Wikipedia:Picture of the day/Archive

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A monthly archive of the English Wikipedia's pictures of the day

These featured pictures have previously appeared (or will appear) as picture of the day (POTD) on the Main Page, as scheduled below. You can add the automatically updating picture of the day to your userpage or talk page using {{Pic of the day}} (version with blurb) or {{POTD}} (version without blurb). For instructions on how to make custom POTD layouts, see Wikipedia:Picture of the day.

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November 1 – Fri

Human skull
The human skull is the bony structure that forms the head in the human skeleton. It supports the structures of the face and forms a cavity for the brain. Like the skulls of other vertebrates, it protects the brain from injury. The skull consists of three parts, of different embryological origin – the neurocranium, the sutures, and the facial skeleton (also called the membranous viscerocranium). The neurocranium (or braincase) forms the protective bony structure that surrounds and houses the brain and brainstem. The sutures are fairly rigid joints between bones of the neurocranium. The upper areas of the cranial bones form the calvaria (skullcap), whereas the facial skeleton is formed by the bones supporting the face, including the mandible. This picture is a diagram of the human skull as seen from the left, showing the main bones of the neurocranium and the facial skeleton.Diagram credit: Mariana Ruiz Villarreal

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November 2 – Sat

The nilgai or blue bull (Boselaphus tragocamelus) is the largest Asian antelope and is endemic to the Indian subcontinent. The sole member of the genus Boselaphus, the species was described and given its binomial name by German zoologist Peter Simon Pallas in 1766. The nilgai stands 1–1.5 metres (3.3–4.9 ft) at the shoulder; males weigh 109–288 kilograms (240–635 lb), and the lighter females 100–213 kilograms (220–470 lb). A sturdy thin-legged antelope, the nilgai is characterised by a sloping back, a deep neck with a white patch on the throat, a short crest of hair along the neck terminating in a tuft, and white facial spots. A column of pendant coarse hair hangs from the dewlap ridge below the white patch. Sexual dimorphism is prominent – while females and juveniles are orange to tawny, adult males have a bluish-grey coat. Only males possess horns, which are 15–24 centimetres (5.9–9.4 in) in length.

This picture shows a male nilgai in a potato field at Jamtra, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp

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November 3 – Sun

Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese art which flourished from the 17th through 19th centuries. Its artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of such subjects as female beauties; kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica. The term ukiyo-e translates as 'picture[s] of the floating world'.

This picture is a colour woodblock print (chūban) entitled Two Lovers Beneath an Umbrella in the Snow, produced by ukiyo-e artist Suzuki Harunobu around 1767 and now in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. His delicate, romantic prints were amongst the first to realize expressive and complex colour designs, printed with up to a dozen separate blocks to handle the different colours and half-tones. His restrained, graceful prints invoked the classicism of waka poetry and Yamato-e painting. The prolific Harunobu was the dominant ukiyo-e artist of his time. The success of his colourful nishiki-e from 1765 on led to a steep decline in demand for the limited palettes of benizuri-e and urushi-e, as well as hand-coloured prints.Print credit: Suzuki Harunobu

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November 4 – Mon

Christopher Raymond Perry Rodgers
Rear Admiral Christopher Raymond Perry Rodgers (November 4, 1819 – January 8, 1892) was an officer in the United States Navy. He served in the Mexican–American War and the American Civil War, and also as Superintendent of the Naval Academy, President of the United States Naval Institute, and Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Squadron. Rodgers was appointed midshipman in 1833 and served in the Pacific Squadron and at the New York Navy Yard, later taking part in operations in the Second Seminole War from 1839 to 1840. He was assigned to the Home Squadron in 1847 to serve in the Mexican–American War; he participated in the Siege of Veracruz in March, and in the capture of Tabasco and Tuxpan by his uncle Commodore Matthew C. Perry. In 1859, Rodgers was appointed Commandant of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy, serving there until the start of the Civil War in 1861, in which he saw action at the Battle of Port Royal and the Siege of Fort Pulaski. After the war, he served as Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks from 1871 to 1874 and later as Superintendent of the Naval Academy until 1878, before a two-year tour as Commander of the Pacific Squadron and returning to the Naval Academy as superintendent in 1881, retiring in November of that year.

