Wikipedia:Picture of the day/October 2008

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These featured pictures previously appeared (or shall appear) as Picture of the day as scheduled below. You can add the automatically updating Picture of the day to your userpage or talk page using {{pic of the day}} (text version) or {{POTD}} (short version). For instructions on how to make custom POTD layouts, see Wikipedia:Picture of the day.


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October 1 - Wed

Picture of the day
Guhyasamāja tantra

A 17th century Central Tibetan thangka (painted or embroidered banner) of Guhyasamaja Akshobhyavajra, from the Guhyasamāja tantra, a tantra whose practice is important to many schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The Guhyasamaja ("Secret Assembly") tantra was developed at an early date in history to aid the Buddhist practitioner in understanding and practicing Tantric Buddhism to attain enlightenment. These are the basic texts of the Tantric—an esoteric and highly symbolic—form of Buddhism, which developed in India and became dominant in Tibet.

Artist: Unknown
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October 2 - Thu

Picture of the day
Braunvieh

A Braunvieh cow wearing a cow bell below Fuorcla Sesvenna in the Engadin, Switzerland. Of Swiss origin, these cows were imported to the United States in the 19th century where they became the origin of the modern Brown Swiss cattle breed. Since the 1960s, Brown Swiss cattle have been crossed back into the Braunvieh stock of Europe. They are commonly various shades of brown in colour with lighter points.

Photo credit: Daniel Schwen
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October 3 - Fri

Picture of the day
Yellowish Flycatcher

The Yellowish Flycatcher (Empidonax flavescens) is a small passerine bird in the tyrant flycatcher family. It breeds in highlands from southeastern Mexico south to western Panama. Its upper parts are olive-green and the underparts are yellow with an ochre tint to the big breast.

Photo credit: Mdf
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October 4 - Sat

Picture of the day
Paddle steamer

A daguerreotype from the 1850s of the Ben Campbell, a paddle steamer—a ship or boat driven by a steam engine that uses one or more paddle wheels to develop thrust for propulsion. The paddle wheel was the first form of mechanical propulsion for a boat, but has now been almost entirely superseded by more modern forms of marine propulsion.

Daguerreotype credit: Unknown
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October 5 - Sun

Picture of the day

Video footage taken from the gun camera of a United States Army Apache helicopter on active duty in Iraq and showing the killing of people whom the U.S. military regarded as Iraqi insurgents, and originally shown on ABC Television on January 9, 2004. This incident has been alleged to be a violation of human rights in post-invasion Iraq.

Film credit: United States Army
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October 6 - Mon

Picture of the day
Crepuscular rays

Crepuscular rays streaming through trees in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California. These light beams are seemingly diverging columns of sunlit air separated by darker shadowed regions. Various airborne compounds scatter the sunlight and make these rays visible, due to diffraction, reflection, and scattering.

Photo credit: Mila Zinkova
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October 7 - Tue

Picture of the day
Dungeness crab face

The face of a Dungeness crab (Cancer magister), a common crab found from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska to Santa Cruz, California. The two eyes sit on eyestalks, with two antennules on either side of the rostrum (center, above the mouth).

Photo credit: Kevin Cole
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October 8 - Wed

Picture of the day
Arches National Park Map

A map of Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, United States, detailing the location of many of the more well known natural arches, as well as many other physical features. The park is known for preserving over 2,000 arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch. It is 119 square miles (310 km2) in size. Its highest elevation is 5,653 feet (1,723 m) at Elephant Butte, and its lowest elevation is 4,085 feet (1,245 m) at the visitor center. Since 1970, forty-three arches have toppled because of erosion. The park receives 10 inches (250 mm) of rain a year on average.

Map credit: Justin Morris
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October 9 - Thu

Picture of the day
Geocentric model

Illustration of the Ptolemaic geocentric model of the Universe (the theory that the Earth is the center of the universe) by Portuguese cosmographer and cartographer Bartolomeu Velho. Taken from his treatise Cosmographia, made in Paris, 1568. Notice the distances of the bodies to the centre of the Earth (left) and the times of revolution, in years (right).

Photo credit: Joaquim Alves Gaspar
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October 10 - Fri

Picture of the day
Tristan und Isolde

Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld and his wife Malvina as the title characters of Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, sometime during the opera's initial run, though, given the demands of early photography, most likely not in an actual performance. The opera was extremely difficult on its leads—it had to be delayed when Malvina temporarily lost her voice, and Ludwig died three weeks after the fourth show.

