The Earth In Infrared, Laser Dogs, And Other Amazing Images Of The Week

Plus, an ancient rodent that had a big bite

James Tyrwhitt-Drake made a timelapse of the Earth in infrared for about two months this winter. Tyrwhitt-Drake used images from the GOES 13 and GOES 15 satellites.
Architect June Grant uses data like climate information, traffic patterns, and satellite imagery to inform the way she designs buildings. Using 3D renderings, like this one, she can create more energy-efficient designs.
A drone enthusiast turned his quadcopter into the Millennium Falcon (because, of course). Watch the drone fly, and find out how to make your own.
Ohh sparkly! An artist reimagined the universe as jewels using tilt shift photography, a technique that creates a miniature scene. See more of the shots from this series.
The European Space Agency created this visualization of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background–the thermal radiation left over from the Big Bang. The ESA used information from the Planck satellite to determine that the first stars in the universe are actually younger than previously believed.
The newly redesigned Audubon website contains a complete collection of John J. Audubon’s Birds of America. Inspect the high-quality version of these Scarlet Ibises, and many other birds here.
Scientists created a small scale optical equivalent of sun dogs. Sun dogs are caused by light bouncing off ice crystals in clouds, and the scientists were able to mimic that action using lasers and soap suds.

Robo-Room Service

A Japanese theme park announced its debut of a hotel run by a robot staff this summer. The robots are able to interact with human guests, and patrons can expect other cutting edge technology during their stay.
The largest-known rodent (imagined here) lived in South America about 3 million years ago. Its fossils were discovered in 2008, and this week, scientists announced that the rodent had a bite similar to a tiger’s. However, this critter probably used them more as tusks like the modern day elephant.