seeing science


launched in September last year, Seeing Science is a year-long project at the University of Maryland that examines and documents the ways in which science is represented through the visual medium of photography

with online platforms, essays, events and exhibitions, the project looks at the ways in which science is represented as an industry and as an academic subject; the people involved and its myriad interactions with our everyday life. from Eadweard Muybridge’s pioneering studies of animal locomotion to NASA’s rich photography archive through to augmented reality goggles for surgeons, Seeing Science seeks to examine the various forms scientific images take, what they reveal and how they transform the disciplines they serve. Bobby Jewell spoke with the project’s curator and producer, Marvin Hieferman, to find out more

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deep impact

Meteor Crater by Joe King

in the first in a series of articles, we explore some of the places we’ll be visiting on our upcoming Total Solar Eclipse Expedition this August. first up is Meteor Crater, a massive hole in the ground in Arizona that helped scientists establish techniques for identifying meteor strikes…

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104-page retrospective book (2006-2016)
first edition of 1000
170mm x 240mm
printed with vegetable-based inks on FSC-certified paper made from 100% post-consumer waste

in 2006 we published our first fanzine and began a journey into science and culture. from the depths of interstellar space to the limitless subatomic horizons of particle physics to the most beautiful places on our planet, we’ve been privileged to spend the past decade exploring the wonders and aesthetics of science from a creative standpoint

full of short stories and facts, ten is more than just a retrospective of our work. it’s a visual record of where science has taken us all in the last decade – told through 100 beautiful images from the worlds of astronomy, chemistry, mineralogy, physics, ecology, biology… and beyond

add to cart (UK)
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islands of ice


in our latest column for AnOther we overfly the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, which is about to unleash one of the largest icebergs the Earth has ever seen



unearthing and meticulously photographing artwork and images from 19th and early 20th century astronomy books, Print Science are working to showcase how people used to record the heavens. beyond lunar charts, hand sketches of the solar corona and an early photograph of the Pleiades, the collection includes early impressions of Mars and a beautiful drawing of a comet over London

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making plastic precious

Studio Swine

inspired by nautical craftsmanship and folk art, the designers at Studio Swine went in search of plastic in the ocean for their Gyrecraft project – and found a lot to choose from. sailing 1000 nautical miles from the Azores to the Canary Islands, they passed through through the North Atlantic Gyre: one of five points on the planet where swirling megacurrents concentrate vast quantities of floating debris, including plastic

“it’s one of the biggest problems facing our civilisation,” says Studio Swine’s Alex Groves, “plastic is in every part of the ocean and the effect it’s having on plankton is only just beginning to be investigated. plankton are the base of the entire planet’s food chain, and they are responsible for producing one third of the oxygen we breath. if we lose plankton we are headed for another mass extinction. in the swirling gyre, most of the plastics have broken down into tiny fragments which are spread over massive stretches of the ocean. due to their size, they are incredibly difficult to recover in any large quantity – making this once disposable material very precious”

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overwatch 🔭


for the first time, NASA has consolidated all of its planetary impact detection projects into a single organisation to help keep us safe from asteroids and comets: the Planetary Defense Coordination Office. beyond liasing with various ground and space-based systems, like the Arecibo Radio Telescope and the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System shown above, the new office will oversee asteroid deflection missions and provide input to agencies like FEMA to prepare an emergency response to predicted impacts. with more than 90% of Near Earth Objects bigger than 1km across already discovered, NASA is now focused on finding objects that are slightly bigger than a football field – 140m or larger

related: Death From Above / Adventures in the Asteroid Field / Arecibo

species of the week: 紅脖游蛇

© Robert Ferguson

fittingly on the day that sees our first event in Hong Kong, our species this week is 紅脖游蛇 – aka the red-necked keelback snake, or Rhabdophis subminiatus. as Robert Ferguson, the photographer who took this picture, explains: the red-necked keelback unique in that it’s the only animal that is both venomous (with a deadly bite) and poisonous (as it can secrete the poison from toads that it eats via a groove in its neck. despite this, the species is essentially harmless as it very rarely bites and is not at all aggressive

ice on Mars

Mars-Ice-House_Dusk 01_lr

following the recent confirmation that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars, we caught up with the winners of NASA’s 3D Printed Habitat challenge to find out more about their ingenious design – which uses ice mined from below the surface to shield explorers from radiation while providing expansive views out over the Martian landscape and a unique ‘garden’ space

read our full interview for Uncube

15 photos that show nature recolonising Chernobyl 🌿

a new study from researchers at the University of Portsmouth shows that wildlife is alive and well in the abandoned areas around Chernobyl, scene of the catastrophic nuclear meltdown in 1986 that left the landscape largely uninhabitable for humans

“There is continuing scientific and public debate surrounding the fate of wildlife that remained in the abandoned area,” explain the study’s authors. “Our long-term empirical data showed no evidence of a negative influence of radiation on mammal abundance. Relative abundances of elk, roe deer, red deer and wild boar within the Chernobyl exclusion zone are similar to those in four (uncontaminated) nature reserves in the region and wolf abundance is more than 7 times higher. These results demonstrate for the first time that, regardless of potential radiation effects on individual animals, the Chernobyl exclusion zone supports an abundant mammal community after nearly three decades of chronic radiation exposures”

when we traveled to the region in 2011 with Unknown Fields, we were struck by just how abundant nature is in former towns like Prypiat, where most of these photos were taken

