The Antares Explosion, World’s Smallest Snail, And Other Amazing Images Of The Week

Plus Stan Lee with Grumpy Cat

‘Thermonuclear Art’

On Nov. 1, NASA uploaded a half hour video of the sun in stunning, Ultra-HD. Members of NASA’s production team created the movie by piecing together thousands of images of the sun taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Every 12 seconds as it orbits the sun, the SDO takes ten images simultaneously, each at different wavelengths of invisible ultraviolet light, which monitor temperature changes on the sun. The production team converted each image to a different color according to its wavelength. Each minute of the half hour video took the team 10 hours to make. So in this case, go ahead and stare at the sun.

World’s Tiniest Snail

Meet Acmella nana, a miniscule species of land snail that lives in stone crevices. Discovered in the Bornean rainforest, the new critter just barely dethrones Angustopila dominikae, a Chinese species, as the world’s tiniest land snail, according to an article published Monday in the open-access journal, ZooKeys.

Failure to Launch

This week NASA posted images of last year’s Orbital Sciences rocket explosion to its Flickr account. The mission was uncrewed, and there were no injuries, but 5,000 pounds of space station supplies were destroyed.

Grumpy Stan and Grumpy Cat

Stan Lee, the former president of Marvel Comics, met Grumpy Cat over Halloween weekend. Lee, 92, was the creator of Spider-Man, The Hulk, Daredevil, and the X-Men, among many other superheroes. The comic book icon posed with Grumpy Cat in her signature frown.

Trippy Wave Clouds

People in Breckenridge, CO, witnessed incredible clouds shaped like breaking ocean waves. Known as Kelvin-Helmholtz billows, the phenomenon occurs when clouds get trapped between layers of air moving in different directions. They tend to occur in mountainous places like Breckenridge, where they were seen this past Friday.

Ice Age Graveyard

These ice age moose antlers, steppe bison bones, and mammoth tusks were recently collected along an Alaskan riverbed. Researchers spent two decades collecting enough bones to study how climate changes impacted ice age megafauna. Their answer: Populations tend to go extinct when they are cut off from other habitats, either by rising sea levels or enormous ice sheets.


For the biennale of independent art spaces in Geneva, also known as BIG, swiss architecture firm, Bureau A, created a structure resembling Stonehenge out of shipping containers. A total of 50 blue containers were arranged in a circle to mimic the Neolithic monument. Artists decorated the insides of each shipping container during the summer event.

Science Isn’t Science Without Lasers

Scientists at Rollins College investigated the physics of Himalayan singing bowls by shooting lasers at them inside an anechoic chamber. The laser setup, called a high-speed electronic speckle pattern interferometer, measured each bowl’s vibration without interfering with it.

Microbiome Sharing

Every animal has a set of bacteria and viruses that live in or on it. It turns out that different animal species often host many of the same species of microbes. This colorful web shows this microbial overlap by connecting animals that have microbe species in common. Dogs and humans share at least 233 types of microbes.


Scientists have found the remains of the largest raptor ever discovered with wing feathers. Dubbed ‘Dakotaraptor,’ the fossilized dinosaur was found in Hell Creek Formation, SD, and fills in one spot in the evolutionary path from dinosaurs to modern birds. The specimen had “quill knobs” that would have sprouted feathers.