Meteor showers, ocean cleaning & the James Webb Telescope. The best photos of the week


The excitement has been building for the first full-colour images to be released by the James Webb Space Telescope on 12 July 2022, and this week NASA issued a teaser image to whet our appetites. The telescope will be able to peer further into the universe than ever before, shedding light on how the universe formed and how galaxies grow. These initial images will only be scratching the surface, a mere sample of the vast capabilities that the JWST possesses.

To keep you going until then, we have brought together some of our favourite images in science from around the world that we have seen this week, from giant waterlilies to automated robotic shelves.

Nice pad you have here

Largest waterlily

Botanical artist Lucy Smith (Left) and Kew Gardens’ scientific and botanical research horticulturalist Carlos Magdalena (Right) pose for photographs with the ‘Victoria Boliviana’, a new botanical discovery, at Kew Gardens on 1 July 2022 in London, UK. Despite specimens sitting in Kew’s Herbarium for 177 years, new expertise has revealed that the waterlily is a previously unrecognised species. Until now, there were only two known species of giant waterlily. Waterlily House at Kew was built to showcase the giant species of waterlily. Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

Ocean clean-up

ocean plastic cleaning

A team of volunteer divers collect various metal and plastic waste that threaten marine life on the coast of Silifke district of Mersin, Turkiye on 3 July 2022. Photo by Ozan Efeoglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Falling from the sky

Meteor shower

The Eta Aquariids meteor shower, which peaked in early May this year, was captured in this stunning image released on 4 July 2022. The Eta Aquariids meteors are caused by leftover debris from Halley’s comet and make up the bright, arrow-like darts of light in the photo. The luminous object towards the bottom of the sky is Venus. Above it, arranged in a satisfying line, are several planets in conjunction. Directly above Venus is Jupiter, followed by the bright red Mars, and then Saturn. Conjunctions such as this are rare, often occurring decades apart. Photo by Petr Horálek/ESO


automated warehouse

This picture taken on 4 July 2022 shows product shelves being moved by robots (in blue) in an unmanned space at Amazon Amagasaki Fulfilment Center in Amagasaki, Hyogo prefecture, Japan. Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Gorgeous dinosaur

T rex skeleton

A person looks at a full skeleton of a Gorgosaurus dinosaur on display at Sotheby’s auction house as part of a preview of an upcoming auction in New York, USA, 5 July 2022. The dinosaur fossil, which is almost 3 metres tall and is one of the only full skeletons to be offered for sale since 1997, will be auctioned on 28 July 2022 in New York and is expected to sell for an estimated $5m to $8m dollars (£4.1m to £6.7m). Photo by Justin Lane/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Special delivery

In this image, released on 6 July 2022, The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) demonstrates its Lightweight Rover Unit-2, which can deliver rock samples to the Rodin lunar lander (seen here on the left) during a testing campaign on Mount Etna, Italy. Photo by ESA

Chase me!

Cheetah running

A cheetah runs behind a decoy in its enclosure in the African Safari zoo in Plaisance-du-Touch, near Toulouse, France, on 7 July 2022. These cheetahs have been in training to fight against the sedentary lifestyle of big cats at the zoo. Photo by Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

Walking through the Milky Way

Milky Way lanterns

Paper lanterns are placed to form the shape of the Milky Way along a staircase, during ‘Tanabata’, or the Star festival event at Zojoji temple in Tokyo, Japan, on 7 July 2022. Photo by Reuters/Issei Kato

More images from Science Focus:

Little marvel

A scientist displays a laser lens used at the CALA labs in Munich, Germany, on 7 July 2022. The Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich, Germany announced its cooperation with Munich start-up Marvel Fusion GmbH wherein the two parties will cooperate in laser research and atomic fusion technology. The research will explore laser-based nuclear fusion in an effort to create cleaner, more efficient forms of energy. Photo by Alamy

Raining cats and…

Dog raincoat

A man walks his dog (kitted-out in a raincoat and boots) in the street during a rainfall on 7 July 2022, Liaoning Province, China. Shenyang Meteorological Bureau issued an orange alert for heavy rainstorms this week. Photo by VCG/Getty Images

Countdown to James Webb images

In this image, released on 7 July 2022, the James Webb Space Telescope captured a view of stars and galaxies that provides a tantalising glimpse at what the telescope’s science instruments will reveal in the coming weeks, months, and years. The first full-colour images will be announced on 12 July. Photo by NASA/CSA/FGS team

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