22 Of The Most Extraordinary Science Photos Of 2017

    Including two gas giants, the northern lights, and a baby squid off the coast of Scotland.

    Richard Germain / RPS / IISE / Via rps-science.org

    "Surface tension": The intermolecular forces of water keep this safety pin afloat, and the water acts as a distorted mirror, in this featured image from the Royal Photographic Society's International Images for Science competition.

    University of Plymouth / University of Oxford / Via doi.org

    A juvenile bobtail squid on the bottom of the sea floor off the west coast of Scotland,1,400 metres below the surface. A review by British scientists this year revealed just how little we know about life in the deep ocean.

    Miao Yong / Royal Society of Biology / Via rsb.org.uk

    Two damselflies on a leaf in Zejiang province, China. One of the shortlisted images in the Royal Society of Biology's photo of the year competition.

    NASA / Gerald Eichstädt / Seán Doran / Via apod.nasa.gov

    Jupiter, photographed from below by the spaceship Juno, which arrived there this year after a five-year journey. To scientists' surprise, it was shown that the bands of cloud break up at the pole into swirls and chaos.

    Thomas P Peschak / National Geographic / Via nationalgeographic.com

    A grey whale approaches a tourist to be petted in Laguna San Ignacio, off Baja California, Mexico. The whales are a source of tourism for the area. One of National Geographic's photos of the year.

    NASA / Cassini / Via saturn.jpl.nasa.gov

    Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons, sets behind the planet. This is one of the last images taken by the Cassini spacecraft, which crashed into the gas giant to destroy itself in September after more than a decade of sending back wonderful images and surprising science.

    Anup Deodhar / Royal Society of Biology / Via rsb.org.uk

    The egg of a Bombay bush frog in Amboli Maharashtra State, India. The fully developed froglet is visible inside the egg, which is about 5 millimetres across.

    Chris Kotsiopoulos / GreekSky / Via greeksky.gr

    "Lightning Eclipse from the Planet of the Goats" – clouds part during a thunderstorm to reveal a lunar eclipse on a Greek island, Ikaria, in an area known locally as the Planet of the Goats. This was one of NASA's Astronomy Pics of the Day from July.


    Brian Skerry / National Geographic / Via nationalgeographic.com

    A shortfin mako shark makes its presence known to the camera in waters off New Zealand. One of National Geographic's photos of the year.

    Ronan Donovan / National Geographic / Via nationalgeographic.com

    A mountain gorilla cuddles her 3-month-old infant. One of National Geographic's photos of the year.

    Leejiah Dorward / British Ecological Society / Via britishecologicalsociety.org

    A flap-necked chameleon in Tanzania. This was the overall student winner in the British Ecological Society's 2017 photography competition.

    Amy Bateman / Royal Society of Biology / Via rsb.org.uk

    A close-up of common frogspawn developing, taken in Cumbria, England. One of the shortlisted images for the Royal Society of Biology's images of the year.

    Zoe Davies / British Ecological Society / Via britishecologicalsociety.org

    A brown bear lunges at a salmon in Alaska. This was the winner of the "dynamic ecosystems" category of the the British Ecological Society's 2017 photography competition.

    James Woodend / Royal Photographic Society / Via rps-science.org

    The northern lights over Jökulsárlón, a glacial lake on the edge of the Vatnajökull Glacier. One of the shortlisted images in the Royal Photographic Society's International Images for Science competition.

    Partha Saha / RSB / Via rsb.org.uk

    An emerald lake in a glacial valley in the Jammu and Kashmir region of India. One of the shortlisted images for the Royal Society of Biology's images of the year.

    Zoltan Toth / Royal Photographic Society / Via rps-science.org

    A single snowflake, captured before it melts. One of the featured images from the Royal Photographic Society's International Images for Science competition.

    Daniela Rapavá / RPS / Via rps-science.org

    A bubble freezes, and gives the impression of its top half levitating. One of the featured images from the Royal Photographic Society's International Images for Science competition.

    Randy Bresnik / NASA / Via nasa.gov

    Supertyphoon Noru, seen from the International Space Station.

    Sanne Govaert / British Ecological Society / Via britishecologicalsociety.org

    The jar effect: a butterfly in a plastic jar. This was the winner of the "art of ecology (students)" category of the British Ecological Society's 2017 photography competition.

    Pratik Pradhan / RPS / Via rps-science.org

    Giant forest scorpions seen under an ultraviolet light. One of the featured images from the Royal Photographic Society's International Images for Science competition.

    Mark Levitin / RPS / Via rps-science.org

    A lake of lava in Erta'ale volcano, Ethiopia. One of the featured images from the Royal Photographic Society's International Images for Science competition.

    Roberto García Roa / British Ecological Society / Via britishecologicalsociety.org

    White silk: an Anolis lizard changing its skin. This was the winner of the "up close and personal" category of the the British Ecological Society's 2017 photography competition.


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

    Contact Tom Chivers at tom.chivers@buzzfeed.com.

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