Categories
Nature

Rainbow Waterfall at Yosemite National Park

Said the “Father of the National Parks“ of America’s national parks John Muir, “Most people are on the world, not in it.” His advocacy helped protect the Yosemite Valley and ultimately led to the establishment of Yosemite National Park.

The video of the rainbow waterfall by landscape photographer Greg Harlow at Yosemite (scroll down to view) is just one of the many wonders in the 747,956 acres park. The California-based national park is one of the few places in the US where you can see a rainbow, or moonbow, at night.

Yosemite also played host to the recent documentary entitled Free Solo which filmed the super sensation seeker Alex Honnold climb El Capitan, the vertical granite rock formation located at Yosemite National Park.

PS. If you’re interested in learning the art of adventure photography and film, consider taking National Geographic photographer and the producer of Free Solo, Jimmy Chin’s course teaching adventure photography course on MasterClass. 

Categories
Nature Science Space

NASA and ESA capture closest images of the sun ever taken

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have snapped the closest pictures ever taken of the sun.

The images, taken nearly 48 million miles away from the sun’s surface by the Solar Orbiter probe (launched February 9), reveal countless tiny flares which scientists have called “campfires.”

Scientists hope that these never-before seen exterior shots will help explain why the sun’s solar corona or atmosphere (over 1 million °C) is 300x hotter than its actual surface.

Earlier this year, the National Solar Observatory (NSO) brought us the sharpest movie of the sun we’ve seen which revealed each plasma cell the size of Texas.

Categories
Space

The evolution of the spacesuit

As spacesuit design continues to become thinner, intricate, and more dynamic — there are touchscreen sensitive gloves, an attached helmet and built-in ventilation in the latest uniform — it’s worth looking at how both US and Russian spacesuits have evolved over time.

Start by looking at the original suit (the Marshmallow Moon-Suit) designed for the moon mission above, which was licensed to Mattel for toys, then check out the diagram detailing the history of suits below.

We still like the simplicity and balance of the Apollo A7-L EVA but the blue Apollo A5-L suit is ace as well.

The evolution of the spacesuit
via Twitter
The evolution of the spacesuit

Naturally, there will be variations of spacesuit design especially as other companies invest into future. For example, SpaceX is already working on its own version while other patents like an auto-return home button should the astronauts become untethered, are in development as well.

The evolution of the spacesuit
via Twitter
The evolution of the spacesuit
via Twitter
Categories
Nature

Views of the Super Pink Moon from around the world

Miss the ‘Super Pink Moon’ rise on Wednesday? We’ve got you covered.

The pink moon is the largest full moon of the year and occurs when the moon gets in close proximity to Earth, making it appear 7% larger and 15% brighter than the average full moon.

The Super Pink Moon isn’t really pink

The Super Pink Moon, however, is not exactly pink. Rather, stargazers should’ve seen a super moon that appeared more reddish-orange and yellow than moss pink.

The dusty particles in the Earth’s atmosphere filter out the traditional white/blue wavelengths to allow more red light to pass through.

The “Pink Moon” is named after the pink wild ground phlox (flower) and signifies the rebirth and renewal of spring after a long, dark winter.

Check out some of the images from across the globe after the jump. 

Views of the Pink Moon from around the world
via tw
Views of the Pink Moon from around the world
via tw
Views of the Pink Moon from around the world
via tw
Views of the Pink Moon from around the world
via tw

 

Categories
Nature

Radiant Sodalite mineral rock

How neat is this sodalite mineral rock?

A rare discovery, sodalite rocks form from crystallized from sodium-rich magmas and are typically blue or violet in nature.

Think of the sodalite as a normal stone with special effects — a la tenebrescence — that make the minerals glow when exposed to light. Check out its cousin, the fire opal.

Categories
Space

What the northern lights look like from a U-2 spy plane at 70,000ft.

U-2 pilot and instructor and avid photographer Ross Franquemont took these snaps of the spectacular aurora borealis — or, northern lights, while flying the legendary U-2 spycraft.

“I had no idea how fast the aurora moved and changed. It danced around, changing shape several times a second. That made it a challenge for the photographer in a spacesuit sitting in shaking metal can moving 500 mph,” Ross told The Aviationist about the photos.

