Virtual Backgrounds

collage banner with forest trees, ice berg, coral in the sea, and the aurora

NSF-supported research impacts nearly every field of science and engineering. NSF's influence reaches from the ends of the Earth to the depths of the oceans and to space and beyond. Our Multimedia Gallery has some of the most stunning images from NSF’s research legacy. We have pulled some of the most beautiful gallery images for you to use as a virtual background.

NSF logo virtual background

Credit: National Science Foundation

NSF logo virtual background

Credit: National Science Foundation

NSF logo virtual background

Credit: National Science Foundation

NSF Juneteenth virtual background
National Science Foundation celebrates Juneteenth

Credit: National Science Foundation

NSF celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month 2022 virtual background
NSF celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month 2022

Credit: National Science Foundation

virtual background Caribbean American heritage
Caribbean American Heritage - June 2022

Credit: National Science Foundation

virtual background for eht with telescopes and starry background
Event Horizon Telescope - Our own black hole

Credit: C. Padilla, NRAO/AUI/National Science Foundation

virtual background eht Sgr A* Black Hole
Sgr A* Black Hole

Credit: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration

virtual background for public service recognition week 2022
Public Service Recognition Week 2022

Credit: National Science Foundation

virtual background NSF Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2022
NSF Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2022

Credit: National Science Foundation

Mental Health Awareness Month 2022
Mental Health Awareness Month 2022

Credit: National Science Foundation

Mental Health Awareness Month 2022
Mental Health Awareness Month 2022

Credit: National Science Foundation

Citizen Science background
We can all be Citizen Scientists. Celebrate Citizen Science Month.

Credit: National Science Foundation

Strategy Plan Zoom background
NSF’s Core Values

Credit: Nano/Micro Photonics Laboratory, Electrical and Systems Engineering Department, Washington University, St. Louis.

Strategy Plan Zoom background
NSF Vision Statement

Credit: Nano/Micro Photonics Laboratory, Electrical and Systems Engineering Department, Washington University, St. Louis.

virtual background women's history with women scientist in the background
NSF Women's History Month 2022

Credit: National Science Foundation

collage of supporting imagery for black history month
Celebrating Black History Month with U.S. National Science Foundation

Credit: National Science Foundation

martin luther king statue with NSF logo
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2022 background. Remembering the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Credit: National Science Foundation

CFC Zoom Background
You can be the face of change

Credit: National Science Foundation

A vast mountain range with title: Celebrating Native American Heritage Month November 2021
NSF Native American Heritage Month Background

Credit: Anna/CC 3.0

NSF Veterans Day Background
NSF Veterans Day Background

Credit: National Science Foundation

glacial mountains virtual background
Glacial ice twists and turns through the rough terrain of Greenland, with tributary glaciers merging into larger trunk glaciers flowing slowly toward the coast. Aboard the WP-3D Orion over the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Credit: Kelly McCarthy

lake with fall trees virtual background with NSF logo
Crampton Lake WI-NEON

Credit: 2021 Battelle Memorial Institute. All Rights Reserved

Fall trees virtual background with NSF logo
Alum Creek State Park, Delaware Ohio

Credit: 2021 Battelle Memorial Institute. All Rights Reserved; Photo courtesy of Todd Theodore / NEON operated by Battelle

lily pad in the water
Lake Suggs-NEON

Credit: 2021 Battelle Memorial Institute. All Rights Reserved

NEON lake virtual background
Arikaree Creek CO-NEON

Credit: 2021 Battelle Memorial Institute. All Rights Reserved; Photo courtesy of Hannah Schartel / NEON operated by Battelle

Konza Prairie Bison virtual background
Konza Prairie Bison

Credit: Konza Prairie-LTER/CC by-SA 4.0

Expanding ring-shaped cloud of atoms virtual background with NSF logo
Expanding ring-shaped cloud of atoms

Credit: E. Edwards/JQI

Large-scale Online Social Network Visualization virtual background with NSF logo
Large-scale Online Social Network Visualization

