This week, the UK endured a record-breaking heatwave which has also been affecting vast swathes of Europe, with numerous damaging wildfires affecting many countries, including France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy. Temperatures in the UK hit 40°C in a number of locations, while in Portugal, a temperature of 47°C was recorded.


In happier news, three critically endangered Sumatran tiger cubs made their first public appearance this week at London Zoo. The tigers, who are on the IUCN red list of threatened animals, are so far developing well.

If you are a fan of stargazing, or even just looking to make a wish or two, the Perseid meteor shower started this week, and should be visible for a number of weeks.

Kicking us off

Robot football
A robot kicks a football during a match at RoboCup 2022, a robotics and artificial intelligence event in Bangkok, Thailand, on 16 July 2022. Photo by Jack Taylor/AFP/Getty Images

Plastic not fantastic

Plastic pollution exhibition
People walk through an exhibition that simulates sea pollution, during the Technopolis science, technology, industry and art exhibition in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 17 July 2022. Photo by Natacha Pisarenko/AP/Shutterstock

No touching policy

A photograph shows a mauve stinger jellyfish (Pelagia noctiluca) on the French riviera city of Nice, on 17 July 2022. These jellyfish are small, yet covered in many stinging cells that can cause pain long after contact. They can also be damaging to tourism, emptying beaches if they appear in large numbers. Photo by Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

Dry land

low water level UK
An aerial picture shows the falling water level at Weir Wood reservoir, near Crawley, UK, on 17 July 2022. This week, the UK's meteorological agency issued its first ever red warning for exceptional heat, with the temperature reaching record highs of 40°C. Photo by Daniel Leal/AFP/Getty Images

Horse power

solar farm shaped like horse
Aerial photo taken on 17 July 2022 shows the Steed Power Station of Tianci Lake solar power plant, situated in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia, China. The plant consists of 196,300 photovoltaic panels. Photo by CFOTO/Future Publishing/Getty Images


Forest fire trees France
A photo shows a forest fire in Louchats, south-western France, on 17 July 2022. A heatwave across Europe has caused many wildfires in France, Spain, Italy and Greece, causing extensive damage to property and wildlife. Photo by Thibaud Moritz/AFP/Getty Images

Flying high

Flyboard over pool
This photo, taken on 18 July 2022, shows people watching a flyboard performance as they cool off in a pool to escape the hot weather at a water park in Huaian, in China's eastern Jiangsu province. Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images

More images from Science Focus:


Ready to sample Mars

Robotic arm for Mars
The mission to return Martian samples back to Earth will see a European 2.5m robotic arm pick up tubes filled with precious soil from Mars, and transfer them to a rocket for an historic interplanetary delivery. The sophisticated robot, known as the Sample Transfer Arm, as seen in this image released on 19 July 2022, will play a crucial role in the success of the Mars Sample Return campaign. The joint endeavour between NASA and ESA aims to bring martian samples to Earth by 2033. Photo by Leonardo/Maxon/GMV/OHB Italia/SAB Aerospace SRO/ESA

Time to say hello

Sumatran tiger cubs
Three critically endangered Sumatran tiger cubs born in June at ZSL London Zoo, UK, roll in soft straw and snuggle up to mum Gaysha in their Tiger Territory home, on 21 July 2022. The cubs remained inside the Zoo’s behind-the-scenes cubbing den for the first few weeks of their lives, before recent warm weather prompted Gaysha to bring them outside. Photo by George Cuevas/ZSL London Zoo

Starry starry night

starry sky
This long-exposure picture, taken early on 21 July 2022, shows a view of the Milky Way galaxy in the sky above the cedar forest reserve, also known as the Cedars of God, near the town of Bcharre in mount Lebanon, north of the capital Beirut. Photo by Ibrahim Chalhoub/AFP/Getty Images

Virtual fireworks

virtual fireworks
Attendees holding lanterns look at digitally projected images of fireworks on a stone wall during a preview of the Naked Summer Festival at Nijo-jo Castle, on 21 July 2022 in Kyoto, Japan. The combined displays of art installations using projection mapping and virtual events in the metaverse will be held at the UNESCO-listed historic castle until August. Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images


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