Toothy Sharks, Snake Robots, And Other Amazing Images Of The Week

Behold the majesty of lasers

Prosthetics With Sensations

Study volunteer Igor Spetic wears an experimental prosthetic arm, plugged into his electrode implant. Researchers have been able to artificially create natural sensations for people who have lost their hands. Using electricity and a set of electrode implants, scientists are able to trick the brain into thinking that a hand that doesn’t exist is feeling a variety of textures, like the fuzz of a cotton ball or a trickle of water. Feeling prosthetics can make normal tasks much easier for people with prosthetic limbs.

Astronaut Selfie

Alexander Gerst takes a selfie on a six-hour spacewalk Tuesday. Gerst and fellow astronaut Reid Wiseman went on their first spacewalk to do some maintenance on the International Space Station.

Antarctic Ice Cover

As climate change is melting away most of the world’s ice, Antarctica’s sea ice grew this year. On Sept. 19, 2014, the five-day average of Antarctic sea ice extent exceeded 20 million square kilometers for the first time since 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The red line shows the average maximum extent from 1979-2014.

A Dead But Dazzling Star

A shining dead star beaming with the power of 10 million suns was photographed by NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescrope Array (NuSTAR). This is the brightest pulsar ever recorded. The pulsar, a dense stellar remnant left over from a supernova explosion (pink), can be seen at the center of the galaxy Messier 82 in this new multi-wavelength portrait. NASA’s NuSTAR mission discovered the “pulse” of the pulsar — a type of dead star — using high-energy X-ray vision.

Great White Shark

This up-close-and-personal photograph of a great white shark went viral this week. New Jersey art teacher Amanda Brewer took the shot with a GoPro while volunteering with the animal conservation group White Shark Africa.

Total Eclipse

Early Thursday morning the moon underwent a total eclipse. Commentators at the Griffith Observatory said the eclipse was darker red than usual due to factors like the temperature, humidity and dust content of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Earth Timelapse

The crew of expeditions 28 and 29 aboard the International Space Station took time lapse sequences of Earth, including this picture of the Pacific. Visit this gallery and this video for more incredible images of our planet in motion.

Diving In A Robo Suit

A diver explores Mediterranean waters off Antikythera Island while wearing a robotic Exosuit. In 1900, a group of sponge harvesters discovered treasure from a long-lost shipwreck known as the “Titanic of the ancient world.” Researchers believe a Roman vessel carrying priceless artifacts and treasures to Italy sunk off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera. For years, much of the wreck was too deep in the ocean to excavate. Now the Iron Man-esque Exosuit, developed by a Canadian research company, allows divers to reach depths of 150 meters (492 feet) while still performing delicate tasks. The new gear, along with robot mapping equipment and new advanced closed circuit “rebreathers” will allow divers to access even more of the ancient shipwreck.

Synthetic Sidewinder

A robot snake has helped scientists figure out the precise motions sidewinding rattlesnakes use to scale steep sandy hills. By mimicking the sidewinders actions closely, the robot can slither over unstable mounds without slipping. Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have been developing sidewinding robots for a number of years for various applications, including search-and-rescue missions and surgery. This new insight can help sidewinding robots become more efficient and versatile.

Laser Scan

This is a LIDAR scan of the interior of the Washington Monument. The LIDAR system bounces back lasers like how radar bounces back radio beams. Ben Kacyra wants to use his company, CyArk, to create 3-D laser scans of the world’s cultural heritage sites. These scans are accurate down to the millimeter. See more laser scans of monuments like the Rani Ki Van Stepwell and the New Orleans French Quarter online at CyArk.