• ES Picture of the Day 29 2022

    From Black Panther@21:1/186 to All on Tue Mar 29 12:00:56 2022
    EPOD - a service of USRA

    The Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) highlights the diverse processes and phenomena which shape our planet and our lives. EPOD will collect and archive photos, imagery, graphics, and artwork with short explanatory
    captions and links exemplifying features within the Earth system. The
    community is invited to contribute digital imagery, short captions and
    relevant links.


    Rainbow Pyrite

    March 29, 2022

    6FB61C25-FFDF-4A25-BCE6-40FE92AE2373

    Photographer: Allen Steinburg

    Summary Author: Allen Steinburg

    Rainbow pyrite is the trade name for Pyrite Druzy and a non-Quartz
    species of gemstone. These colorful rock specimens are valued for
    their rainbow-like iridescence caused by differential refraction
    and diffraction of light. Historically, this metallic looking rock was
    extracted in Russia, however, the former 1870 abandoned Shipman
    pyrite mine in Ontario, Canada is proving to be another source for
    rainbow pyrite along with uncommonly large octahedral pyrite crystals.
    Photo taken on November 10, 2021.
    * Shipman Mine Ontario, Canada Coordinates: 44.53750,-75.79694

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    Geology Links

    * Earthquakes
    * Geologic Time
    * Geomagnetism
    * General Dictionary of Geology
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    * This Dynamic Earth
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    -
    Earth Science Picture of the Day is a service of the Universities
    Space Research Association.

    https://epod.usra.edu

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  • From Black Panther@21:1/186 to All on Fri Apr 29 12:01:28 2022
    EPOD - a service of USRA

    The Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) highlights the diverse processes and phenomena which shape our planet and our lives. EPOD will collect and archive photos, imagery, graphics, and artwork with short explanatory
    captions and links exemplifying features within the Earth system. The
    community is invited to contribute digital imagery, short captions and
    relevant links.


    California Quail After a Snowstorm

    April 29, 2022

    Quailhome1391c_6mar22

    Quailhome1389c_6mar22

    Photographer: Ray Boren

    Summary Author: Ray Boren

    One can anthropomorphically imagine what the birds in this flock, or
    covey, of California quail might be thinking: Wasn’t it spring
    yesterday? Where did all this snow come from? How are we going to
    scratch and forage for seeds and other edibles as we usually do here a
    few times every day? The weather indeed had been spring-like, but the
    transition from winter into spring can be fickle. More than a foot
    (30.5 centimeters) of snow fell the day I took these portraits, on
    March 6, 2022, while furtively peering out a sliding door into my
    backyard in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    The plump California quail (Callipepla californica) is a species
    known for its curved head-top plumes. The mostly gray males have strong
    face markings, with black-to-gray shaded faces and bibs, as well as a
    white border stripe on the neck and brow. Females are lighter overall,
    brown to gray, and without bold face designs. Both genders have white
    to light-brown scale-like patterns on their bellies. The birds’
    traditional range is in brushy terrain from Baja California to the
    American Northwest, and the species was designated California’s
    official state bird in 1931. A cadenced warning call, often raised by a
    male sentry perched higher than quail down on the ground, has been
    described as sounding like “Chi-ca-go,” which, of course, is not in
    California.

    So, what are these West Coast natives doing in Utah? According to the
    Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, California quail — a game bird
    often called valley quail in California itself — were introduced to the
    Salt Lake City area in 1869 by a military officer who released 14 pair
    at nearby Fort Douglas. They thrived in the low foothills. Other
    releases have been made in the past 150-plus years. Though often
    habituated to humans, the quail remain cautious. When frightened or
    startled, the birds quickly flush and fly short distances toward
    safety.
    * Salt Lake City, Utah Coordinates: 40.7608, -111.8910

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    Animal Links

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    Earth Science Picture of the Day is a service of the
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    Universities Space Research Association.

    https://epod.usra.edu

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  • From Black Panther@21:1/186 to All on Wed Jun 29 12:00:54 2022
    EPOD - a service of USRA

    The Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) highlights the diverse processes and phenomena which shape our planet and our lives. EPOD will collect and archive photos, imagery, graphics, and artwork with short explanatory
    captions and links exemplifying features within the Earth system. The
    community is invited to contribute digital imagery, short captions and
    relevant links.


