Autumn Leaves | Scanned Images

Fellow bloggers Steve and Steve often include beautiful close-up photos of leaves in their posts. They inspired me to try imaging leaves in a different way. I decided to use a flatbed scanner. During a recent walk, I picked up three examples that were colorful and still in good shape. I got a pin oak, maple, and ornamental pear and headed home.

First up on the scanner was the oak leaf. I placed it face down on the glass and set the resolution to a high value of 800 dpi. I wanted to get lots of detail in the scanned image.


Pin oak | 800 dpi | Reflection setting

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Moon’s Far Side | Tycho Crater | Apollo 15

Far Side of the Moon

This image of the Moon is probably not familiar to you. It is the Moon’s far side. Only 24 people have seen it with their own eyes and not as an image. They are the Apollo astronauts. Click on this image for a detailed and closeup view.


NASA | Goddard | Arizona State University


Because the moon is tidally locked (meaning the same side always faces Earth), it was not until 1959 that the far side was first imaged by the Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft. Russian names are common for prominent far side features, such as Mare Moscoviense. The widespread smooth maria on the nearside that we see do not appear much on the far side. It is a very different world from what we see from Earth.

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Gravity | How It Behaves

There are two astronauts somewhere in space, 3 meters apart, and not moving relative to each other. Astronaut Lucy has a total mass of 100 kg including her suit. Astronaut Ricky has a total mass of 140 kg including his suit. Question 1 – Is there a physical attractive force between them? Question 2 – What are the variables which affect the strength of that force? Question 3 – How large is that force? Those questions will be answered in this post.


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MESSENGER | Mercury Mission Ends

The MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) spacecraft is due to crash into the surface of Mercury on April 30, 2015 after it runs out of fuel. Impact will be at a speed of 8,750 miles per hour (3.91 kilometers per second) on the side of the planet facing away from Earth. It first arrived into orbit around Mercury March 17, 2011. The instrument payload has provided a wealth of information. It is the first spacecraft to orbit that planet. It has given us views of Mercury that mankind has never seen. The spacecraft has acquired more than 255,000 images and a vast amount of other data. The entire surface has been mapped.

NASA/Johns Hopkins Univ. | Applied Physics Laboratory | Carnegie Inst. of Washington

Launched August 3, 2004, the accomplishments of MESSENGER are many. This graphic from 2014 celebrates many of those.

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CO2 | Data Patterns and Trends

I enjoy reading the blog by Dr. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground. In a recent post, Bob Henson said that atmospheric CO2 had reached a new high value. His supportive evidence linked to the Keeling Curve data maintained at Mauna Loa in Hawaii by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Each day you visit the Keeling Curve page, the most recent CO2 value is posted above the charts.

The images in this gallery were each obtained by hovering my mouse pointer over the time spans below the chart. As you go through the gallery, notice the cyclical pattern evident in the 1 yr, 2 yr, and 1958-to-Now images. Also note the rapidly increasing trend toward higher CO2 levels in the 1700-to-Now image. The impact we humans have had on the levels through fossil fuel use during this era is quite apparent. The final image includes a huge span of time inclusive of several global warming and cooling episodes. None of those episodes had levels of CO2 near those of today.

Keeling Curve Gallery

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