Photo credit: Joseph Albert
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October 11 - Sat

Picture of the day
Charles Griffin

Charles Griffin was a career officer in the United States Army and a Union general in the American Civil War. He rose to command a corps in the Army of the Potomac and fought in many of the key campaigns in the Eastern Theater.

After the war, he commanded the Department of Texas during Reconstruction. He proved to be an ardent supporter of the Congressional policies of the Radical Republicans and of freedmen's rights, and controversially disqualified a number of antebellum state officeholders in Texas, replacing them with loyal Unionists.

Photo credit: Mathew Brady or Levin Corbin Handy
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October 12 - Sun

Picture of the day
Mosquito larvae

Larvae of Culex mosquitoes. As seen on the picture, larvae make dense groups in standing water, where they feed for about one or two weeks before turning into a non-feeding but usually mobile pupa, one of which can be seen near the centre of this group, near the water's surface.

Photo credit: James Gathany, Center for Disease Control
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October 13 - Mon

Picture of the day
Mandarinfish

The mandarinfish (Synchiropus splendidus, not to be confused with the similarly named mandarin fish) is a small (~6 cm or 2.4 in), brightly-colored member of the dragonet family, popular in the saltwater aquarium trade. The mandarinfish is native to the Western Pacific, ranging approximately from the Ryukyu Islands south to Australia.

Photo credit: Luc Viatour
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October 14 - Tue

Picture of the day
2008 Australian Grand Prix

Nick Heidfeld and Nico Rosberg at corner 6 of the 2008 Australian Grand Prix, during one of the race's safety car periods. This first race of the 2008 Formula One season was won by McLaren-Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Heidfeld and Rosberg finished second and third, respectively.

Photo credit: Fir0002
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October 15 - Wed

Picture of the day
Sukhoi Su-27

A Sukhoi Su-27 from the Russian Knights aerobatic team on landing, Kubinka, Russia. The Su-27 is a jet fighter plane originally manufactured by the Soviet Union with long range, heavy armament, and very high agility. Its closest American counterpart is the F-15 Eagle.

Photo credit: Dmitry A. Mottl
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October 16 - Thu

Picture of the day
Cryptic turtle

A common snakeneck turtle (Chelodina longicollis) covered in camouflaging algae. When resting this individual would look like an algae-covered rock, an example of crypsis, the ability of an organism to avoid observation. Other ways an organism may be cryptic include nocturnality, subterranean lifestyle, and transparency.

Photo credit: John O'Neill
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October 17 - Fri

Picture of the day
Mechanical advantage

This diagram of four pulley systems illustrates how increasing the number of pulleys increases the mechanical advantage, making the load easier to lift. MA is the factor by which a mechanism multiplies the force put into it. In this diagram, 100 newtons is required to lift the weight off the ground. Each additional pulley increases the MA such that the four-pulley system only needs 25 newtons to accomplish the same task, but the rope must be pulled four times as far.

Image credit: Prolineserver/Tomia
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October 18 - Sat

Picture of the day
Lichens

The 83rd plate from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur (1904), depicting organisms classified as lichens.

Image credit: Ernst Haeckel
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October 19 - Sun

Picture of the day
Royal Spoonbill

The Royal or Black-billed Spoonbill (Platalea regia) is a spoonbill found in intertidal flats and shallows of fresh and saltwater wetlands in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. The specimen shown here is in breeding plumage, with long white plumes growing from the back of its head and coloured patches on the face.

Photo credit: John O'Neill
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October 20 - Mon

Picture of the day
Elizabeth I of England

The "Hampden" portrait of Elizabeth I of England was painted by the Flemish artist Steven van der Meulen in the mid to late 1560s. Art historian Sir Roy Strong has suggested that this is "one of a group produced in response to a crisis over the production of the royal image" as a number of old-fashioned and unflattering portraits of the queen were then in circulation. This is the earliest full-length (2 m or 7 ft tall) portrait of the young queen, and depicts her in red satin trimmed with pearls and jewels. It represents a phase in the portraiture of Elizabeth I before the emergence of allegorical images representing the iconography of the "Virgin Queen". In November 2007 it was auctioned by Sotheby's for ₤2.6 million, more than twice the maximum predicted.

