An awesome cosplayer, whale pods and a spacewalk debut | The best images in science this week


The hot temperatures are still causing problems across Europe, with damaging wildfires in Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain and France. Meanwhile, California in the USA has also been hit with its biggest wildfire of the year so far, causing huge amounts of damage to land and wildlife.

Meanwhile, high above the Earth, Samantha Cristoforetti became the first European woman to conduct a spacewalk. Over the course of seven hours spent outside the International Space Station, Samantha helped to prepare the European Robotic Arm for its first operations.

In sad news, visionary scientist James Lovelock passed away at the age of 103 this week. Lovelock is best known as the creator of the Gaia hypothesis, which proposes that life on Earth functions as a single self-regulating organism.

Tunnel vision

tunnel of purple lights

A woman walks through a corridor illuminated by colourful lights at the entrance of a mall in Beijing, China, on 22 July 2022. Photo by Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

Everything about this outfit is awesome

Lego cosplay costume

A cosplayer wearing a Top Gun jacket and a LEGO head walks outside the convention centre during Comic-Con International 2022 on 22 July 2022 in San Diego, California, USA. Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Having a whale of a time

white whales group

An aerial view of the white whales in the Barents Sea in Norway on 23 July 2022. Scientists, who participated in an Arctic research mission, have returned to Istanbul after the 22-day expedition. A team of nine scientists, who sailed in the Barents Sea with a research vessel called Polar eXplorer, carried out scientific research for 14 different projects at 24 different locations. Photo by Sebnem Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Forest fires rage

A forest is incinerated by the Oak Fire near Midpines, California, USA, on 23 July 2022. The California wildfire ripped through thousands of acres after being sparked on 22 July, as millions of Americans sweltered through scorching heat. Photo by David McNew/AFP/Getty Images

A grand day out

Aerial Sea paddling

This aerial photo taken on 24 July 2022 shows people cooling off at a water park amid hot weather in Lianyungang in China’s eastern Jiangsu province. Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images

Blue ripples

This false-colour image, released on 25 July, shows a variety of wind-related features on Mars, near the centre of Gamboa Crater. There are tiny ripples on the tops of the dunes, only several metres from crest-to-crest. These merge into larger mega-ripples that radiate outward from the dunes. The larger, brighter formations that are roughly parallel are called ‘Transverse Aeolian Ridges’ (TAR). These TAR are covered with very coarse sand. The mega-ripples appear blue-green on one side of an enhanced colour cutout while the TAR appear brighter blue on the other. This could be because the TAR are actively moving under the force of the wind, clearing away darker dust and making them brighter. All of these different features can indicate which way the wind was blowing when they formed. Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Cheers drive! Driver?

Self-driving buses are seen during a test run in the centre of Guangzhou city in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, on 26 July 2022. Citizens can now book free rides by mobile phone. Photo by CFOTO/Future Publishing/Getty Images

More images from Science Focus:

Spacewalking into history

Samantha Cristoforetti Spacewalk

In this image, released on 27 July 2022, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti can be seen hard at work on her first ever spacewalk, conducted alongside cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev. Not only that, but this spacewalk was also the first conducted by a European woman, and the first conducted by a European in an Orlan spacesuit from the International Space Station. Photo by ESA/NASA

Electricity in the air

Lightning over Tokyo

This long exposure photo shows lightning over the Koto district of Tokyo, Japan on 28 July 2022. Photo by Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

No slacking

French tightrope walker Nathan Paulin walks on a slackline over the harbour of Bonifacio, in the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, on 28 July 2022. Photo by Pascal Pochard-Casabianca/AFP/Getty Images



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