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Four pillars of light from the 4 Laser Guide Star Facility on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) are shown reaching into the Chilean night sky in this image from ESO Photo Ambassador Fred Kamphues, on September 2, 2016. The lasers are a key part of the adaptive optics system on the VLT. Adaptive optics allows astronomers to drastically reduce the atmospheric distortion present at even the best sites in the world for astronomy, including Paranal in Chile, the home of the VLT. (Photo by F. Kamphues/ESO)

Four pillars of light from the 4 Laser Guide Star Facility on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) are shown reaching into the Chilean night sky in this image from ESO Photo Ambassador Fred Kamphues, on September 2, 2016. The lasers are a key part of the adaptive optics system on the VLT. Adaptive optics allows astronomers to drastically reduce the atmospheric distortion present at even the best sites in the world for astronomy, including Paranal in Chile, the home of the VLT. (Photo by F. Kamphues/ESO)
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23 Feb 2017 00:06:00
This watering hole is the social hub of the veldt; the scrubby grasslands that stretch across Namibia. The scorched earth supports sometimes fragile populations of magnificent wildlife – from endangered predators to plentiful herds of game. But these gentle giraffes and elephants need to be careful: lions don’t sleep at night, they hunt! The spectacular starscape above southern Africa is unchanged since explorers first mapped the continent. The photographer, Pietro Olivetta from Italy, said he had to be patient to capture these shots – but it was worth the wait. (Photo by Pietro Olivetta/Caters News)

This watering hole is the social hub of the veldt; the scrubby grasslands that stretch across Namibia. The scorched earth supports sometimes fragile populations of magnificent wildlife – from endangered predators to plentiful herds of game. But these gentle giraffes and elephants need to be careful: lions don’t sleep at night, they hunt! The spectacular starscape above southern Africa is unchanged since explorers first mapped the continent. The photographer, Pietro Olivetta from Italy, said he had to be patient to capture these shots – but it was worth the wait. (Photo by Pietro Olivetta/Caters News)
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20 Feb 2017 00:05:00
Underwater photographer of the year – winner. Dancing Octopus by Gabriel Barathieu (France). Location: Island of Mayotte, off the coast of south-east Africa. “Balletic and malevolent”, one judge said of this octopus, hunting in a lagoon. Barathieu waited until spring tides when there was just 30cm of water on the flats and plenty of light in the shallows. (Photo by Gabriel Barathieu/UPY2017)

Underwater photographer of the year – winner. Dancing Octopus by Gabriel Barathieu (France). Location: Island of Mayotte, off the coast of south-east Africa. “Balletic and malevolent”, one judge said of this octopus, hunting in a lagoon. Barathieu waited until spring tides when there was just 30cm of water on the flats and plenty of light in the shallows. (Photo by Gabriel Barathieu/UPY2017)
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16 Feb 2017 00:06:00
Waves hit the seawall during heavy seas and high winds in Dawlish in south west Britain, February 2, 2017. (Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters)

Waves hit the seawall during heavy seas and high winds in Dawlish in south west Britain, February 2, 2017. (Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters)
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08 Feb 2017 00:05:00
Mount Sinabung releasing volcanic ash, on February 04, 2017 Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia. (Photo by Albert Damanik/Barcroft Images)

Mount Sinabung releasing volcanic ash, on February 04, 2017 Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia. (Photo by Albert Damanik/Barcroft Images)
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07 Feb 2017 00:06:00
People and sea-gulls bathe in the sea as the sun goes up with red colors in Stralsund close to the baltic sea island of Rügen, on early November 23, 2016. (Photo by Stefan Sauer/AFP Photo/DPA)

People and sea-gulls bathe in the sea as the sun goes up with red colors in Stralsund close to the baltic sea island of Rügen, on early November 23, 2016. (Photo by Stefan Sauer/AFP Photo/DPA)
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07 Feb 2017 00:01:00
Haley nears the top of the tree. (Photo by Steven Pearce/The Tree Projects/The Guardian)

The Tree Projects team spent 67 days documenting one eucalyptus regnans in the Styx valley of Tasmania. Using a combination of tree-climbing and elaborate arboreal rigging techniques, they produced an intimate portrait from an impossible perspective of one of the world’s largest individual flowering trees, which goes by several common names. These photos document the process that resulted in an extraordinary ultra high-definition photograph. Here: Haley nears the top of the tree. (Photo by Steven Pearce/The Tree Projects/The Guardian)
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01 Feb 2017 06:37:00
A tourist take a photograph of a sulphur lake in the Danakil Depression on January 23, 2017 near Dallol, Ethiopia. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

A tourist take a photograph of a sulphur lake in the Danakil Depression on January 23, 2017 near Dallol, Ethiopia. The depression lies 100 metres below sea level and is one of the hottest and most inhospitable places on Earth. Despite the gruelling conditions, Ethiopians continue a centuries old industry of mining salt from the ground by hand in temperatures that average 34.5 degrees centigrade but have risen to over 50 degrees. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
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25 Jan 2017 11:36:00