Thursday, February 21, 2013

Averted Imagination: 3 Spectacular Bright Sun Photographs



By day he makes greeting cards. At night, photographer Alan Friedman pursue his passion for astronomy. Using a telescope with special filters he creates the most spectacular high-res photos of the sun and other bright objects in space. His observatory, just in case you ask yourself, is located in a downtown backyard "amidst street lights and the turbulent winds of the jet stream" but, as you can see below, he makes the most out of it.

Solar Nirvana



The sun's disk is "alive with activity" in this amazing shot described by Friedman as the "most dynamic show in many years". More version of this photograph which was also published on the Discovery Channel and on Discover magazine's Bad Astronomy blog, right here.

Giant Color Prominence



A fine art print of this image which was featured on Spaceweather.com and as NASA's APOD is available for sale. 24 hours after that giant prominence color shot was taken that filament was still hanging on there. Source and more versions here.

High five on the fifth of May



"High five on the fifth of May... a grand new active region rotating into view, a massive prominence unleashed and blown away by the solar wind, handsome sunspot 1471, some wonderful filaments arching across the chromosphere... and clear skies to enjoy all of the above...". Source and moon colored version here.

For more amazing Alan Friedman photography visit avertedimagination.com


Sunday, February 10, 2013

26 feet Giant Squid Filmed in Pacific Depths



We always knew that deep-sea monsters are for real but now we have a real live one captured on film. After around 100 missions, during which they spent 400 hours in a cramped submarine working with Japanese public broadcast network NHK and the US Discovery Channel, scientists from Japan's National Science Museum have managed to capture footage of an elusive 8 meters (26 feet) long giant squid that roams the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

According to Discovery Channel the three-man crew tracked the creature, thought to be "the genesis of the Nordic legend of Kraken, a sea monster believed to have attacked ships in waters off Scandinavia over the last millennium" around 15 km (9 miles) east of Chichi island in the north Pacific Ocean. Here are some snapshots from the video:

Giant Squid 1



Giant Squid 2



Giant Squid 3



Giant Squid 4



Giant Squid 5 (Close-Up)



Monday, February 4, 2013

Living Sculptures: 3 Bottle Ecosystem Projects



They're very easy to make, hyper-creative and fascinating and like many other cool things they used to be very popular in the 70's: Bottle Ecosystems, also known as 'terrarium's and 'vivariums', are simple bottles which include the basic ingredients for life to survive: light, dirt, moisture and of course a DNA based organism, or a few of them. The following are 3 bottle ecosystem projects we find particularly inspiring. Think Bottle Ecosystems are cool and want to give it a try? Check out Jenna Consolo's project (below) or just watch this 5:20 min video from Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden that demonstrate how to create a simple terrarium out of a 2L pop bottle and some other easy to find items.

[1] Summer Fun: Ecosystem Edition



It was never her idea for a summer with the kids but some other kids did something similar for a science project and then her friend Michelle posted about how to build an Ecosystem that is "perfectly contained and functions without any outside work or maintenance" describing what she did and show she did it with her children in Alaska. So, Jenna Consolo decided it's time for her and the kids to build their own terrarium.



Here is what you'll need to follow-up on such project with your own terrarium. The process and results (shown above) are described in this blog post on the Cranberry Corner blog:
  • 3 clear 2-liter (empty) soda bottles
  • Clear packing tape
  • Aquarium gravel
  • Water
  • Dechlorinator
  • Rubber band
  • 4" piece of netting (or just cut up pantyhose)
  • Soil
  • Fish, snails or other aquatic life
  • Elodea, duck weed, anachris or other aquatic plants
  • Crickets, pill bugs and earthworms
  • A few dead leaves and small sticks

[2] Clea Cregan's Miniscapes



Started 6 years ago as  as a hobby, Clea Cregan's Miniscapes now merges desktop gardening and design to produce beautiful terrariums they call "miniature gardens" and "living sculptures".



Cregan's creations are usually made for for office receptions, board room tables and studios but also for home environments. Interested? Check out Miniscapes's site or read this interview with Cregan on TheDesignFiles.

[3] Wet Environment Terrarium



Nicole Cammorata, a Boston-based journalist, writer, and editor and a talented photographer published this story in the Boston Globe detailing how to make your own plant terrariums. Sadly, the full story which takes you through the process step-by-step, is behind the Globe's paywall but we still loved the this sequence she posted on Cammorata's blog how to create a terrarium that "favors more of a wet environment". Know any more cool bottle ecosystem projects? Be sure to contact us or post them in the comments thread.