V. Manichev and S. Von Euw/Rutgers


Forest fires in Portugal this month killed more than 60 people and injured many more. This picture was taken in Vale de Cambra on 20 June, three days after the huge blaze started. Credit: Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty

Super shock


  1. Von Euw, S. et al. Science 356, 933–938 (2017).

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  2. Delia, J., Bravo-Valencia, L. & Warkentin, K. M. J. Evol. Biol. 30, 898–914 (2017).

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Related video 2013, a lump of rock from space measuring 17–20 metres in diameter exploded over Russia. It was the largest object recorded striking Earth in more than a century. On 29 June, NASA released this video of a simulation of how a similar-sized rock breaks up as it enters the atmosphere at 20 kilometres per second. Grey represents the the asteroid, black the fragments torn off it, and red–yellow the shockwave that forms around it. NASA/Ames Research Center/Darrel Robertson

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Party slugs, pseudo-Saturn and a dancing Moon rover. Nature (2017).

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