National Geographic’s Photo Of The Day: Sky Light


From Nat Geo:

Photograph by Emma Blythman, National Geographic Your Shot

Viewed from a remote ecolodge, the aurora borealis unfurls over a snowy plain in Canada’s Northwest Territories. “Having always had a love of the stars, I moved to the lodge to see the aurora and to learn to live off the land,” writes Your Shot member Emma Blythman. “Each night, after learning how to hunt and collecting wood, I would camp out by candlelight at the igloo, set up my camera, and watch the aurora dance above my head for hours. Magical.”


NASA’s Astronomy Picture Of The Day: Solar Flare From A Sharper Sun


From NASA:

Explanation: Solar active region AR2192 was the largest recorded sunspot group of the last 24 years. Before rotating off the Earth-facing side of the Sun at the end of October, it produced a whopping six energetic X-class flares. Its most intense flare was captured on October 24 in this stunning view from the orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory. The scene is a color combination of images made at three different wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light; 193 angstroms shown in blue, 171 angstroms in white, and 304 angstroms in red. The emission, from highly ionized Iron and Helium atoms, traces magnetic field lines looping through the hot plasma of the Sun’s outer chromosphere and corona. Beneath, the cooler solar photosphere appears dark at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths. The exceptionally sharp composite image has been processed with a new mathematical algorithm (NAFE) that adapts to noise and brightness in extreme ultraviolet image data to reliably enhance small details.

Image Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/AIA, NASA
Processing: NAFE by Miloslav Druckmuller (Brno University of Technology)

The SOAO Daily Ditty: Penelope Houston – ‘Waiting Room’

Well, I gotta say, I had no idea that Penelope Houston is now a legitimate singer-songwriter — acoustic guitars and mandolins abound. For those of you who need an introduction, Houston was the lead singer of the pioneering punk outfit from San Francisco, the Avengers, back in the late ’70s/early ’80s. I like them OK, I suppose, and I do believe that I have featured them on the “Daily Ditty” before, but I never really cared enough to follow any of their subsequent careers.

In all honesty, I was expecting this to be awful, but I was pleasantly surprised with her arrangements and songwriting prowess.

Via: Humpty Dumpty

TED Talks With Joshua M. Sneideman: Four Ways To Understand The Earth’s Age

From the TED-Ed YouTube channel:

The Earth is 4.6 billion years old — but how can humans relate to a number so colossal, and where do we fit on the geologic timeline? Comparing the Earth’s lifetime to one calendar year, events like the extinction of dinosaurs and Columbus setting sail took place relatively recently. Joshua M. Sneideman reminds us of our time and place in the universe.

Lesson by Joshua M. Sneideman, animation by Powerhouse Animation Studios Inc.

The Buffalo Blizzard Of 2014 On Social Media

The New York Times put this video together using footage that Buffalo-area residents had posted on various social media platforms. It looks like a lot of folks made the best out of a bad situation and even had some fun during and after one of the biggest snowstorms in western New York’s history laid its fury.

It obviously wasn’t all fun and games, and there’s still a lot of work to be done and possible flooding to deal with as the weather warms up for the area this weekend. Also, at least 13 storm-related deaths have been reported so far — and probably more to come — so that sucks, but at least most of Buffalo seems to be taking it in stride.

Source: The New York Times

Family Set To Break Christmas Lights Record

This is what happens when you have way too much time to kill and money to spend. Look, I like an impressive Christmas lights display as much as the next guy, but this is just ridiculous.

The dude even has the lights choreographed to Christmas songs; not only is that a bit of overkill, but it’s got to be pretty goddamn annoying for their neighbors.

Source: Associated Press