1689 Sir Isaac Newton portrait young
Sir Isaac Newton ( 4 January 1643 -31 March 1727). English physicist and mathematician. 18th Century Mezzotint portrait after the painting by Sir Godfrey Kneller 1689, with later colouring. It shows Newton in his prime and is the earliest of the portraits. Newton is famous for his laws of motion and gravitation and remains one of the greatest scientists of all time. His opus magnus was his "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica". Other pursuits included optical physics, alchemy, religious and occult investigation, and preventing forgery while superintendant of the Royal Mint. He was widely viewed as an eccentric genius, but his human remains indicated mercury poisoning from his alchemy may have contributed to his instability. This version retains yellow age toning of original and is in the possession of the photographer.
© PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Al-Idrisi's world map, 1154
Al-Idrisi's world map. This world map, known as the 'Tabula Rogeriana', dates from 1154, and is orientated with North at bottom. It was drawn by Muhammad Al-Idrisi (1100-1165), an Islamic and Andalusian scholar working for King Roger II of Sicily. It is considered to have been the most accurate world map for the next three centuries. Regions shown include Europe (lower right), the Mediterranean Sea (centre right), North Africa (upper right), the Arabian Peninsula (upper centre), the Black Sea and Caspian Sea (lower centre), and parts of Asia (left). This is a restoration and transliteration carried out in 1927 by the German scholar Konrad Miller (1844-1933).
© LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, GEOGRAPHY AND MAP DIVISION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Orion nebula. Coloured composite infrared and visible light image of the Orion nebula M42. This emission nebula, a cloud of gas and dust in which starbirth takes place, is found in the constellation Orion, some 1500 light years from Earth. Glowing clouds of ionised hydrogen and sulphur gases are green, and cool clouds of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are orange and red. The gases are ionised by radiation from the four young Trapezium stars at the core (centre left). The small orange dots are embryonic stars, growing as they accumulate dust and gas. M42's neighbour, the M43 nebula, can also be seen (pale blue, top left). Infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, visible light data from the Hubble Space Telescope.
© NASA/JPL-CALTECH/STSCI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY