Featured picture Choice of the week, "Laser towards the Milky Way". Despite the first impression of a still from a science-fiction movie, this extraordinary image is of recent cutting-edge research. It was taken in mid-August by ESO Photo Ambassador Yuri Beletsky at the high-altitude Paranal Observatory in Chile. The laser reaches 90 km into the Earth's mesosphere to form a reference point, enabling sharper observations of phenomena such as the giant black hole at the centre of the galaxy.
The Signpost welcomes TheCatalyst31 (nom) as our newest admin. TheCatalyst is a member of several WikiProjects, including Trains, US roads, and Cities, and has created many articles on small communities. TheCatalyst has a strong record of gnoming and page patrolling, has contributed to the AfD process, and has assisted the creation of three Good Articles.
Lavanify (nom), about two teeth from an animal that lived on Madagascar about 70 million years ago. It is part of the gondwanatheres, the earliest mammals to evolve high-crowned teeth, possibly to eat grass (nominated by Ucucha).
Dustbin Baby (film) (nom), a BBC television film first broadcast in 2008. Amazingly, nominator J Milburn managed to gain permission for the release of several high-quality images to illustrate the film.
HMS Indefatigable (1909) (nom), a battle cruiser of the British Royal Navy, commissioned in 1911. The ship's stormy five-year life, which ended when it blew up after German shelling, seems worthy of a feature film (Dank and Sturmvogel 66).
Liberty Head nickel (nom), best remembered for the mysterious 1913 nickel, of which five are known. It is an interesting story, both for the inception of the nickel and how it came to be replaced, says nominator Wehwalt.
Mechanical filter (nom), a device that blocks selected signal frequencies, and which has been a significant part of the electronics industry since the 1870s (SpinningSpark)
From FA Choice of the week, The Story of Miss Moppet. The initial publication in 1906 departed from the typical format of children's books: a strip folded accordion-fashion into a grey cloth wallet. When fully opened, it was 10 cm tall and 2.5 m long (4.3 × 98.1 in). This image is of an excerpt from the strip: Miss Moppet tosses the mouse about in the duster (left) and discovers the mouse has escaped (right).
Choice of the week.The Signpost asked FA nominator and reviewer Slim Virgin to select the best of the week.
It's daunting to have to choose a favourite from such an excellent list. Wehwalt's Liberty Head nickel stands out, as his always do, for the quality of the writing and research. Ucucha's Lavanify, the story of two very old teeth, is fascinating. J Milburn's Dustbin Baby (film) has made me want to see the film, and it's the kind of article people love Wikipedia for: you watch the film then want to know who's who, and who said what, and there it all is, courtesy of a kind Wikipedian. SpinningSpark's Mechanical filter is another example of an article people will be grateful for, as is Dank and Sturmvogel 66's article about HMS Indefatigable (1909), on which 1,015 men died in 1916 when she was blown up in the North Sea. But the one I enjoyed most, just at a personal level, was Susanne2009NYC's The Story of Miss Moppet. Susanne's done some great work for Wikipedia on Beatrix Potter's books, including several GAs. I love the writing, the illustrations, the background details—and especially the Aristotelian analysis! I look forward to seeing it on the front page.
We thought carefully before posting this example of the power of images to shock and even to transform. This newly promoted featured picture is of a young girl in Bangladesh, as late as 1973, who was infected with smallpox. The disease has been banished from the face of the planet through advances in medical science and a huge effort by the World Health Organisation.
Six images were promoted. Medium-sized images can be viewed by clicking on "nom":
Laser towards the Milky Way (nom), in which a laser beams upwards to measure the distortions of Earth's ever-changing atmosphere. A group of astronomers were observing the centre of the Milky Way using the laser guide star facility at Yepun, one of the four Unit Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope (VLT). Yepun’s laser beam has created an artificial "star" at an altitude of 90 km high in the Earth's mesosphere, as a reference point for improved observations. More scientific information is provided at the image description page (ESO/Y. Beletsky; picture at the top).
Alien or Earthling? The featured picture judge also praised this shot of the Bubble tip anemone, which is our excuse for breaking our promise last week to give you a rest from underwater photography. The bubbles are clearly visible as complex white striations in the individuals closer to the surface.
Information about new admins at the top is drawn from their user pages and RfA texts, and occasionally from what they tell us directly.