This week's image roundup includes laser rainbows, cars exploding, a bat with the weirdest nose we have ever seen on an animal we didn't drunkenly draw ourselves as part of a board game, edible silk, and a gigantic moth. Enjoy!
This Atlas moth is in a defensive posture, making itself seem bigger than it really is. It's probably not necessary though; this species is the largest moth in the world, with a whopping 25 centimetre wingspan. The photographer spotted this specimen while travelling through the north-east of India. The vivid colours on the wings are meant to ward off predators by indicating the moth is venomous - though it really isn't.
Astronomer Bill Snyder snapped this pic of Thor's Helmet, a huge cosmic cloud in the Canis Nebula, about 15,000 light-years from Earth. Snyder has snapped multiple exposures to add light to the image and make the cloud visible. The bubble shape of the nebula is created by strong stellar winds and radiation.
The Lytro is the first camera that allows its user to refocus an image after it's taken. It sounds unbelievable, but after taking our own pics with the Lytro, we're happy to report that it's reality. To win our Innovation of the Year award, the Lytro had to captivate us enough for us to pass over significant medical diagnostic breakthroughs and a complete reinvention of the internal combustion engine - and it did. Truly an impressive device.
How cool is this! This laser rainbow projection is a project from artist Yvette Mattern. It's a kind of a promotion for the London Olympics; it'll shine along the North Tyneside coastline for four days. The installation has previously toured parts of the US and Germany.
Iranian Space Program
This is our first look at the Alborz Space Center, Iran's very first aerospace facility. Journalists were allowed in, but it doesn't seem like there was a lot to see - the images of the facility are mostly of this one room that looks more like a high school computer lab than a dedicated space center. Some commentators are saying journalists have been let into the center to discredit UN discussions regarding the curtain Iran is keeping over its technology developments.
Leaf Nosed Bat
We love bats. We will never not love bats. We even love the peculiar leaf-nosed bat - that odd nose is not a mutation, it's a common feature of a particular family of bats in Southeast Asia. The folds of skin in the nose area are suspected to help with echolocation, but nobody really knows for sure. This particular guy is the newly-discovered Griffin's leaf-nosed bat.
Car On Fire
Getty Images stringer John Harrelson made this image at the Daytona 500 when driver Juan Pablo Montoya collided with a dryer truck on the track during a caution. The truck was filled with jet fuel, which leaked across the track causing a large fire. Onlookers and rescue crews are silhouetted in the light of the inferno.
Researchers at Tufts University developed a little sensor made out of silk and gold that you stick to food. It can tell you whether the food has gone bad, useful for stuff like eggs and dairy products. More interestingly, the sensor itself is edible. Who knew you could eat silk?