Prehistoric spear-thrower. Artwork of how a spear-thrower (or atlatl) is used to throw a feathered dart. At top and centre, the dart is loaded. At bottom, it is being thrown. The angular momentum imparted means dart speeds of 150 kilometres per hour can be achieved, making this a lethal weapon in the hands of a skilled hunter. In the background is a cave painting of an animal wounded by an atlatl dart. The earliest such weapons were found at Schoningen, Germany, in the 1990s, dating to over 300,000 years ago.
Science Photo Library was founded in 1981 by Michael Marten, one of the authors of "Worlds Within Worlds", a book exploring different ways to observe the universe - from electron micrographs, to images of earthrise taken from the Apollo spacecraft. When Marten started receiving requests for the beautiful images in the book, he had an idea of setting up Science Photo Library.
Since then, Science Photo Library has continued to work alongside world acclaimed photographers and the leading science and medical experts to provide a central source of the best science and specialist imagery available. Although the collection started with scientific images, it has grown to encompass all aspects of science and their impact on everyday life.
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