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Author Topic: Science Photo of the Week  (Read 468696 times)

Offline neilep

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Greenhouse City


Photographer: Edward Burtynsky (National Geographic)
Summary Author: Elizabeth Kolbert (National Geographic); Jim Foster


The photo above showing greenhouses galore in shades of beige, tan and sepia was taken above Almería Province in southeastern Spain. On the arid plains of Spain, produce is grown under the world's largest array of greenhouses and trucked northward to various distribution centers. The advantage of greenhouses is that they’re able to use water and nutrients more efficiently than conventional farming methods. In addition, they can churn out crops all year long – even tomatoes in winter, for instance. However, growing grain crops and producing more beef under glass is a different matter. The global challenge today is to increase sources of protein, which is essential for many key body functions, particularly in locations where food production is now deficient. It currently takes 38 percent of Earth's ice-free surface to feed seven billion people, and yet two billion more mouths will need to be fed by mid century.
 

Offline neilep

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ONE TRILLION STARS !! ANDROMEDA GALAXY IN INFRARED !

The Andromeda Galaxy Earlier Today !

The detailed Spitzer Space Telescope view above features infrared light from dust (red) and old stars (blue) in Andromeda, a massive spiral galaxy a mere 2.5 million light-years away. In fact, with over twice the diameter of our own Milky Way, Andromeda is the largest nearby galaxy. Andromeda's population of bright young stars define its sweeping spiral arms in visible light images, but here the infrared view clearly follows the lumpy dust lanes heated by the young stars as they wind even closer to the galaxy's core. Constructed to explore Andromeda's infrared brightness and stellar populations, the full mosaic image is composed of about 3,000 individual frames. Two smaller companion galaxies, NGC 205 (below) and M32 (above) are also included in the combined fields. The data confirm that Andromeda (aka M31) houses around 1 trillion stars, compared to 4 hundred billion for the Milky Way.
 

Offline neilep

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Big Dipper/The Plough and Sunflowers




By: Tamas Ladanyi
 

Offline neilep

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Space Station and Discovery Shuttle




By: Tamas Ladanyi

The space shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station pass across the sky above Hungary. The shuttle was separated from the station on the way back home. This was the last flight of Discovery before getting retired. Discovery appears surrounded by haze because the shuttle was in the process of dumping wastewater when this sequence of images was taken.
 

Offline neilep

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22-Degree Halo Over Dayton, Ohio


Photographer: John Chumack
Summary Author: John Chumack; Jim Foster


The photo above showing an eye-catching 22-degree halo and upper tangent arc was captured just before sunset over Dayton, Ohio on January 21, 2011. Halos form from pencil-shaped ice crystals, typically found in cirrus clouds, having no preferred orientation. Sunlight passing through the side faces of these crystals is refracted 22 degrees from the initial angle of incidence before exiting through an alternate side face. If the long axes of some of these same crystals are aligned so that they lie nearly in a horizontal orientation, upper tangent arcs (tangent to the top of the halo) may take shape. Always protect your eyes when looking toward the Sun.
 

Offline neilep

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Red Snow in Upstate New York

Photographer: Carl Crumley
Summary Author: Carl Crumley; Jim Foster


The photo above showing a patch of reddish snow was taken this past winter near Medina, New York. The coloration is caused by the presence of an algae, Chlamydomonas nivalis, which in addition to chlorophyll is composed of a carotenoid pigment. Sometimes referred to as "watermelon snow," it often proliferates in melting snowpacks. Meltwater hastens its distribution.
 

Offline Edge03zn

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 How is this s#!@t possible?!
 

Offline RD

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How is this s#!@t possible?!

He was 66 when this BBQ occurred, so pain-induced vasovagal cardiac arrest is a possible explanation, i.e. would explain why he didn't run about whilst aflame as one would expect : his heart would have stopped a few moments after he lit the blue orange touch paper.

[don't try this at home]
« Last Edit: 03/06/2011 02:54:10 by RD »
 

Offline Edge03zn

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Ohk thanks for the links. I was under the impression that this was a display of superhuman monk powers (like levitation) and he was left unscathed.