Artist: Steven van der Meulen
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October 21 - Tue

Picture of the day
Parabolic antenna

A parabolic antenna, a high-gain reflector antenna used for radio, television and data communications, at Erdfunkstelle Raisting, the largest facility for satellite communication in the world, based in Raisting, Bavaria, Germany. Parabolic antennas work by reflecting electromagnetic radiation off the paraboloid dish to or from the feed horn (center), for reception or transmission respectively.

Photo credit: Richard Bartz
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October 22 - Wed

Picture of the day
Ecdysis of a cicada

An animation of a cicada undergoing ecdysis, the molting of the exoskeleton in arthropods and related groups. Since the cuticula of these animals is inelastic, it is shed during growth and a new, larger covering is formed. The old, empty exoskeleton is called an exuvia. Within one or two hours, the cuticle hardens and darkens, during which time the animal grows, since growth is otherwise constrained by the rigidity of the exoskeleton. Each frame of this image was taken at one-minute intervals, with a 30-minute gap in middle while the cicada rested. The entire process took about 2 hours to complete.

Image credit: T. Nathan Mundhenk/Carol Spears
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October 23 - Thu

Picture of the day
Maris Pacifici

The Maris Pacifici is believed to be the first printed map of the Pacific. It was published in Abraham Ortelius' 1589 Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, considered to be the first true modern atlas.

Map credit: Abraham Ortelius
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October 24 - Fri

Picture of the day
Water in three states

This photo of an iceberg simultaneously shows the three physical states of water: as solid (ice), liquid (seawater), and gas (water vapor, invisible). Additionally, the clouds in the background are droplets of liquid, condensed from water vapor.

Photo credit: Kim Hansen
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October 25 - Sat

Picture of the day
Rose chafer beetle

The rose chafer (Cetonia aurata) is a reasonably large beetle (20 mm/¾ in long) that has metallic green coloration with a distinct V shaped scutellum, the small triangular area between the wing cases just below the thorax. Rose chafers are found over southern and central Europe and the southern part of the UK.

Photo credit: Chrumps
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October 26 - Sun

Picture of the day
El Caracol

El Caracol ("the snail", so nicknamed for the spiral staircase inside) at the Mayan archaeological site Chichen Itza in Yucatán, Mexico, is believed to have been an observatory with doors and windows aligned to view astronomical events sacred to the feathered-serpent god Kukulkan, specifically around the path of Venus as it traverses the sky.

Photo credit: Eric Baetscher
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October 27 - Mon

Picture of the day
United States Colored Troops

Two members of the United States Colored Troops take cover at an abandoned farmhouse in Dutch Gap, Virginia, 1864. The USCT were regiments of the United States Army during the American Civil War that were composed of African American soldiers.

Photo credit: Unknown
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October 28 - Tue

Picture of the day
Caterpillar from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Sir John Tenniel's illustration of the Caterpillar for Lewis Carroll's classic children's book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The illustration is noted for its ambiguous central figure, which can be viewed as having either a human male's face with pointed nose and protruding lower lip or as the head end of an actual caterpillar, with the right three "true" legs visible. The small symbol in the lower left is composed of Tenniel's initials, which was how he signed most of his work for the book. The partially obscured word in the lower left-center is the last name of Edward Dalziel, the engraver of the piece.

Artist: Sir John Tenniel
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October 29 - Wed

Picture of the day
Land sailing

An early 20th-century sail wagon, used in the sport of land sailing, in Brooklyn, New York. Land sailing is the act of moving across land in a wheeled vehicle powered by wind through the use of a sail. Although land yachts have existed since Ancient Egypt, the modern sport was born in Belgium in 1898.

Photo credit: Bain News Service
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October 30 - Thu

Picture of the day
Eta Carinae

Eta Carinae, a hypergiant luminous blue variable star in the Carina constellation and one of the most massive and most luminous stars yet discovered, and the bipolar Homunculus Nebula which surrounds it. The nebula was partly created in an eruption of Eta Carinae, whose light reached Earth in 1843. Eta Carinae itself appears as the white patch near the center of the image, where the two lobes of the Homunculus touch.

Photo credit: Hubble Space Telescope
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October 31 - Fri

Picture of the day
Wormian bones

Wormian bones are irregular isolated bones in the skull. Here, we see a human skull with Wormian bones (in yellow) compared to a normal skull on the left. They have a tendency to be more or less symmetrical on the two sides of the skull, and vary in size. Their number is generally limited to two or three, but more than a hundred have been found in the skull of an adult hydrocephalic subject.

Image credit: Mariana Ruiz
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Today is Thursday, September 18, 2014; it is now 22:10 UTC