The Best Science Images – April 2015

Posted April 29th, 2015 at 8:26 pm (UTC-5)
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The Calbuco volcano, near Puerto Varas, Chile, recently erupted for the first time in more than 42 years.  Here’s a spectacular photo of the volcano erupting the night of 4/23/15. (AP)

The Calbuco volcano, near Puerto Varas, Chile, recently erupted for the first time in more than 42 years. Here’s a spectacular photo of the volcano erupting the night of 4/23/15. (AP)

This photo taken from outer space by NASA’s Earth observing Terra satellite on 4/23/15 shows an ash plume rising from the erupting Calbuco volcano in southern Chile. (NASA’s Earth Observatory)

This photo taken from outer space by NASA’s Earth observing Terra satellite on 4/23/15 shows an ash plume rising from the erupting Calbuco volcano in southern Chile. (NASA’s Earth Observatory)

Here’s a view of the shortest lunar eclipse of the century as seen from the Echo Park district of Los Angeles on 4/4/15.  (AP)

A view of the shortest lunar eclipse of the century as seen from the Echo Park district of Los Angeles on 4/4/15. (AP)

Apple fans were excited when the highly anticipated Apple Watch was recently released.  Here a customer tries on the Apple Watch Edition at the Eaton Centre Apple Store, in Toronto on 4/10/15.  (AP)

Apple fans were excited when the highly anticipated Apple Watch was recently released. Here a customer tries on the Apple Watch Edition at the Eaton Centre Apple Store, in Toronto on 4/10/15. (AP)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying a Dragon cargo spacecraft, was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on 4/14/15. (NASA)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying a Dragon cargo spacecraft, was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on 4/14/15. (NASA)

The Dragon spacecraft, seen here in this image from NASA-TV, is about to be grappled by the International Space Station’s robotic arm as it arrives on 4/16/15.  The cargo ship delivered nearly 2,000 kg of food, science experiments, equipment and the first espresso maker in space to the 6 ISS crewmembers (NASA)

The Dragon spacecraft, seen here in this image from NASA-TV, is about to be grappled by the International Space Station’s robotic arm as it arrives on 4/16/15. The cargo ship delivered nearly 2,000 kg of food, science experiments, equipment and the first espresso maker in space to the 6 ISS crewmembers (NASA)

A robot plays the ball during a soccer match during the RoboCup German Open 2015 in Magdeburg, Germany on 4/24/15.  Around 200 robotic teams from 14 countries demonstrated state-of-the-art robotics with a variety of competitions (AP)

A robot plays the ball during a soccer match during the RoboCup German Open 2015 in Magdeburg, Germany on 4/24/15. Around 200 robotic teams from 14 countries demonstrated state-of-the-art robotics with a variety of competitions (AP)

Researchers recently found evidence, in this image of NGC 6388, that a white dwarf star may have ripped apart a planet as it came too close.  The image of the globular cluster was captured by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. (NASA)

Researchers recently found evidence, in this image of NGC 6388, that a white dwarf star may have ripped apart a planet as it came too close. The image of the globular cluster was captured by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. (NASA)

Japan’s space agency JAXA recently announced that it is considering an unmanned mission to the moon by 2018 or early 2019.  This is an artist’s rendering of the proposed Japanese lunar spacecraft SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) as it is about to touch down on the lunar surface (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency via AP)

Japan’s space agency JAXA recently announced that it is considering an unmanned mission to the moon by 2018 or early 2019. This is an artist’s rendering of the proposed Japanese lunar spacecraft SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) as it is about to touch down on the lunar surface (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency via AP)

After orbiting Mercury for a little over four years, NASA’s MESSENGER mission is scheduled to come to an end on 4/30/15 when it runs out of fuel and crashes into the surface of the planet.  The MESSENGER sent back one its final images on 4/26/15.  (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

After orbiting Mercury for a little over four years, NASA’s MESSENGER mission is expected to come to an end on 4/30/15 when it runs out of fuel and crashes into the surface of the planet. The MESSENGER sent back one its final images on 4/26/15. (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

This is the Noor I solar power plant near Ouarzazate, Morocco on 4/24/15.  Construction of the 160 megawatt solar power station is nearly complete. (AP)

This is the Noor I solar power plant near Ouarzazate, Morocco on 4/24/15. Construction of the 160 megawatt solar power station is nearly complete. (AP)

NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership spacecraft captured this combination image of Southern Africa and the surrounding oceans on 4/9/15 and released it to the public on 4/21/15 just in time for Earth Day the following day.  Note: Tropical Cyclone Joalane can be seen (upper right side) over the Indian Ocean.  (Ocean Biology Processing Group/Goddard Space Flight Center)

NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership spacecraft captured this combination image of Southern Africa and the surrounding oceans on 4/9/15.  They released it to the public on 4/21/15 just in time for Earth Day the following day. Note: Tropical Cyclone Joalane can be seen (upper right side) over the Indian Ocean. (Ocean Biology Processing Group/Goddard Space Flight Center)

Rick Pantaleo
Rick Pantaleo maintains the Science World blog and writes stories for VOA’s web and radio on a variety of science, technology and health topics. He also occasionally appears on various VOA programs to talk about the latest scientific news. Rick joined VOA in 1992 after a 20 year career in commercial broadcasting.

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