California Wildfires, Icy Mountains On Pluto, And Other Amazing Images Of The Week

Plus, Nichelle Nichols

Ahmed's Clock

When Ahmed Mohamed brought his homemade clock to school, he was arrested by school officials who thought the clock could have been a bomb. After the news broke, Ahmed received an outpouring of support from public figures, including Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg. His plight sparked the #IStandWithAhmed hashtag on Twitter.Irving Police Department / Labeled by Make: Magazine

A Real-Life Invisibility Cloak

According to the journal Science, researchers have developed an ultra-thin skin that can act as an invisibility cloak when draped over 3D shapes. Thousands of nanoscale dots line the material to alter the light that is captured by the cloak. So far, this skin has only managed to hide microscopic objects, though larger ones (and people) are next in line.Xiang Zhang group/Berkeley Labor/PA

What Is This, A City For Ants?

Using OpenStreetMap data, Luis Dilger is creating 3-D visualizations of cities, large and small, with DEM Earth in Cinema 4D. No city is too small or large for Dilger, who is creating images of places around the globe. Pictured above are Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the East River.Luis Dilger

Saturn And Tethys

This view of the night sides of Saturn and Tethys (the white speck in the lower left) was captured 1.5 million miles away with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on January 15 of this year. Besides Saturn's prominent rings, its polar hexagon is also visible at the top center. The Cassini mission is a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency.NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Closeup On Sputnik Planum And Mountains

New photos of Pluto's surface show an icy planet that looks a lot like Earth. Close-ups taken by the New Horizons spacecraft show the mountains surrounding a plain named Sputnik Planum. Unlike those on Earth, the glaciers are made of nitrogen, not water.NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Drought And Fire In California

Near San Andreas, a firefighter attempts to put out flames. There are three large wildfires in California and altogether they have taken over more than 270,000 acres. The death toll from the fires now stands at five people.Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse via The New York Times

Playing Fruit Fly God

In a study published this week in PNAS, an international team of researchers artificially bred fruit flies to have wings with mismatched shapes and sizes. In just 26 generations, they were able to breed fruit fly wings that would not be found in nature, altering the effects of 50 million years of evolution. However, when the scientists stopped their interference and let the flies mate on their own, the flies' wings returned to normal in just 15 generations -- showing that natural selection quickly reversed the effects of artificial selection.David Hole, Florida State University

Planetary Play

Inspired by the fourth planet from the sun, Hasbro created a custom sculpture of Mars for World Play-Doh Day. Play-Doh is a modeling clay made of flour, water, salt, boric acid, and mineral oil. Mars is visible as a red orb in the night and has been theorized as a possible home base for human life away from Earth.Hasbro

Nichelle Nichols At Work

SOFIA, the largest flying observatory in the world, recently had Nichelle Nichols on board to observe the formation of massive stars and the evolution of planetary construction material. Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek (1966-1969), spent the past several decades helping NASA to recruit women as well as people with diverse backgrounds. Among her recruits are Sally Ride, the first female astronaut, and Guion Bluford, the first African-American astronaut.NASA/SOFIA Observatory

Sun Salutation

This image, spliced together from five frames captured by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls, shows the International Space Station as it crosses the sun. The ISS travels at an astounding speed of more than 17,000 miles per hour -- meaning it orbits the Earth once roughly every 90 minutes.NASA/Bill Ingalls