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The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year

Here are some of the winning entries in the fifth Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition.

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.

SEE ALSO: THIS YEAR'S WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCED

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.

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: Aleks Labuda/Royal Society Awards 2019

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. 

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: Aleks Labuda/Royal Society Awards 2019

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.

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: Anne Weston/Royal Society Awards 2019

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.

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: Mikhail Kapychka/Royal Society Awards 2019

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.

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: James Orr/Royal Society Awards 2019

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. 

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: Loren Merrill/Royal Society Awards 2019

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.

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: Daniel Field/Royal Society Awards 2019

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?

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: Eduardo Sampaio/Royal Society Awards 2019

Honorable Mention: 'Fight Club' by Alwin Hardenbol

Hardenbol's image shows Northern Nutcrackers fighting over food in the winter on the mountains of Bulgaria.

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: Alwin Hardenbol/Royal Society Awards 2019

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.  

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: Lauren Marchant/Royal Society Awards 2019

Honorable Mention: 'Fizzy Sea' by Tom Shlesinger

This photo was taken on a scientific expedition in Ambitle Island, Papua New Guinea. 

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: Tom Shlesinger/Royal Society Awards 2019

Honorable Mention: 'Mammatus on Fire' by Cándido R. Vicente Calle

This is a summer sunset, with clouds forming in Jackson, Wyoming, USA. 

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: Cándido R. Vicente Calle/Royal Society Awards 2019

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. 

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: James D.P. Moore/Royal Society Awards 2019

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.

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: Morgan Bennett-Smith/Royal Society Awards 2019

Runner-up: 'A Vigilant Soldier' by Abhijeet Bayani

Meet this wasp, it is Ropalidia marginata. It is primitively eusocial wasp found in southern India. 

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: Abhijeet Bayani/Royal Society Awards 2019

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. 

The Royal Society Announces Best Science Photos Of The Year
Source: Daniela Rapavá/Royal Society Awards 2019
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