The open reactor with fuel rods are seen in a water pool inside the nuclear power plant Muehleberg during a yearly revision in Muehleberg August 16, 2012. Since the commission of Muehleberg nuclear power station in 1972, the owners BKW FMB Energie, conducts an annual review of the plant, with more than 600 additional personnel brought from around the world to help with the assessment. This year some 32 fuel rods out of 240 were replaced. Picture taken August 16, 2012. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich (SWITZERLAND - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY ENERGY). © Ruben Sprich / Reuters
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There’s some history in this week’s roundup of stunning images. For one, we have a photo of the Nevada atomic bomb tests from the ’50s, taken from the Las Vegas strip. Alongside that we have what you see above: a nuclear power station still in use today. We’re also featuring a Syrian rebel with a machine gun and cellphone, a psychedelic art project with water balloons and bald men, DIY lava, and more. Check out the gallery to see them all.

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Las Vegas, 1953

We’ve seen the iconic photo near the atomic bomb testing site in the Nevada desert, but in that context you wouldn’t know it was a mere 65 miles outside of Vegas. This photo, from The University of Nevada, Las Vegas and promoted by Retronaut, gives the bomb that rocked the world a much different frame.

Russian Cosmonauts

This disorienting shot shows two Russian cosmonauts outside the International Space Station. They spent almost six hours on a spacewalk this week, outfitting the station with new parts.

Texting Rebel

Pulitzer Prize winner (and Popular Science contributor) C.J. Chivers took this surprising photo of a Syrian rebel toting a cellphone alongside a machine gun–perfectly summing up the importance of tech in today’s rebellions.

Compressed Air Car

They said it couldn’t be done, yet lo and behold: a car that looks like a scrunched SmartCar. Just introduced by India’s Tata Motors, it’s called the AirPod, and it impressively runs only on compressed air. Vehicles like this have been in development for a while, but the makers say this one will be available soon for $10,000.

Nuclear Plant

Hollywood imaginings of nuclear sites, it turns out, are actually pretty close to the real thing. This rare photo was snapped by Reuters photographer Ruben Sprich during a yearly inspection of the Muehleberg nuclear power station in Switzerland. The cosmic blue glow is a result of Cherenkov radiation, an electromagnetic radiation seen in reactors.

Water Wigs

One photo in a series called “Water Wigs” from photographer Tim Tadder, in which bald men bathed in color are hit over the head with water balloons. The results are silly, psychedelic, and beautiful.

Sea Chair

The U.K artists of Studio Swine have come up with a unique idea for chipping away at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: scooping up bits of plastic and transforming them into furniture like this chair. Read more about it here.

DIY Lava

Syracuse University is offering an unlikely course: the Syracuse University Lava Project. It sounds incredible–basically a crash course in creating your own lava. Check it out here.

Firefighting Tanker

While the Taylor Creek Fire outside Cle Elum, Washington raged, freelance photographer Robert Sorbo snapped this image of a firefighting tanker plane dropping fire retardant on homes. Visit American Photo for more great photojournalism like this.

Hydrogen Train

Students and staff from the University of Birmingham built this, the first hydrogen-powered locomotive in the U.K. Not only does it look fun, it even operates via Wi-Fi.

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