In this weekly column, science writer Carrie Poppy puts together the most striking and telling science images from the past week's news for your viewing pleasure. Scroll down to find phenomenal images and fascinating facts about the science behind them.
Last week, astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren spent seven hours and 48 minutes working on the International Space Station ... from the outside. Whenever an astronaut leaves his or vehicle while in space, it is termed a "Spacewalk." This particular one, which served to restore the station's cooling system, was the 190th spacewalk.
This week, scientists rewrote the book on how DNA replicates, when they used cutting-edge electron beams to get this, the first accurate image of a replisome.
Californians cried alien activity when they spotted a UFO (technically, anything flying and not-yet-identified is a UFO). However, their dreams were dashed when the U.S. Navy announced that it was its own test missile. Professional photographer Abe Blair was luckily on the scene, and his spectacular photo was shared by NASA.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this beautiful image of the Cydonia Region of Mars. The Cydonia Region is where the famed "Face on Mars" lives, and this image provides a crystal-clear view of the craters and old channels that probably once contained rivers.
Eloise, who has the orangutan equivalent of cerebral palsy, turned 47 on Tuesday, and the Los Angeles Zoo celebrated her special day with this gorgeous portrait on their popular Instagram feed. The zoo reports that "she ambles around with great care and deliberation and with a fair amount of effort, but she's still quite an able ape."
This week, winter is settling into the Lower Geyser Basin of Yellowstone, an 11-mile stretch filled with geysers, hot springs and mud pools.
Science enthusiast Rebecca Essenpreis and her daughter, Sagan, celebrated Nov. 9, the birthday of Sagan's namesake, Carl Sagan. The late cosmologist was a champion of bringing science to the people. Every year, Sagan fans big and small celebrate his birthday around the world. Some, like Rebecca and Sagan, dress up in his characteristic tan jacket and red turtleneck.
Geologists with the United States Geological Survey are studying this bed of mammoth fossils to better understand how climate change affected desert wetlands in the past, the USGS reported on Monday. The scientists say that threatened species in these areas today may face the same challenges that prehistoric animals did: "Their fate may lie in the hands of a rapidly changing climate."
International Space Station astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo to his Instagram feed on Veterans Day, saying, "Salute from 250 [miles] above to all past and present veterans and families. You are my heroes."