Album: Photos:My Astronomy and Earth Science Pictures of the Day

This is a collection of pictures which have been accepted to be shown as Astronomy Picture of the Day or Earth Science Picture of the Day.
APOD 2004-10-15
On a rare foggy night, mysterious laser beams seem to play across the MAGIC telescope at Roque de los Muchachos on the Canary Island of La Palma. The lasers are actually part of a system designed to automatically adjust the focusing of the innovative, seventeen meter wide, multi-mirrored instrument. The MAGIC (Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov) telescope itself is intended to detect gamma rays - photons with over 100 billion times the energy of visible light. As the gamma rays impact the upper atmosphere they produce air showers of high-energy particles. The MAGIC camera records in detail the brief flashes of optical light, called Cherenkov light, created by the air shower particles that ultimately correspond to cosmic sources of extreme gamma-rays. While the MAGIC I telescope became operational this year, the dramatic picture shows the nearly completed version of the instrument in October 2003.
Circumhorizontal Arc Over Lindau
EPOD 2004-10-16
The photo above shows an eyecatching circumhorizontal arc and was captured near Lindau, Germany on June 30, 2004. The Sun, though not visible, is positioned above this arc. Circumhorizontal arcs and the more frequently observed circumzenithal arcs are complementary halos.
Patterns of Light in a Salt Water Pool
EPOD 2006-12-07
This picture showing a caustic network was taken in a natural salt water swimming pool near La Fajana, on La Palma (Canary Islands), Spain. An undulating surface of water acts like an arrangement of concave and convex lenses, causing an uneven brightness distribution at the bottom of a pool or even a shallow sea floor. The brighter blotches are in crude focus. The dispersion of water (the refractive index is different for different colors) is partially responsible for the observed color patterns—the height of the waves determines the focal length of the formed "lenses." This effect also causes the sometimes observed shadow bands during solar eclipses and is best seen when the water's depth is about 5 times the waves crest to crest distance.
Limestone terraces at Pamukkale
EPOD 2007-01-24
The above photo shows the fascinating limestone terraces at Pamukkale, in southwestern Turkey - Pamukkale means cotton castle in Turkish. They're approximately 2,700 m long and 160 m high. Though they resemble frozen waterfalls, these terraces are composed of calcite and aragonite, which are crystalline forms of calcium carbonate (travertine).
Colorful parhelion
EPOD 2007-09-10
The picture shows an extraordinarily colorful parhelion in a thin veil of cirrus clouds. Parhelia are among the most commonly observed halos; refraction of the sunlight in small, hexagonal ice cristals in the clouds are responsible for this atmospheric phenomenon. The picture was taken on the early morning of October 31, 2006, from Munich, Germany.
Blue and Violet Flash
Picture of the Month September 2007 (AKM e.V.); EPOD 2008-01-26
Surprise Glacier
EPOD 2007-09-20
Glaciers are abundant in South-central Alaska's Prince William Sound. One showcase glacier is Surprise Glacier, whose bluish ice formations are seen in the picture. Is glacier ice really blue? No, it just appears to be blue: While the red part of white light is absorbed by the ice, the blue light is transmitted and scattered. The longer the light travels in ice, the more blue it appears. In contrast to ice, light does not penetrate far into snow, thus snow appears white.
Startrails above Sölden
EPOD 2007-12-20
The fact that the celestial sphere is rotating (or more accurately, of course, that the Earth is), can be seen when observing long-term exposures of the sky. In particular close to the celestial equator, rather dramatic star-trail pictures like this one captured during almost 3 hours at the Soelden ski resort (2700 m asl), gives a impression of the apparent motion of celestial sphere. The effect comes about as the celestial equator, a plane dividing the celestial sphere in a Northern and a Southern half, passes right through the constellation of Orion, which is seen in the lower center of the picture.
Lapland Storm
EPOD 2008-08-20
La Palma Green Flashes
Submitted to APOD
Green Flash at the Great Sand Dunes
Submitted to EPOD 2008-08-27
Rainring at the Jet d'Eaux, Genève
Submitted to EPOD 2008-10-26
JWST at Deutsches Museum
Submitted to APOD 2008-10-26
Photo album generated by photo album generator from Dave Madison's Marginal Hacks on Fri Aug 29 13:12:21 2014
All photos Copyright © 1990-2014, Robert Wagner