Astronomy Photos Physics Science & Art 

Photographing the Northern Lights in Iceland

By Steven Spence (@TheStevenSpence) For night’s swift dragons cut the clouds full fast, And yonder shines Aurora’s harbinger; At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there, Troop home to churchyards. — Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream Curtains of Light Across the Sky Seeing the northern lights (aurora borealis) has long been on my bucket list. In March 2018 I was fortunate enough to have a break, allowing me to travel solo for some weeks. I headed to Iceland (also on my bucket list), hoping to catch not only the northern…

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Astronomy Photos 

A Trip to Totality: Experiencing the 2017 Solar Eclipse

By Jeff Goldberg @jeffagoldberg For a while, I was conflicted about the effort to see the solar eclipse either in totality—which would require significant travel time—or at the 75-percent coverage I could get in my backyard. A couple of weeks ago, however, I decided I wanted to be part of the full experience of totality and committed to making the journey. For me, the closest point on the path of totality was Carbondale, Illinois. I purchased my solar glasses and a solar filtration sheet for my camera and started planning to…

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Learning Curve: Engaging in Science Communication Animals Citizen Science Photos 

Learning Curve: Engaging in Science Communication

By Steven Spence @TheStevenSpence “In its encounter with Nature, science invariably elicits a sense of reverence and awe. The very act of understanding is a celebration of joining, merging, even if on a very modest scale, with the magnificence of the Cosmos.” —Carl Sagan Curiosity takes you places How in the world did I wind up in science communication, as a contributor to GotScience.org? Curiosity and a determination to share original work on social media. Some years ago, I was bored with what I saw on Facebook. It seemed like…

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Wildlife Game of Thrones: Wolf versus Crow Animals Citizen Science Photos 

Wildlife Game of Thrones: Wolf versus Crow

By Steven Spence @TheStevenSpence “Through the bleak and early morn, Where a stronger will is sworn, Where the moments move so slow, And seem to never let you go.” —Excerpt, “The Wolves and the Ravens” by Rogue Valley The wolves and the crows Recently I took advantage of some lovely winter weather to visit the wolves at Wildpark Bad Mergentheim in Germany. While there I mostly used my telephoto lens to get close-ups. I briefly switched lenses to get some wider views of the context—trees covered in frost; the wolf…

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Book Review: Secrets of the Seas: A Journey into the Heart of the Oceans Book Reviews Oceanography Photos 

Book Review: Secrets of the Seas

Title: Secrets of the Seas: A Journey into the Heart of the Ocean Reviewed by: Steven Spence for GotScience.org, a Science Connected publication Author: Callum Roberts Photographer: Alex Mustard Publisher: Bloomsbury Natural History Publication Date: September 22, 2016 Available: Bloomsbury UK; Amazon Rating: 5 out of 5 Secrets of the Seas: A Journey into the Heart of the Oceans is an extraordinary book. Visiting multiple ocean locations, the author and photographer offer glimpses of marine life diversity that few people ever see firsthand. Why I Enjoyed Secrets of the Seas As…

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Norwegian Sea Eagles Animals Photos 

Norwegian Sea Eagles

By Steven Spence @TheStevenSpence Two Names for One Eagle: Which Is Right? Scientifically known as Haliaeetus albicilla, these large raptors are commonly known as sea eagles or white-tailed eagles. “Sea eagle” is an accurate translation of the genus name, Haliaeetus, while “white-tailed” is accurate for the species name, albicilla. Since I saw these eagles in Norway, I shall refer to them as sea eagles, which is what the locals called them (Norwegian: Havørn). Where Do Sea Eagles Live? Sea eagles live in Eurasia and occupy a similar ecological niche as…

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Life Cycle of a Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly Animals Biology Photos 

Life Cycle of a Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

By Yvi San Google+ The pipevine swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor, is a relatively small black swallowtail with gorgeous, iridescent blue scaling. It measures approximately 7–10 cm (2.75–4 in) from tip of wing to tip of wing. It is commonly found in the Deep South, but during the summer you can find it in the Southwest, including parts of California, and from Kansas to New York. Last year I planted woolly Dutchman’s pipevine, Aristolochia tomentosa, to attract this butterfly to my garden. I was rewarded at the beginning of summer with…

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Yosemite Half Dome, Max Goldberg 2016 Photos Science & Art 

Yosemite, Half Dome in Photos

By Max Goldberg @GoldbergISD When you think of Yosemite, Half Dome probably comes to mind (it’s on the park logo, after all). So, as part of our family trip to Yosemite, I had to see it. Coincidentally, Half Dome was visible almost all the time during the three days we were there, giving us multiple-angle views of the unique rock formation. After a four-hour drive from San Francisco, we got our first view of Half Dome at an overlook called Tunnel View. Some people say that Tunnel View is the best…

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photographing snowflakes Photos Science & Art 

Photographing Snowflakes: Sky Crystals

By Don Komarechka  Snow: We love it and hate it. I’d rather not count the number of rushed mornings that become panicked when I realize I need to dig out from underneath a heavy blanket of frozen frustration. By the trillions, snowflakes are definitely a nuisance, but one at a time they can be one of the most beautiful and curious subjects I have ever photographed. There are a few simple rules—and a few complex ones—that govern how a snowflake grows. The easiest way to understand the shape of a…

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Birds: The Greatest Eyes on Earth Animals Biology Photos 

Bird Eyes: The Greatest Eyes on Earth

By Emily Willoughby @eawilloughby Powered flight has arisen independently on our planet a total of five times: in insects, pterosaurs, bats, birds, and, of course, human beings. A suite of highly specific characteristics is necessary for the defiance of gravity, from lightweight, lift-generating surfaces to precise sensing devices. But dragonflies and F-16s notwithstanding, nothing has conquered the skies quite like the bird. For us—clever, indeed, but weak, fragile, and relatively blind—it should come as no surprise that the vision standards for becoming a US Air Force pilot are remarkably stringent:…

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