Looking back on the week that was, in photos. This week’s crop of amazing science and tech images includes a real-life version of the house from Up, bugs trying to mate with beer bottles, and outrageously gorgeous molecular clouds in our own galaxy.
Click to see the most amazing science and tech pics of the week.
This week we bid adieu to one of the great minds of his or any generation. Steve, we’ll miss you. In our own little way, here’s our tribute–Steve gracing the pages of Popular Science for the past 30-plus years, an essay examining the way he fulfilled the futuristic visions of the past, and a roundup of other great elegies.
Now something more lighthearted: Australian jewel beetles have been found to have a particular attraction to a certain brand of beer bottle. The brown-hued bottle with the grippy nubbins on its base apparently trigger the beetle’s amorous desire, and they often die trying to mate with the bottles.
This Is Sand
The winners of Nikon’s Small World photomicrography competition were announced this week, and they are predictably amazing. This particular picture? Nothing more ordinary than sand, right? Unless you zoom in a few dozen times with a microscope.
This motorcycle has a toilet in it. Like, instead of a seat. Supposedly it can be powered by the sorts of things you might put in a toilet.
PopSci contributor Vin Marshall was part of a team filmed for a new show on the National Geographic Channel called “How Hard Can It Be?” On one of this week’s episodes, the team built a lightweight version of the house from the movie Up, and then flew it–with two inhabitants–10,000 feet over the California high desert. Get more info and see some video of the house in action here.
Molecular Cloud Cepheus B
In this NASA photo, we can see a molecular cloud (in NASA’s words: ” a region containing cool interstellar gas and dust left over from the formation of the galaxy, mostly containing molecular hydrogen”) in our galaxy, about 2,400 light years from Earth.
Here we can see NASA testing its latest long-term habitat for astronauts. It’s partially inflatable, extremely flexible, and has all sorts of sensors that can be controlled with an iPhone or iPad.
Chinese farmer Shu Mansheng created this eight-rotor hovercraft, his fifth such project. Shu managed to get it to hover three feet above the ground for ten seconds–not bad for a project that cost about $3,000.
Michael Theusner, a German photographer, caught this first-ever-on-film quadruple rainbow. The first and second rainbows aren’t quite visible in this picture–they’re on the other side of the field–but you can see the tertiary and quaternary right here. Check out New Scientist for video of the rainbows.
Arctic Ozone Hole
There’s a hole over the arctic (the North Pole, or thereabouts, is pictured here), and that’s concerning. An atmospheric scientist tells us why this is nothing to scoff at.