Wikipedia:Picture of the day/September 2006

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September 1 - Fri[edit]

Picture of the day

Walschaerts valve gear
An animated image showing how a Walschaerts valve gear works. The red color represents live steam entering the cylinder, while the blue represents expanded (spent) steam being exhausted from the cylinder. Invented in 1844 by Egide Walschaerts, the Walschaert valve gear became the most commonly used gear in steam locomotives.

Image credit: R.A. Booty/Janke
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September 2 - Sat[edit]

Picture of the day

Animation of the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake

An animated image of the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, showing how the tsunami radiated from the entire length of the 1,200 km (750 mi) rupture. The leading fronts of the waves appear to hesitate before hitting the shore. This effect occurs because waves slow down in shallower water; tsunamis travel fastest in the deeper ocean.

Image credit: Vasily V. Titov/Malu5531/Veledan
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September 3 - Sun[edit]

Picture of the day

Moai, Rano Raraku crater, Easter Island

A cluster of Moai found in the Rano Raraku crater on Easter Island. These monolithic statues, carved from compressed volcanic ash, may weigh more than 20 tonnes and be more than 6 m (20 ft) tall. About 95% of the 887 moai known to date were constructed at Rano Raraku, where 394 moai still remain visible today. It is not known exactly how the moai were moved, but Pavel Pavel demonstrated that only 17 people with ropes are needed for relatively fast transportation of the statues.

Photo credit: Aurbina
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September 4 - Mon[edit]

Picture of the day

Cutaway view of a Sarracenia flower with anatomical parts labeled

Cutaway view of the flower of a carnivorous Sarracenia (North American pitcher plant) with anatomical parts labeled. The flowers have an elaborate design which prevents self-pollination. They are generally located well above the pitcher traps to avoid the trapping of potential pollinators.

Image credit: Noah Elhardt
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September 5 - Tue[edit]

Picture of the day

Pod of hippopotamuses

A pod of hippopotamuses in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, the southernmost of three national parks in the valley of the Luangwa River. Hippo pods generally number up to about 40 individuals. Hippos spend most of their time in shallow water, rarely coming out of that depth. Most hippos that look as though they are floating are in fact standing or lying on the bottom.

Photo credit: Paul Maritz/Fir0002
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September 6 - Wed[edit]

Picture of the day

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA, USA

The Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, California is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center. The Frank Gehry-designed building, an example of Deconstructivism, opened on October 23, 2003 and features his trademark steel cladding. While the architecture evoked mixed opinions, the acoustics of the concert hall were widely praised in contrast to its predecessor, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Photo credit: Jon Sullivan
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September 7 - Thu[edit]

Picture of the day

U-2 spy plane photo of nuclear missile sites in Cuba, November 1962

Photo taken by a Lockheed U-2 spy plane of the San Cristobal MRBM launch site in Cuba, November 1962, after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although this image was taken days after the crisis had ended (October 28), this image has become iconic of the crisis to the point where it is often cited incorrectly as having been taken during the crisis.

Photo credit: United States Air Force
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September 8 - Fri[edit]

Picture of the day

Melbourne Docklands, Australia
A panorama of the Melbourne skyline and parts of the Melbourne Docklands from Yarra's Edge at twilight. The Docklands is an urban redevelopment project which will nearly double the size of the city's central business district when completed in 2015. The suburb is expected to become home to 20,000 people by completion, as well as a workplace for 25,000. The estimated number of visitors per day will be 55,000 (over 20 million a year).

Photo credit: Diliff
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September 9 - Sat[edit]

Picture of the day

U.S. Declaration of Independence

This facsimile of the United States Declaration of Independence was created in 1823 by William J. Stone using a wet-ink transfer process, where the surface of the document was moistened, and some of the original ink transferred to the surface of a copper plate which was then etched so that copies could be run off the plate on a press. Because of poor conservation of the original 1776 document through the 19th century, this engraving, rather than the 1776 original, has become the basis of most modern reproductions.

Image credit: William J. Stone
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September 10 - Sun[edit]

Picture of the day

Coal-fired power station diagram

Cutaway diagram of a simplified coal-fired thermal power station, where the chemical energy stored in coal is converted successively into thermal energy, mechanical energy, and finally electrical energy for continuous use and distribution across a wide geographic area. Each power plant is a highly complex, custom-designed system. Present construction costs, as of 2004, run to $1,300 per kilowatt, or US$650 million for a 500 MWe unit.