    Solar Halo Over Torres Vedras, Portugal

    June 29, 2022

    Solar-Halo

    Photographer: Paulo P. Pereira

    Summary Authors: Paulo P. Pereira; Cadan Cummings

    The photo above features a 22-degree solar halo spotted near
    Torres Vedras, Portugal on March 13, 2022. At first glance through
    a window, I saw what looked like an upside-down rainbow. When I went
    outside to photograph it, I realized it was a solar halo.

    Halo phenomena appear when randomly oriented ice crystals
    composing cirrus clouds reflect and refract incoming sunlight. The name
    of the halo (22 degrees) denotes the angle in which the ice crystals
    bend the incoming light to create this colorful and vibrant circular
    effect. In total, this halo remained visible for over half an hour.

    Photo details: Canon EOS RP, RF 24-105mm, f/13, 1/800 second exposure,
    ISO-100, 24mm
    * Torres Vedras, Lisboa, Portugal Coordinates: 39.0918, -9.2600

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    Atmospheric Effects Links

    * Atmospheric Optics
    * Optic Picture of Day: Gruppo Astrofili Galileo Galilei
    * Color and Light in Nature
    * The Colors of Twillight and Sunset
    * Refraction Index
    * Image Gallery: Atmospheric Effects
    * What is a Rainbow?

    -
    Earth Science Picture of the Day is a service of the Universities
    Space Research Association.

    https://epod.usra.edu

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  • From Black Panther@21:1/186 to All on Fri Jul 29 12:01:10 2022
    EPOD - a service of USRA

    The Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) highlights the diverse processes and phenomena which shape our planet and our lives. EPOD will collect and archive photos, imagery, graphics, and artwork with short explanatory
    captions and links exemplifying features within the Earth system. The
    community is invited to contribute digital imagery, short captions and
    relevant links.


    Mature Snapdragon Flowers Remain Closed

    July 29, 2022

    Menashe_snapdragon1a

    Menashe_snapdragon2

    Photographer: Menashe Davidson

    Summary Author: M enashe Davidson

    The time of flower opening marks the onset of a period in which
    pollinators are attracted by the flower sweetness, leading a pollen
    removal and pollination. In many species the flowers are open
    permanently, whereby the opening period is terminated by a closure
    movement, or by petal withering or abscission. But there are few
    species, such as snapdragons, where mature flowers stay closed.

    Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus, family Plantaginaceae) have a wide
    range of flower colors, and they’re easily grown in gardens. The
    snapdragon flowers are closed flowers (top photo) with two modified
    petals, described as lips, that essentially prevent honeybees from
    penetrating them. Note, however, that the flowers can be opened when
    they're pressed on their sides (bottom photo). Here we can see the
    inside of the flower, where there are four stamens with white
    filaments surrounding a pistil (green stalk). Bumblebees, which
    are much bigger than honeybees, are the main pollinators for
    snapdragons because they’re larger size permits them to open the closed
    flowers. Photos taken in March 2022, from my home garden in Rishon
    LeZion, Israel.


    Rishon LeZion, Israel Coordinates 31.9730, 34.7925


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  • From Black Panther@21:1/186 to All on Mon Aug 29 12:00:40 2022
    EPOD - a service of USRA

    The Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) highlights the diverse processes and phenomena which shape our planet and our lives. EPOD will collect and archive photos, imagery, graphics, and artwork with short explanatory
    captions and links exemplifying features within the Earth system. The
    community is invited to contribute digital imagery, short captions and
    relevant links.


