The Most Amazing Science Images of the Week, April 23-27, 2012

This week's amazing image roundup takes us from the ocean of flowers in China's Yunnan province to the rim of Oregon's Crater Lake, from a macro view of the Milky Way to a very close-up view of the inside of an elephant. Enjoy!

Click to launch the gallery.

100 Billion Planets

When we see big pretty shots of the Milky Way, we're only getting a partial view--the planets, some 100 billion of them, are too small to be seen. So NASA magnified some of them, and their orbits, so we can appreciate more than stars.NASA, ESA, and M. Kornmesser (ESO)

Descriptive Camera

The Descriptive Camera is one of our favorite little "photography" projects: instead of insta-printing an image, the "camera" prints a textual description of the captured scene. It's human-powered, unfortunately--we'd have loved a robot's interpretation of a '70s-tinged photo of our bowl of Sapporo-style ramen, but the descriptions are fun. Read more about the project here.Matt Richardson

Inside an Elephant

Zoologist and TV host Jon Hutchinson has a series called Inside Nature's Giants, which results, apparently, in photos like this. That is the inside of an elephant. [via BoingBoing]Jon Hutchinson

Deep-Space Rocket Motor

This week, NASA announced that the J-2X engine, destined to power next-gen rockets into deep space, is ready for its second round of testing. Read more here.NASA/SSC

Insane Lens

We're not sure you can quantify the "world's most extreme wideangle lens." What exactly are the criteria? What are the appropriate tests to measure extremeness? But we will agree that this lens, a Nikon 6mm f/2.8 fisheye, is extremely extreme. Read more here.Nikon

Meteor Shower

This amazing photo was taken by photographer Brad Goldpaint of the Lyrid meteor shower over the rim of Crater Lake in Oregon. Check out Brad's site for more pics.Brad Goldpaint

Frozen Eagles

This is a shipping container of hundreds of dead eagles, ready to be sent, frozen, to American Indian tribes who use parts of the birds for rituals. See more photos like this at American Photo.Reuters/Rick Wilking

Impossible Object

This curious object is a flat torus, a mathematical shape previously thought to be impossible to visualize in 3-D. It's sort of tricky to explain, but maybe the easiest way to imagine it is a flat space in which moving off the edges takes you to the opposite edge--like going off the top of the screen in Pac-Man and reappearing at the bottom. A team of researchers in France managed to create this visualization by using smooth fractals. Read more here.Hevea Project

Farewell, Enterprise

Earlier this morning, the Space Shuttle Enterprise took a farewell glory flight over New York City on its way to its museum resting place. Photos were taken. See more here.Dan Bracaglia

Flower Ocean

The fields of Luoping, in China's Yunnan province, are covered with rapeseed flowers this time of year, a stunning sight. It's not for looks, though: rapeseed crops are used to make canola oil.AFP