General, Research, Technology

Best Science Photos 2020

2020 is rich in scientific discoveries.And since there are discoveries, there are photographs. Every year, the editors of such respected magazines as Nature and National Geographic choose the best scientific photographs of the past years and 2020, despite numerous difficulties, is no exception. The pandemic of the new coronavirus has certainly become a serious problem for photographers, disrupting travel and generally making the usual work more dangerous. But despite COVID-19, the work of a huge number of brave and talented people allows us to enjoy photographs of asteroids, animals, embryos and even genetically modified squid! Moreover, 2020 reminded us that science is not just a collection of intriguing facts or mind-blowing technologies: it is a way of understanding the world around us, in which we are influenced by both achievements and mistakes. We invite our readers, together with the editors of, to enjoy the best scientific photographs of this historic year. Go!

Robotic arm in a robotics laboratoryand Biology of the Technical University of Berlin, using pneumatic fingers, he lifts a flower with human dexterity. Robots have never been so human-like.


  • 1 Clownfish embryo
  • 2 Red glow
  • 3 Consequences of COVID-19
  • 4 What does the surface of an asteroid look like?
  • 5 Invisible ink

Clown fish embryo

A photograph of the embryonic development of a clownfish embryo took second place in the 46th annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition.

Photographer Daniel Knop has put together fiveimages of a clownfish embryo to illustrate the stages of its development - from several hours after fertilization to several hours before hatching. The picture clearly shows how the Amphiprion percula embryo grows inside its egg. These amazingly detailed photographs were taken on the first, third, fifth and ninth days of its development. We believe that the image deservedly took second place in the 46th annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition.

Red glow

Fires in the state of Oregon in the past year have become the largest in recent history.

In the picture in front of you, a team of firefighters is looking for peoplein burnt houses in September of the outgoing year. A search and rescue team, surrounded by red fire retardant, searches for victims under burnt houses and cars after a fire on Almeda Street, Oregon, USA. Photo by Andrees Latif, Reuters.

2020 will definitely go down in history not onlyas a year that broke all imaginable and inconceivable temperature records, but also as a period of history, during which the planet was engulfed in previously unreleased fires. For example, this fall, the US state of Oregon experienced the most intense fire season in recent history. The flames raged across the state, killing 11 people and destroying at least 4,500 buildings.

This state, like others in the American West, inThere has been a longer and more severe fire season in recent years as climate change-related droughts and heat have made the landscape more prone to burning. Note that forest fires also raged in Siberia and the forests of the Amazon - the "lungs of the planet". Read more about the damage caused by these natural disasters in our material.

Interesting: Best Wildlife Photography 2019

Consequences of COVID-19

The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is not limited to humans. They are much more extensive and serious than it might seem. Photo by Mohd Rasfan, AFP.

In the captured image, macaques play with protectiveface mask left by a passerby in Genting Sempa, Malaysia on October 30, 2020. Face masks have become part of the daily life of many people in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. However, environmentalists fear that these disposable items are highly polluting. So, debris was found even in the Mariana Trench - the deepest place on the planet.

What does the surface of an asteroid look like?

The mysterious asteroid Bennu, as astronomers found out, fell into near-Earth space almost two million years ago.

The OSIRIS-REx interplanetary station was launched inSeptember 2016, she entered Bennu orbit at the end of December 2018. The main goal of the mission is to study an asteroid - a small celestial body from the Apollo group, discovered in 2013. Thanks to the data obtained, in the outgoing year, the researchers determined that the mysterious asteroid entered the near-earth space 1.75 million years ago, as described in an article published in Nature. In the picture in front of you, you can clearly see how on October 20, the spacecraft scoops up some material and, after a few seconds, flies away with rocks and dust, the age of which dates back to the birth of the solar system.

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Invisible ink

Here is a brood of colorless squid, photo by Karen Croyford. For the first time in history, geneticists managed to make squid transparent and even edit their genome.

In July, researchers at the Marine BiologicalLaboratories at the University of Chicago reported that they managed to do something incredible - to edit the genome of the cephalopods of the species Doryteuthis pealeii. In the course of the study, the CRISPR technique was applied, as a result of which the scientists were able to block one gene responsible for the pigmentation of animals. Successful results of the work also showed that genetically altered individuals lost up to 90% of the pigment on skin cells.