Wikipedia:Picture of the day/December 2011

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A monthly archive of Wikipedia's featured pictures



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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December 1 - Thu

Controlled Impact Demonstration
On December 1, 1984, NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conducted the Controlled Impact Demonstration, where they deliberately crashed a Boeing 720 aircraft with the intent of improving occupant crash survivability. Seen left-to-right, top-to-bottom, the plane makes a practice approach, hits the ground, slides for a short distance, strikes posts cemented in the ground, and becomes engulfed in flames.Photos: NASA

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December 2 - Fri

Kukenan Tepui, Venezuela
Kukenan is a tepui in Venezuela's Canaima National Park, near Guyana and Brazil. It is 2,680 m (8,790 ft) high and about 3 km (2 mi) long. The 674 m (2,211 ft) high Kukenan Falls is located at the south end of the tepui.Photo: Paolo Costa Baldi.

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December 3 - Sat

Richard Croker as the sun
This 1898 cartoon from Puck depicts Richard Croker, an American politician who was a leader of New York City's Tammany Hall, as the sun, with politicians and people from various professions revolving around him. Croker's greatest political success was his bringing about the 1897 election of Robert A. Van Wyck as first mayor of the five-borough "greater" New York.Artist: Udo J. Keppler; Restoration: Jujutacular

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December 4 - Sun

Vanadium
A disc of vanadium, a silvery-gray transition metal named after the Germanic goddess of beauty and fertility, Vanadís (Freyja). The element occurs naturally in about 65 minerals and in fossil fuel deposits, always in chemically combined form. It is mainly used to produce specialty steel alloys such as high speed tool steels.Photo: Alchemist-hp

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December 5 - Mon

Karnataka High Court building
The Karnataka High Court, the High Court of the Indian state of Karnataka, is housed in a building named Attara Kacheri, meaning "eighteen offices". It is a two-storey building, red in colour and is built in the neoclassical style. The name comes from the eighteen departments of the general and revenue secretariat of the Mysore government that were moved here from their crowded premises in Tipu Sultan's summer palace.Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

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December 6 - Tue

Regent Parrot
A juvenile Regent Parrot (Polytelis anthopeplus), a parrot species native to wooded areas of subtropical Australia. It grows to approximately 14½–16½ in (37–42 cm) in length, and exhibits sexual dimorphism. The male bird is generally yellow, with several shades on the head and shades of green on the back. The female is generally more green, overall, especially in the head and body.Photo: JJ Harrison

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December 7 - Wed

Seaweed farming in Indonesia
A farmer harvests seaweed growing on a rope, on the small island of Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia. Wooden posts demarcate the bay into rectangular plots that are owned by different families. Seaweed farming is a fairly simple process: Attached plants are placed in the sea and allowed to grow naturally, with little human intervention.Photo: Jean-Marie Hullot

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December 8 - Thu

White-headed dwarf gecko with missing tail
A White-headed dwarf gecko (Lygodactylus picturatus) whose tail is missing due to autotomy, the act of an animal severing its own appendages, usually as a self-defense mechanism designed to elude a predator's grasp. The detached tail will continue to wriggle, distracting the predator's attention. The lost body part may be regenerated later.Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

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December 9 - Fri

Weightless water bubble
Cohesion is the action or property of like molecules sticking together, being mutually attractive. Water is strongly cohesive, as seen in this photo of a weightless "bubble" of water on board Space Shuttle Discovery. Note that the astronaut's image in the bubble is inverted because of refraction.Photo: NASA

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December 10 - Sat

American Bird Grasshopper
The American Bird Grasshopper (Schistocerca americana) is one of the about 50 species of bird grasshopper. Many of these swarm as locusts, the best known of which is probably the desert locust (S. gregaria).Photo: Tom Friedel

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December 11 - Sun

Anscombe's quartet
Anscombe's quartet is a group of four data sets that have identical simple statistical properties, yet appear very different when graphed. They were constructed in 1973 by the statistician Francis Anscombe to demonstrate both the importance of graphing data before analysing it and the effect of outliers on statistical properties.Image: Schutz

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December 12 - Mon

Brown-throated sloth
The brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus) is the most common species of three-toed sloth. It is found in the forests of South and Central America. Males and females are both about 42–80 cm (17–31 in) in total body length and weigh 2.25–6.3 kg (5–14 lb).Photo: Christian Mehlführer

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December 13 - Tue

Three Sisters, Australia
The Three Sisters is a sandstone rock formation in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia, near the town of Katoomba. It is a popular bushwalking destination and visitors may descend from the Three Sisters down into the Jamison Valley via a series of 800 steel and stone steps.Photo: JJ Harrison

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December 14 - Wed

Chromium crystals and cube
Crystals of pure chromium created by a chemical transport reaction, along with a cube of the element for comparison. Chromium is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard metal that has high corrosion resistance and hardness. Its major industrial uses are in electroplating and making stainless steel.Photo: Alchemist-hp

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December 15 - Thu

Satellite imagery of Africa
A composite satellite image of the geography of Africa, the Earth's second-largest continent, and its adjacent islands. Separated from Europe by the Mediterranean Sea and from much of Asia by the Red Sea, Africa is joined to Asia at its northeast extremity by the Isthmus of Suez. For geopolitical purposes, the Sinai Peninsula – east of the Suez Canal – is often considered part of Africa, although geographically it belongs in Asia. Africa can be divided into a number of geographic zones: The Atlas Mountains in the north, the Sahara, the coastal plains, and the inner plateaus.Photo: NASA

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December 16 - Fri

Cymatium lotorium shell
The shell of a sea snail of the species Cymatium lotorium. The genus Cymatium contains possibly as many as 100 species of predatory snails of all sizes. The larvae of some species have a long planktonic stage, giving them a worldwide distribution, as they can be carried great distances before settling to the sea floor.Photo: George Chernilevsky