The northern lights, which also occur in the Southern Hemisphere — the “Aurora Australis” — have always fascinated mankind. They develop as a result of a solar storm that originates from the sun and blows a stream of charged electrons toward Earth.

The process creates a natural light phenomenon when the electrons collide with the Earth’s upper atmosphere. The colors green and red display between 60 to 150 miles in altitude when the electrons hit atoms of oxygen. Meanwhile, the blue and purple/violet colors occur up to 60 miles away from Earth’s magnetic field.

What the northern lights look like from a U-2 spy plane at 70,000ft.
What the northern lights look like from a U-2 spy plane at 70,000ft.
What the northern lights look like from a U-2 spy plane at 70,000ft.
What the northern lights look like from a U-2 spy plane at 70,000ft.
Categories
Nature Science

Watch stunning ground-to-cloud lightning in Australia

While we perceive lightning from cloud to ground or cloud to cloud, the majority of lightning one sees occurs from ground to cloud.

In this video captured by Hayden Milne in Burleigh Heads, Australia, we see ground-to-cloud lightning in its most epic display.

Doesn’t lightning always work upside down?

Mother Nature can be scary at times until you realize that most visible lightning strikes work on the way back up. Electricity disperses out from the clouds in search of a return ground strike to meet.

Lightning is a fascinating optical illusion. PS: Visit lightningmaps.org to view a live map of lightning strikes around the world in real-time.

Categories
Science Space

See the sharpest movie of the sun ever made, with each plasma cell the size of Texas

The sun is about 93,000,000 miles away from Earth. The sun’s light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second, in total taking just 8 minutes to reach us.

The National Solar Observatory (NSO) has brought us the sharpest view of the sun we’ve seen yet using the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope. Each plasma cell is about the size of Texas.

This is how NSO describes capturing the footage:

The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope has produced the highest resolution observations of the Sun’s surface ever taken. In this movie, taken at a wavelength of 705nm over a period of 10 minutes, we can see features as small as 30km (18 miles) in size for the first time ever. The movie shows the turbulent, “boiling” gas that covers the entire sun.

The cell-like structures – each about the size of Texas – are the signature of violent motions that transport heat from the inside of the sun to its surface. Hot solar material (plasma) rises in the bright centers of “cells,” cools off and then sinks below the surface in dark lanes in a process known as convection. In these dark lanes we can also see the tiny, bright markers of magnetic fields. Never before seen to this clarity, these bright specks are thought to channel energy up into the outer layers of the solar atmosphere called the corona. These bright spots may be at the core of why the solar corona is more than a million degrees!

Categories
Space

Breathtaking views of the Earth from the International Space Station

Ever wanted to see Planet Earth from 248 miles away? That’s how high the International Space Station orbits above the earth, which is about the same distance as New York to Washington DC, or London to Durham.

Thanks to these epic views of our planet from the International Space Station in the thermosphere, now you can get glimpse of the perspective.

Watch the crescent Earth rotate among the solar panels and the sun in various views as the International Space Station orbits Earth at 17,500mph.

Stunning. And be sure to follow the International Space Station on Twitter for more live shots.

views of the Earth from the International Space Station
Photo: NASA
views of the Earth from the International Space Station
Photo: NASA
views of the Earth from the International Space Station
Photo: NASA

Videos via Nasa/Images via Astro_Jessica

Categories
Nature Science

Visualizing the hours of daylight in one year

Visualizing the hours of daylight in one year #gif #earth #space #sunlight #winter #seasons #summer

Reddit user harpalss used animation software D3 to create a beautiful visualization of the changing patterns of daylight in one year. This is how the user describes it:

Equation to calculate the hours of daylight for a given day of year and latitude can be found here. The animation was built with D3.

Both the northern and southern hemispheres experience longer and shorter days, depending on the time of year. That means less daylight right now (late November) for those in the United States and Canada and longer days for those in South America.

As Visual Capitalist accurately describes the data visualization:

Daytime is shorter in winter than in summer, for each hemisphere. This is because the Earth’s imaginary axis isn’t straight up and down, it is tilted 23.5 degrees. The Earth’s movement around this axis causes the change between day and night.

During summer in the Northern Hemisphere, daylight hours increase the farther north you go. The Arctic gets very little darkness at night. The seasonal changes in daylight hours are small near the Equator and more extreme close to the poles.