Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
Manhattanhenge New York sunrise

Superbubbles, electric planes and Manhattanhenge: 23 great images of the month November 2021

Published: 30th November, 2021 at 11:00
Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

Electric planes and amazing sunrises. Take a look at the best photos in science this month.

As the end of the year approaches, there is always a tendency to look back before we start to look forward.

Advertisement

There is no doubt that this year has been tough, with an ongoing global pandemic never far from everybody's thoughts.

However, 2021 has also been a year of renewed optimism. With the recent COP26 summit in the UK, and the plethora of new efficient and environmentally friendly technologies coming to the fore, there is certainly hope that we can act to avert a major climate catastrophe.

From the world's fastest electric vehicle (possibly) to dancing drones, this is November in images.

I spy a superbubble

Photo by NASA/Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope image of N44, a complex nebula filled with glowing hydrogen gas, dark lanes of dust, massive stars, and many populations of stars of different ages. One of its most distinctive features, however, is the dark, starry gap called a 'superbubble'. The hole is about 250 light-years wide and its presence is still something of a mystery. N44 spans about 1,000 light-years and is about 170,000 light-years away from Earth. Photo by NASA/ESA/V Ksoll/D Gouliermis/Gladys Kober/Hubble Space Telescope

Finding the lost one

Professor Lee Berger shows a full-scale reproduction of the skull of a hominid named Leti, named after a Setswana word 'letimela' meaning 'the lost one'. The skull was found inside the Rising Star Cave System at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site near Maropeng, South Africa, on 4 November 2021. The latest find adds to the riddle surrounding Homo naledi; a species of Stone Age hominids discovered less than a decade ago in a region called the Cradle of Humankind, named after the stunning fossils unearthed there. Photo by Luca Sola/AFP/Getty Images

Electric Spitfire

World's fastest electric plane
Steve Jones, a test pilot for Rolls-Royce, flies one of the world's fastest electric planes, 'Spirit of Innovation' over Boscombe Down, United Kingdom, on 4 November 2021. During recent flights, the plane clocked up a maximum speed of 623km/h, which Rolls-Royce claim makes the plane the world’s fastest all-electric vehicle. Photo by Rolls-Royce

Marching for change

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto/Shutterstock (12590231ac) Friday for Future Climate protestors take part in a climate protest as they march though the city centre on November 05, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Thousands of people across the world are taking part in the Global Youth Strike For Climate on day six of the COP 26 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Cop26 - Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom - 05 Nov 2021
Friday for Future Climate protestors take part in a climate protest as they march though the city centre on 5 November 2021 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. Thousands of people across the world took part in the Global Youth Strike For Climate during day six of the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Snow steps

This aerial photo taken on 7 November 2021 shows terraced fields after a snowfall in Handan in China's northern Hebei province. - China OUT (Photo by AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
This aerial photo taken on 7 November 2021 shows terraced fields after a snowfall in Handan, in China's northern Hebei province. Photo by AFP/Getty Images

Robots (kind of) in disguise

BANTUL, YOGYAKARTA - NOVEMBER 8: Workers make a replica of a robot from used motorcycle materials that are made into Robots at Er Studio Art, Bantul, Yogyakarta On November 8, 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic marked the beginning of innovation for Er Studio Art. Initially engaged in stage decoration and painting, now it has expanded to making robotic replicas. Sales of robots from motorcycle parts, apart from the domestic market, have also penetrated China and Germany. The price offered for this 3 meter high robot is in the price range of Rp. 60 million. For one standing robot, it requires 5 used motors with a duration of one month. (Photo by Dasril Roszandi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Workers make a replica of a robot from used motorcycle materials that are made into Robots at Er Studio Art, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on 8 November 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic marked the beginning of innovation for Er Studio Art. Initially engaged in stage decoration and painting, now it has expanded to making robotic replicas. Photo by Dasril Roszandi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Blue waters

Image of the beautiful clear water around the Bahamas taken from the ISS
This image was taken from the International Space Station on the 8 November 2021, and shows the beautiful blue-green waters around the Bahamas. Photo by NASA