Credit: Jeffrey Heer, Computer Science Division, University of California at Berkeley

Plum Island colorful field virtual background with NSF logo
Plum Island

Credit: Plum Island LTER/CC by-SA 4.0

harvard forest virtual background with NSF logo
Harvard forest

Credit: LTER/E. Zambello NCO CC by-SA 4.0

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska virtual background with NSF logo
Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Credit: 2021 Battelle Memorial Institute. All Rights Reserved; Photo courtesy of Max Plichta / NEON operated by Battelle

Andrews Forest virtual background with NSF logo
Andrews Forest

Credit: Andrews Forest-LTER/CC by-SA 4.0

Kellog Station Fall Switchgrass Harvest virtual background with NSF logo
Kellog Station Fall Switchgrass Harvest

Credit: Kellog Station-LTER-J.E.Doll/CC by-SA 4.0

Heron standing in water virtual background with NSF logo
Georgia Costal Ecosystem

Credit: Georgia Costal Ecosystem LTER-CC-by-SA 4.0

Jornada Basin virtual background with NSF logo
Jornada Basin

Credit: LTER/E. Zambello NCO CC by-SA 4.0

Microwaves traveling through sample inside an NMR magnet
Microwaves traveling through sample inside an NMR magnet

Credit: Faith Scott, National MagLab

Total quantum state of buckyballs measured
Total quantum state of buckyballs measured

Credit: Ye Group and Steven Burrows/JILA

Shooting quantum particles resembles pattern like a turtle
Shooting quantum particles resembles pattern like a turtle

Credit: Courtesy of Cheng, Physics Department, University of Chicago

collage of imagery tinted blue with banner text displayed I workin #5 Best place in the government
NSF #5 best place to work (version 1)

Credit: National Science Foundation

collage of imagery tinted blue with banner text displayed I workin #5 Best place in the government
NSF #5 best place to work (version 2)

Credit: National Science Foundation

NSF buidling in the background along with text NSF 5th best place to work
NSF #5 best place to work (version 3)

Credit: National Science Foundation

greenland snow
Glacial ice twists and turns through the rough terrain of Greenland, with tributary glaciers merging into larger trunk glaciers flowing slowly toward the coast. Aboard the WP-3D Orion over the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Credit: Kelly McCarthy

Sugar molecules found in gas surrounding a young, sun-like star
Sugar molecules found in gas surrounding a young, sun-like star

Credit: ESO/L. Calcada

A team of blue-water divers collects ctenophores off the coast of Hawaii during an NSF-supported cruise aboard the Research Vessel Ka`imikai-O-Kanaloa
A team of blue-water divers collects ctenophores off the coast of Hawaii during an NSF-supported cruise aboard the Research Vessel Ka`imikai-O-Kanaloa

Credit: Steven Haddock

Horsehead Nebula from Cerro Tololo
Horsehead Nebula from Cerro Tololo

Credit: Rubin Observatory/NSF/AURA

A double rainbow over Site U1368
A double rainbow over Site U1368

Credit: John Beck, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, U.S. Implementing Organization (IODP USIO)

Pattern of annual rings in shrub stems
Pattern of annual rings in shrub stems

Credit: Image courtesy of Daniel Ackerman

Biomineral Single Crystals
Biomineral Single Crystals

Credit: Pupa U.P.A. Gilbert and Christopher E. Killian

School of Atlantic Silversides seen from below
School of Atlantic Silversides seen from below

Credit: Chris Pickerell, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County

Artist's impression of the explosion and burst of gravitational waves emitted when a pair of superdense neutron stars collide
Artist's impression of the explosion and burst of gravitational waves emitted when a pair of superdense neutron stars collide

Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF

String Theory
"String Theory"

Credit: Peter Coneski, Jessica Nash and Mark Schoenfisch

Castle Rock, a natural geologic landmark near McMurdo Station in Antarctica
Castle Rock, a natural geologic landmark near McMurdo Station in Antarctica

