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Baby ghost sharks, starling murmurations and firefall: February in amazing science images

Published: 01st March, 2022 at 04:00
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The best images in science this month from around the world.

The shortest month of the year managed to pack in a lot of events, and will be remembered for many reasons - some good, some bad and many tragic.

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The UK saw its biggest storm in years with the arrival of Storm Eunice, bringing with it high winds and flooding. An unofficial wind gust record of 196 km/h was recorded at The Needles, on the Isle of Wight. The storm also swept across Europe, leaving millions without power, and many buildings damaged. Sadly, at least 17 people lost their lives in the storm.

The gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in many countries brought cause for much optimism that life for many could soon get back to normal. Sadly, other events might lead us to question that assessment.

Starling dance

murmuration of starlings
A murmuration of starlings performing their traditional dance before landing to sleep near the southern Israeli city of Beersheva in the Negev desert, on 1 February 2022. Photo by Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

Blown off course

Pedestrians look at a Maurician oil tanker Tresta Star stranded on Tremblet coast in Saint-Philippe, south-east of the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, on February 4, 2022 after the passage of the tropical cyclone Batsirai as the island was placed under a cyclonic red alert. (Photo by Richard BOUHET / AFP) (Photo by RICHARD BOUHET/AFP via Getty Images)
Pedestrians look at the Maurician oil tanker Tresta Star, stranded on Tremblet coast in Saint-Philippe, south-east of the French Indian Ocean island of La Réunion, on 4 February 2022. The tanker became stranded after the tropical cyclone Batsirai hit the area. Photo by Richard Bouhet/AFP/Getty Images

Fully immersed

People visit an immersive multimedia art exhibition at Arte Museum in Gangneung, South Korea, 6 February 2022. The exhibition presents artworks around the theme of 'Eternal Nature' through a mixture of light and sound, providing visitors an immersive experience of art. Photo by Xinhua/Shutterstock

Got my eye on you

Forest Eye UK
An aerial view, taken on 8 February 2022, shows the layout for 'The Forest Eye', set to be the largest living forest feature in Dalby Forest near Scarborough, United Kingdom. 5,000 beech, alder and maple trees have been planted in the shape of a child's eye in an initiative by Forestry England, arts organisation Sand In Your Eye and the Environment Agency. The forest will be visible from the air in six years, as the trees mature and are managed as an integral part of Dalby Forest. Photo by Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Window on the world

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei peers at the Earth below from inside the seven-windowed cupola, the International Space Station's window to the world. Just outside the cupola is the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship docked to the Rassvet module. Vande Hei is slated to become the U.S. record holder for most time spent in space. He arrived on station on April 9, 2021, and is scheduled to depart on March 30, 2022. Photo by NASA
In this image, released on 9 February 2022, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei peers at the Earth below from inside the International Space Station's seven-windowed cupola. Just outside the cupola is the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship docked to the Rassvet module. Vande Hei is slated to become the U.S. record holder for most time spent in space. He arrived at the station on 9 April 2021, and is scheduled to depart on 30 March 2022. Photo by NASA

Just popped up to say hello

TOPSHOT - This photograph taken on February 10, 2022 shows an aerial view of the partially submerged Church of Sant Roma, visible due to the low water level of the Sau reservoir, in Vilanova de Sau, Catalonia. (Photo by Aitor De ITURRIA / AFP) (Photo by AITOR DE ITURRIA/AFP via Getty Images)
This photograph taken on 10 February 2022, shows an aerial view of the partially submerged Church of Sant Romà, visible due to the low water level of the Sau Reservoir, in Vilanova de Sau, Catalonia, Spain. Photo by Aitor De Iturria/AFP/Getty Images

