The NovoGen MMX Bioprinter

The NovoGen MMX Bioprinter

250 microns: the thickness of the microtissues printed out by the first commercial 3-D bioprinter, which will soon help biochemists test new drugs

100 miles: the distance the Galileo space probe made it into Jupiter’s atmosphere in 1995 before being vaporized (could a stronger spacecraft fly straight through the gas planet?)

Jupiter, as seen by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft

1,000: the number of times per second the floating mirror on the Magellan telescope can change its shape in order to capture the sharpest images of space ever

These are the highest resolution photos taken by a telescope.

On the left is a “normal” photo of the theta 1 Ori C binary star in red light. The middle image shows the same object, but with MagAO’s adaptive optics system turned on. Eliminating the atmospheric blurring, the resulting photo becomes about 17 times sharper, turning a blob into a crisp image of a binary star pair.

30 μL: the volume of photographic bacteria you need to grow your own photo

Edward L. Youmans

A bacterial portrait of Edward L. Youmans, founder of Popular Science, circa 1886

10,000: the rough number ytterbium atoms used to keep time in the world’s most precise clock

NIST Boulder’s Ytterbium Atomic Clock

4 grams: the amount of a reusable, spongy, bacteria-killing gel needed to purify a half a liter of water

37 miles per hour: the top speed of a new electric car prototype that can fold itself in half to park

Armadillo-T, folding itself in freaking half

6 percent: the difference in brain size between urban animals and their rural counterparts (bet you can guess which critters are smarter)

$230: the price of a cup of civet poop coffee

Asian Palm Civet Eating Coffee Berries

1866: the year the U.S. Army adopted primitive, hand-crank machine guns

Gatling Gun Patent From 1865

56: the number of people sent to the emergency room with eye problems after a recent foam party in Florida

8 percent: the portion of the world’s helium use that went to party balloons in 2012 (more stats about Earth’s helium supply, visualized)

Worldwide Helium Use 2012

258,048: the number of parabolic mirrors on the world’s largest operational concentrated solar plant, which is kind of tricky to keep clean

Solar Scrubber

Five trucks use hydraulic and pneumatic arms to keep everything clean.