Credit: Joshua Swanson; Source: U.S. Antarctic Program photo library

Intricate polymer brush patterns
Intricate polymer brush patterns

Credit: Christian Pester, UC-Santa Barbara

hydrogen bond
A multi-center hydrogen bond

Credit: Professor Chris Van de Walle, Dr. Anderson Janotti, Solid State Lighting and Energy, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB); Professor JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, Lance Putnam and Basak Alper, Media Arts and Technology, UCSB

Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope
Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope

Credit: NSO/AURA/NSF

Twisting and untwisting crystals
Twisting and untwisting crystals

Credit: John Freudenthal and Alexander Shtukenberg, New York University

Blanco 4 meter telescope with Milky Way
Blanco 4 meter telescope with Milky Way

Credit: Dr. Andreas Papadopoulos, AHPC, European University Cyprus

Dust Bowl of Supernova 1987A
Dust Bowl of Supernova 1987A

Credit: A.Angelich NRAO/AUI/NSF

Sunset at Palmer Station, Anvers Island
Sunset at Palmer Station, Anvers Island

Credit: Kelly Jaques

Fish skin provides invisibility in open ocean
Fish skin provides invisibility in open ocean

Credit: Shulei Zhao

arctic ocean with a sunset
NSF funded an Arctic research cruise aboard the R/V Sikuliaq in September 2016 with scientific teams from Oregon State University and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

Credit: Kimberly Kenny

Green Bank Telescope in a flower field
Green Bank Telescope in the summer.

Credit: NSF/GBO 20; photo by Jill Malusky

Region of Renaissance Simulation created on Blue Waters
Region of 'Renaissance Simulation' created on Blue Waters

Credit: Advanced Visualization Lab, National Center for Supercomputing Applications

Bright moon illuminates IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory
Bright moon illuminates IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory

Credit: Raffaela Busse; ICECUBE/National Science Foundation

'Kuen's Surface: A Meditation on Euclid, Lobachevsky and Quantum Fields'
'Kuen's Surface: A Meditation on Euclid, Lobachevsky and Quantum Fields'

Credit: Luc Benard, University of California, Irvine

Cerro Tololo Observatory telescope
Dark Energy Survey, Dark Energy Camera, DES, DECAM, Cerro Tololo Observatory, Chile; The Blanco Telescope dome at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, where the Dark Energy Camera used for the recently completed Dark Energy Survey was housed.

Credit: Reidar Hahn, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Confocal microscopy image of nerve fibers in zebrafish brain
Confocal microscopy image of nerve fibers in zebrafish brain

Credit: HHMI Janelia Research Campus

Nanoporous gold
Nanoporous gold contains tiny pores that can filter DNA from other biomolecules and can be used to make DNA detection devices for use in diagnostics.

Credit: Erkin Şeker, UC Davis

Underside of artificially selected blue buckeye butterfly wing scales
Underside of artificially selected blue buckeye butterfly wing scales showing their iridiscent lamina

Credit: Rachel Thayer

Optical image of spiral galaxy NGC 4330
Optical image of spiral galaxy NGC 4330

Credit: T. Brown; Fossati et al., 2018

Medusa' shaped droplets containing liquid crystal molecules
Medusa' shaped droplets containing liquid crystal molecules

Credit: Wei-Shao Wei, Arjun G. Yodh, and Felice Macera, Department of Physics and Astronomy & LRSM, University of Pennsylvania

Hubble visible-light image of Jupiter
Hubble visible-light image of Jupiter

Credit: NASA/ESA/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/M.H. Wong and I. de Pater (UC Berkeley) et al. Acknowledgments: M. Zamani (available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International)

Entire disk of Jupiter in infrared light
Entire disk of Jupiter in infrared light

Credit: International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA; M.H. Wong (UC Berkeley) and team acknowledgments: Mahdi Zamani

