8 Stunning Science Visualizations

Cast a vote for your favorite!

Images are fundamental to science. Biologists use X-rays to study the fine structure of plants, and astronomers take pictures with the Chandra telescope to probe the dynamics inside of exploding stars. When it comes to places where no camera can look, scientists create images from the information available: geologists use seismic data to build charts, diagrams and simulations of the deep Earth churning.

As a nod to the importance of images in science–both those taken with cameras and those constructed from data–the National Science Foundation holds a competition every year for the best visualization in science. The entries never disappoint.

Take a look at some of our favorites from this year’s competition here, and then go vote for your favorite–today is the last day to vote!

Origins of Chaos
plant seeds x-ray
X-ray of a lily
bouncing water droplet
plasma ribbon
universe at different scales
monkey brain visualization