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Unusual sand storms, cute sloths and low tides in Venice: The best science images in March

Published: 01st April, 2022 at 18:00
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Take a look at the best science images from the last month.

March has been and gone, and with that in mind, we bring you our favourite images in science from the past month. This batch is a real mix, from African sand storms being blown across Europe, to the low tides and lack of water in Venice bringing canal traffic to a standstill.


In the UK, we bathed in some unseasonably warm weather, and then shivered as random snow started to fall.

Meanwhile, the James Webb Space Telescope started to produce its first correctly-aligned image, which has ramped-up anticipation of the amazing images it will start to produce later this year.


Beachgoers look on as the Atlas V rocket carrying the GOES-T weather satellite launches from Space Launch Complex 41 in Cocoa Beach, Florida, USA on 1 March 2022. Photo by Marco Bello/AFP/Getty Images

I'm bringing leatherback

A man holds a leatherback sea turtle hatchling before its release into the sea at Lhoknga beach, Aceh province, Indonesia on 2 March 2022. Photo by Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/Getty Images

Virtual insanity

Tech Show VR
A exhibition attendee trying a VR experience with the Meta Oculus Quest 2 headset at the SK telecom stand during the Mobile World Congress, the biggest trade show of the sector focused on mobile devices. Photographed on 3 March 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. Photo by Joan Cros/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Pretty kitty

leopard cub
A Nature Conservation Agency officer holds a leopard cub as it is displayed along with other animals during a press conference in Surabaya on 4 March 2022, after the organisation and the police arrested a group of wildlife traffickers. Photo by Juni Kriswanto/AFP/Getty Images

I feel alive!

International Robot Exhibition
A Kawada Robotics Co. Nextage Fillie robot during a demonstration at the International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo, Japan, on 9 March 2022. Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Happy Holi-day

Holi celebrations
Hindu devotees smeared in colours take part in a traditional gathering during the Laddu Holi celebrations, the spring festival of colours at a temple in Barsana village of India's Uttar Pradesh state on 10 March 2022. Photo by AFP/Getty Images

An untangled Webb

On 11 March 2022, the James Webb Space Telescope team completed the stage of mirror alignment known as 'fine phasing'. In doing so, the telescope produced this image of a star, catchily named 2MASS J17554042+6551277. Although there are months to go before Webb ultimately delivers its new view of the cosmos, achieving this milestone means the team is confident that the telescope's first-of-its-kind optical system is working as well as possible. Photo by NASA/ESA/Canadian Space Agency

Lava flow

volcano Mount Merapi eruption
Lava flows down from the crater of Indonesia's most active volcano Mount Merapi, seen from Kedungsriti in Sleman, outside Yogyakarta on 11 March 2022. Photo by Devi Rahman/AFP/Getty Images

Shifting sands part 1

sand storm
A vehicle covered with sub-Saharan dust, on 15 March 2022 in Madrid, Spain. The unusual meteorological phenomenon was generated by a high amount of dust in suspension coming from the Sahara. This also caused a decrease in air quality as well as sand in the streets, a reddish sky and rising temperatures. Photo By Eduardo Parra/Europa Press/Getty Images

Shifting sands part 2

This photograph taken on 15 March 2022 shows sand from the Sahara that fell overnight covering the snow, in Piau-Engaly ski resort, southern France. Orange cars, dusty subway corridors, a blocked and yellowish horizon: a thin layer of sand from the Sahara fell on the night of 14 March 2022 in Madrid and a large area of Spain, as well as reaching parts of France. Photo by Bastien Arberet/AFP/Getty Images

Tide isn't high

The low tide in Venice, Italy, has been causing problems to navigation in the city, as can be seen in this image taken on 17 March 2022. In recent years Venice has experienced a series of exceptionally low tides that has seen many of its famous canals run dry. Climate change and subsidence are cited as two major factors in this phenomenon. Photo by Stefano Mazzola/Getty Images

