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The best science and technology pictures of the week

  • Trail to the heavens
    The European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 rocket launches from Kourou, French Guiana. It will resupply the ISS with more than six tonnes of stores. (Copyright: ESA/Getty Images)
  • Hauled from the deep
    Kent Williams sticks his hand into a Mako shark's mouth. The possibly record-setting 600kg shark was landed after a two-and-a-half-hour battle off California. (Copyright: AP)
  • Sunburst in space
    The sun’s rays are caught by a member of the International Space Station as it orbits above the United States. (Copyright: Nasa/Reuters)
  • Out for the count
    In south Sudan, a twig keeps an elephant’s trunk open while a GPS collar is attached. The poacher-threatened animals are being tracked to gauge their numbers. (Copyright: Reuters)
  • Magnetic presence
    The new maglev train "L0 series" on an experimental track in Tsuru, Japan. Central Japan Railway aims to launch the service between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027. (Copyright: Getty)
  • Burst banks
    The eastern German city of Riesa lies flooded after heavy rain. The Elbe and Vltava rivers flooded, causing death and damage across central Europe. (Copyright: AFP/Getty Images)
  • Fiery forest
    Flames erupt from a forest fire near Lake Hughes, California. Covering nearly 80 square kilometres, it was fought by more than 1,000 firefighters. (Copyright: Getty Images)
  • Down to the ground
    The Solar Impulse aircraft in a special inflatable hangar at Lambert-St Louis International Airport in Missouri, after a flight from Dallas, Texas. (Copyright: Reuters)
  • Kings of the dump
    A line of Greater Adjutant storks stand on a garbage dump on the outskirts of Gauhati, India. The once-common birds are declining because of habitat and food loss. (Copyright: AP)
  • Aerial control
    A firefighting helicopter drops fire retardant at the ongoing 30,000 acre blaze near Lake Hughes, California. (Copyright: Getty Images)
The most impressive pictures from the last seven days, including rockets, superfast trains, and close encounters with elephants and sharks.

More stunning image galleries:

Fire-fighting from the skies and an animatronic King Kong

Dancing robots, a pair of MiGs and a topsy-turvy tiger

A drone at sea, a curious lemur and a dramatic landing from space

Tiny robots, printable guns and a sunken German bomber

Dramatic storms, face transplants and a pensive gorilla

Space, bionic limbs and robot protests

Rubber wastelands, a trip to a taxidermist and hurricane testing labs

Flu scares, robot surgery and the untouched planet

Cars in flight, active volcanoes and an enormous tarantula

Giant eggs, natural born killers and a musical use for gun parts

The universe’s earliest light, zero gravity and a macaque with hayfever

Comets, the world’s largest astronomical project and a lagoon of death

Biblical swarms, reaching out into space, and jumping rats

Deep sea beauty, giant drilling machines and hypnotic space telescopes

Stunning views of Earth and up close and personal with a human parasite

Russian meteor, extreme weather and a turtle with artificial fins

Cosmic storms, the first bionic man and how to clean a oil-covered bird

Birth of stars, life at sub-zero temperatures and micro-living in the city

Pollution from space, active volcanoes and a robot restaurant

Amazing Lego sculptures, freakish weather… and Big Bird

Gruesome tools, environmental disasters and intimate views from space. 

Christmas treats and the end of the world

Bathing snow monkeys, a tweeting pope and elephant dung coffee.

Architectural giants and a new way of seeing the Moon

Red pandas, Saturn and Nature’s unstoppable forces

The world's largest bloom, the world's largest aquarium and the world's fastest sailing boat

Venice under water, a total eclipse and a pedestrian-avoiding car

Space shuttle, Baumgartner and Hurricane Sandy

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