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Photo links 54
Web's Best Photo and Art LinksFrom Magic Mike
My collection of links to photos of the best Hubble Space Telescope photos and other NASA photos,incredible landscapes, scenic wonders and wildlife animals, AND Art Masters of the 10th through 20th Centuries from World Museums.

Egret Taking off in the Rain Fremont, CA - Most photographers might agree that there is an element of "luck" in a great image. But we would also agree and point out that without planning, perseverance, knowledge of the subject, being prepared, and "being there," we wouldn't capture those images. This Great White Egret was captured at the moment of flight as a light spring rain began to fall. The timing was just right, the light was great and a little rain provided the element of luck. And what many would never know was how many hours were spent watching egrets; their behavior, the habitat, how to approach them and that for many months I carried a camera and 300mm lens with me in the car for just such an opportunity. Luck? A California Portfolio - by Lon Overacker - PhotoTripUSA.
Twilight - The white color of the White Sands and the interesting surrounding vegetation create an eerie landscape at twilight.- Sand Dunes of the Southwest - by Laurent Martrès.
Intrusion - While walking on the Great Sand Dunes early in the morning, I stumbled upon these human footprints, which had been covered overnight by a multitude of insect tracks. - Sand Dunes of the Southwest - by Laurent Martrès.
Lone blooming yucca - Many people ask me if the sand is really white at White Sands Nat'l Monument. Well, you can judge this for ourself. This lone Yucca strikes an amazing contrast with the pure white color of the dunes. Sand Dunes of the Southwest - by Laurent Martrès.
IC 418: The Spirograph Nebula Credit: R. Sahai (JPL) et al., Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), NASA - Explanation: What is creating the strange texture of IC 418? Dubbed the Spirograph Nebula for its resemblance to drawings from a cyclical drawing tool, planetary nebula IC 418 shows patterns that are not well understood. Perhaps they are related to chaotic winds from the variable central star, which changes brightness unpredictably in just a few hours. By contrast, evidence indicates that only a few million years ago, IC 418 was probably a well-understood star similar to our Sun. Only a few thousand years ago, IC 418 was probably a common red giant star. Since running out of nuclear fuel, though, the outer envelope has begun expanding outward leaving a hot remnant core destined to become a white-dwarf star, visible in the image center. The light from the central core excites surrounding atoms in the nebula causing them to glow. IC 418 lies about 2000 light-years away and spans 0.3 light-years across. This recently released false-color image taken from the Hubble Space Telescope reveals the unusual details. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.
Koan - The delicate shadows and gentle curves evoke the brush strokes of Japanese calligraphy. The fragile stem emerging from the stark-naked sand reminds me of the famous Zen Koan (riddle) of the Mu, or great void. Sand Dunes of the Southwest - by Laurent Martrès
Heart of the dunes
- This panorama taken from far inside the Great Sand Dunes shows the vastness and height of these dunes. Sand Dunes of the Southwest - by Laurent Martrès.
Aurora Persei Credit & Copyright: Brent Price Explanation: Last month, skywatchers were treated to an unexpected coincidence: bright aurorae occurred during the Perseid Meteor Shower. The above picture was taken August 12 and captures eerie looking aurorae and a faint Perseid meteor above Cross Lake in Wisconsin, USA. The near future holds promise for both more aurorae and a better meteor shower. Aurorae are becoming increasingly common as their trigger -- our Sun -- nears its period of highest activity during its eleven-year magnetic cycle. Coming up in mid-November is the quirky Leonids Meteor Shower. Although one of the better studied meteor showers, the Leonids have surprised astronomers many times and so many an optimistic skywatcher promises to be outside this year hoping for a memorable show. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.
The thin red line -
The Coral Pink Sand Dunes, southeast of Zion Nat'l Park in Utah are beautiful little dunes made of finely ground Navajo sandstone. It happens to be a very pinkish form of Navajo sandstone. The strong winds that blow through the Mocassin Gap make for particularly fine particles. The area is popular with families and ORVs, but come off season, during the week and after a storm and you'll have a magical experience. Sand Dunes of the Southwest - by Laurent Martrès - PhotoTripUSA.
