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Photo links 73
Web's Best Photo and Art Links

From Magic Mike
My collection of recommended links to photos of the best Hubble Space Telescope photos and other NASA photos, incredible landscape photos, scenic wonders, wildlife animal photos, AND the Renaissance Art Masters, art work of the 10th through 20th Centuries from World Museums.
These photos are links, to sites owned by other people, for private viewing, not for commercial use.
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California Gold - This image was taken on the same day as the previous photo, a mile or two to the west. What especially makes this image work for me is how the shapes of the hills are mirrored in the lenticular clouds in the sky. The oaks add visual punctuation to the scene. Without them, it would be a much weaker image. California Pastorale by Tony Dunn. PhotoTripUSA.
California Green - I took this last spring while exploring the hills west of Williams. Though bone dry and brown in the summer and fall, in the spring the hills surrounding the Sacramento Valley are as green as Ireland. I consider this one of my best "drive by shootings" since there was no preparation or scouting involved. I just happened to be driving down this road and saw the late afternoon light on these hills. The wisps of clouds mimicking the curve of the hills was the icing on the cake. California Pastorale by Tony Dunn. PhotoTripUSA.
Lenticular Sky - This image was taken on a day when extremely unusual lenticular clouds formed in the lee of the Coast Ranges, over the west edge of the Sacramento Valley. The air was extremely clear and shooting conditions were perfect. I spent several hours driving around the rolling foothills west of Corning capturing what was probably a once in a lifetime event. The main thing I remember is that it was a thoroughly enjoyable day. Every image seemed to have something special. I selected this image from the many wonderful images from that day because the wide angle perspective shows the nature of the clouds. The almond trees (part of the same abandoned orchard as the image above) add interest along the horizon. California Pastorale by Tony Dunn. PhotoTripUSA.
Abandoned Almond Trees  - California Pastorale by Tony Dunn. This tree is another one of my favorites. This area on the western edge of the Sacramento Valley was once covered with almond orchards. All but a few of the trees are gone now, and those that remain have been pruned by grazing cattle, creating an almost African-looking savannah scene. This is a very classical composition, extremely simple in design. The two trees with different shapes and at different distances work well, particularly since they seem to lean toward each other, increasing their sense of relationship. PhotoTripUSA.
Blue Oak in the Sutter Buttes - California Pastorale by Tony Dunn. This is one of several "favorite" trees of mine scattered around the Sacramento Valley. Actually, this tree is located at the northern edge of the Sutter Buttes, the eroded stump of an ancient volcano that sits like a pimple in the middle of the otherwise pool table flatness of the Sacramento Valley. This image has a couple of strengths to my eye. First of all, the outlining of the oak against clouds is very strong and is reinforced by the fact that the clouds reflect the slope of the hill. Secondly, the fence draws the eye across the image toward the distant sunlit hills, giving the image a very real sense of depth. The use of a 20mm lens allowed me to capture the sweep of this image. PhotoTripUSA.
JW Ranch -
California Pastorale by Tony Dunn "This is one of my favorite images. Much of my work includes very little evidence of man in the environment, having an "empty planet" feel of wide open landscapes with no evidence of humanity. To me, this image manages to successfully capture that feeling even though a barn is the central subject. Although barns can be terribly cliche, this image works for me because of the combination of colors as well as the dramatic late afternoon lighting on both the hills and the barn that give a richness and warmth to the image. Several people have told me that they have a hard time believing that this is California rather than Nebraska or eastern Wyoming, but this image was taken along the west edge of the Sacramento Valley near Corning." PhotoTripUSA.
A Chamaeleon Sky
Credit: FORS Team, 8.2-meter VLT Antu, ESO Explanation: A photogenic group of nebulae can be found toward Chamaeleon, a constellation visible predominantly in skies south of the Earth's equator. Celestial objects visible there include the blue reflection nebulas highlighted by thin dust surrounding the bright stars in the above image center. Toward the top and lower right, dark molecular clouds laced with thick dust block light from stars in the background. The parent molecular cloud Chamaeleon I is located about 450 light years from Earth. 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.
