Wikipedia:Picture of the day/June 2012

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These featured pictures, as scheduled below, have been chosen to appear as the picture of the day (POTD) on the English Wikipedia's Main Page. Individual sections for each day on this page can be linked to with the day number as the anchor name (e.g. [[Wikipedia:Picture of the day/June 2012#1]] for June 1).

You can add an automatically updating POTD template to your user 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.Purge server cache


June 1

Chopin's Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 Sheet music for the Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53, a solo piano piece written by Frédéric Chopin in 1842. This work is one of Chopin's most admired compositions and has long been a favorite of the classical piano repertoire. The piece, which is very difficult, requires exceptional pianistic skills and great virtuosity to be interpreted. A typical performance of the polonaise lasts seven minutes.

June 2

[[File:|250px|Martha Washington]]

Martha Washington (1731–1802) was the wife of George Washington (her second husband), the first President of the United States. Although the title was not coined until after her death, she is considered to be the first First Lady of the United States. She was widowed from her first husband, Daniel Parke Custis, at the age of 25. She brought great wealth to her second marriage with Washington, which enabled him to buy much land and many slaves to add to his personal estate. She and Washington did not have children but they reared two children of her late son John Custis, who died during the Revolutionary War, and helped both of their extended families.

Engraving: John Chester Buttre after the portrait by Gilbert Stuart


June 3

Springbok

The springbok is a medium-sized brown and white gazelle native to southwestern Africa. It stands about 70 to 90 cm (28 to 35 in) high and is known for its jumping ability, being able to leap 4 m (13 ft) in the air and over a distance of 15 m (49 ft). It is also a fast runner, capable of reaching speeds up to 96 km/h (60 mph). The springbok is the national animal of South Africa.

Photo: Hans Hillewaert


June 4

Phallus indusiatus

Phallus indusiatus is a stinkhorn fungus found all over the world in tropical areas. The fungus is characterised by a conical to bell-shaped cap on a stipe and a lacy "skirt" that hangs from beneath the cap. Mature fruit bodies are up to 30 cm (12 in) tall with a cap that is 2–4 cm (0.8–1.6 in) long. It is an edible mushroom used as an ingredient in Chinese haute cuisine.

Photo: Christian Schwarz


June 5

Pitaya

A ripe pitaya and the cross-section of another. "Pitaya" is the name of the fruit of several species of cactus, most importantly of the genus Hylocereus

Photo: S. Masters


June 6

Adams/Wabash station, Chicago

A view down the tracks of the Chicago 'L' rapid transit system at the Adams/Wabash station. The 'L', which began operations on June 6, 1892, is the third busiest rail mass transit system in the United States. Although nicknamed 'L' for the large parts of the system that are elevated, portions of the network are in a subway or at street level.

Photo: Daniel Schwen

Recently featured:

June 7

Queen conch shells

Five views of a shell of queen conch, a species of large sea snail (reaching up to 35.2 cm (13.9 in) in length) native to the Caribbean Sea. It is herbivorous and lives mostly in seagrass beds. It serves as prey for many creatures, including humans, and the shells are used as decorative objects.

Photo: H. Zell


June 8

Reichstag, Berlin

The Reichstag building is a historical edifice in Berlin, Germany, constructed to house the Reichstag, parliament of the German Empire. It was opened in 1894 and housed the Reichstag until 1933, when it was severely damaged in a fire. After German reunification it underwent a reconstruction, completed in 1999, and now houses the modern Bundestag.

Photo: Matthew Field


June 9

Solid model of a jack inside a cube

A 3-D solid model of a jack inside a cube. Solid modeling is a set of principles for creating three-dimensional shapes that, when combined with geometric modeling, form the foundation of computer-aided design and in general support the creation, exchange, visualization, animation, interrogation, and annotation of digital models of physical objects.

Image: Greg L


June 10

Opium poppy

The flower of an opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) in three stages of development. From left to right, the bud, the flower, and finally the seed capsule. The plant is used to derive opium and poppy seeds. The Latin botanical name means the "sleep-bringing poppy", referring to the sedative properties of some of the opiatesnarcotics derived from opium.