Back down to Earth

European Space Agency astronaut France's Thomas Pesquet gives a press statement at the Cologne Bonn Airport in Cologne, western Germany, on November 9, 2021, upon arrival following the landing of the SpaceX capsule overnight off the coast of Florida carrying him and three other astronauts who had spent six months on the International Space Station (ISS). (Photo by Bernd Lauter / AFP) (Photo by BERND LAUTER/AFP via Getty Images)
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet gives a press statement at the Cologne Bonn Airport in Cologne, western Germany, on 9 November 2021, upon arrival following the landing of the SpaceX capsule overnight off the coast of Florida. Pesquet, of France, and three other astronauts had spent six months on the International Space Station. Photo by Bernd Lauter/AFP/Getty Images

Zero emission life-saver

A hydrogen powered zero emission ambulance is displayed on 10 November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. Day eleven of the COP26 summit in Glasgow focused on driving the global transition to zero-emission transport. This was the 26th 'Conference of the Parties' and represented a gathering of all the countries signed on to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Climate Agreement. The aim of COP26 was to commit countries to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Check out more of our image galleries:

Advertisement

Turkish drought

Exposed shoreline Keban Dam Lake showing draught effects in Turkey
A drone photo shows an aerial view of an island on Keban Dam Lake, in the Pertek district of Tunceli, Turkey on 11 November 2021. Trees have been planted here to try to reduce drought and erosion. Photo by Sidar Can Eren/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Cold as ice

ATTENTION: This Image is part of a PHOTO SET Mandatory Credit: Photo by VALENTIN FLAURAUD/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (12602438ad) Hikers visit an ice cave formed at the end section of the Zinal glacier, above the alpine village of Zinal, Switzerland, 13 November 2021. Over the last 60 years the overall glacier volume in Switzerland has shrunk by almost 50 percent loosing between 2 percent and 3 percent volume per year over the last four years according to the GLAMOS (Glacier Monitoring in Switzerland project). Overall glacier volume in Switzerland has shrunk, Zinal - 13 Nov 2021
Hikers visit an ice cave formed at the end section of the Zinal glacier, above the alpine village of Zinal, Switzerland, 13 November 2021. Over the last 60 years the overall glacier volume in Switzerland has shrunk by almost 50 per cent, losing between 2 per cent and 3 per cent volume per year over the last four years according to the GLAMOS (Glacier Monitoring in Switzerland) project. Photo by Valentin Flauraud/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Hide and seek

A worker in Antalya, Turkey is seen taking a rest in a recycling plant, on 14 November 2021. The company works to a 'zero waste' plan, and turns wastes such as plastic and packaging into raw materials. This process then can transform this material into a new product. Photo by Mustafa Ciftci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A wee bit crabby?

An aerial photo taken on 16 November 2021 shows colourful metasequoia trees harvesting at Crab Breeding Base in Suqian City, Jiangsu Province, China. (Photo credit should read Zhang Lianhua / Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
An aerial photo taken on 16 November 2021 shows colourful metasequoia trees harvesting at a crab breeding base in Suqian City, Jiangsu Province, China. Photo by Zhang Lianhua/Costfoto/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

Cleaning spray

Anti Smog Gun spray water to reduce Smog at Mathura Road near Pragati Maidan construction site on November 16, 2021 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
An anti-smog gun spraying water to settle dust and other particles, reducing air pollution at Mathura Road near Pragati Maidan construction site on 16 November 2021 in New Delhi, India. Photo by Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

Road to ruin

Photo by Canadian Press/Shutterstock (12608587ae) Damage caused by heavy rains and mudslides earlier in the week is pictured along the Coquihalla Highway near Hope, B.C., Thursday, November 18, 2021. Bc Flooding, Coquihalla Highway, Canada - 18 Nov 2021
Damage caused by heavy rains and mudslides earlier in the week is pictured along the Coquihalla Highway near Hope, B.C., Canada. Thursday, November 18, 2021. Photo by Canadian Press/Shutterstock