Galaxy NGC 4388 Expels Huge Gas Cloud Credit & Copyright: Suprime-Cam, Subaru Telescope, NAOJ Explanation: Why are huge clouds of gas billowing from spiral galaxy NGC 4388? The extent of the gas clouds, over 100,000 light-years, was unexpected before the Subaru Telescope took the above image. NGC 4388 has a bright energetic nucleus and so is classified as an active galaxy. The spiral, relatively close by at 60 million light years, is a member of the nearest major cluster of galaxies: the Virgo Cluster. One hypothesis holds that the gas was stripped away as NGC 4388 made its way through the intergalactic medium of the Virgo Cluster. A competing hypothesis holds that the gas is all that remains of a smaller galaxy that was gravitationally deconstructed by the larger NGC 4388. Further observations may better determine NGC 4388's past and likely contribute to a better understanding of how galaxies evolve inside massive clusters. 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 Fox Fur Nebula Credit & Copyright: Anglo-Australian Observatory, Photograph by David Malin Explanation: The nebula surrounding bright star S Mon is filled with dark dust and glowing gas. The strange shapes originate from fine interstellar dust reacting in complex ways with the energetic light and hot gas being expelled by the young stars. The region just below S Mon, the bright star in the above picture, is nicknamed the Fox Fur Nebula for its color and texture. The blue glow directly surrounding S Mon results from reflection, where neighboring dust reflects light from the bright star. The more diffuse red glow results from emission, where starlight ionizes hydrogen gas. Pink areas are lit by a combination of the two processes. S Mon is part of a young open cluster of stars named NGC 2264, located about 2500 light years away toward the constellation of Monoceros, just north of the Cone Nebula. 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.
Cracks and Ridges on Europa Credit: Galileo Project, JPL, NASA Explanation: Which way to the interstate? What appears to be a caricature of a complex highway system on Earth is actually a system of ridges and cracks on the icy surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. The distance between parallel ridges in the above photograph is typically about 1 kilometer. The complexity of the cracks and ridges tell a story of Europa's past that is mostly undecipherable -- planetary geologists try to understand just the general origin of the overall features. One noteworthy feature is the overall white sheen, possibly indicating the presence of frost. Another is the dark centers between parallel ridges, which might indicate that dirty water from an underground ocean recently welled up in the cracks and froze. Recent research indicates that enough carbon exists to support an underwater biosphere, but that Europa's ice crust may be over three kilometers thick in some places. 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.
East of the Lagoon Nebula Credit & Copyright: Jean-Charles Cuillandre (CFHT), Hawaiian Starlight, CFHT Explanation: To the east of the Lagoon Nebula is a star field rich in diversity. On the lower left are clouds rich in dark dust that hide background stars and young star systems still forming. Dark clouds include LDN 227 on the left and IC 1275 on the right, with a bright star near its tip. On the upper right are clouds rich in hot glowing gas, including part of the emission nebula NGC 6559. On the right, between the two regions, is a nebula reflecting light from a group of massive blue stars. The NGC 6559 complex pictured above spans about 3 light years and likely has a common history with the Lagoon Nebula. The complex lies about 5000 light-years away toward the constellation of Sagittarius. 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.
Love and War by Moonlight Credit & Copyright: Fred Espenak (courtesy of www.MrEclipse.com) Explanation: Venus, named for the Roman goddess of love, and Mars, the war god's namesake, approach each other by moonlight in this lovely sky view recorded on May 14th from Dunkirk, Maryland, USA. The four second time exposure made in twilight with a digital camera also records earthshine illuminating the otherwise dark surface of the young crescent Moon. Venus shines as the third brightest object in Earth's sky, after the Sun and the Moon itself, and has been appearing as the brilliant evening star in the pantheon of planets arrayed in the west during April and May. Here, Venus' light is so intense that it produces a noticeable spike in the sensitive camera's image. Much fainter Mars is lower in the picture, caught between tree limbs swaying in a gentle evening breeze. By early June, Mars will be harder to spot as it wanders toward the horizon, but Venus and father Jupiter will draw closer together, presenting a spectacular pair of bright planets in the west. 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 Old Moon in the New Moon's Arms Credit & Copyright: Laurent Laveder Explanation: Also known as the Moon's "ashen glow" or "the old Moon in the new Moon's arms", Earthshine is Earthlight reflected from the Moon's night side. This dramatic image of Earthshine and a young crescent Moon was taken by astrophotographer and APOD translator Laurent Laveder from the remote Pic du Midi Observatory on planet Earth. But the view from the Moon would have been stunning too. When the Moon appears in Earth's sky as a slender crescent, a dazzlingly bright, nearly full Earth would be seen from the lunar surface. The Earth's brightness, due to reflected sunlight, is strongly influenced by cloud cover and recent studies of Earthshine indicate that it is more pronounced during April and May. A description of Earthshine, in terms of sunlight reflected by Earth's oceans in turn illuminating the Moon's dark surface, was written 500 years ago by Leonardo da Vinci. 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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