This week in images: beautiful pictures from space–and a picture of a rocket that didn’t quite make it. Snail therapy and pink leopards. Robots made from vacuum cleaners and a picture of London, illegally taken from the top of the unfinished Shards of Glass skyscraper. Click through, look, enjoy, wonder.
Click to launch the gallery.
So here’s the thing about this galaxy, which is otherwise known as NGC 2683. It’s a regular spiral galaxy, about 35 million light-years from Earth. But given our (read: Hubble’s) vantage point, we see it from the side, so it has a sort of a flying saucer shape. But that’s the only reason we call it the UFO galaxy! If we were elsewhere it’d be a regular spiral galaxy. [via
Engineers at Dyson’s UK-based headquarters were given about a week to build robots suitable for racing from the discarded parts of Dyson vacuum cleaners, with power coming only from–what else–portable vacuums. Read more
Crash and Splash
The big space news of the week was about a rocket that never even made it to orbit–North Korea’s “weather satellite,” which most observers see as a thinly-veiled long-range missile test. Read more
The snail massage, available in Siberian Russia, is believed to help eliminate wrinkles and make skin appear more youthful. We can’t speak to that, though this picture did gross out a few of our less slime-tolerant writers.
Tiny Ancient Mammoth
This is the world’s best-preserved baby mammoth carcass (that we know of). It’s about 42,000 years old, and currently on display in Hong Kong. For more photos like this, check out
Pastels in Orion
The watery pastels of this false-color photo of the Orion Nebula come from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. All those little dots are baby stars–Orion is a nursery of sorts. Read more
Pink Panther, Sort Of
Couple things wrong with calling this a naturally pink panther: First, it’s not a panther/cougar/puma/mountain lion–it’s a leopard. Second, it’s claimed to be pink, but I’m not so sure about it from this photo. It definitely looks a little blushed, but…what do you guys think? Read more
Atop the Shard
London’s massive Shard of Glass skyscraper might not be fully completed yet, but it’s as tall as it’s going to be–which proved too enticing to resist for a bunch of photographers and explorers. They climbed up to the top of the crane atop the tower–this is all totally illegal, mind you, and one of their team was detained by security at one point–and took this picture of London at night. [
Silent UK via io9]
Not sure why this satellite is shaped like a margarita glass, but NASA’s funding an exploration into its ability to harvest sunlight and beam the energy back down to Earth via microwaves. Read more
Mapping Wikipedia is a project to map out where (and in what language) Wikipedia’s writers are writing from. It’s fascinating, actually–why are people writing Arabic articles in New York, Boston, and DC, but hardly at all in Philadelphia? Why are Italians writing so many more English-language articles than Spaniards? Play with it