Cave museum

ESA Pangaea Rocky road Lanzarote
Participants of ESA’s Pangaea course pictured on the 19 November 2021, visiting the Corona lave tube in Lanzarote, Spain. ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, ESA engineer Robin Eccleston and NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins are this year’s students learning from geologists right here on Earth how to best explore the Moon and Mars right here on Earth. Lanzarote’s volcanic landscapes are exceptionally well-preserved, and the long history of geological activity make it a unique open-air museum. Here, basaltic lava flows resemble vast plains on the lunar maria and volcanoes are similar to those in some regions of Mars. Photo by A Romeo/ESA

An ice day for a swim

This aerial photo taken on November 22, 2021 shows a winter swimming enthusiast swiming in a partly frozen lake during snowfall at a park in Shenyang, in northeastern China's Liaoning province. - China OUT (Photo by AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
This aerial photo taken on 22 November 2021 shows a winter swimming enthusiast swimming in a partly frozen lake during snowfall at a park in Shenyang, in northeastern China's Liaoning province. Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images

Wildlife crossing

An aerial view of Istanbul-Izmir Highway and an ecological overpass as it was environmentally friendly constructed and reduces commute to 3.5 hours between Istanbul and Izmir, on November 22, 2021, in Bursa, Turkey. The highway links 6 provinces and designed to not to intervene in wild life with two ecological overpasses so that wild animals could continue their lives without being interrupted. The project also ensures the continuity of the species. (Photo by Ali Atmaca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
An aerial view of Istanbul-Izmir Highway and an ecological overpass between Istanbul and Izmir, on 22 November 2021, in Bursa, Turkey. The highway links six provinces and designed to not to intervene in wildlife with two ecological overpasses so that wild animals could continue their lives without being interrupted. Photo by Ali Atmaca/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

It's all relative

theory of general relativity draft paper Albert Einstein
A picture taken on 22 November 2021 shows pages of one of the preparatory manuscript to the theory of General Relativity of Albert Einstein, during their presentation a day before being auctioned at Christie's auction house in Paris, France. Photo by Alain Jocard/ AFP/Getty Images

Copy cat shuttle

Buran spacecraft at Baikonur Cosmodrome
A mock-up of the Buran Soviet/Russian reusable space shuttle is shown on display at the Baikonur Cosmodrome History Museum, 23 November 2021. Buran was launched on the Energia rocket carrier on 15 November 1988, orbited the around Earth twice and landed at the Yubileiny airfield at Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The spacecraft that actually flew to space was destroyed in a hangar roof collapse in 2002. Photo by Sergei Savostyanov/TASS/Getty Images

Manhattanhenge

The sun rises above 42nd Street during a reverse 'Manhattanhenge' in New York, New York photographed from Weehawken, New Jersey on November 24, 2021. - 'Manhattanhenge' is a phenomenon during which the setting sun or the rising sun is aligned with the eastwest streets of the main street grid of Manhattan, New York City. (Photo by Yuki IWAMURA / AFP) (Photo by YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)
The sun rises above 42nd Street during 'Manhattanhenge' in New York, New York photographed from Weehawken, New Jersey on 24 November 2021. This is the phenomenon during which the setting Sun or the rising Sun is aligned with the east-west streets of the main street grid of Manhattan, New York City, USA. Photo by Yuki Iwamura/AFP/Getty Images

Dancing drones

Musicians play as a squad of drones flies synchronized with the music during a drone show at Medellin's Tech Fest in Medellin, Colombia on November 26, 2021. (Photo by JOAQUIN SARMIENTO / AFP) (Photo by JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP via Getty Images)
Musicians play as a squad of drones fly synchronised with the music during a drone show at Medellin's Tech Fest in Colombia on 26 November 2021. Photo by Joaquin Sarmiento/AFP/Getty Images

Storm Arwen pounds the UK

Huge waves crash over sea wall in Hartlepool Storm Arwen
Storm Arwen batters the Northeast coast, causing big waves to crash against the Heugh breakwater in Hartlepool, County Durham, United Kingdom on Saturday 27th November 2021. Photo by MI News/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

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

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content