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27 Of The Most Amazing Science Photos Of 2016

The International Space Station, sharks, and a multicoloured lizard with a stick.

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Phred Petersen / Royal Photography Society International Images for Science / Via

The invisible turbulence of hot air rising from a small liquid-fuelled camp stove. Schlieren photography allows us to see and record the refractive index differences between the hot air from the flame and the cooler ambient air in the surrounding environment. One of the winners of the Royal Photography Society's International Images for Science awards, supported by Siemens.

Chandra X-ray Observatory Center / X-ray: NASA/CXC/University of Amsterdam/N.Rea et al; Optical: DSS

Astronomers found evidence for what is likely one of the most extreme pulsars, or rotating neutron stars, ever detected. This composite image shows RCW 103 in X-ray and optical light.

David J. Bird / British Ecological Society

A Cuban emerald hummingbird, Chlorostilbon ricordii. This photograph was the overall winner in the 2016 British Ecological Society photography competition.

Ciara Stafford / British Ecological Society

A caterpillar in its final minutes, during a wasp attack and after its back erupted with parasitoid pupae. The drop of liquid is haemolymph – the equivalent of blood for a caterpillar. This photograph was the student winner in a category of the 2016 British Ecological Society photography competition.

Eleanor Ryder / Royal Photography Society International Images for Science / Via

Microbeads, tiny bits of plastic found in cosmetics that are too small for treatment systems to remove from waste water and that harm marine life, taken from a type of eyeliner. The image is taken from a photography project studying the effects of microplastics on the environment.

Anup Deodhar / Royal Photography Society International Images for Science / Via

"Warrior of the Grassland": a fan-throated lizard, a highly territorial creature, on guard to protect its territory. Image taken in Maharashtra state, India, in summer, the lizards' breeding season.

Montri Sumontha / WWF

The Phuket horned tree agamid, Acanthosaura phuketensis, was recently discovered among the few remaining forest patches on the popular Thai tourist island of Phuket.

Julius Nielsen / Via

A Greenland shark, a kind of sleeper shark. These huge, slow-moving creatures move gently around the deep Atlantic. A study this year discovered that they are the longest-living known vertebrates, with one specimen being recorded at at least 392 years old.

Igor Siwanowicz / Nikon Small World 2016 / Nature / Via

The end of a diving beetle's leg, seen in false colour under a microscope. It's about 2mm long and is used to attach to a female's back during sex.

Natasha Hurley-Walker / GLEAM Team / Via

A radio-frequency image of the universe, taken by the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky Murchison Widefield Array (GLEAM) radiotelescope in the Australian Outback.

Charlie Hamilton James / National Geographic / Via

Ruppell's Griffon vultures (Gyps rueppellii) and African whitebacked vultures (Pseudogyps africanus) eat the remains of a zebra in the Serengeti.

Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Kelly Oakes at

Tom Chivers is a science writer for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Tom Chivers at

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