But still f%&kin amazing.
« Last Edit: 03/06/2011 09:26:02 by Edge03zn »
 

Offline neilep

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Mycorrhizal Fungi



Photographer: Phil Lachman
Summary Author: Phil Lachman


The photo above shows a lovely group of mushrooms nestled against the trunk of a eucalyptus tree. The association between the fungi and the tree however is no accident. This is a mutualistic relationship, where the two species assist each other, and in fact probably would be poorer without each other. Mutualism is any relationship between two species of organisms that benefits both species. Up to a quarter of the mushrooms you see while walking through the woods actually make their living through a mutualistic relationship with the trees in the forest. Remember of course that the mushroom is just the reproductive structure of a far more extensive organism consisting of a highly intertwined mass of fine white threads called a mycelium.

The word mycorrhiza is derived from the Classical Greek words for "mushroom" and "root." In a mycorrhizal association, the fungal hyphae of an underground mycelium are in contact with plant roots but without the fungus parasitizing the plant. While it's clear that the majority of plants form mycorrhizas, the exact percentage is uncertain, but it's likely to lie somewhere between 80 and 90 percent. When the fungus’ mycelium envelopes the roots of the tree the effect is to greatly increase the soil area covered by the tree’s root system. This essentially extends the plant’s reach to water and nutrients, allowing it to utilize more of the soil’s resources. This mutualistic association provides the fungus with a relatively constant and direct access to carbohydrates, such as glucose and sucrose, supplied by the plant. In return the plant gains the benefits of the mycelium's higher absorptive capacity for water and mineral nutrients (due to comparatively large surface area of mycelium-to-root ratio), thus improving the plant's mineral absorption capabilities
 

Offline imatfaal

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Hello Sheepy - good to see ewe posting.  Pictures of fungi are wasted on me - no matter whether deadly poisonous or not I just cannot help thinking of butter, garlic and hot toast when I see a mushroom
 

Offline neilep

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Hello Sheepy - good to see ewe posting.  Pictures of fungi are wasted on me - no matter whether deadly poisonous or not I just cannot help thinking of butter, garlic and hot toast when I see a mushroom

Yummy, I made a delicious mushroom sandwich the other day with garlic and black pepper !!...delish !!
 

Offline neilep

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Lenticular Clouds Over Wales

July 26, 2011




Photographer: Graham Stephen; Graham's website
Summary Author: Graham Stephen; Jim Foster


These stacked lenticular clouds were observed from the A5 Road just east of Tryfan, Wales, in the mountain pass between the Carneddau and Glyderau ranges. Normally found in the lee of mountains, altocumulus lenticularis are a type of stationary wave cloud that results when air is forced to rise over elevated terrain. Water vapor within the wave layer condenses at the wave crest if the temperature is sufficiently cool (dew point temperature), forming a smooth, lens shaped cloud. The cloud evaporates due to adiabatic heating when it sinks into the drier wave trough. In this way, clouds appear at intervals closely related to the wavelength.

source: http://epod.usra.edu/
 

Offline Don_1

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You silly old sheepy, that's no cloud, its the alliens, they're here and they're coming to get ewe...

 

Offline neilep

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LOL DON1 !


well...I'm convinced !
 

Offline neilep

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Cloud Iridescence





Cloud iridescence is the occurrence of colors in a cloud similar to those seen in oil films on puddles, and is similar to irisation. It is a fairly uncommon phenomenon and is usually observed in altocumulus, cirrocumulus and lenticular clouds but very rarely in Cirrus clouds.[1][2][3] The colors are usually pastel but sometimes they can be very vivid. Iridescence is most frequently seen near to the sun with the sun's glare masking it. It is most easily seen by hiding the sun behind a tree or building. Other aids are dark glasses or observing the sky by its reflection in a convex mirror or in a pool of water.

Iridescent clouds are a diffraction phenomenon. Small water droplets or even small ice crystals in clouds individually scatter light. Large ice crystals produce halos, which are refraction phenomena rather than iridescence. Iridescence should similarly be distinguished from the refraction in larger raindrops that gives a rainbow.

If parts of the clouds have droplets (or crystals) of similar size the cumulative effect is seen as colors. The cloud must be optically thin so that most rays encounter only a single droplet. Iridescence is therefore mostly seen at cloud edges or in semi-transparent clouds. Newly forming clouds produce the brightest and most colorful iridescence because their droplets are of the same size. When a thin cloud has droplets of similar size over a large extent the iridescence takes on a structured form to give a corona, a central bright disk around the sun or moon surrounded by one or more colored rings.


SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA
 

Offline Geezer

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You silly old sheepy, that's no cloud, its the alliens, they're here and they're coming to get ewe...


Are you sure about that? Looks more like somebody nuked Swansea to me (and I can't say I blame them).
 

Offline neilep

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Eternal Flame Waterfall






Photographer: Carl Crumley
Summary Author: Carl Crumley; Jim Foster



It seems that there's only one waterfall in the world with a flame burning beneath it. This is the Eternal Flame Waterfall, on Shale Creek, in Chestnut Ridge Park, near Buffalo, New York. A pocket of natural methane gas in an alcove below the waterfall seeps out through a fracture in the rocks. The flame goes out from time to time (it's not really eternal) but is easy to relight. We'll probably never know who the first person to light it was
 

Offline neilep

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StratoSpera Balloon Flight



Stratospera1-burst-balloon
Image created by Francesco Bonomi
Summary Author: Paolo Amoroso


This image shows an onboard look from the Italian StratoSpera 1 (STSp-1) balloon flight high above central Italy. It was taken from an altitude of approximately 53,360 ft (16,260 m). In the foreground is the burst balloon, which became entangled in the gondola and parachute lines during descent. This view over Tuscany, where the balloon reached its apex, faces the Tyrrhenian Sea. Elba island is visible at right beyond the coast. STSp-1 reached a maximum altitude of 17.1 mi (27.6 km) -- in the mid stratosphere. This balloon and others like it offer a rather inexpensive way to acquire high altitude photography and to sample ambient meteorological conditions.
 

Offline neilep

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A Sun Pillar Over Ontario





Image Credit & Copyright: Rick Stankiewicz (Peterborough Astronomical Association)


 What is that on the horizon? No, it's not an alien starship battling distant Earthlings, but rather a sun pillar. When driving across Ontario, Canada in early June, the photographer was surprised to encounter such an "eerie and beautiful" vista, and immediately took pictures. When atmospheric air is cold, ice sometimes forms flat six-sided crystals as it falls from high-level clouds. Air resistance then causes these crystals to lie nearly flat much of the time as they flutter to the ground. If viewed toward a rising or setting Sun, these flat crystals will reflect sunlight and create an unusual column of light -- a sun pillar as seen above.
 

Offline Don_1

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Most unusual and very beautiful, sheepy. It looks almost as if a red narrow beam spot lamp has been directed from ground level into the clouds. Rick was lucky to have been in the right place at the right time.
 

Offline neilep

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Most unusual and very beautiful, sheepy. It looks almost as if a red narrow beam spot lamp has been directed from ground level into the clouds. Rick was lucky to have been in the right place at the right time.

Thanks Don....here are some more
 

Offline neilep

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Roll Cloud Over Wisconsin




Image Credit: Pierre cb, Wikipedia


 What kind of cloud is this? A type of arcus cloud called a roll cloud. These rare long clouds may form near advancing cold fronts. In particular, a downdraft from an advancing storm front can cause moist warm air to rise, cool below its dew point, and so form a cloud. When this happens uniformly along an extended front, a roll cloud may form. Roll clouds may actually have air circulating along the long horizontal axis of the cloud. A roll cloud is not thought to be able to morph into a tornado. Unlike a similar shelf cloud, a roll cloud is completely detached from their parent cumulonimbus cloud. Pictured above, a roll cloud extends far into the distance as a storm approached in 2007 in Racine, Wisconsin, USA.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Incredible photos Neil.. thanks for posting them and the links!
 

Offline neilep

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Sauropod Print in Dinosaur Valley State Park



Photographer: Loren Ann Stiles
Summary Author: Loren Ann Stiles


The hard drought in Texas this summer has taken its toll; crops are shriveled, rivers are drying up and even cacti are showing stress. But droughts such as this offer a rare glimpse of an extensive collection of dinosaur tracks at the Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose, Texas. Normally covered in water, the tracks of sauropods and theropods are for the time being exposed in the limestone bed of the Paluxy River. This small sauropod print is approximately 12 in (30 cm) across. The setting for this park was formed by sediment deposited more than 100 million years ago along rivers that once flowed into an ancient sea. Over perhaps the last 1 million years, the layered sediment has been gradually worn away revealing the long ago submerged footprints. Photo taken on August 2, 2011.
 

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