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Strange science images from the Getty's open-content archive

The Getty's new open-content image resource places some unusual images into the public domain. Are you ready to see the sun orbit the Earth?

Sun and moon orbits
This image from a 13th century manuscript shows the orbits of the moon and sun.
Getty Museum

A 13th century drawing of a comet, a solar eclipse photographed in 1889, and an early operation using ether for an anesthetic are among a collection of public domain images recently released by the Getty Museum.

The J. Paul Getty Museum is a "Warehouse 13"-size repository of great art and manuscripts. The museum has just handed over to the public the keys to more than 4,600 digital images as part of a new open-content initiative.

The trove of sculptures, photographs, paintings, and pages contains some unusual subjects alongside classic artwork from famous painters like Claude Monet and Peter Paul Rubens. The images are free for downloading, modifying, sharing, and publishing.

When you download a high-quality version of the image, Getty asks what you're planning to use the image for. The museum plans to release more public domain images over time.

Strolling through the archive offers an interesting peek at images from all across history. You could easily spend hours meandering through the online collection, so we've done some of the heavy lifting for you and pulled out some of the oddest and most delightful science-related images from the open content archive.