Image credit: BillC
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September 11 - Mon[edit]

Picture of the day

Salzburg, Austria
Panoramic view of the old town of Salzburg, Austria over the River Salzach as viewed from the Festung or Hohensalzburg Fortress. The birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg lies at the northern boundary of the Alps and was the setting for the film The Sound of Music, which was based on the life of Salzburg resident Maria von Trapp. The city has a long history, with traces of human settlements dating back to the Neolithic Age. Today, it is a popular tourist spot, especially for skiers in the winter.

Photo credit: Diliff
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September 12 - Tue[edit]

Picture of the day

Bruno Senna, during the 2006 Australian Grand Prix

Bruno Senna drives a Dallara F304 Formula Three (F3) car during a support race at the 2006 Australian Grand Prix. F3 has traditionally been regarded as the first major stepping stone for Formula One hopefuls—it is typically the first point in a driver's career at which most of the drivers in the series are aiming at professional careers in racing rather than being amateurs and enthusiasts.

Photo credit: Glenn Thomas
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September 13 - Wed[edit]

Picture of the day

Cumulonimbus capillatus incus cloud floating over Swifts Creek, Victoria in Australia
Cumulonimbus cloud floating over Swifts Creek, Victoria in Australia. Cumulonimbus are tall, dense, and involved in thunderstorms and other bad weather. They are characterized by a flat, anvil-like top and can be tall enough to occupy middle as well as low altitudes.

Photo credit: Fir0002
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September 14 - Thu[edit]

Picture of the day

Porto, Portugal
Panoramic photo of the historical part of the city of Porto, Portugal, and the Douro river. Historic references to Portugal's second city date back to the 4th century, although Celtic and pre-Celtic remnants of ancient citadels were found in the heart of where Porto now lies.

Photo credit: Olegivvit/Diliff
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September 15 - Fri[edit]

Picture of the day

American buffalo gold $50 coin

The obverse (top) and reverse (bottom) of the proof version on the American Buffalo coin which was released on June 22 2006. This is the first pure (.9999) 24-karat gold coin produced by the United States Mint for public usage. The design of the coin is a modified version of James Earle Fraser's design of the Buffalo nickel, issued in early 1913. There is a mintage limit of 300,000 for the coin, which has a face value of $50.

Image credit: U.S. Mint/Fir0002/Majestic
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September 16 - Sat[edit]

Picture of the day

Log in Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona, USA

A petrified log in Petrified Forest National Park, located in northeastern Arizona, USA. The pieces of wood found in the park are mostly of the extinct species Araucarioxylon arizonicum. The logs were buried under volcanic ash, which was the source of the silica that helped to permineralize the buried logs, replacing wood with silica, colored with oxides of iron and manganese.

Photo credit: Moondigger
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September 17 - Sun[edit]

Picture of the day

Ant worker morphology diagram

Diagram showing the main morphology of a worker ant of the species Pachycondyla verenae. Ant bodies are segmented into four sections, the head, the alitrunk or thorax, the petiole, and the gaster or metasoma. Ants are one of the most successful groups of insects. They are of particular interest because they are a social insect and form highly organized colonies or nests which sometimes consist of millions of individuals.

Diagram credit: Mariana Ruiz
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September 18 - Mon[edit]

Picture of the day

Calvary Cememtery, Queens, New York, USA

A view of Calvary Cemetery, Queens, New York, facing towards Manhattan at dusk. The cemetery opened in 1848 in reponse to cholera epidemics and a shortage of burial grounds in Manhattan. It is one of the largest cemeteries in the United States, with nearly three million graves.

Photo credit: Plowboylifestyle/Moondigger
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September 19 - Tue[edit]

Picture of the day

E. coli, magnified 10000x

Low-temperature scanning electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria, magnified 10,000 times. Each individual cell is oblong, 1-2 µm in length and 0.1-0.5 µm in diameter. E. coli is one of the main species of bacteria that live in the lower intestines of mammals. They are necessary for the proper digestion of food and are part of the intestinal flora.

Photo credit: Eric Erbe and Christopher Pooley, USDA
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September 20 - Wed[edit]

Picture of the day

A yellow mite (Lorryia formosa), magnified about 850x

Scanning electron micrograph of a yellow mite (Lorryia formosa) among some fungi. Historically, mites have been difficult to study because of their minute size. But now, ARS scientists are freezing mites in their tracks and using scanning electron microscopy to observe them in detail.

Photo credit: Eric Erbe and Chris Pooley, USDA/Fir0002
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September 21 - Thu[edit]

Picture of the day

Space Shuttle Atlantis launch plume

The launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-98, February 7 2001, at sunset. The sun is behind the camera, and the shape of the plume is cast across the vault of the sky, intersecting the rising full moon. The top portion of the plume is bright because it is illuminated directly by the sun; the lower portions are in the Earth's shadow. After launch, the shuttle must engage in a pitch and roll program so that the vehicle is below the external tank and SRBs, as evidenced in the plume trail. The vehicle climbs in a progressively flattening arc, because achieving low orbit requires much more horizontal than vertical acceleration.

