Thursday, September 18, 2008

10 Very Rare Cloud Pictures

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Cool pictures of rare clouds on Planet Earth. Clouds fill the skies above us and are part of our every day lives, often going unnoticed. However, there are some clouds that are so rare that you will be very lucky to see them in your lifetime. This is a list of the top 10 most rarest cloud formations (in no particular order) that for those lucky enough to see them, were caught on camera.

1. Nacreous Clouds
These rare clouds, sometimes called mother-of-pearl clouds, are 15 - 25km (9 -16 miles) high in the stratosphere and well above tropospheric clouds.
They have iridescent colours but are higher and much rarer than ordinary iridescent clouds. They are seen mostly but not exclusively in polar regions and in winter at high latitudes, Scandinavia, Alaska, Northern Canada. Lower level iridescent clouds can be seen anywhere.

Nacreous clouds shine brightly in high altitude sunlight up to two hours after ground level sunset or before dawn. Their unbelievably bright iridescent colours and slow movement relative to any lower clouds make them an unmistakable and unforgettable sight.

Here are some cool videos of these clouds, otherwise own as 'SunDog'.

2. Mammatus Clouds
Mammatus are pouch-like cloud structures and a rare example of clouds in sinking air.
Sometimes very ominous in appearance, mammatus clouds are harmless and do not mean that a tornado is about to form - a commonly held misconception. In fact, mammatus are usually seen after the worst of a thunderstorm has passed.

3. Altocumulus Castelanus
Also known as jellyfish clouds due to their jellyfish-like appearance.
These formed around 17,000 ft due to when the rush of moist air comes from the Gulf Stream and gets trapped between layers of dry air. The top of the cloud rises into a jellyfish shape and long tentacles known as “trailing virga” form from rain drops that have evaporated.

4. Noctilucent Clouds
Noctilucent Clouds or Polar Mesopheric Clouds: This is an extroadinarily rare cloud formation that occurs out on the verge of space between 82km to 102 km from the earth’s surface.
Noctilucent clouds appear to be luminous yet they reflect the sunlight from the other side of the earth at night, giving them a glowing appearance

5. Mushroom Clouds
A mushroom cloud is a distinctive mushroom-shaped cloud of smoke, condensed water vapor, or debris resulting from a very large explosion. They are most commonly associated with nuclear explosions, but any sufficiently large blast will produce the same sort of effect.
Volcano eruptions and impact events can produce natural mushroom clouds.

Mushroom cloudsorm as a result of the sudden formation of a large mass of hot low-density gases near the ground creating a Rayleigh-Taylor instability. The mass of gas rises rapidly, resulting in turbulent vortices curling downward around its edges and drawing up a column of additional smoke and debris in the centre to form its “stem”. The mass of gas eventually reaches an altitude where it is no longer less dense than the surrounding air and disperses, the debris drawn upward from the ground scattering and drifting back down.

6. Cirrus Kelvin-Helmholtz
Appearing as a slender, horizontal spiral of cloud, cirrus Kelvin-Helmholtz is one of the most distinctive cloud formations. However, it tends to dissipate only a minute or two after forming and, as a result, is rarely observed.

Average height is around 16,500 ft.

7. Lenticular Clouds
Lenticular clouds, technically known as altocumulus standing lenticularis, are stationary lens-shaped clouds that form at high altitudes, normally aligned at right-angles to the wind direction.
Where stable moist air flows over a mountain or a range of mountains, a series of large-scale standing waves may form on the downwind side. Lenticular clouds sometimes form at the crests of these waves. Under certain conditions, long strings of lenticular clouds can form, creating a formation known as a wave cloud.

These clouds can often be mistaken for UFOs! Check out this video:

Here is another very spooky cloud caught on video:

8. Roll Clouds
A roll cloud is a low, horizontal tube-shaped arcus cloud associated with a thunderstorm gust front, or sometimes a cold front. Roll clouds can also be a sign of possible microburst activity.
Cool air sinking air from a storm cloud’s downdraft spreads out across the surface with the leading edge called a gust front. This outflow undercuts warm air being drawn into the storm’s updraft. As the cool air lifts the warm moist air water condenses creating cloud, which often rolls with the different winds above and below (wind shear).

Here is a video of a Roll Cloud in action

9. Shelf Clouds
A shelf cloud is a low, horizontal wedge-shaped arcus cloud, associated with a thunderstorm gust front (or occasionally with a cold front, even in the absence of thunderstorms).
Unlike a roll cloud, a shelf cloud is attached to the base of the parent cloud above it (usually a thunderstorm).
Rising cloud motion often can be seen in the leading (outer) part of the shelf cloud, while the underside often appears turbulent, boiling, and wind-torn.

10. Stratocumulus Clouds
According to the Sapporo Meteorological Observatory, these low-altitude stratocumulus clouds were rolled into long, distinctive ribbons after becoming trapped in air currents.
While it is not uncommon for wind to form such patterns in stratocumulus clouds, photos that clearly show the clouds rolled into strips are rare, says the observatory.

Top 10 Perfectly Timed Sports Pictures

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9: POOT!


8: UH OH
















Tuesday, September 16, 2008

10 Amazing photos of the Earth

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You can see the retreating ocean just 5 minutes before the tsunami hit.

The swirling waters batter the coast just moments after the main wall of water has hit.

2. An alluvial fan, xinjiang province, China

Covering an area 56.6 x 61.3 km. This is alluvial fan that formed on the southern border of the taklimakan desert in china. Alluvial fans usually form as water leaves a canyon, each new stream eventually closing up due to sediment - the result is a triangle of active and inactive channels. The blue ones on the left are currently active.

3. Retreating glaciers in the Bhutan-Himalaya

Glaciers are slowly melting due to global warming. Easily visible are the ends of most of these glacial valleys’ surfaces turning to water to form lakes, a trend which has been noticed only in the last few decades.

4. Hurricane Isabel, 2003

This is a photo of hurricane Isabel back from 2003 It was deadliest hurricane of 2003 with winds reaching 165 mph.

5. Greenland’s eastern coast, august 21st, 2003 

Little white spots in the water is ice from deeper fjords that cover most of the island.

6. Aurora Borealis

Natural phenomenon known as aurora borealis, taken from shuttle atlantis during the its -117 mission.

7. Total solar eclipse from space, 1999

Moon shadow covers part of earth on august 11th, 1999 photo taken from MIR space station. This shadow moved across the Earth at 2000 km/h.

8. Egmont national park, New Zealand, 2002

Egmont Volcano in the center of Egmont national park. The park is seen from space. The huge dark green disk is the park.

9. Mt. Etna eruption, October 2001

Photo of a violent eruption on the island of Sicily. The eruption produced an ash cloud that traveled to Libya.

10. Richat structure, Mauritania

The cause of the richat structure in the Sahara desert of Mauritania has been debated for many years. At first it was thought to be a crater of a meteorite impact but it's been disproved due to the lack of shock-altered rock in its vicinity. This massive (30 mile diameter) oddity is now believed to have been a rock dome sculpted over time by erosion.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Imagine what is on the top of this tower

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

5.5 Terapixel Camera?

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That’s right… each picture holds more information than your BRAIN TIMES THREE!


21 Amazing Underwater Pictures

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Capturing the beauty of the world beneath the oceans is a challenge, but the rewards are worth it. The excitement comes not only from the idea of capturing an underwater scene on film or on a digital camera’s sensor, but also from being in a completely different environment.
Since it is a specialized area that relatively few photographers attempt, the opportunities for new and different images are many.
It is no surprise that underwater photography is a favorite pastime for scuba divers. The idea could have come from those few people that were able to experience the joys and beauty of underwater life and a desire to share that beauty with others.
The fundamentals of photography remain the same wherever you are taking pictures, but when the medium that light travels through is water - not air - special techniques and equipment are needed in order to capture good images.

Here are some beautiful underwater pictures; which might give you some inspiration, when you are going for your next adventure.
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photo by: mgleiss
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photo by childish_david
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photo by rene_cazalens
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Photo by Zena Holloway
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Photo by Zena Holloway
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photo by mgleiss
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photo by Sea Moon
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photo by justonemore
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photo by Wandering Simon
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photo by Eldad75
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photo by by Adam Broadbent
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photo by Mshai
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photo by Kawa0310
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photo by ian
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