Live, Learn, and Dream

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Tag Archives: Photography

Ghadames, Libya


Photograph by George Steinmetz

Tight clusters of traditional mud-brick-and-palm houses have stood for centuries in Ghadames, a pre-Roman oasis town in the Sahara. Rooftop walkways allowed women to move freely, concealed from men’s view.

Source: National Geographic

Yosemite Winter Night

In this evocative night skyscape a starry band of the Milky Way climbs over Yosemite Valley, Sierra Nevada Range, planet Earth. Jupiter is the brightest celestial beacon on the wintry scene, though. Standing nearly opposite the Sun in the constellation Taurus, the wandering planet joins yellowish Aldebaran and the Hyades star cluster. Below, Orion always comes up sideways over a fence of mountains. And from there the twin stars of Gemini rise just across the Milky Way. As this peaceful winter night began, they followed Auriga the charioteer, its alpha star Capella near the top of the frame.

Source: APOD Yosemite Winter Night
Note: I am also testing how this post is displayed on my tumblr.

Mantis shrimp

Killer in a Cage

Astronomy Picture of the Day – Alaskan Moondogs

Moonlight illuminates a snowy scene in this night land and skyscape made on January 17 from Lower Miller Creek, Alaska, USA. Overexposed near the mountainous western horizon is the first quarter Moon itself, surrounded by an icy halo and flanked left and right by moondogs. Sometimes called mock moons, a more scientific name for the luminous apparitions is paraselenae (plural). Analogous to a sundog or parhelion, a paraselene is produced by moonlight refracted through thin, hexagonal, plate-shaped ice crystals in high cirrus clouds. As determined by the crystal geometry, paraselenae are seen at an angle of 22 degrees or more from the Moon. Compared to the bright lunar disk, paraselenae are faint and easier to spot when the Moon is low.

Source: Astronomy Picture of the Day – Alaskan Moondogs

Orion over El Castillo

Welcome to the December solstice, a day the world does not end … even according to the Mayan Calendar. To celebrate, consider this dramatic picture of Orion rising over El Castillo, the central pyramid at Chichén Itzá, one of the great Mayan centers on the Yucatán peninsula. Also known as the Temple of Kukulkan it stands 30 meters tall and 55 meters wide at the base. Built up as a series of square terraces by the pre-Columbian civilization between the 9th and 12th century, the structure can be used as a calendar and is noted for astronomical alignments. In fact, the Mayans were accomplished astronomers and mathematicians, accurately using the cyclic motions of the stars, Sun, Moon, and planets to measure time and construct calendars. Peering through clouds in this night skyscape, stars in the modern constellation Orion the Hunter represented a turtle in the Mayan sky. Tak sáamal.

Source: NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest

Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest

Image Credit & Copyright: Florian Breuer


Another stunning image from NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day:

In front of a famous background of stars and galaxies lies some of Earth’s more unusual trees. Known as quiver trees, they are actually succulent aloe plants that can grow to tree-like proportions. The quiver tree name is derived from the historical usefulness of their hollowed branches as dart holders. Occurring primarily in southern Africa, the trees pictured in the above 16-exposure composite are in Quiver Tree Forest located in southern Namibia. Some of the tallest quiver trees in the park are estimated to be about 300 years old. Behind the trees is light from the small town of Keetmanshoop, Namibia. Far in the distance, arching across the background, is the majestic central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. Even further in the distance, visible on the image left, are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, smaller satellite galaxies of the Milky Way that are prominent in the skies of Earth’s southern hemisphere.

URL: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap121212.html

Mars orbiter catches pic of Curiosity on its way down!

Mars orbiter catches pic of Curiosity on its way down!

This is truly astonishing: the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped what may turn out to be the Space Picture of the Year: Curiosity descending to Mars under its parachutes!

National Geographic: Best of December 2011

National Geographic has selected Best Images of December 2011 from images that were uploaded by its users in December 2011. This is the one I like the most, and I am simply amazed by the familiar pattern that exists in nature. :)
Desert Trees

Rivers form tree-like shapes in the desert in Baja California, Mexico, in a picture submitted to National Geographic’s My Shot in December.

KKai / 012

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