Friday, August 13, 2010


The Astronomy Picture of the Day editors seem to have realized that to move beyond just "Wow! That's awesome!" to truly heart-stopping photos, they need to bring in a little geology- earthly or otherwise. They've really been on a rip the last couple of weeks, with some very memorable images; I thought I'd go back and point out a few that dropped my jaw. These will get bigger if you click on them, and most have larger still versions by clicking the links, then clicking on the image for full-size. Also at the links are more complete descriptions.APOD 7/27: The Milky Way over Bryce Canyon National Park.
APOD 8/01: Thought to be volcanic domes on Venus, reconstructed from radar data (color not natural).
APOD 8/03: Fish eye view of the ground, stitched together with three panoramic views of the horizon and sky recreates the planet of The Little Prince. Click over and move your cursor over the photo for labels on various astronomical features.
APOD 8/04: Eclipse shadow cone over Patagonia, Andes Mountains in the distance.
APOD 8/10 Below, dune field in Namibia. Above, dune fields on- get this: Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Some of the similarities of Titan's geomorphology to Earth's are, well, unearthly. The description doesn't say what the composition of the sand is ("sand" specifies a grain size, not a composition); I suspect it's water ice. Ice appears to make up an important lithological component of Titan's surface. What we think of as "water" here would be considered lava to a Titan native, and "groundwater" would be the equivalent of magma.

1 comment:

Dana Hunter said...

Lockwood. Darling. Next time you're up Seattle way, I've got something to show you that's going to knock your socks off.