Science is the poetry of Nature.

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Posts tagged "Skygaze"


Saguaro Moon

A Full Moon rising can be a dramatic celestial sight, and Full Moons can have many names. For example, tonight’s Full Moon, the one nearest the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere, is popularly called the Harvest Moon. According to lore the name is a fitting one because farmers could work late into the night at the end of the growing season harvesting crops by moonlight.

Credit & Copyright: Stefan Seip


Amazing Photo: Double Rainbow Over Wyoming

Wyoming resident Jonmikel Pardo took this spectacular photograph of a double rainbow on Sep. 1. from his backyard in Lander, Wyo.

“It was just after a fast-moving thunderstorm passed through,” he told OurAmazingPlanet. “There was a break in the clouds just as the sun was about to set behind the mountains. The break was large enough to allow the full sunlight through and the rainbow was incredibly bright, even more so with the dark storm surrounding us.”


Fog Bow Over Ocean Beach

What is being seen is a fogbow, a reflection of sunlight by water drops similar to a rainbow but without the colors.

Pileus Iridescent Cloud Over Mexico

Copyright: Mario A. Leon Quezada


Iconic Martian Sunset

by Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Texas A&M, Cornell, JPL, NASA

An other worldly sunset, around 400,000,000 kilometers away from Earth. In our sibling, the red planet Mars.


Auroras, Startrails, Rivers, Oh My!

by Yuichi Takasaka

A sequence of photos from Cameron River, near Yellowknife in northern Canada, resulted in this surreal image of the trailing stars and dancing aurora. The light of the Full Moon near the horizon is scattered through the clouds and in the sky.


Glorious Iridescence

by Philippe TOSI

A wonderful closeup vividly showing an assortment of iridescent clouds above altitude. When parts of clouds are thin and have similar size droplets, diffraction can make them shine with colours like a corona.[*]


Glorious Southern Comet

by David Malin

Comet McNaught 2006 P1, Chiro Observatory in Western Australia. Comet McNaught was the brightest comet in four decades.


Sunrise, Moonrise

by Robert Pölzl

For many Europeans, the Sun and New Moon rose together on January 4th of 2011 in a partial solar eclipse. Arriving close on the heels of the new year, it was the first of a series of four(!) partial solar eclipses that were due in 2011. This composite image documents the graceful celestial event in colorful morning skies over Graz, Austria.

(via thescienceofreality)


Sunrise at Oceanside Beach

The photo above showing a splendid summer sunrise was captured at Oceanside Beach, Bellarine Peninsula, in Victoria, Australia.

On occasion everything comes together to make a memorable sunrise or sunset: mid-level cloud decks at the right place in the sky with the Sun trying to break through, waves lapping at the beach, mist hugging the ocean — and you remembered to bring your camera.

The fiery colors of the sky are attributed to the increased path length of sunlight when the Sun is near the horizon, in the presence of mid and/or high-altitude clouds.

Image & Summary by Phil Thomson

The Secret of the Black Aurora

What causes black aurora? These gaps in normal bright aurora are frequently recorded but rarely questioned.

Recent research using data from four Cluster spacecraft orbiting the Earth has now likely found the secret: black auroras are actually anti-auroras. In normal auroras, electrons and/or predominantly negatively charged particles fall toward Earth along surfaces of constant magnetic field.

They ionize the Earth’s atmosphere on impact, causing the bright glows. In black anti-auroras, however, negatively charged particles are sucked out from the Earth’s ionosphere along adjoining magnetic field lines.

These dark anti-auroras can climb to over 20,000 kilometers and last for several minutes. Pictured above, a black aurora is seen dividing bright auroras over Fairbanks, Alaska, USA.

Credit & Copyright: Jan Curtis


Crescent Moon & Mercury at Dawn

Copyright: Stefano De Rosa

Tibetan Fogbow

The eye-catching fogbow shown above was observed while trying to get a glimpse of Mt. Everes, the Tibet Plateau in China. Fogbows, also known as cloudbows, are colorless (or nearly so) cousins of rainbows.

It’s the small fog droplets rather than falling raindrops that are responsible for the wan color and broader arch of a fogbow compared to the more showy rainbows.

by Alan Millar

December Sunrise, Cape Sounion

The Sun is a moving target. Its annual motion through planet Earth’s sky tracks north and south, from solstice to solstice, as the seasons change.

Credit & Copyright: Anthony Ayiomamitis

Through a Sun Tunnel

Today the Sun stands still at 05:30 UT. Halting its steady march toward southern declinations and begining its annual journey north, the event is known as a solstice. In the northern hemisphere December’s solstice marks the astronomical start of winter. And if you’re in the Great Basin Desert outside of Lucin, Utah, USA, near solstice dates you can watch the Sun rise and set through Sun Tunnels.

A monumental earthwork by artist Nancy Holt, the Sun Tunnels are constructed of four 9 foot diameter cast concrete pipes each 18 feet long. The tunnels are arranged in a wide X to achieve the solstitial sunset and sunrise alignments. In this dramatic snapshot through a Sun Tunnel the Sun is just on the horizon. The cold, cloudy sunset was near the 2010 winter solstice.

During daylight hours, holes in the sides of the pipes project spots of sunlight on their interior walls, forming a map of the principal stars in the constellations Draco, Perseus, Columba, and Capricorn. Fans of planet earthworks and celestial landart should note that the Sun Tunnels are about 150 miles by car from Robert Smithson’s (Holt’s late husband) Spiral Jetty.

Image Credit & Copyright: Arne Erisoty