Saturday, July 25, 2009

The longest solar eclipse of 21 century

This eclipse was visible mainly in Asia - especially China and India.
The first photo is of a Pakistani woman sitting next to her paralyzed son, buried in the sand, because of the belief that, if he sees the eclipse in this position, he will be able to walk again.


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Friday, July 24, 2009

Safari park baboons ransack cars after learning to break into luggage boxes

A group of tearaway baboons are wreaking havoc on a safari park after learning to crack open rooftop luggage boxes and escaping with visitors' goods.Keepers at Knowsley Safari Park have been forced to issue warnings after the opportunistic primates developed a taste for human possessions.
The cheeky monkeys - who are known for tearing off the odd wiper or wing mirror - have been targeting cars carrying the roof boxes before pouncing on the unsuspecting visitors, who are forced to watch helplessly as their things disappear.

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Now bosses at the Merseyside park have slapped the artful animals with what they call 'Anti Social Baboon Orders' and have warned visitors not to travel through the infamous monkey jungle with luggage on their roof.
Safari Park general manager, David Ross, said when the first luggage box was broken into, staff didn't really take much notice as they thought it was a one-off incident.But they soon realised they had a problem on their hands when visitors reported the pesky primates kept stealing their things.

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The baboons have discovered a knack for opening the luggage boxes, forcing staff to warn visitors against entering the enclosure with the roof-top devices

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See no evil: Trying on a new hat for size
'Their technique involves the largest baboons jumping up and down on the box, flexing it until the lock bursts open, then the rest of the baboons pile in to see what they can find,' Mr Ross said. 'Obviously, we're well used to them helping themselves to the odd wing mirror or wiper blade, but this has taken things to a whole new level.
'Let's face it, nobody wants to see a baboon running up a tree with their underwear.'
But Mr Ross said some visitors continued to ignore the warnings and paid a high price.
There are currently more than 140 baboons at Knowsley Safari Park and visitor surveys consistently show them to be the attraction's most popular exhibit.

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The primates all scramble to get their paws on visitor's possessions

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Monkey see, monkey steal: The baboons swarm the car and ransack the roof box

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Nothing is safe from the cheeky monkeys who will take just about anything, including underwear

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Capturing the Stars

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A new book featuring stunning images of heavenly bodies has been published


The True Color of the Solar Corona
This extraordinary image displays the range of true coronal colors. The blue sky has been artificially removed close to the sun’s surface, revealing the green hues dominant in the innermost corona (1.8 million degrees Kelvin), caused by the presence of the element Fe XIV, known as coronium. The corona becomes progressively redder farther from the sun’s surface as dust particles scatter the shorter wavelengths of light

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Picture: Miloslav Druckmüller


IC 1396
IC 1396 is a large nebula in the constellation Cepheus spanning 3 full degrees of winter sky, the same angular distance of six full moons. This image highlights the conspicuous globule IC 1396A - a striking structure sculpted by the radiation of nearby stars

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Picture: Johannes Schedler


The Bubble Nebula
A cosmic bubble of titanic proportions called the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635), six light years wide, was formed by violent winds blown out by the hot central supergiant star, several hundred thousand times more luminous than our sun

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Picture: Russell Croman


Solar Crescent and Baily’s Beads
Lasting only a few seconds during the early and late stages of eclipse totality, the rugged lunar topography allows “beads” of sunlight to peek through. The effect is named in honour of English astronomer Francis Baily, who observed the phenomenon in 1836. Planet-sized flares are visible on the solar surface

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Picture: Fred Espenak


Solar Prominences
Hot gaseous matter ejected from the sun is returned to its surface by powerful magnetic fields, forming immense arc-like prominences

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Picture: Thierry Legault


Aurora Borealis on November 8, 2004, Langhus, Norway
Glowing modulations of light form a variety of rays, arcs, and curtains. Each ray lines up along the direction of Earth’s magnetic field as excited molecules in Earth’s upper atmosphere collide and release their energy in the form of visible light. Green and red hues are produced by excited oxygen, while blue auroras are produced by nitrogen in the earth’s atmosphere

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Picture: Arne Danielsen


Nebulosity Surrounding Antares
Glowing with the luminosity of 40,000 suns, the red supergiant star Antares is an imposing sight. Matter ejected by the aging star scatters its starlight, forming the vast yellow cloud that appears to engulf the star

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Picture: David Malin


Comet Hyakutake
Discovered by amateur astronomer Yuji Hyakutake in January 1996, Comet Hyakutake made a close approach to earth in March 1996. Highly visible even in daylight, the comet put on an amazing visual and photographic spectacle. The comet’s remarkable tail is 360 million miles long, the longest known for any comet

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Picture: Bill and Sally Fletcher


Cygnus and Lyra
This rich wide-field image showcases not only the bright stars of the constellations Cygnus and Lyra but also the summer Milky Way and several notable summer nebulae such as the North American, Gamma Cygni, and Veil nebula complexes

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Picture: Bill and Sally Fletcher

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