Science Images of the Week

Posted December 26th, 2012 at 3:59 pm (UTC+0)
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NASA's Cassini spacecraft recently delivered a spectacular view of Saturn, taken while the spacecraft was in Saturn's shadow. The cameras were turned toward Saturn and the sun so that the planet and rings are backlit. (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft recently snapped this spectacular view of Saturn, taken while the spacecraft was in Saturn’s shadow. The cameras were turned toward Saturn and the Sun so that the planet and rings are backlit. (NASA)

A sabal causiarum, commonly known as the Puerto Rican hat palm was planted in 1932 at the Montgomery Botanical Center in Coral Gables Florida.  (Photo: P. Barry Tomlinson, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Miami/American Journal of Botany)

This sabal causiarum, commonly known as the Puerto Rican hat palm, was planted in 1932 at the Montgomery Botanical Center in Coral Gables Florida. (P. Barry Tomlinson, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Miami/American Journal of Botany)

This is an instrument setup for an astrophysics experiment at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), a linear accelerator that produces X-ray pulses that can capture images of atoms and molecules in motion. (Photo: Jose R. Crespo Lopez-Urrutia/Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics)

This linear accelerator produces x-ray pulses that capture images of atoms and molecules in motion and is for an astrophysics experiment at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS),. (Jose R. Crespo Lopez-Urrutia/Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics)

This photo, taken recently at a slow shutter speed shows lava flowing down central Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

Lava flows down central Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano in this photo taken at a slow shutter speed. (AP)

This is a map of the moon's gravity field as measured by NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL). The two spacecraft that carried out the GRAIL mission was recently crashed into the surface of the Moon by the US space agency. (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MIT/GSFC)

A map of the moon’s gravity field, as measured by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL). Areas colored in red have a high degree of local gravity, the blue blotches show lower local gravity, and other colors indicate varying degrees of local gravity in between red and blue. (NASA)

This is a diamond anvil cell (DAC). This device has been used in experiments by scientists to recreate the pressure that exists deep inside planets. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab)

Scientists use this device, a diamond anvil cell (DAC), in experiments to recreate the pressure that exists deep inside planets. (Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab)

Looking like a brightly colored holiday ribbon, here's a striking image of the planetary nebula, NGC-5198 taken recently by the Hubble Space Telescope.  (Image: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))

This striking image of the planetary nebula NGC-5198, was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. (NASA)

The six huge fans shown here provide the wind for the wind tunnel at NASA's National Full-scale Aerodynamics Complex in California (Photo: NASA Ames/Tom Trower)

These six huge fans provide wind for the wind tunnel at NASA’s National Full-scale Aerodynamics Complex in California. (NASA)

This is a hawksbill sea turtle. It's an endangered animal and is one of seven species of the world's sea turtles. It's shell is made up of overlapping plates that are thicker than those of other sea turtles. This heavy duty shell protects them from being battered. (Photo: Caroline S. Rogers/NOAA)

This endangered hawksbill is one of seven species of the world’s sea turtle. Its shell is made up of overlapping plates which are thicker than those of other sea turtles. This heavy-duty shell protects them from being battered. (NOAA)

Here's another interesting volcano photo that was taken from the International Space Station.  The huge plume of smoke is from the erupting volcano Ulawan located on the island of New Britain, Papua New Guinea. (Photo: NASA)

In a photo captured from the International Space Station, a mammoth plume of smoke emanates from the erupting Ulawan volcano, located on the island of New Britain, Papua New Guinea. (NASA)

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