A multicolored mouse eye, the macro-scale universe, alien slugs on the face of a baby cucumber — all these images accomplish a pretty impressive feat: They look awesome, and they can teach us something about the world we live in and our place in it. They are among the winners of the 2011 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, sponsored by the journal Science and the National Science Foundation. Check out our gallery of some of the winners.
It took nearly a year of high-powered number crunching on various supercomputers, but researchers from UC Santa Cruz and the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Zurich have finally produced a computer simulation of a galaxy that looks much like our own.
Researchers from Georgia Tech have devised methods to take real-time, real-world information and layer it onto Google Earth, adding dynamic information to the previously sterile Googlescape.
They use live video feeds (sometimes from many angles) to find the position and motion of various objects, which they then combine with behavioral simulations to produce real-time animations for Google Earth or Microsoft Virtual Earth.