Photo: Joaquim Alves Gaspar


June 11

Laser towards the Milky Way

A laser shoots towards the centre of the Milky Way from the Very Large Telescope facility in Chile, to provide a laser guide star, a reference point in the sky for the telescope's adaptive optics (AO) system. AO technology improves the performance of optical systems by reducing the effect of atmospheric distortion. AO was first envisioned by Horace W. Babcock in 1953, but did not come into common usage until advances in computer technology during the 1990s made the technique practical.

Photo: Yuri Beletsky, ESO


June 12

Arizona theatrical poster

A 1907 advertising poster for the play Arizona by American playwright Augustus Thomas. The play tells the story of the affection between a young cavalry man and a rancher's daughter. The young cavalryman is accused of theft, forced to resign, and then accused of murder. It opened in Chicago on June 12, 1899, with a cast led by Theodore Roberts and sets and costumes designed by Frederic Remington.

Poster: U.S. Lithograph Co.; Restoration: Jujutacular


June 13

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (b. 1954) is the current Finance Minister of Nigeria. An economist who earned her degrees at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, she also served as a managing director of the World Bank, and Foreign Minister of Nigeria. She is credited with bringing increased transparency to her country's government, as well as helping Nigeria obtain its first ever sovereign credit rating.

Photo: International Monetary Fund


June 14

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896) was an American abolitionist and author, best known for her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, which depicted the life of African Americans under slavery. It reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and United Kingdom. It energized anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South. She wrote more than 20 books, including novels, three travel memoirs, and collections of articles and letters. She was influential both for her writings and her public stands on social issues of the day.

Artist: Francis Holl after George Richmond


June 15

Jökulsárlón, Iceland

Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lagoon in southeast Iceland, on the borders of Vatnajökull National Park. Situated at the head of Breiðamerkurjökull, it evolved into a lagoon after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. It now stands 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) away from the ocean's edge and covers an area of about 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi). It recently became the deepest lake in Iceland at over 248 metres (814 ft) depth as glacial retreat extended its boundaries.

Photo: Ira Goldstein


June 16

Bigfin reef squid

The bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana) is a commercially important species of loliginid squid. It is a small to medium-sized squid, averaging 3.8 to 33 cm (1.5 to 13.0 in) in length, and is characterised by a large oval fin that extends throughout the margins of its mantle, giving it a superficial similarity to cuttlefish. It also possesses iridophores (particularly in the head), a form of structural colouration that produces iridescent metallic greens and red when illuminated, as seen here. However, it does not have photophores, and is thus not truly bioluminescent.

Photo: Nick Hobgood


June 17

Zinc

A crystalline fragment of an ingot of zinc (upper left), a sample of sublimed-dendritic zinc, and a 1 cm3 cube for comparison. Zinc (or "spelter") is the 24th most abundant element in the Earth's crust. It is an essential mineral for humans; zinc deficiency affects about two billion people in the developing world and is associated with many diseases.

Photo: Alchemist-hp


June 18

Culpeo (Andean fox)

The culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus, aka Andean fox/wolf) is the second-largest native canid in South America. It has grey and reddish fur, a white chin, reddish legs, and a stripe on its back that may be barely visible. The mean weight for males is 11.4 kg (25 lb), while females average 8.4 kg (19 lb).

Photo: Christian Mehlführer


June 19

Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling

The royal wedding between Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, and Daniel Westling took place on 19 June 2010 in Stockholm Cathedral. Westling—now known as Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland—became the first commoner to obtain a new title or rank as the spouse of a Swedish princess since the Middle Ages. He is the first Swedish man to use his wife's ducal title.

Photo: Holger Motzkau


June 20

Common frog

The common frog (Rana temporaria) is found throughout much of Europe. Adults have a body length of 6 to 9 cm (2.4 to 3.5 in) and vary in colour, with the ability to lighten and darken their skin to match their surroundings. They will feed on any invertebrate of a suitable size and, apart from the breeding season, live solitary lives.

Photo: Richard Bartz


June 21

Signal Hill, California in 1923

A panoramic view of Signal Hill in 1923, a small city in Southern California. On June 21, 1921, oil was discovered in Signal Hill, part of the Long Beach Oil Field, and the city was soon covered with over 100 oil derricks (seen here). Because of its prickly appearance at a distance, it gained the nickname "Porcupine Hill". Today, most of the oil wells and nodding donkey oil pumps are gone. Signal Hill is now a mix of residential and commercial areas.

