BBC Future

The best science and technology pictures of the week

  • Fuel hardy
    A Nasa research aircraft descends into the exhaust plume of a DC-8 airliner in order to test emissions from both conventional and blended biofuels. (Nasa)
  • Touch type
    A model uses a smartphone controlled bionic hand (i-limb) made by Britain’s Touch Bionics to make a phone call during a trade fair in Leipzig, Germany. (AP)
  • Down to Earth
    Search and rescue teams approach a Russian Soyuz capsule carrying International Space Station (ISS) crew members Koichi Wakata, Mikhail Tyurin and Rick Mastracchio. (Nasa/Reuters)
  • Low pass
    A DC-10 water bomber drops fire-fighting chemicals over a bush fire in San Marcos, California. Thousands of people near San Diego had to leave their homes due to fires. (Reuters)
  • Bed test
    A student gives a bed bath to a mannequin used to help train carers for the elderly at a Catholic vocational centre in Berlin. (Getty Images)
  • Huggy bears
    Two brown bears embrace inside an enclosure at a bear park in Zarnesti, central Romania. The bears are some of many rescued from roadside stalls or restaurants. (Reuters)
  • Surreal sky
    A multi-layered lenticular cloud hangs over Mount Discovery, a volcano south-west of Antarctica’s McMurdo Sound research station. (Nasa)
  • Distant giant
    An artist’s impression of the planet GU Psc b, a gas giant 155 light years away, which has been added to the list of exoplanets discovered through direct imaging. (PA)
  • Marine mysteries
    By 3D printing shark skin, researchers have shown tiny tooth-like projections improve its swimming speed by 6%. (James Weaver)
  • Sweet release
    A green turtle is carried by Balinese men on Kuta beach before being released into sea. Indonesian police released 12 turtles which had been illegally captured. (AFP/Getty Images)
The most impressive pictures from the worlds of science and technology this week, from low-level aerial fire-fighting to a pair of hugging bears.

More galleries

Blazing skies and moody twisters

Blazing sky

Clouds lit up by the setting sun at Mollymook Beach on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. (Reuters)

Amazing air displays and breathtaking nature

flight

flight

Plane trails and tadpole stars

Sky lines

Contrails from jets flying overhead form a backdrop behind the National Museum of Art in Washington DC. (AP)

Volcanic plumes and home-made tanks

Tropical thunder

Ash rises into the sky from Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano near Banos, south of the capital Quito. The volcano has been classified as active since 1999. (Reuters)

Foggy landings and robot tackles

Foggy flyer

A plane comes in to land at Heathrow Airport, west London, during heavy fog caused by pollution and dust blown up from the Sahara Desert. (PA)

Space suit test and peeking penguins

Peek-a-boo

Gentoo penguins at the start of their breeding seasons at the Sea Life London Aquarium. (PA Wire)

Ocean secrets and the dawn of the Universe

Blue diamond

Four F/A-18s of the US Navy Blue Angels display team perform a close-formation aerobatics stunt during an air show in El Centro, California. (Imperial Valley Press/AP)

Sexy robots and an eerie whale

Sex machines

Two robots perform a cheeky pole dance on the eve of the CeBIT Technology Trade Fair in Hanover, Germany. (AFP/Getty Images)

Aurora mission and frozen falls

Awesome aurora 2

A Nasa rocket is launched into an aurora over the Alaskan village of Venetie. The rocket’s mission was to investigate “curls” – patterns showing magnetic activity. (Nasa/Reuters)

Leopard escape and London time travel

Bridging two worlds

George Davison Reid’s 1930 view of Tower Bridge is merged with a modern scene as part of an exhibit at the Museum of London. (GD Reid/Museum of London)

Iced-up airliners and a violent Sun

Melting moment

An airport worker sprays de-icing liquid onto a Boeing 737m, as China shivers during snowy winter weather. (Reuters)

Dancing F-16s and a view of the Universe

Aerial dance

Two F-16s of the Singaporean Air Force display team the Black Knights, captured during a performance at the Singapore Airshow. (AP)

A rocket’s slow crawl and a spectacular volcano

Slow crawl to the stars

A Russian Soyuz-U booster carrying an unmanned cargo spacecraft Progress M-22M heads to the launchpad at Baikonur, Kazakhstan. (AFP/Getty Images)

A lion's check up and a brain sculpture

Feline canines

A Kenya Wildlife Service team take measurements of a male lion’s teeth while they prepare to fit the animal with a GPS tracking collar in Nairobi National Park. (AP)

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