The Best Science Visualizations of the Year

Browse through the winning images that turn scientific exploration into art

To go backward in time, start at the far right side of this Cosmic Web poster, which represents the universe as it is today, scattered with galaxies. As you move to the left, you see earlier stages of the universe in which dark matter—a mysterious substance astronomers can detect only indirectly—was structured as webs and filaments. Before that, closer to the Big Bang, dark matter was dominated by tides and voids. (Image courtesy of Miguel Angel Aragon Calvo, Julieta Aguilera, Mark Subbarao)

Carbon Nanotubes

carbon nanotubes
(Image courtesy of Joel Brehm, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Office of Research and Economic Development)

Nanoengineering has made great progress since the first Bucky balls (soccer ball-shaped spheres). We now have nanofibers, hollow nanocages and molecule-thick sheets of graphene, all built on a billionth-of-a-meter scale. This honorable mention in the illustration category shows carbon nanotubes whose diameters can be manipulated from one end of the tube to the other.


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