Photo: The Aerograph Co.; Restoration: Jujutacular


June 22

"The Dogs of War"

A Punch cartoon from 17 June 1876 showing Russia preparing to let slip "the dogs of war", its imminent engagement in the growing conflict between Slavic states in the Balkans and Turkey, while policeman John Bull (representing Britain) warns Russia to take care. The Slavic states of Serbia and Montenegro would declare war on Turkey at the end of June, and Russia formally joined the war in April 1877.

Artist: John Tenniel; Engraver: Joseph Swain;
Restoration: Adam Cuerden


June 23

Helsinki Cathedral

Helsinki Cathedral is an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki, located in the centre of Helsinki, Finland. The church was originally built as a tribute to Nicholas I, the Grand Duke of Finland and Tsar of Russia, and until the independence of Finland in 1917, it was called St. Nicholas' Church. Designed by Carl Ludvig Engel to form the climax of the whole Senate Square, it was built in 1830–52 in neoclassical style. Today the cathedral is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Helsinki, with more than 350,000 visitors per year, a minority of which are there to attend religious events.

Photo: Hans Hillewaert


June 24

Iron Ore Line

A Malmtrafik Iore-hauled train on the Iron Ore Line, a 398-kilometre (247 mi)-long railway line between Riksgränsen and Boden in Norrbotten County, Sweden. The line is dominated by the 8,600-tonne (8,500-long-ton; 9,500-short-ton) freight trains carrying ore from the mines to the ports in Narvik and Luleå.

Photo: David Gubler


June 25

Purple mangosteen

A whole purple mangosteen fruit (Garcinia mangostana) and the cross-section of another. The fruit is sweet and tangy, juicy, and somewhat fibrous, with an inedible, deep reddish-purple colored rind (exocarp) when ripe. The evergreen mangosteen tree is believed to have originated in the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas of Indonesia.

Photo: S. Masters


June 26

The Custer Fight by C. M. Russell

The Battle of the Little Bighorn occurred on June 25–26, 1876, near the Little Bighorn River in eastern Montana Territory, and was the most famous action of the Great Sioux War of 1876. It was an overwhelming victory for the Native American coalition over the U.S. Army 7th Cavalry.

Artist: C. M. Russell; Restoration: Adam Cuerden


June 27

Death of Joseph Smith

A lithograph depicting the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith on June 27, 1844. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, had been jailed in Carthage, Illinois, US, on charges of his ordering the destruction of the facilities of a newspaper that had criticized him. While awaiting trial an armed mob of men with painted faces stormed the jail and shot him and his brother Hyrum to death.

Artist: George Wilhelm Fasel; Lithograph: Charles G. Crehen; Restoration: Adam Cuerden


June 28

Male Superb Fairywren

The Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) is a passerine bird common and familiar across south-eastern Australia. The species is sedentary and territorial, also exhibiting a high degree of sexual dimorphism: the male in breeding plumage (shown here) has a striking bright blue forehead, ear coverts, mantle, and tail, with a black mask and black or dark blue throat, while non-breeding males, females and juveniles are predominantly grey-brown in colour.

Photo: JJ Harrison


June 29

Cobalt

Chips of cobalt, electrolytically refined, as well as a 1 cm3 cube for comparison. Cobalt is a hard, lustrous, silver-gray metal that is found naturally only in chemically combined form. Cobalt-based blue pigments have been used since ancient times for jewelry and paints, as well as blue-colored glass.

Photo: Alchemist-hp


June 30

Grandidier's baobab

Grandidier's baobab (Adansonia grandidieri) is the biggest and most famous of Madagascar's six baobab species. It has a massive cylindrical trunk, up to 3 m (9.8 ft) across, and can reach up to 25 m (82 ft) in height. The large, dry fruits of the baobab contain kidney-shaped seeds within an edible pulp. It is named after the French botanist and explorer Alfred Grandidier, who documented many of the animals and plants of Madagascar.

Photo: Bernard Gagnon


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