The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
The Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition honors the power of photography and recognizes the role widely accessible photos can play in popularizing science.
For the last 5 years, The Royal Society has been rewarding the best science photographs from all around the world. In early 2019, they asked scientists to send in their images in categories of Astronomy, Behavior, Earth Science and Climatology, Ecology and Environmental Science, and Micro-imaging.
From a twister in the Yukon to an image of the Taranaki stars and a tender meeting between a fish and a jellyfish, we’ve gathered the finalist entrants that managed to capture the hearts of juries and ours.
1.Microimaging/Competition Winner: 'Quantum droplets' by Aleks Labuda
This year's first-place image show silicone oil droplets bouncing continuously above a petri dish of vibrating oil was taken by the physicist Dr. Aleks Labuda and demonstrates a theory called pilot-wave theory.
This theory, first proposed by French physicist Louis de Broglie in 1927, is not something that is easy to wrap your head around; however, in the simplest way, it theorizes that quantum particles are simultaneously waves and particles.
Even if you don't like the crazy science behind it, it still looks amazing.
Runner-up: 'Magnetostatic Spawn' by Aleks Labuda
Labuda's runner-up photo shows the magnetic properties of liquid as it changes shape between the magnetic fields set up by two carefully positioned magnets.
Honorable Mention: 'Completely Stitched Up' by Anne Weston
This photograph shows the scanning electron micrograph of surgical thread which is used to stitch a head wound. Apparently, the thread was removed from the patient after seven days, and the skin and the area surrounding the wound can be seen still attached to the thread.
2. Astronomy Winner: 'Halo' by Mikhail Kapychka
Kapychka's awe-inspiring entry was taken in a forest in Mogilev, Belarus. What is photographed here is a rare lunar phenomenon that will surely make you feel like a tiny being with a celestial being's giant eye upon you.
This sort of halo appears in the sky when several factors such as frosty weather in conditions of high humidity are combined. With numerous ice crystals in the air, the light passing through them forms an arc around the moon or the sun.
It is always within our sight but always just beyond our reach.
Runner-up: 'Taranaki Stars' by James Orr
Orr's image shows the Milky Way in all its glory with the two Magellanic Clouds above Mount Taranaki, an active stratovolcano, on New Zealand's North Island.
Honorable Mention: 'Equinox Supermoon Over the Coast Range' by Loren Merrill
The supermoon, high above the on the spring equinox this year. Merrill captured this once in a lifetime celestial moment while looking out across the Georgia Strait.
3. Behavior Winner: 'Mudskipper turf war' by Daniel Field
This photo by Field shows mudskippers, which are amphibious fish common in habitats of Southeast Asia. Males are extremely territorial and engage in frequent fights with the neighbor fish.
We don't know why these mudskippers are fighting, but their dramatic expressions really do resemble a lover's quarrel.
Runner-up: 'Jelly-Fish Association' by Eduardo Sampaio
Sampaio's image shows an interaction that might happen for a number of reasons and in this case, it is predation. This fish feeds on the jellyfish and guards it against the other fish who might want to do the same thing.
The interesting friendship might continue for several days and the fish uses the jellyfish as a shelter once it gets big enough. Crazy, right?
Honorable Mention: 'Fight Club' by Alwin Hardenbol
Hardenbol's image shows Northern Nutcrackers fighting over food in the winter on the mountains of Bulgaria.
4. Earth Science and Climatology Winner: 'Twister in the Yukon' by Lauren Marchant
Marchant's photo paints the image of a tornado during its birth. It was taken in Yukon, Canada and it depicts a large, funnel cloud. This sort of cloud forms when water droplets are drawn to a center by the wind and most tornados begin as funnel clouds.
This funnel cloud, however, was rather short-lived and never grew up to be a tornado. You'll be the judge to whether that is a good thing or not.
Honorable Mention: 'Fizzy Sea' by Tom Shlesinger
This photo was taken on a scientific expedition in Ambitle Island, Papua New Guinea.
Honorable Mention: 'Mammatus on Fire' by Cándido R. Vicente Calle
This is a summer sunset, with clouds forming in Jackson, Wyoming, USA.
Honorable Mention: 'The Child of Krakatoa Awakes' by James D.P. Moore
Anak Krakatau at the start of its eruptive phase, in August 2018, taken while Moore was on vacation.
5. Ecology and Environmental Science Winner: 'Fade to white' by Morgan Bennett-Smith
Here is a Red Sea clownfish, looking out from the clear tentacles of a sea anemone affected by climate change in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. The bleaching occurs when sea temperatures reach intolerable levels and result in a color loss as it is shown here and high mortality.
As climate change's effects become more prominent, the bleaching events continue to increase and the clownfish tenants start to feel the heat.
Runner-up: 'A Vigilant Soldier' by Abhijeet Bayani
Meet this wasp, it is Ropalidia marginata. It is primitively eusocial wasp found in southern India.
Honorable Mention: 'Abstract Water Gallery' by Daniela Rapavá
This image shows In the Ľuboreč, a water reservoir in Slovakia. These are blooming water lilies, their stems are rotting and white coating has spread across the lake.