Hubble ultraviolet image of Jupiter
Hubble ultraviolet image of Jupiter

Credit: NASA/ESA/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/M.H. Wong and I. de Pater (UC Berkeley) et al. Acknowledgments: M. Zamani (available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International)

Rat brain showing three specific lipids
Rat brain showing three specific lipids

Credit: Don Smith, National MagLab

Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope
Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope

Credit: NSF/GBO 20; photo by Jill Malusky (available under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)

Heart of galaxy NGC 1068
Heart of galaxy NGC 1068

Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF; S. Dagnello

Star trails over Gemini North Telescope
Star trails over Gemini North Telescope

Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA; image by Joy Pollard

virtual background image for Public Recognition Week, blue background with science vector graphics
Public Service Recognition Week background

Credit: National Science Foundation

liquid crystals blend of colors

Liquid crystals bend light into psychedelic patterns.

Credit: Oleg Lavrentovich, Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University

An array of microneedles along the surface of a medical patch.

An array of microneedles along the surface of a medical patch.

Credit: Sisi Cao

dark matter

In this simulation, a web of dark matter influences the formation of galaxies.

Credit: Ralf Kaehler/Ethan Nadler/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Winters get cold in Gallatin Canyon, Montana.
Winters get cold in Gallatin Canyon, Montana.

Credit: Scott Creel and John Winnie, Montana State University, Department of Ecology

The sun’s magnetism

Magnetic fields surge from the sun in this illustration of our local star.

Credit: Solar Superstorms Production Group Inc.

lightning strike in a field
Lightning strikes near Iowa City, Iowa.

Credit: Tim Schoon/University of Iowa

Intentionally painted across petri dishes, bacteria become art
Intentionally “painted” across petri dishes, bacteria become art.

Credit: Photo by Caleb Eckert (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International); © 2018 Lopes et al

Elephant herd
A herd of elephants traverses Buffalo Springs National Reserve in Kenya.

Credit: Shifra Goldenberg, Save the Elephants/Colorado State University

An artist’s interpretation of the potentially habitable planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri
An artist’s interpretation of the potentially habitable planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the star closest to Earth.

Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International)

a quadruped robot
Solo 8, a quadruped robot driven by open-source code.

Credit: MPI for Intelligent Systems/W. Scheible

A bumble bee gathering nectar and pollen from a sunflower
A bumble bee hard at work gathering nectar and pollen from a sunflower.

Credit: Courtesy Ben Barnhart

Brain-on-a-chip
Smaller than a piece of confetti, this tiny brain-on-a-chip holds tens of thousands of artificial brain synapses called memristors.

Credit: Peng Lin (Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Dwarf fireweed
Dwarf fireweed (Chamaenerion latifolium) grows on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska.

Credit: Wendi Pillars (PolarTREC 2018); Courtesy of ARCUS

Spiral galaxy NGC 4217
The spiral galaxy NGC 4217 extends magnetic field lines (green) far above and below its galaxy plane.

Credit: Y. Stein (CDS), NRAO, SDSS, KPNO 0.9m, J. English (U. Manitoba), R.J. Dettmar and A. Miskolczi (Ruhr U.), R.J. Rand (U.N.M.) and J. Irwin (Queen’s U.)

Ripples of ice melting in the Arctic ocean
Ripples of ice melting in the Arctic ocean.

Credit: Zhangxian Ouyang, University of Delaware

A blueberry grows in the tundra
A blueberry grows in the tundra just outside Healy, Alaska.

Credit: Kim Young, (PolarTREC 2018); Courtesy of ARCUS

A 3D model of electron densities within a quantum dot
A 3D model of electron densities within a quantum dot.

Credit: Wei Qiao, David Ebert, Marek Korkusinski, Gerhard Klimeck; Network for Computational Nanotechnology, Purdue University

Sunlight reflects off nearly ice-free water in the Canada Basin of the western Arctic
Sunlight reflects off nearly ice-free water in the Canada Basin of the western Arctic.

