The Most Amazing Images of the Week, January 2-6, 2012

This week's Images of the Week gallery, the very first of the new year, is appropriately grand. It includes: this Buckyball-looking kite (yes, kite), apes with iPads, new art from Ai Weiwei, the globe in a water droplet, and much more.

Click to launch this week's Images of the Week gallery.

Iberia From Above

This photo, taken from the International Space Station, shows the European peninsula of Iberia (consisting of Spain and Portugal) from above. Far, far above. [via National Geographic]NASA

FaceTime for Apes

We've seen how much wild cats love the iPad, but now the great apes are getting in on the fun as well. Orangutans in captivity will be using the iPad to video-chat with other orangutans in other zoos. Read more here.Orangutan Outreach

The World in a Drop

This shot, taken by photographer Markus Reugels, is not the result of any kind of post-processing computer trickery--just time, patience, and a few thousand not-good-enough photos. You can see more in this Reddit thread.Markus Reugels

Goodbye, IE6

Microsoft is doing their best to get rid of Internet Explorer 6, that ridiculously old, formerly ubiquitous web browser that every web developer has despised for years. They have what's called the "Champions Circle," made up of countries in which usage of IE6 has dropped to below 1%, and the U.S. has officially joined the ranks of, um, Poland, Finland, Ukraine, and Austria, among others. So Microsoft threw a little "get the hell out of here" party.Microsoft

The Dots

A perfectly white apartment was ransacked by children, armed only with brightly colored, variably-sized circular stickers. It looks amazing. Check out more pictures here.Stuart Addelsee

Swiftly Turning

This artist's concept from NASA and the ESA shows what is now known to be the fastest-rotating star ever found. It's a huge, relatively young star, and rotates at an insane one million miles per hour, a hundred times faster than our sun. The speed even flattened out the star itself--that's not a ring, it's a bunch of plasma that's flying out from the star's core due to centrifugal force. Read more in NASA's images of the day gallery.NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon

Mount Etna

Mount Etna, Europe's tallest and most active volcano, erupts over Sicily. Read more at the Christian Science Monitor.Antonio Parrinello/Reuters

Apple-Powered Lamp

Turns out it only takes about ten apples to power a 30-LED lamp--at least, according to photographer Caleb Charland, who chased away deer while wiring up this setup. Read more at Gizmodo.Caleb Charland

Forever Bicycles

Chinese artist/occasional prisoner Ai Weiwei's newest exhibit in Taiwan is called Forever Bicycles, and consists, as you might imagine, of bicycles. Lots of them! Around 1,200 bicycles, connected through the places where the seats and handlebars would ordinarily be, hang nearly 100 feet high. Read more at FastCo Design.TFAM Museum

This Is a Battery

This is the world's largest battery. It's real big. Read more here.Business Wire

Buckykite

Yes, this is a kite, even though it looks more like a bunch of Buckyballs. Ivan Morison and Sash Reading created the kite, which is also sort of an art project (and called "Three Cubes Colliding"), out of some sort of aerospace fabric and connectors they designed and 3-D printed themselves. Read more here.Matthew Porteous