A fish from the heart

A 'biohybrid' fish, made from human cardiac cells, swims like the heart beats in this demonstration. Photo by Michael Rosnach/Keel Yong Lee/Sung-Jin Park/Kevin Kit Parker
Harvard University researchers in the USA, in collaboration with colleagues from Emory University, have developed the first fully autonomous 'biohybrid' fish from human stem cell-derived cardiac muscle cells. The artificial fish swims by recreating the muscle contractions of a pumping heart, bringing researchers one step closer to developing a more complex artificial muscular pump and providing a platform to study heart disease like arrhythmia. Photo by Michael Rosnach/Keel Yong Lee/Sung-Jin Park/Kevin Kit Parker

Bird song

Multicolored Tanager singing
A multicoloured tanager (Chlorochrysa nitidissima) is photographed at the Cloud Forest of San Antonio, in the rural area of Cali, department of Valle del Cauca, Colombia, on 11 February 2022. A route was created for people with visual disabilities in the Cloud Forest of San Antonio, to help them learn about birds through their song, and to have a sensory experience with the forest. Colombia has the widest diversity of birds on the planet. Photo by Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

Come into prominence

Solar_Orbiter_captures_giant_solar_eruption
The Full Sun Imager of the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager on board the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter spacecraft captured a giant solar eruption on 15 February 2022. Solar prominences are large structures made of tangled magnetic field lines that keep dense concentrations of solar plasma suspended above the Sun’s surface and often take the form of arching loops. Photo by Solar Orbiter/EUI Team/ESA/NASA

Sparks will fly

Lunar new year
A blacksmith throws molten metal to create a shower of sparks, on the eve of the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the Lunar New Year celebrations, at a park in Beijing, China on 15 February 2022. Photo by Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

Baby (ghost) shark

Photo by Dr Brit Finucci/NIWA
Scientists in New Zealand have discovered a rare baby ghost shark, as shown in this image released on 16 February 2022. This rare species of fish lives in the shadowy depths of the ocean. The newly-hatched shark was collected underwater, at a depth of about 1.2km (0.7 miles) near the South Island. Scientists say the discovery will help them to understand the juvenile stage of the species. Photo by Dr Brit Finucci/NIWA

Winging it

A top view shows the wing loading test configuration of a F/A-18E from the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) in Patuxent River, Maryland. While the aircraft was in NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center Flight Loads Laboratory in Edwards, California, it underwent the center’s biggest load calibrations tests. That testing was needed before the aircraft could serve as a test vehicle for determining if it could safely manage maneuvers and proposed upgrades. Photo by:NASA/Joshua Fisher
This image, released on 16 February 2022, shows a wing-loading test configuration of a F/A-18E plane from the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) taking place in Patuxent River, Maryland, USA. While the aircraft was in NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center Flight Loads Laboratory in Edwards, California, it underwent the centre’s biggest load calibrations tests. Photo by NASA/Joshua Fisher

Rainbow-powered

A rainbow is seen behind wind turbines near Breuna, western Germany on February 17, 2022. - In order to meet climate protection goals, Germany needs to drastically ramp up renewable energy projects in the coming years, the country's Climate and Energy minister says. Germany's coalition government made up of the Social Democrats, the Greens and the pro-business FDP party aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. Also by 2030, the country wants to exit coal and have renewables account for 80 percent of Germany's electricity mix. The share of renewable energies currently hovers at just over 40 percent in Germany, in part because the country still relies heavily on coal as a result of former German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to phase out nuclear power by the end of 2022. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
A rainbow is seen behind wind turbines near Breuna, western Germany on 17 February 2022. In order to meet climate protection goals, Germany needs to drastically ramp up renewable energy projects in the coming years, the country's Climate and Energy minister says. By 2030, the country wants to stop using coal and have renewables account for 80 per cent of Germany's electricity mix. The share of renewable energies currently hovers at just over 40 per cent in Germany. Photo by Ina Fassbender/AFP/Getty Images

Branching out

Aerial photography of the river branches on the riverbed after the water level of the Yellow River drops, Yuncheng City, Shanxi Province, China, February 17, 2022. (Photo credit should read Costfoto/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Aerial photography of the river branches on the riverbed after the water level of the Yellow River dropped, Yuncheng City, Shanxi Province, China, 17 February 2022. Photo by Costfoto/Future Publishing/Getty Images

