Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen
THE BEST SCIENCE PHOTOS OF THE WEEK - 18 FEBRUARY 2012
By Live Science Staff, 18 February 2012
By Live Science Staff, 18 February 2012
From a wobbegong shark devouring a bamboo shark and the tiniest chameleon to an odd aurora and a weird microwave haze spotted in the Milky Way, this week was full of compelling science images. Take a look.
Credit: Tom Mannering
[Note: This was shown in my earlier post]
The photo (released this week) says it all: an alien-looking shark, adorned with mossy hairs and a flat face, with its mouth agape and a slender bamboo shark headfirst inside. Though not unusual for a shark to snack on another shark, it's not typical behaviour — and it's certainly not common for humans to catch the action first-hand. [Read full story].
2. Awww, Scruffy Pups Get Check-up
Credit: Nucharin Songsasen, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
A litter of four fuzzy little maned wolf pups born at a conservation centre in Virginia have gotten their first check-up, revealing the adorable animals' sex for the first time. Can you guess? [Read full story]
3. Stonehenge Sound
Theories about the purpose of Stonehenge range from a secular calendar to a place of spiritual worship. Now, an archaeologist suggests that the Stonehenge monument in southern England may have been an attempt to mimic a sound-based illusion. [Read full story]
4. A Martian Heart
Credit: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS)
For Valentine's Day this week, we decided to honour Mars; though the god of war, his namesake planet is all about love — at least topographically.
In 1999, the Mars Global Surveyor snapped this photograph of a "Valentine" from the Red Planet. The "heart" is actually a pit formed by a collapse within a graben, which is a geological term for a straight-walled trough which forms along fault lines. The heart-shaped pit is 1.4 miles (2.3 kilometres) across at its widest point, and sits on the slopes of the Alba Patera volcano. [See more amazing science images]
5. Tiniest Chameleon Discovered
Credit: PLoS One
A species of chameleon small enough to easily perch on a match head has been discovered on a tiny island off Madagascar, a group of scientists announced this week. [Read full story]
6. The Man Who Can Fly
Credit: National Geographic Channel
Dean Potter, the star of the National Geographic Channel's new show, "The Man Who Can Fly," is not only a world-famous wing-suit pilot, but he's one of the world's most renowned rock climbers.
LiveScience sister site OurAmazingPlanet caught up with Potter over the phone to get the scoop on his first flight, how being a climber and flier is a terrifying combination, and what keeps him hooked on heights. [Read the Q&A]
7. Trove of Discoveries in Egypt
Credit: Image courtesy North Abydos Votive Zone Project
A wealth of new discoveries, from animal mummies linked to the jackal god and human remains to an enigmatic statue, are revealing the secrets of an ancient holy place in Egypt once known as the "Terrace of the Great God."
Shown here, a yellow wooden mask that would have been part of a female coffin, possibly those of chantresses. [Read full story]
8. Weird Microwave Haze Spotted
Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)/Planck Collaboration
A European spacecraft has snapped new images of our Milky Way galaxy, confirming the puzzling presence of a shroud of microwave fog around the galactic core.
Shown here, this all-sky image (released Feb. 13, 2012) shows the distribution of carbon monoxide (CO), a molecule used by astronomers to trace molecular clouds across the sky, as seen by Planck. [Read full story]
9. Aurora Oddity
For reasons scientists can't yet explain, the northern lights blazed up in a dazzling display this week, despite the apparent lack of a major solar flare typically associated with these celestial light shows.
Shown here, the aurora borealis above Yellowknife, NWT [Northwest Territories, Canada] taken at 02:12 MST on Feb. 14, 2012. [Read full story]
10. Baaaa! Goats Pick Up Accents
Credit: Elodie Briefer
Goats don't have their own language, but they do seem able to pick up accents from one another, scientists found in a study of calls made by young goats. [Read full story]
11. Out of the Wreckage...
Credit: NASA, ESA, and S. Farrell (Sydney Institute for Astronomy, University of Sydney)
Like a fossil hinting at a long-gone animal, a black hole is offering clues about a now-destroyed galaxy that may once have existed around it.
This spectacular edge-on galaxy, called ESO 243-49, is home to an intermediate-mass black hole that may have been stripped off of a cannibalized dwarf galaxy. [Read full story]
12. 'Janitor Satellite' to Clean Up Space
Credit: ESA | NASA | Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center | Analytical Graphics, Inc.
Earth is surrounded by a cloud of more than half a million pieces of space junk, from bus-size spent rocket stages to tiny flecks of paint. To combat this growing headache, Swiss scientists and engineers have announced the launch of CleanSpace One, a project to build the first in a family of "janitor" satellites that will help clean up space. [Read full story]
[Source: Live Science. Edited.]