Rocks

Mesa of sedimentary rock coloured by sunset

Rocks rock!

This image from the Grand Canyon comes to you from Schurs Astrophotography.

I like that they refer to the growing dark after sunset as the Earth’s shadow.

Nature by numbers

There are some beautiful images in this video showing the math behind the shapes.

 

A new form of structural blue

Little blue penguins (Eudyptula minor)

As you know, the blue in birds’ feathers comes not from a pigment but from structures that scatter light in the blue range, reflecting only blue back to the observer. For the first time in thirty years a new way of producing them has been found.A group of scientists, who investigated the blue-generating structures in penguin feathers so that they could identify them in fossils, found a previously unknown structure. They looked at the feathers of the Little Blue Penguin, which has the “tuxedo” pattern of penguins (and orcas), using dark blue where others have black, and found an entirely new structure using groups of parallel beta-keratin fibres instead of the usual holes in beta-keratin.

Trans Siberian Orchestra

Now your whole house can be a color organ. The tune is Wizards in Winter by the Trans Siberian Orchestra.

Here’s a less elaborate but livelier rendition.

New star nursery from Hubble

NASA released a dramatic new image to celebrate the Hubble space telescope’s 20th anniversary (see article):

Carina nebula, visible spectrum

This awesome space mountain is more than 700,000 lightyears away, if I heard the news story correctly.

Details from NASA:

This brand new Hubble photo is of a small portion of one of the largest seen star-birth regions in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula. Towers of cool hydrogen laced with dust rise from the wall of the nebula. The scene is reminiscent of Hubble’s classic “Pillars of Creation” photo from 1995, but is even more striking in appearance. The image captures the top of a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being pushed apart from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks like arrows sailing through the air. Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

It looks to me like one frame from a Marvel comic.

Summer Invitation

Look what you can do with a shallow depth of field for your camera. It looks almost like an Impressionist painting.

Summer Invitation, originally uploaded by Joel Olives.

Flat, composite flowers blow in the breeze. Beyond a few inches, they’re out of focus.

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