Credit: Zhangxian Ouyang, University of Delaware

a close up of a fruit fly eye
An extreme close-up of the eye of Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly.

Credit: Northwestern University

3D rendering shows a new way to manufacture circuits directly onto neurons
This 3D rendering shows a new way to manufacture circuits directly onto neurons.

Credit: Ella Maru Studio and Yoon Seok Kim/Jia Liu, Deisseroth/Bao laboratories, Stanford University

A caribou skull glistens white against the tundra of northern Alaska.
A caribou skull glistens white against the tundra of northern Alaska.

Credit: Daniel Ackerman

Inspired by processes in the human body, this synthetic filter efficiently transports water
Inspired by processes in the human body, this synthetic filter efficiently transports water.

Credit: Erik Zumalt, Cockrell School of Engineering, UT Austin

The microscopic star of any given drop of local pondwater, Daphnia pulex
The microscopic star of any given drop of local pondwater, Daphnia pulex.

Credit: Brian Mattes, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Antarctic field camp
A fossil-hunting field camp nestles against the distant sea on the Seymour and Vega islands in Antarctica.

Credit: J. Meng, American Museum of Natural History

Night lava
Steaming lava glows during a nighttime eruption at Toludskoye lava field in Russia.

Credit: Benjamin R. Edwards

A rocky outcrop rises over the Alaskan tundra.
A rocky outcrop rises over the Alaskan tundra.

Credit: Daniel Ackerman

Colliding black holes
A pair of black holes collide in this illustration depicting one of the most powerful collisions astronomers have ever detected.

Credit: Mark Myers, ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav)/Swinburne University

Protein ring
When E. coli divides, a complex network of proteins is key to the process.

Credit: Jennifer E. Fairman

skull of an earless monitor lizard
The skull of an earless monitor lizard, via CT scan.

Credit: Edward Stanley and David Blackburn, Florida Museum of Natural History

55 nanometers long, glow in simulated color to show their component materials
Thirty-two manufactured rods, each just 55 nanometers long, glow in simulated color to show their component materials.

Credit: Schaak Laboratory, Penn State

Lawsonite
A thin, fractured slice of the mineral lawsonite, seen under a microscope through specially altered polarized light.

Credit: Hirth Lab/Brown University

Lava flows from Russia’s Tolbachik volcanoes during an eruption
Lava flows from Russia’s Tolbachik volcanoes during an eruption in 2012.

Credit: Benjamin R. Edwards

Antarctic night
A lone tent lies beneath the nighttime sky above the Antarctic Peninsula.

Credit: J. Meng, American Museum of Natural History

Mouse ear
The skin of a mouse’s ear, seen at the cellular level.

Credit: Maksim Plikus, University of California, Irvine

A quantum chip
A quantum chip, crafted from 200 layers of aluminum on a sapphire base.

Credit: Michael T. Fang, Martinis Group, UC Santa Barbara

whale shark in the ocean
Whale sharks regularly pass nearby when ocean-going science vessels traverse the Pacific ocean.

Credit: Kelly VonDrehle, IODP

deep sea shark in the ocean
A shark lurks near the Lost City hydrothermal field deep in the Atlantic ocean.

Credit: Courtesy of Susan Lang, University of South Carolina/NSF/ROV Jason/2018/©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

illustration of a neutron star
In this illustration, q neutron star hides within the remains of supernova 1987A.

Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF, B. Saxton

A mini-brain only three weeks old
A mini-brain only three weeks old, developed as a model for studying how medicines impact neurons.

Credit: Hoffman-Kim lab, Brown University

dinosaurs
Allosaurs attack a sauropod along a beach in what is now Utah, 150 million years ago.

Credit: Todd Marshall

In this illustration, an object called a trefoil knot hovers amidst superconducting qubit chips.
In this illustration, an object called a trefoil knot hovers amidst superconducting qubit chips.