    Idaho’s Gravity-Defying Balanced Rock

    August 29, 2022

    RayB_balrockida248ac_26july22 (006)

    RayB_balrockpkida253c_26july22 (006)

    Photographer: Ray Boren

    Summary Author: Ray Boren

    High above a rural road southwest of Twin Falls, Idaho, rises a huge,
    precariously poised hoodoo shaped somewhat like the continent
    of Africa. Like many of its kind, it is simply called Balanced
    Rock, as illustrated in a photograph taken on July 26, 2022. An
    upward-tilted arrow on a roadside sign points toward it, and the sign
    reports that this natural sculpture, some 48 feet high and 40 feet
    wide (14.6 by 12.2 meters), hovers over a slim base only 3 feet by 17.5
    inches wide (0.9 by 0.5 meters).

    Shaped by differential weathering over a great span of time, the
    pillar is composed of rhyolite, a silica-infused magma laid
    down about 8 million years ago on the southern fringe of the Snake
    River Plain, when the volcanic hot spot below today’s Yellowstone
    National Park instead sat 300 miles (480 kilometers) away, below this
    part of southern Idaho.

    Just down the road from Balanced Rock is a veritable oasis in this dry
    setting: Twin Falls County’s Balanced Rock Park, as shown in a
    second photograph taken the same day. Salmon Falls Creek, en route
    to the Snake River, flows beneath volcanic escarpments, providing
    visitors a pleasant spot for picnicking, camping, hiking, climbing,
    boating and fishing.


    Balanced Rock, Idaho Coordinates: 42.5482386, -114.9575579


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    Geography Links

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    Earth Science Picture of the Day is a service of the Universities
    Space Research Association.

    https://epod.usra.edu

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  • From Black Panther@21:1/186 to All on Thu Sep 29 12:01:08 2022
    EPOD - a service of USRA

    The Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) highlights the diverse processes and phenomena which shape our planet and our lives. EPOD will collect and archive photos, imagery, graphics, and artwork with short explanatory
    captions and links exemplifying features within the Earth system. The
    community is invited to contribute digital imagery, short captions and
    relevant links.


    Use of Wild Plants in Floriculture

    September 29, 2022


    Menashe_Thistle_Picture2

    Menashe_Thistle_Picture3a

    Photographer: Menashe Davidson
    Summary Author: Menashe Davidson

    Over recent years, the floriculture trade, in particular cut
    flowers and potted ornamentals, has been on the rise, driven by the
    growing interest of society in environmental and well-being benefits.
    Consequently, it’s in the best interest of floriculturists to tap
    upcoming trends related to new ornamental plants. Wild plants are a
    category of potential candidates that could be used as ornamentals. The
    term “wild” when applied to plant species refers to plants that grow
    spontaneously in self-maintaining populations, in a natural or
    semi-natural ecosystem, that can exist independent of any direct human
    action.

    The common globe thistle, Echinops adenocaulos, is a prickly
    wildflower in the Asteraceae family that thrives almost everywhere in
    Israel (top photo). The plant's Hebrew name is 'kipodan', meaning
    "hedgehog", because the spherical inflorescence of the flowers
    resembles a hedgehog. Seeing the thistle's cheerful bloom of impressive
    purple flower during Israel’s mid-summer, gave me the idea that this
    plant is a potential candidate to be used as an ornamental in my home
    garden. In addition, after the flower's petals fade, the fruits and
    seeds of the small globe thistle plant are eye-catching in their own
    right.

    Last year, I collected a bundle of many single fruits called
    " achenes" that I inserted on an apical plate that were then
    sown in containers in my home garden during mid-winter. The top photo
    (taken on June 22) and the bottom photo (taken on July 29) demonstrate
    my success in the domestication of a wild plant without any modifying
    human labor to meet its specific needs.