This picture of Rodgers was taken sometime between 1860 and 1865, during the Civil War, and is in the collection of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.Photograph: unknown; restored by Eddie891

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November 5 – Tue

French franc
The French franc is a former currency of France and Monaco and, alongside the Spanish peseta, a former de facto currency in Andorra. The first franc was a gold coin introduced in 1360, which showed King John II of France on a richly decorated horse, earning it the name franc à cheval. A later coin, showing Charles VII on foot, under a canopy, was named the franc à pied. The decimal franc was established by the French Revolutionary Convention in 1795 as a decimal unit, and became the official currency of France in 1799. France joined the euro in 1999, and the franc was replaced by euro notes and coins in 2002.

This picture shows a 100-franc gold coin, dated 1889, with a "winged genius" designed by Augustin Dupré on the obverse. Only a hundred proof coins of this design were minted.Coin credit: Monnaie de Paris; photographed by the National Numismatic Collection

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November 6 – Wed

Academy of Athens
The Academy of Athens is Greece's national academy and the highest research establishment in the country. Established on 18 March 1926, it operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.

This picture shows the main building of the Academy, a neoclassical building between Panepistimiou Street and Akadimias Street in the centre of Athens and one of the city's major landmarks. The building was designed as part of an architectural "trilogy" in 1859 by Danish architect Theophil Hansen, along with the University and the National Library. The Greek neoclassical sculptor Leonidas Drosis sculpted the principal multi-figure pediment sculpture, on the theme of the birth of Athena, based on a design by painter Carl Rahl. Two columns on either side of the portico feature statues of Athena on the left and Apollo on the right, also designed by Drosis.Photograph credit: Thomas Wolf

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November 7 – Thu

Pool of Bethesda
The Pool of Bethesda was a pool of water in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem, on the path of the Beth Zeta Valley. It is known from the New Testament story of healing the paralytic at Bethesda, from the fifth chapter of the Gospel of John; the gospel describes a pool in Jerusalem, near the Sheep Gate, which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Until the 19th century, there was no evidence outside of John's gospel for the existence of this pool; therefore, scholars argued that the gospel was written later, probably by someone without first-hand knowledge of the city of Jerusalem, and that the pool had only a metaphorical, rather than historical, significance. In the 19th century, archaeologists discovered the remains of a pool fitting the description in the gospel.

This picture is an 1877 oil-on-canvas painting of the Pool of Bethesda by English painter Robert Bateman, now in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut. The Johannine narrative describes the porticos as being a place in which large numbers of infirm people were waiting, which corresponds well with the site's 1st century AD use as an asclepeion. Some ancient biblical manuscripts argue that these people were waiting for the troubling of the water; a few such manuscripts also move the setting away from Roman rituals into something more appropriate to Judaism, by adding that an angel would occasionally stir the waters, which would then cure the first person to enter.Painting credit: Robert Bateman

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November 8 – Fri

Montana Territory
The Montana Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 26, 1864, when it was split from the Idaho Territory, until November 8, 1889, when it was admitted as the 41st state in the Union as the state of Montana. The capitals of the territory were Bannack (1864–1865), Virginia City (1865–1875) and Helena (1875–1889).