Credit: P. Roushan\Martinis lab\UC Santa Barbara

Orion cloud complex
The Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, which includes the Orion Nebula (bottom) and a dust-rich, star-forming filament.

Credit: S. Schnee, et al.; B. Saxton, B. Kent (NRAO/AUI/NSF); NSF’s Green Bank Telescope; NASA's SkyView Facility at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Frog skull
The skull of Hemiphractus scutatus, a horned tree frog from South America.

Credit: Edward L. Stanley, Florida Museum of Natural History

lave
Basaltic trachyandesite pahoehoe lava expands on erupting, emerging at a temperature of 1,080 degrees Celsius (1,975 degrees Fahrenheit).

Credit: Benjamin R. Edwards

Gemini North Telescope
In this time-lapse image, a laser guide star paints the sky above the Gemini North Telescope, a program of NSF’s NOIRLab.

Credit: Image by Joy Pollard/International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA

An artist’s rendering of brain cells
An artist’s rendering of brain cells.

Credit: Ed Boyden and Massachusetts Institute of Technology McGovern Institute

an illustration of a microscopic chip
This chip has 50,000 microscopic light switches embedded within it.

Credit: Younghee Lee

catsharks that naturally glow in the dark
Chain catsharks (Scyliorhinus rotifer) naturally glow in the dark.

Credit: ©J. Sparks, D. Gruber and V. Pieribone

Spinner dolphins school just beneath the surface of the sea
Spinner dolphins school just beneath the surface of the sea.

Credit: Andre Seale, University of Hawaii

Three-day-old embryos of red-eyed tree frogs
Three-day-old embryos of red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas) photographed in Gamboa, Panama.

Credit: Karen Warkentin, Boston University

Scanning thermal microscope
Heat transfers between two objects at the nanoscale, the scale of atoms and molecules, in this atomic force microscope (AFM) image.

Credit: Pramod Reddy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Baby animals
A baby Rapetosaurus dinosaur, shown to scale with a puppy (and other friends).

Credit: Demetrios Vital

A nudibranch, commonly known as a sea slug
A nudibranch, commonly known as a sea slug, travels under the North T-Pier in Morro Bay, California.

Credit: Ken Bondy

butterflyfish school
Butterflyfish school near Acroporid corals at Lord Howe Island, Australia.

Credit: F. Joseph Pollock, Penn State University

The Lagoon nebula
The Lagoon nebula, as captured by the NSF-funded Gemini South Telescope.

Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA/Julia I. Arias and Rodolfo H. Barbá, Departamento de Física, Universidad de La Serena (Chile), and ICATE-CONICET (Argentina)

zebras and Ankole cattle in a field
Ankole cattle and zebra share grazing lands in central Kenya.

Credit: Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer, Natural Capital Project, Stanford University

The iconic submersible ALVIN
The iconic submersible ALVIN has made more than 5,000 dives. With its latest upgrades, ALVIN can reach as deep as 21,000 feet below the ocean’s surface.

Credit: Luis Lamar, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

a cell from a transplanted organ is attacked by a T cell
In this illustration, a cell from a transplanted organ is attacked by a T cell, which also interacts with a nanoparticle that will send indicators into a patient’s urine to reveal damage has occurred.

Credit: Georgia Tech/Ella Maru Studio (work for hire, all rights GT, free for distribution)

the volcano Caliente lava dome erupts
The appropriately named Caliente lava dome erupts on the western flank of Guatemala’s Santa María volcano.

Credit: Jeffrey Johnson, Department of Geosciences, Boise State University

blue star glowing
The first stars were massive, blue engines of creation, born from the universe’s condensing matter 180 million years after the Big Bang.

Credit: Nicolle R. Fuller/National Science Foundation

row of computer servers
NSF’s Frontera supercomputer is one of the world’s most powerful, able to compute in one second what would take an average human more than a billion years.

Credit: TACC

light shining into opening of cave
Sun streams into the entrance of Deer Cave in Gunung Mulu National Park, Borneo.