Photo credit: NASA/Fir0002
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September 22 - Fri[edit]

Picture of the day

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

One of Hollywood, California's most famous tourist attractions, Grauman's Chinese Theatre is steeped in Hollywood history, having been home to numerous premieres and two Academy Awards ceremonies. Among the theatre's most famous traits are the autographed cement blocks that reside in the forecourt, which bear the signatures and markings of many of Hollywood's most noted stars and starlets. Built in 1927, the exterior of the movie theater supposedly resembles a giant, red Chinese pagoda. The architecture features a huge Chinese dragon across the front, two stone Fu dogs guarding the main entrance, and the silhouettes of tiny dragons up and down the sides of the copper roof.

Photo credit: Carol Highsmith/Diliff
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September 23 - Sat[edit]

Picture of the day

Mexican Gray Wolf, Minnesota Zoo

A resting Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), kept captive for breeding purposes at the Minnesota Zoo. This is the rarest, most genetically distinct subspecies of the Gray Wolf in North America, making them critically endangered, with less than 15 individuals estimated alive in the wild.

Photo credit: April M. King
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September 24 - Sun[edit]

Picture of the day

Staphylococcus aureus, magnified 50000x

Bacterial cells of Staphylococcus aureus, captured by a transmission electron microscope, magnified 50,000 times. S. aureus is one of the causal agents of mastitis in dairy cattle. Its large capsule protects the organism from attack by the cow's immunological defenses. S. aureus is also found on human skin and can cause illnesses ranging from minor skin infections and abscesses, to life-threatening diseases such as toxic shock syndrome and septicemia. Antibiotic-resistant Staph is a source of major concern in hospitals today.

Photo credit: Eric Erbe and Chris Pooley, USDA
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September 25 - Mon[edit]

Picture of the day

Two male Common Crossbills

Two male Common Crossbills (Loxia curvirostra), small passerine birds of the finch family. The crossbill is characterised by mandibles that cross at their tips, lending the group its English name. It feeds on conifer cone seeds, particularly those of spruce, Douglas-fir, and pine. The unusual bill shape is an adaptation to assist the extraction of the seeds from the cone.

Photo credit: Elaine R. Wilson
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September 26 - Tue[edit]

Picture of the day

Rime frost on both ends of a capped column snowflake

Scanning electron micrograph of a capped column snowflake, with rime frost, a white ice that forms when the water droplets in fog freeze to the outer surfaces of objects, on both ends. When the riming process continues so that the shape of the original snow crystal is no longer identifiable, the resulting crystal is referred to as graupel.

Photo credit: Eric Erbe and Chris Pooley, USDA
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September 27 - Wed[edit]

Picture of the day

Hummingbird Hawk-moth

The Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) is a species of hawk moth with a long proboscis, and is capable of hovering in place, making an audible humming noise. These two features make it look remarkably like a hummingbird when it feeds on flowers. They fly during the day, especially in bright sunshine.

Photo credit: Christopher Adlam
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September 28 - Thu[edit]

Picture of the day

Poi juggling

A long-exposure photo of poi performer Nick Woolsey using glow sticks. Poi juggling is done with balls on ropes, held in the hands and swung in various circular patterns. It was originally practiced by the Māori people of New Zealand, but now extends far beyond that. In juggling circles, a whole subculture has sprung up in some places, surrounding poi spinning as a hobby, exercise, or performance art.

Photo credit: Hendrik Kueck
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September 29 - Fri[edit]

Picture of the day

Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_06b.jpg

Jews captured by SS and SD troops during the suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising are forced to leave their shelter and march to the Umschlagplatz for deportation. The SD trooper pictured second from the right, is Josef Blösche, who was identified by Polish authorities using this photograph. Blösche was tried for war crimes in Erfurt, East Germany in 1969, sentenced to death and executed in July of that year.

Photo credit: USHMM
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September 30 - Sat[edit]

Picture of the day

Chapel, Palace of Versailles

The chapel of the Palace of Versailles, one of the palace's grandest interiors. Located in Versailles, France, Versailles is famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy which Louis XIV espoused. Originally the royal hunting lodge when he decided to move there in 1660, the building was expanded over the next few decades to become the largest palace in Europe. Louis XIV officially moved in 1682 and the Court of Versailles was the centre of power in Ancien Régime France until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in 1789.

Photo credit: Diliff/Fir0002
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Picture of the day archive


Today is Sunday, December 28, 2014; it is now 21:55 UTC