March 8, 2014

A Waterspout in Florida


This one of the better images yet recorded of a waterspout is a type of tornado that occurs over water. Waterspouts are spinning columns of rising moist air that typically form over warm water. Waterspouts can be as dangerous as tornadoes and can feature wind speeds over 200 kilometers per hour. Some waterspouts form away from thunderstorms and even during relatively fair weather. Waterspouts may be relatively transparent and initially visible only by an unusual pattern they create on the water. This picture was taken on July 2013 near Tampa Bay, Florida. The Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida is arguably the most active area in the world for waterspouts, with hundreds forming each year. Some people speculate that waterspouts are responsible for some of the losses recorded in the Bermuda Triangle.

Image Credit & Copyright: Joey Mole
Explanation from:

March 6, 2014

A Retreating Thunderstorm at Sunset

This retreating cumulonimbus cloud, more commonly called a thundercloud, is somewhat unusual as it contains the unusual bumpiness of a mammatus cloud on the near end, while simultaneously producing falling rain on the far end. Taken in mid-June 2013 in southern Alberta, Canada, the cloud is moving to the east, into the distance, as the sun sets in the west, behind the camera. In this image, graphic sunset colors cross the sky to give the already photogenic cloud striking orange and pink hues. A darkening blue sky covers the background. Further in the distance, a rising, waxing, gibbous moon is visible on the far right.

Image Credit & Copyright: Alan Dyer
Explanation from:

March 5, 2014

Globules in the Running Chicken Nebula

This emission nebula, cataloged as IC 2944, is called the Running Chicken Nebula for the shape of its greater appearance. The image was taken from Siding Spring Observatory in Australia and presented in scientifically assigned colors. Seen near the center of the image are small, dark molecular clouds rich in obscuring cosmic dust. Together with patchy glowing gas and complex regions of reflecting dust, these massive and energetic stars form the open cluster Collinder 249. This gorgeous skyscape spans about 70 light-years at the nebula's estimated 6,000 light-year distance.

Image Credit & Copyright: Fred Vanderhaven
Explanation from:

March 3, 2014

Geminid Meteors over Dashanbao Wetlands

Geminid Meteors over Dashanbao Wetlands

December 2013
Image Credit & Copyright: Jeff Dai