This picture is a historical depiction of the Montana Territory's coat of arms, as illustrated by American engraver Henry Mitchell in State Arms of the Union, published in 1876 by Louis Prang. The shield depicts a landscape of mountains, plains and forests by the Great Falls of the Missouri River. A plow, a pick and a shovel are depicted in the foreground, representing the territory's industries. Below the shield is the Spanish motto Oro y plata, meaning 'Gold and silver'. The same design is featured in the current seal of Montana.Illustration credit: Henry Mitchell; restored by Andrew Shiva

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November 9 – Sat

Greater kudu
The greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) is a species of woodland antelope in the genus Tragelaphus found throughout eastern and southern Africa. Despite occupying widespread territory, they are sparsely populated in most areas due to declining habitat, deforestation and poaching. The greater kudu is one of two species commonly known as kudu, the other being the lesser kudu, T. imberbis. Greater kudus have a narrow body with long legs, and their coats can range from brown or bluish grey to reddish brown. They possess between four and twelve vertical white stripes along their torso. The head tends to be darker in colour than the rest of the body, and exhibits a small white chevron running between the eyes. The helical horns of adult males grow as the animal ages, reaching ​2 12 rotations at about 6 years old.

This picture shows a greater kudu bull photographed near Groot Okevi in Etosha National Park, Namibia. Bulls weigh 190–270 kg (420–600 lb), up to a maximum of 315 kg (690 lb), and stand up to 160 cm (63 in) tall at the shoulder.Photograph credit: Hans Hillewaert

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November 10 – Sun

Les Grandes Baigneuses
Les Grandes Baigneuses ('The Large Bathers') is an oil-on-canvas painting by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, produced between 1884 and 1887. The painting depicts a scene of nude women bathing. In the foreground, two women are seated beside the water, and a third is standing in the water near them. In the background, two others are bathing. Renoir's intention was to reconcile the modern forms of painting with the painting traditions of the 17th and 18th centuries, particularly those of Ingres and Raphael. The painting is now in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.Painting credit: Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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November 11 – Mon

Ermina Zaenah
Ermina Zaenah (born 11 November 1928) is an Indonesian actress and film producer active in the 1950s and 1960s. Born in Jambi, she completed her elementary school education before pursuing a career in entertainment, acting in stage plays. Zaenah led a musical group, the Los Suita Rama, and performed topeng dance. In 1951 Zaenah entered the film industry, performing in productions by Tan and Wong Bros and Golden Arrow, and Fred Young's Bintang Surabaya. She later migrated to Djamaluddin Malik's Persari, starring in several films for the company, including Supir Istimewa. Zaenah moved behind the camera in the 1960s, working as producer on four films, Kamar 13 ('Room 13'), Lagu dan Buku ('Song and Book'), Bakti ('Service'), and Ekspedisi Terakhir ('The Last Expedition'). She later returned to the theater for a short time when she toured Java with the group Sapta Daya. During her fourteen-year career in the entertainment industry, Zaenah acted in thirty films.

This picture is a three-quarter portrait of Zaenah from a postcard, taken around 1960 and printed on silk-finish paper.Photograph credit: unknown; restored by Chris Woodrich

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November 12 – Tue

Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, is an Anglican cathedral church in Portsmouth, England. It is the cathedral of the Diocese of Portsmouth and the seat of the bishop of Portsmouth. The cruciform building was constructed in the Romanesque style on land donated by Norman lord Jean de Gisors in the 1180s and dedicated to Saint Thomas Becket, who was martyred around ten years earlier. It was made a cathedral upon the establishment of the Diocese of Portsmouth, which was split from the Diocese of Winchester in 1927, after which it was extended in a "Neo-Byzantine" style by Charles Nicholson.

This picture shows the cathedral's quire, built in a classical style in the late 17th century, looking northeastwards towards the apse.Photograph credit: David Iliff

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November 13 – Wed

HR 8799
HR 8799 is a roughly 30-million-year-old main-sequence star located 129 light-years (39.6 parsecs) away from Earth in the constellation of Pegasus. It has roughly 1.5 times the Sun's mass and 4.9 times its luminosity, and is part of a system that also contains a debris disk and at least four massive planets. Those planets, along with Fomalhaut b, were the first exoplanets whose orbital motion was confirmed via direct imaging. The star is a Gamma Doradus variable: its luminosity changes because of non-radial pulsations of its surface. It is also classified as a Lambda Boötis star, which means its surface layers are depleted in iron peak elements.

