Author Archives

  • sequoia-and-man

    Re-Published: Sequoia, Redwood – The Ancient Giants [14 Pics]

    California’s enormous giant sequoia is the world’s most massive tree and one of the oldest. These trees can grow to more than 250 feet tall (or 76 meters which is about as tall as a 25-story building), with a diameter at breast-height up to 30 feet (about 9 meters).

  • comet-lovejoy

    Comet Lovejoy seen from the ISS [8 pics]

    Comet Lovejoy and Chile at night

    Comet Lovejoy and Chile at Night (ISS 12/26/11)
    This busy night time panorama was photographed by one of the Expedition 30 crew members from the International Space Station on Dec. 26, 2011. Comet Lovejoy streaks through the star-filled sky just to the right of center. The land mass is the coast of Chile, looking southeast, with several coastal cities in the capital city region near Santiago. A 28-mm focal length was used to record the image.
    Photo Credit: NASA

    Introduction

    As Comet Lovejoy was visible from Earth during the Christmas holiday it became known as “The Great Christmas Comet of 2011”, and because its appearance was announced on the 16th anniversary of the SOHO satellite’s launch it was also nicknamed “The Great Birthday Comet of 2011”.

    Comet Lovejoy is a periodic comet, classified as a Kreutz Sungrazer. It was discovered in November 2011 by amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy. The comet’s perihelion took it through the Sun’s corona on 16 December 2011, after which it emerged intact and continued on its orbit to the outer solar system.[8 pictures]

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  • dover-cliffs

    The breathtaking white cliffs of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters [40 Pics]

    White Cliffs of Beachy Head and Seven Sisters

    White Cliffs of Beachy Head and Seven Sisters

    Chalk cliffs just East of Birling Gap looking towards the Seven Sisters.

    Photo Credit: Howzey

    Introduction

    Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters are famous for their bright white chalk cliffs. The chalk was formed during the Late Cretaceous period (up to 100 million years ago), a time when the area was submerged by the sea.

    The chalk was gradually pushed up, and rising sea levels cut into the chalk, forming the English Channel and creating a stunning range of undulating cliffs.

    The cliffs continue to be eroded by the waves below. While large movements of the cliff are rare, slabs of chalk frequently fracture and fall away. As the lower cliff material is worn by the waves, the cliffs above are undermined until they eventually collapse.[40 pictures]

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  • lightning

    When Lightning Strikes! Extreme Instability [19 Pics]

    Lightning: Northern South Dakota

    Lightning: Northern South Dakota

    Storm produces frequently lightning in northern South Dakota, June 16, 2010. Several longer exposures stacked. Image Credit (and all rights reserved by): extremeinstability.com

    Introduction

    When mother nature is mad this is what it looks like. I can totally relate to how the old Vikings had a God (Thor) for this incredible phenomenon. Yet again, the photographer Mike Hollingshead (who runs the extremeinstability.com website) provides us with insane photographs.

    From the discharge of atmospheric electricity (lightning), a leader of a bolt of lightning can travel at speeds of 220,000 km/h (140,000 mph), and can reach temperatures approaching 30,000 °C (54,000 °F).

    How lightning initially forms is still a matter of debate. Scientists have studied root causes ranging from atmospheric perturbations (wind, humidity, friction, and atmospheric pressure) to the impact of solar wind and accumulation of charged solar particles.

    The irrational fear of lightning (and thunder) is astraphobia. [19 pictures]

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  • astronaut

    Spectacular Photos from the ISS by cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin [50 pics]

    Spectacular photos by Cosmonaut Yurchikhin:

    Spectacular photos by Cosmonaut Yurchikhin: 

    Triggerpit staff: “Purple sea around a what looks like an atoll. The image is very powerful and we would very much like to know where this is so we can plan our next vacation trip.”
    From Laura in Comments below: “Nikumaroro or Gardener Island of the Phoenix Islands, Kiribati – identified with Google Image search for similar images”
    Photo Credit: Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and the Russian Space Agency Press Services

    Introduction

    Presenting the Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, and his fantastic photographs from the International Space Station.

    Cosmonauts are the Russian equivalent to Astronauts and this Russian Hero has been in space not once or twice but three times. In 2002 he flew on the Shuttle STS-112, and he later, twice went on the ISS in 2007 and finally in 2010. During his 2010 stay he was ISS-24 flight engineer under Astronaut Douglas Wheelock whom we have features on Triggerpit a year ago. Cosmonaut Yurchikhin was also the Commander of the Soyuz TMA-19 that brought himself, Douglas Wheelock and Shannon Walker safely back to Earth.

    All photos below are taken by Astronaut Yurchikihin and posted with the permission of the Russian Space Agency.

    Unfortunately Cosmonaut Yurchikhin does not provide captions to many of the photographs and we have no idea what the photos are on. So we would like to ask you readers to send us you guesses to any photo with a tile ending with a colon “:”. Please post your suggestions in the comment section at the bottom.  [50 pictures]

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