June 7, 2014
Time exposure of Mt. Fuji in Japan, from the south. via @SciencePorn Photo by Prasit Chansareekorn
As best I’ve determined, the photographer is Prasit Chansareekorn, of Thailand. Obviously an amazing photographer. We might also presume the star over the summit is Polaris.
Thai photographer Prasit Chansareekorn
Fujiyama is the single most-visited tourist spot in Japan. (“Fujiyama” translates to “Mt. Fuji.”) It’s the tallest mountain in Japan, at 3,776 meters (12,380 feet). In Japanese, there is a special word for a sunrise viewed from the mountain: Goraiko. About 200,000 people climb the mountain every year.
It’s an active volcano, though its last eruption was 1707. Vulcanologists discuss the possibility the mountain is overdue for an eruption.
Who would be in the best spot to get a photo of such an eruption? What would van Gogh have made of this view?
May 30, 2014
From the Department of Interior’s Twitter feed: Looking for a wow photo? This picture of the Milky Way over Natural Bridges Natl Monument should do the trick. pic.twitter.com/RfuDj7KXSA
Owachomo Bridge? Photographer? I wish Interior would put in all the details with their photos.
May 22, 2014
Love this photo for many reasons.
U. S. Department of Interior on Twitter: Amazing photo of a night heron in J.N. “Ding” Darling NWR by intern Libby Errickson. @USFWSSoutheast #Florida pic.twitter.com/PA04nE4hhD
Let me count the ways I love it:
- It’s a great photo, of a beautiful bird — a pose you won’t see often.
- An intern took it. Management of our great natural treasures, the Wildlife Refuges, the National Parks, the National Monuments, is flat enough that an intern can get great experience, and spend a lifetime — and score a great picture that the poobahs in Washington like and promote. It’s a career photo; let’s hope Libby Errickson has (or had) a great internship, and this is just the first of many career photos or studies or whatever.
- At a time when federal management of public lands is under fire, generally unjustifiably, simply for doing a good job but not having billionaires running their press operations, this is one more small example of something done right, for a long time. The J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is one of the oldest in the U.S. It was created by Executive Order from President Harry Truman in 1945, and is now one of more than 500 units of National Wildlife Refuges under the management of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other federal agencies.
- Bonus: Ding Darling was a political cartoonist, and a conservationist. His pen, in pictures and words, convinced authorities to stop the sale and development of Sanibel Island in the Gulf of Mexico, preserving unique and valuable bird habitat. This refuge celebrates one of our greatest political cartoonists. It was renamed from Sanibel to Ding Darling NWR in 1967. If you ask me, we don’t honor our political cartoonists enough.
Video on the refuge, from the Ding Darling Society:
May 20, 2014
Photo after photo, I come increasingly to understand why my oldest brother, Jerry, wanted to spend his life and eternity in the Yellowstone.
Wholly apart from the thermal “features” and geological wonders, the area is just smashingly beautiful day in and day out, in even the mundane areas away from the celebrated features.
Here’s a part of the Madison River, just flowing through its streambed, at sunset.
Yellowstone National Park’s Twitter feed: Spring sunset on the Madison River. pic.twitter.com/8nZSxJvBeZ
May 18, 2014
U.S. Department of Interior, Twitter feed: Beautiful view of the Moon over
Mabius Mobius Arch in the Alabama Hills Recreation Area. #California @BLMca pic.twitter.com/u0KYyJ6p0S
Interesting points, reasons to like this image:
- No, that’s not the Sun. It’s the Moon.
- Who knew California had natural arches? I mean, it makes sense — but there’s one in Virginia, and a bunch of them at Arches National Park, and . . .
- An arch that should be in Utah, in the Alabama Hills, but not in Alabama, in California.
- Great photograph, obviously a long exposure.
Let’s see if we can find the name of the photographer. Pox on Interior for failing to fit that into the caption. Photographer is Steve Perry, and you should check out his site (and buy some photos!). (Thanks, J. A. Higginbotham, for tracking that down.)
- America’s public lands, showing how they are unexcelled at astonishing us.
- What? Interior called the “Mabius Arch?” No, it’s the Mobius Arch!
- This place was named after the Confederate warship C.S.S. Alabama. Sympathetic miners making claims on minerals, it appears. “The unusual name Alabama Hills came about during the Civil War. In 1864 Southern sympathizers in Lone Pine discovered gold ‘in them thar hills.’ When they heard that a Confederate cruiser named the Alabama had burned, sunk or captured more than 60 Federal ships in less than two years they named their mining claims after the cruiser to celebrate. Before long the name applied to the whole area. Coincidentally, while Southerners were prospecting around Lone Pine, there were Union sympathizers 15 miles north near Independence. And when the Alabama was sunk off the coast of France by the U.S.S. Kearsarge in 1864, the Independence people struck back. They not only named their mining claims ‘Kearsarge’ but a mountain peak, a mountain pass, and a whole town as well.”
- More than 400 movies were shot using Alabama Hills for a backdrop, including How the West Was Won, Gunga Din (standing in for the hills of northern India) and the 1960 Audie Murphy classic, Hell Bent for Leather.
- Geologists will love that this area is a prime example of chemical erosion — rocks made out of the same stuff as the craggy Sierra Nevada Mountains in the distance, but eroded differently.
- Lichens by moonlight! (Or is that just desert varnish?)
- Alabama Hills Recreation Area: “On May 24, 1969, the BLM dedicated nearly 30,000 acres of public land west of Lone Pine, CA, as the Alabama Hills Recreation Area. Management plans are being considered that will eventually include a scenic trail system that people may walk and enjoy this geologic phenomena at a leisurely pace.“
- Several more views of the arch, at NaturalBornHikers.com
- A few hundred other shots at Flickr, many of them spectacular
- Everybody knows about Mobius strips, right? Maybe as “Moebius?” Wolfram’s version. Cut the Knot. Wikipedia. Fun found by Jennifer Ouelette. More fun at Phil Plait’s shop (Bad Astronomy) involving rare earth magnets, liquid nitrogen, a superconducting puck, and a Mobius strip.
May 13, 2014
Milky Way over Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Photo by Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinović, from the video (which also features Grand Canyon National Park)
Phil Plait’s column/blog at Slate, Bad Astronomy, put me on to this one. Wow.
You can see it at Vimeo, and read a lot more about the making of the film.
YIKÁÍSDÁHÁ (Navajo for Milky Way or “That Which Awaits the Dawn”)
And that they do. The Milky Way is the star of the show; the galactic bulge, disk, and dark fingers of vast dust lanes as clear as if this were taken from space. Well, sort of; I was impressed by the mix of clouds and sky, to be honest. The contrast was interesting, and it’s rather amazing the Milky Way could stand out so clearly above the cloud line.
One thing I want to point out specifically: At 2:10 in, a meteor flashes and leaves behind a curling wisp of what looks like smoke. This is called a persistent train, the vaporized remains of the meteoroid itself, and can glow for several minutes. The upper level winds from 60–100 km above Earth’s surface are what blow it into those curlicues.
More details, for more films from these guys:
Shot and Produced by: Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinović
Music: A Seated Night (Ambient) by Moby. Courtesy MobyGratis.com / Unknown Native Chant
Thanks: Northern Arizona University, Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley Tribal Park.
See other Sunchaser Timelapses on Vimeo here: vimeo.com/album/189653
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