NATURAL SCIENCE

Eureka! The 10 best science photos of 2012

From quantum-scale computing to hospital superbugs, from robots to research the 23rd annual Australian Museum Eureka Prizes shows off the best Australian science images of the year.

Humpback Whale Mating, Jason Edwards.jpg

First Place: First Documentation of a Humpback Whale Mating 
This is the first time Megaptera novaeangliae mating has ever been documented -- and it won the photographer first place. For several hours a pod of male Humpbacks competed in a battle of strength and endurance known as a "heat run" before the successful male mated with the female, he said.

Jason Edwards

Red-throat Travels, Dr Dave Abdo.jpg

Second Place: Red-throat Travels 
The photograph captures the release of a Red-throat Emperor (Lethrinus miniatus) after surgery to implant an acoustic tag (the surgery scar and external tag can be seen in the image) at Heron Island within the Great Barrier Reef. The research project aims to describe movement patterns in marine protected areas.

Dave Abdo

Toward Solar Maximum, Peter Ward.jpg

Third Place: Towards Solar Maximum
Our sun enters a period of maximum activity every 11 years, with its chromosphere showing prominences, flares and sunspots. This high-resolution, full solar disk was captured by Peter Ward and shows all of these dynamics within the solar atmosphere.

Peter Ward

Fly in Amber, Scott Ginn.jpg

Fly in Amber 
This fly is preserved in Baltic amber (some 40 million years old), the world's most famous amber deposit. Amber is fossilized tree resin, and the often exquisite preservation of included specimens is as if they were recently caught. 

Scott Ginn

Stick Insect hatching at Melbourne Zoo, Rohan Cleave.jpg

Lord Howe Island Stick Insect Hatching at Melbourne Zoo
This photograph shows a critically endangered Lord Howe Island Stick Insect, Dryococelus australis, emerging from its egg after 6 months of incubation. This process had never before been photographed; the photographer waited patiently for weeks to capture this image.

Rohan Cleave

Mantis Shrimp, Gary Granitch.jpg

Mantis Shrimp
The Peacock Mantis Shrimp, Odontodactylus scyllarus, has one of the most complex vision systems in the marine world. Obviously. 

Gary Cranitch

Green Lacewing, David Paul.jpg

Green Lacewing
The delicate nature of this image clearly reflects the character of the Green Lacewing, Chrysopa sp. Transmitted and reflected light was used to create an elegant balance and simplicity. A moment after this single shot was taken, the lacewing flew off, putting an end to any further photographic opportunities.

David Paul

Neuron with Alzheimer disease, Linnea Rundgren.jpg

Tracking Alzheimer's Disease
A neuron treated with a beta-amyloyd peptide shows here a beta-amyloyd plaque -- thought to be the fundamental cause of Alzheimer's disease.

Linnea Rundgren

Killer In A Cage, Damon Wilder.jpg

Killer in a Cage
Cyana meyricki caterpillars are covered in a protective spiny layer of hairs. When ready to pupate, the caterpillar binds these hairs together with silk to construct an intricate protective cage around itself. But the pupa inside this particular cage does not belong to a caterpillar; rather, it is that of a parasite fly which has devoured the caterpillar from the inside out -- and now hangs safely out of reach of potential predators.

Damon Wilder

Another day in the life of Arabidopsis, Dr Mark Talbo.jpg

Another Day in the Life of Arabidopsis
The image shows a small, 6-day-old seedling of Arabidopsis thaliana under a scanning electron microscope and captures the essence of seed germination, the tiny and delicate beginnings of a plant. 

Mark Talbot

Eureka! The 10 best science photos of 2012

From quantum-scale computing to hospital superbugs, from robots to research the 23rd annual Australian Museum Eureka Prizes shows off the best Australian science images of the year.

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