This week in images: beautiful pictures from space - and a picture of a rocket that didn't quite make it. Snail therapy. Robots made from vacuum cleaners. A tiny ancient mammoth. And an image from Mapping Wikipedia, which tracks who's making edits (and in which language) to Wikipedia across the globe. Click through, look, enjoy, wonder.
The snail massage, available in Siberian Russia, is believed to help eliminate wrinkles and make skin appear more youthful. We can't speak to that, though this picture did gross out a few of our less slime-tolerant writers.
So here's the thing about this galaxy, which is otherwise known as NGC 2683. It's a regular spiral galaxy, about 35 million light-years from Earth. But given our (read: Hubble's) vantage point, we see it from the side, so it has a sort of a flying saucer shape. But that's the only reason we call it the UFO galaxy! If we were elsewhere it'd be a regular spiral galaxy.
Engineers at Dyson's UK-based headquarters were given about a week to build robots suitable for racing from the discarded parts of Dyson vacuum cleaners, with power coming only from - what else - portable vacuums.
Crash and Splash
The big space news of the week was about a rocket that never even made it to orbit - North Korea's "weather satellite," which most observers see as a thinly-veiled long-range missile test, exploded into dozens of pieces and fell into the Yellow Sea.
Tiny Ancient Mammoth
This is Lyuba, the world's best-preserved baby mammoth carcass (that we know of). It's about 42,000 years old, and currently on display in Hong Kong.
Pastels in Orion
The watery pastels of this false-colour photo of the Orion Nebula come from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. All those little dots are baby stars - Orion is a nursery of sorts. The Orion Nebula is 1,500 light years away. Green shows where hydrogen and sulfur gas are placed in the nebula.
Not sure why this satellite is shaped like a margarita glass, but NASA's funding an exploration into its ability to harvest sunlight and beam the energy back down to Earth via microwaves.
Mapping Wikipedia is a project to map out where (and in what language) Wikipedia's writers are writing from. It's fascinating, actually - why are people writing Arabic articles in New York, Boston, and DC, but hardly at all in Philadelphia? Why are Italians writing so many more English-language articles than Spaniards?