Daily science, nature and space photos

Science & Nature
Science picture of the day
Parker River News.science360.gov.org
28 May 2015

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The mouth of the Parker River is a major channel through Massachusetts' Plum Island salt marshes. Disappearance of healthy salt marshes has accelerated in recent decades, with some losses caused by sea-level rise and development.

Image credit: NSF Plum Island Ecosystems LTER Site

Fish eye News.science360.gov.org
27 May 2015

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This picture is a close-up view of a sea toad (Chaunax sp). These relatives of anglerfishes are commonly seen around some coral banks. They sit on the bottom and "walk around" on their pectoral fins.

Image credit: Dr. Steve Ross, UNC-W. NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration

Earth science picture of the day
Serra da Estrela Region of Portugal in Late Winter Epod.usra.edu
28 May 2015


Photographer: Ricardo Salvo
Summary Author: Ricardo Salvo

The highest elevations in continental Portugal are found in the Serra da Estrela region. A few peaks here approach 6,500 ft (1,980 m). In valleys between mountain ridges, lakes routinely freeze even during Portugal's generally moderate winter climate. Some of the higher elevation lakes of this region remain frozen until mid-March. The on...

Zohar Fortress Epod.usra.edu
27 May 2015

Zohar Fortress cliff rising above Wadi Zohar 28.12.14

Zohar Fortress  South West side 28.12.14

Photographer: Menashe Davidson Summary Author: Menashe Davidson

The Negev Desert, in the southern part of Israel, lies along the old trade routes from Rome to the Far East. Some 2,000 years ago, the ancient Roman Empire took control of these trade routes and annexed the Negev desert.

Among the most impressive features of Roman fortifications are the limites built along its empire borders duri...


Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 4945 Epod.usra.edu

Large spiral galaxy NGC 4945 is seen Large spiral galaxy NGC 4945 is seen

Approaching Pluto Epod.usra.edu

Here comes Pluto. Here comes Pluto.

Hubble picture of the day
Hubble Video Shows Shock Collision Inside Black Hole Jet Epod.usra.edu
27 May 2015

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One of the trademarks of the Star Wars film episodes is the dreaded Death Star battle station that fires a beam of directed energy powerful enough to blow up planets. The real universe has such fireworks, and they are vastly more powerful than the Star Wars creation. These extragalactic jets are tearing across hundreds of light-years of space at 98 percent the spe...

Hubble Observes One-of-a-Kind Star Nicknamed 'Nasty' Epod.usra.edu
21 May 2015

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Astronomers have spent decades trying to determine the oddball behavior of an aging star nicknamed "Nasty 1" residing in our Milky Way galaxy. Nasty 1 was identified as a Wolf-Rayet star, a rapidly evolving star that is much more massive than our sun. The star loses its hydrogen-filled outer layers quickly, exposing its super-hot and extremely bright helium-burning...

NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day

Cirrus Clouds off the Coast of Chile Epod.usra.edu
29 May 2015

Cirrus Clouds off the Coast of Chile
A striking display of high-altitude clouds over the Pacific Ocean are clearly cirrus, but further classification remains elusive.

Flooding on the Arkansas River Epod.usra.edu
28 May 2015

Flooding on the Arkansas River
Record-setting rain has sent rivers over the banks in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Animal of the day
Chinchilla - Magnificent Fur Blessing and Curse Thewebsiteofeverything.com
19 May 2015
ChinchillaIn the unforgiving, wind-swept Andes Mountains of South America, a fur coat so thick that it repels water is a blessing. Long-tailed chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera) are blessed with such a plush coat. But that same coat is the cause of their critically endangered status in the wild. They have been hunted so ruthlessly for their fur that they are nearly extinct in the wild. Fortunately, they s...

Hare - Easter bunny was a hare originally Thewebsiteofeverything.com
3 Apr 2015
hare The tradition of the Easter bunny originates from West-european cultures, where it is a hare (Lepus europaeus) rather than a rabbit... German protestants had an abundance of eggs because of fasting. "German Protestants wanted to retain the Catholic custom of eating colored eggs for Easter, but did not want to introduce their children to the Catholic rite of fasting. Eggs were forbidden to Cath...

Botany photo of the day
Trifolium repens BotanicalGarden.ubc.ca
28 May 2015
Trifolium repens

I am very familiar with Trifolium repens, or white clover, but I did not recognize it in Bruce Brethauer's (aka Glichidman@Flickr) close-up of Trifolium repens florets (a floret is a small flower in a composite of flowers). Thanks Bruce, for making me see a familiar plant species from an entirely different perspective.

There is a good chance that you have seen a Trifolium repens plant today. O...

Preissia quadrata BotanicalGarden.ubc.ca
27 May 2015
Preissia quadrata

Todays photo features a complex thallose liverwort, Preissia quadrata. This photo was taken by Robert Klips (aka Orthotrichum@Flickr) in Adams County, Ohio, U.S.A. Thanks, Robert!

If you are like me, you have no idea what a complex thallose liverwort is. Thankfully, there are many sources available to us as we embark on a crash-course on liverwort morphology. Liverworts are the most ancient gr...

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