A port in a storm

Porthcawl storm Eunice
People watch as waves crash against the sea wall at Porthcawl, South Wales, United Kingdom, on 18 February 2022 as Storm Eunice brought high winds across the country. Weather forecasters issued two rare 'red weather' warnings of danger to life from fearsome winds and flooding due to the approaching Storm Eunice. Photo by Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images

More great images from BBC Science Focus:

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Visit from the storks

storks plastic landfill
Storks are shown gathered over plastic recyclable material at the Tovlan landfill in the Jordan Valley, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on 18 February 2022. Photo by Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

Dark clouds

CATANIA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 21: Aerial view of the Etna volcano eruption seen from the city of Catania with a 10 km high ash cloud on February 21, 2022 in Catania, Italy. A new eruption of Etna with lava fountains over the top of the volcano reaching a height of 10 thousand metres. The winds disperse the pyroclastic material and black sand towards the south east. This is the second eruptive episode in 2022. (Photo by Fabrizio Villa/Getty Images)
Mount Etna is seen here during an eruption on 21 February 2022 in Catania, Italy. The winds dispersed the 10km high ash cloud and pyroclastic material towards the southeast of the area. This was the second eruptive episode of Etna so far in 2022. Photo by Fabrizio Villa/Getty Images

Off to see the sea

TOPSHOT - Baby sea turtles heads towards the sea during the sunset at Lhoknga beach in Aceh province on February 21, 2022. (Photo by CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP) (Photo by CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP via Getty Images)
Baby sea turtles head towards the sea during the sunset at Lhoknga Beach in Aceh Province, Indonesia, on 21 February 2022. Photo by Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/Getty Images

Backlit waterfall

Firefall Yosemite
'Firefall' is seen at Yosemite National Park on 23 February 2022 in Yosemite, California, USA. This small waterfall usually only flows during the winter months, and on rare occasions during February it can glow orange when it is backlit by sunset. This unique lighting effect only happens on evenings with a clear sky when the waterfall is flowing. Photo by Liao Pan/China News Service/Getty Images

In my defence

Personnel from the Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) wade through flood water in Bewdley to check on the welfare of residents after the River Severn breached defences on February 23, 2022 in Bewdley, Worcestershire. Police declared a major incident here over concerns the River Severn could breach its flood barriers. England has been hit by three named storms in a week's time, most recently Storm Franklin. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Personnel from the Severn Area Rescue Association wade through floodwater in Bewdley to check on the welfare of residents after the River Severn breached defences on 23 February 2022 in Bewdley, Worcestershire, United Kingdom. Police declared a major incident here over concerns the River Severn could breach its flood barriers. England was hit by three named storms in a week, most recently Storm Franklin. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Surf's really up

People watch a big surfer riding a wave during a surfing session at Praia do Norte on February 25, 2022 in Nazare, Portugal. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)
People watch a surfer riding a huge wave during a surfing session at Praia do Norte on 25 February 2022 in Nazare, Portugal. Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Jumping for joy

A picture taken on February 25, 2022, shows a male infant rhinoceros, born on February 18, in its enclosure at the Amneville zoological park, in Amneville, eastern France. - Its the third birth white rhinoceros born in the last four months at the zoo. (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP via Getty Images)
A picture taken on 25 February 2022, shows a male infant rhinoceros, in its enclosure at the Amneville zoological park, in Amneville, France. It is the third birth of a white rhinoceros in the last four months at the zoo. Photo by Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP/Getty Images

Bubble tea/dinner

In this long exposure picture, staff members from the Hoshinoya Tokyo hotel demonstrate the 'Lantern Dining Experience', where lanterns made by Kojima Shoten are used to shroud diners for mask-free dining amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, during a media event at the hotel in Tokyo, Japan on 28 February 2022. Photo by Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

Authors

James CutmorePicture Editor, BBC Science Focus

James Cutmore is the picture editor of BBC Science Focus Magazine, researching striking images for the magazine and on the website. He is also has a passion for taking his own photographs

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