    Rishon Le Zion, Israel Coordinates: 31.9730, 34.7925


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    Plant Links

    * Discover Life
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    -
    Earth Science Picture of the Day is a service of the Universities
    Space Research Association.

    https://epod.usra.edu

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  • From Black Panther@21:1/186 to All on Tue Nov 29 11:01:08 2022
    EPOD - a service of USRA

    The Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) highlights the diverse processes and phenomena which shape our planet and our lives. EPOD will collect and archive photos, imagery, graphics, and artwork with short explanatory
    captions and links exemplifying features within the Earth system. The
    community is invited to contribute digital imagery, short captions and
    relevant links.


    Carob Mushroom in Early Stage of Growth

    November 29, 2022


    Fungo di carrubo

    Photographer: Emanuele Nifosì

    Summary Author: Emanuele Nifosì

    Shown above is the rather rare carob mushroom I came across in Regusa,
    Sicily (Italy). The scientific name of this yellow-orange fungus is
    " Laetiporus sulphureus." This year, due to the drought, these
    mushrooms were even more rare. They can be found on the lower trunk of
    some carob trees, or, even more rarely, on the trunks of almond
    trees. August and September, after a rainy day or two, is when the
    Carob mushroom begins to grow.

    The fruiting body of the fungus grows in only a small percentage of
    carob trees for two reasons: firstly, because it’s generated by a
    secondary parasite that manages to "infect" the tree only through
    wounds; secondly, because the carob tree is widespread, but in a very
    narrow climatic belt. In Italy, about 70% of this species exists in the
    province of Ragusa. Note that this mushroom also forms on deciduous
    trees such as chestnut, beech or eucalyptus, but when it does it seems
    to develop a certain toxicity, which is why it’s considered edible only
    when plucked from carob or almond trees -- after boiling. Photo taken
    on September 11, 2022.

    Photo details: Nikon D700 camera; Nikkor lens 70-210: ISO 400; f. 5/6;
    1/100 second exposure.
    Contrada Cuturi, Regusa, Sicily, Italy Coordinates: 36,815488,
    14,700164


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    -
    Earth Science Picture of the Day is a service of the Universities
    Space Research Association.

    https://epod.usra.edu

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  • From Black Panther@21:1/186 to All on Thu Dec 29 11:00:38 2022
    EPOD - a service of USRA

    The Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) highlights the diverse processes and phenomena which shape our planet and our lives. EPOD will collect and archive photos, imagery, graphics, and artwork with short explanatory
    captions and links exemplifying features within the Earth system. The
    community is invited to contribute digital imagery, short captions and
    relevant links.


    Dalene Matthee Big Tree

    December 29, 2022

    Louise_IMG_20221210_114403 (003)

    Photographer: Louise van der Meulen

    Summary Author: Louise van der Meulen; Jim Foster

    The stunning specimen featured above is thought to be over 800 years
    old. Found in the montane forest near Knysna, South Africa, it’s
    called the Dalene Matthee Big Tree. And big it is -- standing 131
    ft (40 m) with a diameter of 5.6 ft (1.72 m). This handsome giant
    belongs to the Podocarpus falcatus species (family
    Podocarpaceae) and is commonly referred to as a yellowwood tree.
    Photo taken on December 9, 2022.

    The sign at its base reads -

    Like a towering king it stood towering above the white alder and
    mountain saffron, stinkwood, assegai and hard pear. As if God had
    planted long before the others. Its giant root anchored it to the
    ground like giant arms.

    Dalene Matthee, Circle in a Forest, 1984.


    Knysna, South Africa Coordinates: 33.9167 -22.9579


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    Plant Links

    * Discover Life
    * Tree Encyclopedia
    * What are Phytoplankton?
    * Encyclopedia of Life - What is a Plant?
    * USDA Plants Database
    * University of Texas Native Plant Database
    * Plants in Motion
    * What Tree is It?

    -
    Earth Science Picture of the Day is a service of the Universities
    Space Research Association.

    https://epod.usra.edu

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