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Lighting up the sky

In this image, released on 21 March 2022, powerful laser beams leave a telescope at ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) complex. The lasers were emitted into the upper layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, about 90 kilometres from the ground. The colour of the lasers is tuned to excite these atoms, making them shine brightly, like stars. Astronomers then use these artificial stars to calculate the blurring effect that Earth’s turbulent atmosphere creates on the light from astronomical objects. A deformable mirror uses this information to correct this blur in real time with a technique known as 'adaptive optics', which leads to much sharper observations. Photo by ESO/A. Ghizzi Panizza

Above the clouds

Hong Kong Fog
People take photographs of fog shrouding commercial buildings including The Centre and International Finance Centre in Hong Kong on 22 March 2022. Photo by Dale De La Rey/AFP/Getty Images

Bottle bank

Art installation used plastic
People walk through an art installation made from plastic water bottles as part of an awareness drive on World Water Day in Malang, East Java, Indonesia on 22 March 2022. Photo by Aman Rochman/AFP/Getty Images

Good doggy

Aibo robot dog
A visitor interacts with a Sony 'Aibo' robot dog during the 'You and Robots - What is it to be Human?' exhibition at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, Japan on 22 March 2022. Photo by Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

Giga what?

A newly-completed Tesla electric car emerges at the official opening of the new Tesla electric car manufacturing plant on 22 March 2022. The factory, near Gruenheide, Germany, is officially called the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg. The plant will produce the Model Y as well as electric car batteries. Photo by Christian Marquardt/Getty Images

Happy mother's day!

Sloths kissing
In this image, released on the 23 March 2022, five-month-old two-toed sloth Terry shares a tender moment with mum, Marilyn at London Zoo UK. Children and adults alike across the country prepared to celebrate their own mums on Mothering Sunday. Photo by ZSL London Zoo

Dry spell

Utah Drought
Low water levels are visible at the Wahweap Boat Rental marina at Lake Powell on 27 March 2022 in Big Water, Utah, USA. As severe drought gripped parts of the western United States, water levels at Lake Powell dropped to their lowest level since the lake was created by the damming the Colorado River in 1963. Lake Powell is currently at 25 per cent of capacity, a historic low, and has also lost at least 7 per cent of its total capacity. The Colorado River Basin connects Lake Powell and Lake Mead and supplies water to 40 million people in seven western states. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Bloomin' beautiful

Cherry Blossoms
A woman photographs cherry blossom shortly after its bloom on 27 March 2022 in Tokyo, Japan. The Japanese have a long-held tradition of enjoying the blooming of cherry blossoms. The blossom is deeply symbolic and only lasts for around one week and marks the beginning of spring. It is claimed that the short-lived existence of the blossom taps into a long-held appreciation of the beauty of the fleeting nature of life, as echoed across the nations cultural heritage. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images

Honey to the bee

In this photo, taken on the 27 March 2022, giant honey bees (Apis dorsata) gather on a tree in Tehatta, India. Many crops in southern Asia like cotton, mango, coconut, coffee, pepper, star fruit, and macadamia depend on the wild Apis dorsata pollination. These bees build open nests on tree branches or buildings, and a colony can store 4 to 6kg of honey. Photo by Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto /Getty Images

Your wish is my command

Warehouse robots
Warehouse robots at a demonstration of the soon-to-be-completed micro-fulfillment centre at the K-Citymarket Ruoholahti in Helsinki, Finland, on 30 March 2022. Photographer: Roni Rekomaa/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Up through the atmosphere

Blue Origin launch
A Blue Origin New Shepard rocket launches from Launch Site One in West Texas north of Van Horn, USA on 31 March 2022. The NS-20 mission carried Blue Origin's New Shepard chief architect Gary Lai, Marty Allen, Sharon Hagle, Marc Hagle, Jim Kitchen, and Dr George Nield into space. Photo by Patrick T Fallon/AFP/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


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