This video shows the HR 8799 planetary system across a period of seven years, with motion interpolation used on seven images captured between 2009 and 2016 by the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. The light from the star, in the center, is obscured to allow the four orbiting planets to be seen. From innermost to outermost, the planets are designated e (center right), d (bottom right), c (top right), and b (top left).Video credit: Jason Wang et al.; edited by Benjamin Hunt and Jan-Eric Nyström

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November 14 – Thu

Iranian toman
The Iranian toman is a superunit of the official currency of Iran, the rial. One toman is equivalent to ten rials. Although the rial is the official currency, Iranians use the toman in everyday life. Originally, the toman consisted of 10,000 dinars. Between 1798 and 1825, the toman was also subdivided into eight rials, each of 1,250 dinars. In 1825, the qiran was introduced, worth 1,000 dinars or one-tenth of a toman.

This picture shows a one-toman banknote issued by the Imperial Bank of Persia, dated 1906. The note was produced by English printers Bradbury Wilkinson and Company and depicts Naser al-Din, shah of the Qajar dynasty, on the obverse (top).Banknote credit: Bradbury Wilkinson and Company; photographed by Andrew Shiva

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November 15 – Fri

Roman Baths
The Roman Baths complex is a site of historical interest in the English city of Bath, Somerset. It is a well-preserved site dating from Roman Britain once used for public bathing. The Roman baths themselves are below the modern street level. There are four main features: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House, and the museum which holds finds from the Roman town. The buildings above street level date from the 19th century. The Baths are a major tourist attraction and, together with the Grand Pump Room, received more than 1.3 million visitors in 2018. Visitors can tour the baths and museum but cannot enter the water.

This picture shows the Great Bath of the Roman Baths complex, with Bath Abbey visible in the background. The entire structure above the level of the pillar bases is of later construction.Photograph credit: David Iliff

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November 16 – Sat

Helleborus orientalis
Helleborus orientalis, also known as the lenten rose, is a perennial flowering plant and a species of hellebore in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, native to Greece and Turkey. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck described the species in 1789, giving it its current name of Helleborus orientalis ("Hellébore du Levant"). The species name is derived from the Latin oriens ('east'). The common name derives from their flowering during Lent. Within the genus Helleborus, it has been classified in the section Helleborastrum, and is closely related to the other eight species in the section These species are all highly variable and hybridise with each other freely.

This picture shows an H. orientalis flower from the Netherlands, showing swollen seedpods.Photograph credit: Dominicus Johannes Bergsma

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November 17 – Sun

William the Faience Hippopotamus

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November 18 – Mon

Enclosed Field with Peasant
Enclosed Field with Peasant is an oil-on-canvas painting by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, painted in October 1889. The painting was created during one of the most tumultuous parts of Van Gogh's life, after he voluntarily committed himself to an asylum in Saint-Rémy in southern France. He was recuperating from a nervous breakdown he suffered on Christmas Eve in 1888, during a visit with fellow post-impressionist artist Paul Gauguin.Painting credit: Vincent van Gogh

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November 19 – Tue


November 20 – Wed


November 21 – Thu

North Carolina
North CarolinaIllustration credit: Henry Mitchell; restored by Andrew Shiva

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November 22 – Fri

Guion Bluford
Guion Bluford (born November 22, 1942)Photograph credit: NASA; retouched by Coffeeandcrumbs

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November 23 – Sat


November 24 – Sun


November 25 – Mon

A. Hamid Arief
A. Hamid Arief (25 November 1924 – 20 December 1992)Photograph credit: Tati Studio; restoration by Chris Woodrich

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November 26 – Tue

Indian roller
Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis benghalensis) in Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh.Photograph: Charles J. Sharp

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November 27 – Wed


This illustration was produced in around 1823 and comes from Urania's Mirror, a set of 32 astronomical star chart cards.Lithograph: Sidney Hall; Restoration: Adam Cuerden

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November 28 – Thu


November 29 – Fri


November 30 – Sat


Picture of the day archive

Today is Thursday, November 14, 2019; it is currently 21:33 UTC.