Earth Science Pic of the Day for Mar. 7 – Tiny World in a Fallen Drop

Tiny World in a Fallen Drop

March 07, 2012

A tiny world in a fallen drop

Photographer: Thalia Traianou; Thalia’s Web site
Summary Author: Thalia Traianou; Jim Foster

This photo shows a pearl-like drop of water just breaking its bond with an ice stalactite (icicle). It was taken in the city of Florina, Greece in late December. Since the liquid drop behaves as would a simple lens, the refracted image of the tree branches and fence is inverted when viewed through the drop. The drop’s spherical shape results because surface tension minimizes its surface area. Thanks to Paul Gaintatzis for help with the image processing.

Photo details: Camera Maker: Canon; Camera Model: Canon EOS 500D; Focal Length: 40mm; Aperture: f/5.6; Exposure Time: 0.0003 s (1/4000); ISO equiv: 400; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Spot; Exposure: Manual; Exposure Mode: Manual; White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows.

Earth Science Pic for Sept. 19th – Portjengrat


September 19, 2011

Photographer: Zoltan Nemeth
Summary Authors: Zoltan Nemeth; Stu Witmer

Recently my friends and I climbed the Weissmies massif (13,198 ft or 4,023 m) in southern Switzerland. We began our climb early in the morning, and by the time the Sun rose we had reached an altitude of 9,495 ft (2,894 m) and the climber’s base at the Almageller hut. The clouds parted and the brilliant Sun filled the landscape dominated by the neighboring Portjengrat peak (11,995 ft or 3,656 m) shown above, which stands on the border between Switzerland and Italy where it’s known as Pizzo d’Andolla. These peaks are part of the Pennine Alps, relatively new mountains that were created during the last 30 million years (Oligocene and Miocene epochs) by the tectonic collision of Africa against Eurasia. Photo taken July 7, 2011.

Photo details: Camera Model: Panasonic DMC-TZ6; Focal Length: 5mm; Aperture: f4.5/5; Exposure Time: 1/500s; ISO equiv: 80; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: program (Auto); White Balance: Auto; Light Source: Unknown; Flash Fired: No; Color Space: sRGB.

Earth Science Pic of the Day for Sept. 17th – Alpine Larch in Autumn

Alpine Larch in Autumn

September 17, 2011

LyallsLarch (2)

: Robert Farrimond
Summary Author: Robert Farrimond

The photo above shows both the beautiful golden colors of the subalpine larch or Lyalls Larch (Larix lyallii Parl) as well as its distribution at and just below the tree line. This is how these deciduous coniferous trees appear in the Cascades Mountains of Washington State prior to shedding their needles. The view is looking west at the eastern boundary of the North Cascades National Park. Silver Star Mountain, The Needles, and the Golden Horn are shown in the background, from left to right, respectively. Photo taken on morning of September 29, 2010 — I was positioned at the 7,000 ft level (2,134 m) on Slate Peak.

Photo details: 1/320 shutter speed; 6.3 aperture; ISO 200; EF28-105mm lens; f/3.5-4.5; 28 mm focal length.

Earth Science Pic for September 14th

West Riverside, Montana Wildfire

September 14, 2011

Birnbaum_NASF_EPOD_05 (4)

: Josh Birnbaum; International Year of the Forests Photography Fellow
Summary Author: Josh Birnbaum; Jim Foster

The photo above shows a view of a wildfire that’s scarred more than 3,000 acres near West Riverside, Montana. It began on August 21, 2011, perhaps as a result of a lightning strike, but the exact cause is yet to be determined. More than 500 fire personnel worked to extinguishing it — finally did so in the last days of August. As with most all mountain fires, its suppression was a challenge because of the rough, steep terrain and gusty winds. Since the Northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest areas of the U.S. have been rather wet and cool this summer, the focus of this season’s wildfires is likely to be in the tinder dry southern Great Plains. Below is a ground view of the fire in late August.


Photo details
: Top – Camera Maker: Canon; Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II; Focal Length: 135mm; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0016 s (1/640); ISO equiv: 100; Exposure Bias: -0.67 EV; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: aperture priority (semi-auto); Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal. Fire – same except: Aperture: f/2.0; Exposure Time: 0.013 s (1/80); ISO equiv: 2000; Exposure Bias: -1.00 EV;
Color Space: sRGB.

  • West Riverside, Montana Coordinates: 46.883, -113.888

Earth Science Pic of the Day for 9/12 – Scorpio and Companions

Photographer: Stavros Hios; Stavros’s Web site
Summary Author: Stavros Hios; Jim Foster

The photo above showing the starry night sky as viewed from the village of Eglouvi on Lefkada Island, Greece was taken on June 29, 2011. The hook-shaped grouping of stars at left, dominated by brilliant 1.0 magnitude Antares, is the constellation of Scorpio. It appears that twin comets are blazing across the Heavens, but alas, it’s just a pair of Earth-bound fireflies gliding by the camera. Note that the structure in the foreground is the remnants of an ancient stone house.

Photo details: Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION; Camera Model: NIKON D3100; Lens: 18.0-135.0 mm f/3.5-5.6; Focal Length: 18mm (35mm equivalent: 27mm); Focus Distance: 3758m; Aperture: f/3.5; Exposure Time: 63.100 s; ISO equiv: 1600; Exposure Bias: +1.00 EV; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: Manual; Exposure Mode: Manual; White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No; Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB.