The following images courtesy of EarthSky
Left: North of Los Padres National Forest on December 3, 2016. Right: The same location on March 27, 2017. Images via KQED/ Planet Labs. KQEDScience published this before-and-after photo this week of the ongoing wildflower superbloom in California, as seen from space. Hundreds of wildflower species bloom in California between March and July, but in 2017, thanks to above-average winter rainfall following five years of drought, the wildflowers are going bonkers. The image comes from Planet Labs — a start-up founded by three ex-NASA engineers — which used high-resolution satellite imagery to capture the space view of wildflowers in Carrizo Plain National Monument, Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge and just north of Los Padres National Forest.
Dark matter filaments bridge the space between galaxies in this false-color map. The locations of bright galaxies are shown by the white regions and the presence of a dark matter filament bridging the galaxies is shown in red. Image via RAS/ S. Epps & M. Hudson / University of Waterloo. Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario say they’ve captured the first composite image of something that – although astronomers have talked about it for decades – has been hitherto unseen, and in fact undetected. They say it’s an image of dark matter, a connection point in the great cosmic web in which our universe’s billions of galaxies are thought to be embedded. The Royal Astronomical Society, which published the new work in its peer-reviewed Monthly Notices, said in an April 12, 2017 statement: The composite image, which combines a number of individual images, confirms predictions that galaxies across the universe are tied together through a cosmic web connected by dark matter that has until now remained unobservable.
Tim Herring caught Venus on April 9, 2017 and wrote: “Woke to let the dogs out, to find Venus shining above the dawn horizon. Grabbed my camera and hand held this shot. A bit grainy as auto ISO ‘helped.’ I wish I could have crossed the field to get more of the tree silhouette, but it is in my neighbors field and the geese are pairing up and nesting – best not to disturb them.”
When Alec Jones saw this sun pillar before dawn on April 6, 2017, he wasn’t quite sure what it was. He’d heard of the zodiacal light and wondered … could this be it? He wrote: This shaft of light was visible for around 35 minutes before and up to dawn this morning from the Northumberland coast, northeast England. Would anyone like to confirm that this is zodiacal light or otherwise.
First glimpse of the aurora australis after sunset at the South Pole this year. April 11, 2017 photo by Hunter Davis at the South Pole.
April 11, 2017 photo by Hunter Davis at the South Pole.