Great Sand Dunes panorama
- The majestic Great Sand Dunes of Colorado are the tallest in the United States and are truly magnificent. What also makes them unique is the presence of a year-round stream at their base. This evening panorama shows the dunes with the Sangre de Cristo mountains in the background. Sand Dunes of the Southwest - by Laurent Martrès - PhotoTripUSA.
The Brown Dwarfs of Orion's Trapezium Credit: G. Schneider (UofA), K. L. Luhman (CfA), et al., NICMOS IDT, NASA WFPC2 data: C. O'Dell and S. Wong (Rice) Explanation: The bright stars above are well known as heart of the Trapezium, an open cluster of stars in the center of the Orion Nebula. The many dim objects, however, are not well known, and have come to attention only on recent images in infrared light. These dim objects are thought to be brown dwarfs and free-floating planets. Brown dwarfs are stars too puny to create energy in their core by fusing hydrogen into helium. Although many more brown dwarfs than hot stars have now been found in Orion, their very low masses make them inadequate to compose much of the dark matter expected in galaxies and the Universe. The above false-color mosaic combines infrared and visible light images of the Trapezium from the Hubble Space Telescope. Faint brown dwarfs with masses as small as about one percent the mass of the sun are seen in the infrared data. Also visible are complex lanes of hot gas (appearing in blue) and cooler fine dust that blocks, glows and reflects nearby starlight. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.
Orion's Horsehead Nebula
Credit & Copyright: (AAO), AATB, ROE, UKS Telescopel. Explanation: The Horsehead Nebula is one of the most famous nebulae on the sky. It is visible as the black indentation to the red emission nebula seen just to the right of center of the above photograph. The bright star near the center is located in the belt of the familiar constellation of Orion. The horse-head feature is dark because it is really an opaque dust cloud which lies in front of the bright red emission nebula. Like clouds in Earth's atmosphere, this cosmic cloud has assumed a recognizable shape by chance. After many thousands of years, the internal motions of the cloud will alter its appearance. The emission nebula's red color is caused by electrons recombining with protons to form hydrogen atoms. Also visible in the picture are blue reflection nebulae, which preferentially reflect the blue light from nearby stars. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.
The Helix Nebula from CFHT Credit & Copyright: J.-C. Cuillandre (CFHT Staff), CFH12K CCD Camera, CFHT. Explanation: One day our Sun may look like this. The Helix Nebula is the closest example of a planetary nebula created at the end of the life of a Sun-like star. The outer gasses of the star expelled into space appear from our vantage point as if we are looking down a helix. The remnant central stellar core, destined to become a white dwarf star, glows in light so energetic it causes the previously expelled gas to fluoresce. The Helix Nebula, given a technical designation of NGC 7293, lies 450 light-years away towards the constellation of Aquarius and spans 1.5 light-years. The above image was taken with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) located atop a dormant volcano in Hawaii, USA. A close-up of the inner edge of the Helix Nebula shows unusual gas knots of unknown origin. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.
Mir Dreams Credit: STS-76 Crew, NASA - Explanation: This dream-like image of Mir was recorded by astronauts as the Space Shuttle Atlantis approached the Russian space station prior to docking during the STS-76 mission. Sporting spindly appendages and solar panels, Mir resembles a whimsical flying insect hovering about 350 kilometers above New Zealand's South Island near the Cook Straight. In late March 1996, Atlantis shuttled astronaut Shannon W. Lucid to Mir for a five month visit, increasing Mir's occupancy from 2 to 3. It returned to pick Lucid up and drop off astronaut John Blaha during the STS-79 mission in August of that year. Since becoming operational in 1986, Mir has been visited by over 100 spacefarers from the nations of planet Earth including, Russia, the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Austria, Kazakhstan and Slovakia. After joint Shuttle-Mir training missions in support of the International Space Station, continuous occupation of Mir ended in August 1999. Still in orbit, Mir's operation is now being pursued by commercial interests. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.

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