Category Archives: Nature

Behold: vivid iridescent nacreous or ‘mother of pearl’ clouds over Tandalen in Sweden late last week. To wit:

 …they are rare. This northern winter season they have been making unforgettable appearances at high latitudes, though. A type of polar stratospheric cloud, they form when unusually cold temperatures in the usually cloudless lower stratosphere form ice crystals. Still sunlit at altitudes of around 15 to 25 kilometers the clouds can diffract sunlight after sunset and before the dawn.

Image: P-M Hedén (Clear Skies, TWAN)

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A spectacular (and very rare) ice halo photographed (on an iPhone) by Michael Schneider this month in the Swiss Alps. According to Schneider, the phenomenon developed gradually as fog dissipated at the top of a ski resort.

The annotated overlay (using information from this site on atmospheric optics) was created by Mark McCaughrean.

Previously: Dublin Rainbow

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A short film by cinematographer Chris Bryan, who worked on BBC’s ‘Blue Planet II’, showing the mesmerising crash and surge of ocean waves in slow motion. Sez he:

I love filming in the ocean more than anything, its not just a job, its a passion. And sometimes its nice just to document waves without surfers riding them. The feeling of jumping off the rocks in the dark by myself just to capture the very first rays of light hitting the ocean without another sole in sight is unexplainable, its one of the most amazing feelings ever, its like my own personal therapy.

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The mycelial landscapes of California-based photographer and ’mushroom and slime mould fan’ Allison Pollack.

Above: Mycena strobilinoidea and Clavulina; Leocarpus fragilis; Physarum; Crepidotus crocophyllus; Phillipsia domingensis; Willkommlangea reticulata; Ascocoryne sarcoides and Trichia; Didymium squamulosum; Cookeina sulcipes (‘Tropical Goblet’) and Physarum.

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Finalists from Nikon’s 2019 Small World Photomicrography Competition.

From top: a fluorescent turtle embryo by Teresa Zgoda (the overall winner) ; a ‘small white hair spider’ by Javier Rupérez; Depth-color coded projections of three stentors (single-cell freshwater protozoans) by Dr Ivor Siwanowicz; cells undergoing mitosis by Jason Kirk; a frozen water droplet by Garzon Christian and a housefly eye by Razvan Cornel Constantin.

See the rest here.

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