Credit: Syria Lejau, Gunung Mulu National Park

Red blood cells flow past a tear in a blood vessel
Red blood cells flow past a tear in a blood vessel.

Credit: Nicolle R. Fuller, National Science Foundation

Fish swim along a coral reef
Fish swim along a coral reef in the Line Islands in the central Pacific Ocean.

Credit: Jennifer Smith, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Glaciers converge
Glaciers converge on northeast Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. The ice rivers are revealing insights into what caused Earth’s Little Ice Age more than seven centuries ago.

Credit: Gifford H. Miller, INSTAAR, University of Colorado Boulder

VLA Telescopes
NSF’s Very Large Array radio telescope is located near Socorro, New Mexico. Deployed in their widest configuration, the array would just barely fit within Washington D.C.’s Capital Beltway.

Credit: Andrew Clegg, National Science Foundation

Stellar Turbulence
This simulation depicts the turbulence of gasses within a star. Astronomers and computer scientists worked together to run the 9.5 teraflop calculation.

Credit: Paul Woodward, Laboratory for Computational Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota

Antarctic Skyline
This scene captures the stark beauty of Arthur Harbor near NSF’s Palmer Station in Antarctica.

Credit: Perri Barbour

forest trees
A stand of aspen trees scatters sunlight on Boulder Mountain in Utah. Aspens are one of many trees under study as NSF researchers evaluate the impacts of global warming.

Credit: Martin Venturas, University of Utah

monarch butterflies
Monarch butterflies bask in the Florida sun. NSF scientists have been tracking the monarchs’ decline in the hopes of finding clues to saving them.

Credit: Florida Museum photo by Court Whelan

Palmer Stations in Antarctica
From NSF’s Palmer Station in Antarctica, everywhere is a long way off. Nestled in a protected harbor off the Antarctica Peninsula, it hosts constant scientific research, and a webcam.

Credit: Ken Keenan

rock arch
Corona Arch in Utah, like many rock arches, “sings” imperceptibly as vibrations pass through it. The vibrations were revealed by NSF-funded scientists recording the tiny motions using seismometers.

Credit: Alison Starr, University of Utah

visual patterns of brain activity
Paired with a special cap, the Glassbrain app shows patterns in brain activity. In 2012, former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart used Glassbrain to show his brain activity live in performance.

Credit: Adam Gazzaley, Roger Anguera Singla, Rajat Jain, Tim Mullen, Christian Kothe, John Fesenko, Oleg Konings, and Matt Omernick

cells
When you look closely, our cells are hubs of complex activity, executed by natural nanomachines that drive the processes of life.

Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation

iceberg in the arctic
Iceberg near Palmer Station in Antarctica

Credit: Robin Solfisburg

neutrino illustration
A trace of blue light results from the interaction of a neutrino and an ice molecule

Credit: Nicolle R. Fuller, National Science Foundation

a group of penguins
Adélie penguins at Hut Point Peninsula in early January. Adélies are the most widespread of all penguins and the most common one in the Ross Sea area.

Credit: Mike Lucibella, National Science Foundation

black hole
Astronomers capture first image of a black hole

Credit: Event Horizon Telescope collaboration et al.

aurora
A trip to Antarctica may not be in the cards, but with this background, join your next video call “remote” from NSF’s South Pole Station.

Credit: Patrick Cullis; Source: U.S. Antarctic Program photo Library

DKIST
For your next videoconference, call in from the surface of the sun.

Credit: NSF/NSO/AURA

Night lava
Steaming lava glows during a nighttime eruption at Toludskoye lava field in Russia.

Credit: Benjamin R. Edwards

Antarctic field camp
A fossil-hunting field camp nestles against the distant sea on the Seymour and Vega islands in Antarctica.

Credit: J. Meng, American Museum of Natural History

A rocky outcrop rises over the Alaskan tundra.
A rocky outcrop rises over the Alaskan tundra.

Credit: Daniel Ackerman