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sample of the week: quartz arenite

Cerro Sarisariñama

quartz arenites are the most ancient exposed sedimentary rocks on earth. a type of sandstone, they’re incredibly hard, and form the basis of South America’s incredible ‘tepui’ mountains – vast flat-topped table formations that rise above the forests and clouds of the northern Amazon. over the eons the relentless action of water has hollowed out four giant sinkholes on the Cerro Sarisariñama plateau in Venezuela. measuring more than 350m across and 300m deep, these circular voids in the forest contain their own miniature jungles – tiny worlds within worlds

read more about Cerro Sarisariñama in our latest column for AnOther



every hour of every day, a growing armada of earth observation satellites are peering down on our planet, gathering petabytes of images and data about our changing world. a new online course from the Open University’s super slick Future Learn site lets you take a more detailed look at these incredible spacecraft, and explore how the information they collect is used. it’s free and the first online course from the European Space Agency, so sign up if (like us) you’re interested in how space technology can help save the planet. we’ll see you in class

the floating world


located in China’s Hunan province, Zhangjiajie’s incredible landscape began to form over 60 million years ago, when warm tropical seas covered the land. in deeper waters, the accumulation of marine organisms formed limestone while in shallower regions hard quartz sandstone predominated. the seas slowly receded and eons of rains and rivers wore away at the softer stone. small outcrops began to appear; craggy and covered by trees. the action of their roots and the constant freezing and melting of ice as winters passed inexorably carved the towering pillars, which aren’t smooth and eroded but angular and rough. today, there are over 3000 individual towers – some rising a thousand feet into the sky

read more about Zhangjiajie in our Where On Earth column for AnOther


Owen Gildersleeve – Discoverers Alliance

at first glance, the incredible crystals unearthed by the Discoverer’s Alliance during its illustrious one hundred year history are a tribute to the brave men and women whose exploration and fieldwork led to some of the century’s most important scientific discoveries. look a little closer though, and questions about their provenance – and indeed the organisation’s mysterious origins – emerge…

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mirror mirror

Observation 123

ahead of the forthcoming dark frame / deep field exhibition at BREESE LITTLE, we’re previewing a number of artists featured in the show. Sophy Rickett’s Objects in the Field (2013) and the Observation series (1991/2013) are the result of a collaboration with Dr Roderick Willstrop from the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge. Rickett’s works (which employ unseen test shots from when everything was still done on film) juxtapose deep time with history on a human scale by resurrecting these astronomical photographs. although they are only a few decades old, they are already technologically obsolete, making Rickett’s work analogous to the archaeology of astronomy itself

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review: Voyager – The Grand Tour


Martin Eberle’s Voyager – The Grand Tour, published in an edition of just 300 by Berlin-based Drittel Books, is, as the press release humbly states ‘a new publication about the NASA Voyager mission’. comprising three cloth-bound volumes within a slipcase bearing a silhouette of the mission’s famous Golden Record, it seems more fitting to describe it as an exhaustively detailed chronicle of an endeavour as complicated and contradictory in its planning as it was audacious and astounding in its (on-going) execution

so cemented is the Carl Sagan-ized version of the story in public consciousness that, as Eberle demonstrates, it’s easy to forget that when the mission was first conceived, a human-launched object had only just made it as far as Mars: the Mariner 4 flyby in 1965

in fact, for VGR77-2, VGR77-3 (the ‘real’ names of Voyager 1 and Voyager 2) and VGR77-1 (the baby sister that stayed at home at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory), the narrative of a solar-system conquering, intergalactic ambassador of human achievement came later. against the socio-political context of 1970s America it took some convincing to get the project off the ground

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sample of the week


our featured sample this week can be found in abundance at Pamukkale in Turkey, where it flows from hot springs to cover the landscape. precipitating from the calcite-rich rich waters when they become exposed to the atmosphere, calcium carbonate forms a type of limestone called travertine. over the eons, it has built a series of cascading cliffs and pools – used since ancient times for bathing and healing

read more about Pamukkale in our latest column for AnOther

fire & ice


the Calbuco volcano in Chile was a booming explosion which hit international news a few weeks back; footage of ash-laden streets and boiling pink clouds putting its power back on the map after decades of inactivity. volcanic eruptions aren’t quite as rare as they seem – at any time there are likely to be about twenty volcanoes erupting around the world – but not all are as cinematic. scientists think that three quarters of all eruptions happen under the ocean, along the mid-Atlantic ridge, as the dark sea-floor tip-toes apart

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another planet

Photo by Klaus Thymann

it’s early days, but in our new column for AnOther we’ll be exploring the geological and scientifical wonders of the world – from pink waterfalls and blue sinkholes to remote telescopes and mysterious markings in the landscape

sample of the week: “Kryptonite”


this week’s #CrystalsandMineralsMonth sample comes courtesy of Amy Freeborn, an in-house writer at the Natural History Museum who’s awesome job it is to tell the stories behind the museum’s collection. just one example is the innocuous-looking sample shown: a piece of jadarite discovered in Serbia in 2006. a white-ish mineral composed of sodium, lithium, boron silicate and hydroxide – pretty standard, right? except that when NHM mineral expert Dr Chris Stanley found the specimen’s make-up didn’t match anything else known to science, he looked up the mineral’s combination of chemical elements and made a strange discovery

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