These eerie, skull-shaped objects are actually a vital part of the papyrus plant (Cyperus papyrus). Photographed by David Maitland at 200 times life size, the image is a slice through the ‘vascular bundles’ that plants use to transport fluids through their tissues.t
The Planck satellite provided a fresh view of the Large Magellanic Cloud (dark dots, centre) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (bottom left) — two galaxies close to our own Milky Way. The image uses data captured at microwave and sub-millimetre wavelengths.
It took hundreds of 2D snapshots of the large virus that infects Acanthamoeba polyphaga to produce this 3D structure. Researchers showed that powerful X-ray free-electron lasers could reconstruct a single particle of the giant virus despite its not being amenable to crystallization.
THE WEEVIL’S HEAD This detailed picture of the head of a boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) was one of the winners in this year’s Wellcome Image Awards. The head, which measures just millimetres across, was imaged using a scanning electron microscope.
CAUGHT IN A TRAP Daniel Cressey (Senior News reporter): “There have been many remarkable portraits of birds this year. They include the ‘carcass cam’ shot, which features in Nature’s 'Images of the year', National Geographic’s ‘When penguins attack’, and some truly arresting photography by Gary Heery. But the images that have stayed with me most strongly are Todd Forsgren’s pictures of birds that had been captured by scientists in mist nets, from his book Ornithological Photographs