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December 17 - Sat

Crested Pigeon
The Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) is found widely throughout mainland Australia except for the tropical northern areas. It is larger than the Spinifex Pigeon, the other Australian pigeon with an erect crest. The Crested Pigeon grows 30–34 cm (12–13 in) long and is coloured grey with tinges of brown, with striped wings that are bronzed.Photo: Benjamint444

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December 18 - Sun

American Toad
The Eastern American Toad (Bufo americanus americanus) is a common subspecies of toad found throughout the eastern United States and Canada. It typically grows to 5–9 cm (2.0–3.5 in), with varying skin color and pattern depending on its environment. Its skin secretes bufotoxin, which is mildly poisonous to humans.Photo: Simon Pierre Barrette

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December 19 - Mon

The Garden of Earthly Delights
The Garden of Earthly Delights is a triptych by the early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch. The left panel depicts God presenting Eve to Adam, while the central panel is a broad panorama of sexually engaged nude figures, fantastical animals, oversized fruit and hybrid stone formations. The right panel is a hellscape and portrays the torments of damnation. The intricacy of its symbolism, particularly that of the central panel, has led to a wide range of scholarly interpretations over the centuries.

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December 20 - Tue

Castle of São Jorge
The Moorish Castle of São Jorge occupies a commanding position overlooking the city of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and the Tagus River beyond. The fortified citadel, which dates from medieval times, is located atop the highest hill in the historic centre of the city. The castle is one of the main historical and touristic sites of Lisbon.Photo: Massimo Catarinella

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December 21 - Wed

Dirce Beauty butterfly
The Dirce Beauty (Colobura dirce) species of butterfly belongs to the Nymphalini tribe, the members of which are characterized by the jagged outline of their wings and the ability to survive the winter months as adults in an obligatory hibernal diapause, hiding in various shelters (e.g., crevices, hollows, cavities, even unheated buildings). The signature mark of all nymphalines is the cryptic color and spots on the underside of their wings, serving to conceal it against the surface on which it rests during hibernation.Photo: Richard Bartz

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December 22 - Thu

Connie Mack
Connie Mack (1862–1958) was an American professional baseball player, manager, and team owner. The longest-serving manager in Major League Baseball history, he managed the Philadelphia Athletics for the club's first 50 seasons of play before retiring at age 87 following the 1950 season.Photo: Paul Thompson; Restoration: Lise Broer

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December 23 - Fri

Gold dust day gecko
The Gold dust day gecko (Phelsuma laticauda) is a diurnal species of day gecko native to Madagascar and the Comoros, although it has been introduced to Hawaii and other Pacific islands. It grows to about 15–22 cm (6–9 in) in length and is bright green or yellowish green with rufous bars on the snout and head, and red bars on the lower back.Photo: Thierry Caro

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December 24 - Sat

Eastern chipmunk
The eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) is a chipmunk species native to eastern North America. Like other chipmunks, they transport food in pouches in their cheeks, as seen here. They eat bulbs, seeds, fruits, nuts, green plants, mushrooms, insects, worms, and bird eggs.Photo: Simon Pierre Barrette

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December 25 - Sun

Picos de Europa
The peaks of the Central Massif overlook the village of Sotres in Cabrales, located in the Picos de Europa, a mountain range in northern Spain forming part of the Cantabrian Mountains. The name (literally: "Peaks of Europe") is believed to derive from being the first European landforms visible to mariners arriving from the Americas.Photo: Mick Stephenson

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December 26 - Mon

Tasmanian Pademelon
The Tasmanian Pademelon is the only species of pademelon endemic to Tasmania. Pademelons are the smallest of the macropods, which also includes kangaroos and wallabies. Males reach around 12 kg (26 lb) in weight, 1–1.2 m (3.3–3.9 ft) in height, and are considerably larger than the females, which average 3.9 kg (8.6 lb).Photo: JJ Harrison

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December 27 - Tue

Travelers on the California Trail
A drawing of travelers on the California Trail, one of the major emigrant trails across the Western United States used by over 250,000 people heading west during the California Gold Rush. This, combined with those coming from the east across the Isthmus of Panama or around Cape Horn, greatly increased the population of California, and spurred the movement to make it the 31st U.S. state.Artist: Daniel A. Jenks; Restoration: Papa Lima Whiskey

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December 28 - Wed

Marbled rock crab
The marbled rock crab (Pachygrapsus marmoratus) is native to the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and parts of the Atlantic Ocean. It is dark violet brown, with yellow marbling, and with a body up to 36 millimetres (1.4 in) long. It is an omnivore, feeding on algae and various animals including mussels and limpets.Photo: George Chernilevsky

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December 29 - Thu

Australian Wood Duck duckling
An Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata) duckling. Also known as the Maned Duck or Maned Goose, this species of dabbling duck is found throughout most of Australia. Its habitat includes lightly wooded swamps, marshes, open woodland and grassland.Photo: Benjamint444

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December 30 - Fri

Iron chips and cube
Pure (99.97+%) iron chips, electrolytically refined, as well as a high purity 1 cm3 iron cube for comparison. Iron is the most common element (by mass) on Earth, forming much of the outer and inner core, as well as the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust.Photo: Alchemist-hp

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December 31 - Sat

Times Square at night
Nighttime photo of the northern section of Times Square in New York City, featuring billboard ads for various Broadway shows. Formerly named Longacre Square, it was renamed in April 1904 after The New York Times moved its headquarters to One Times Square. Times Square is the site of the annual ball drop on New Year's Eve.Photo: Matt H. Wade

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Picture of the day archive



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