2023 in a blink: 10 groundbreaking science photos of the year (2024)

2023 in a blink: 10 groundbreaking science photos of the year (1)

The Eagle Nebula, also called Messier 16 or M16 and is often referred to as the “Pillars of Creation”, was created by combining data from National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Chandra X-ray Observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, XMM-Newton space rocket and European Southern Observatory telescope. The Webb image shows the dark columns of gas and dust shrouding the few remaining fledgling stars just being formed. The Chandra sources, which look like dots, are young stars that give off copious amounts of X-rays. Credit: X-ray: Chandra: NASA/CXC/SAO, XMM: ESA/XMM-Newton; IR: JWST: NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI, Spitzer: NASA/JPL/CalTech; Optical: Hubble: NASA/ESA/STScI, ESO; Image Processing: L Frattare, J. Major, and K Arcand

2023 in a blink: 10 groundbreaking science photos of the year (2)

This image of ice giant Uranus revealed its dynamic world with rings, moons, storms, extreme seasons, and more. Taken by the near-infrared camera on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the picture exquisitely captured the planet’s seasonal north polar cap and dim inner and outer rings. Bright storms near and below the southern border of the cap can also be seen. Webb’s sensitivity has even captured the close-in Zeta ring, faint, diffuse, and elusive. This image also shows nine of the planet’s 27 moons — clockwise starting at 2 o’clock, they are: Rosalind, Puck, Belinda, Desdemona, Cressida, Bianca, Portia, Juliet, and Perdita. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

2023 in a blink: 10 groundbreaking science photos of the year (3)

Astronomers using the Webb telescope discovered evidence of complex organic molecules similar to smoke or smog in the distant galaxy shown in the image. The galaxy is more than 12 billion light-years from Earth, setting a new record for the most distant detection of these big, complicated molecules. The galaxy happened to line up almost perfectly with a second galaxy only three billion light-years away from our perspective on Earth. Credit: J Spilker/S. Doyle, NASA, ESA, CSA

2023 in a blink: 10 groundbreaking science photos of the year (4)

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope obtained images of the Ring Nebula, one of the best-known examples of a planetary nebula. The Ring Nebula displays intricate structures of the final stages of a dying star. Credit: ESA/Webb, NASA, CSA, M Barlow (University College London), N Cox (ACRI-ST), R Wesson (Cardiff University)

2023 in a blink: 10 groundbreaking science photos of the year (5)

NASA’s Webb and Hubble brought together one of the most colorful and comprehensive views of the universe ever taken. This image showcases MACS0416, a gigantic galaxy cluster located about 4.3 billion light-years from Earth. Colours were mapped to different wavelengths of light. Galaxies coloured blue are relatively nearby and full of intense star formation, as best detected in visible light by Hubble. Galaxies coloured red are typically farther or dustier, as best detected with Webb’s infrared vision. One object stood out in this field: a monstrously bright star nicknamed “Mothra,” located in a galaxy that existed 3 billion years after the big bang. This star has been magnified by the gravity of the galaxy cluster — plus a mystery object — by a factor of at least 4,000 times! Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Jose M. Diego (IFCA), Jordan C. J. D'Silva (UWA), Anton M. Koekemoer (STScI), Jake Summers (ASU), Rogier Windhorst (ASU), Haojing Yan (University of Missouri)

2023 in a blink: 10 groundbreaking science photos of the year (6)

In September 2023, research institution ATREE announced the discovery of a new species, Chalcis biligiriensis from the scrub forests of Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve (BRT) of the Western Ghats in Karnataka. Chalcis includes 59 species, most of which are found in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Only two species were recorded from the Oriental region, which includes India, southern Sri Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Formosa, Philippines and China. In photo: Chalcis biligiriensis, A) Habitus, in lateral view; B) Head, in anterior view

2023 in a blink: 10 groundbreaking science photos of the year (7)

In October 2023, scientists reported the discovery of five clutches of embryo-containing eggs of a new sauropodomorph (long-necked and herbivorous dinosaurs) from the Lower Jurassic of southwestern China. The discovery shows that the first dinosaur eggs were probably leathery, elliptical, and small. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

2023 in a blink: 10 groundbreaking science photos of the year (8)

An enormous iceberg known as B-22A (circled) located off the Antarctic coast stayed put for more than two decades before finally sailing away in 2023. It broke from Thwaites Glacier (the widest glacier on Earth) in early 2002. With this feature gone, scientists are waiting to see if the change will affect nearby Thwaites Glacier, which is one of the largest contributors to global sea level rise from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Credit: NASA

2023 in a blink: 10 groundbreaking science photos of the year (9)

This is an IBEX image of a human retina from Dr. Colin Chu at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, the part of the eye that captures photons to send to the brain. Credit: Hubmapconsortium, Colin Chu / UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

2023 in a blink: 10 groundbreaking science photos of the year (10)

The 2023 Antarctic ozone hole reached its maximum size on September 21, 2023. The 2023 ozone hole is ranked the 16th largest. Credit: NASA

2023 in a blink: 10 groundbreaking science photos of the year (2024)
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