Walking on Stars
Photographer Lee Eunyeol constructed elaborate light installations that appear as if the night sky switched positions with the ground, flipping it upside down. It is based around the idea of inverting the night sky. The glowing stars and planets are now nestled inside tall grass and deep between earthen cracks. The results are incredibly unique and thoroughly surreal. The series titled Starry Night generates a mysterious and magical landscape that juxtaposes day with night.
10 Stunning Cityscapes Without Light Pollution
There are many advantages to city life, from conveniences like 24-hour delis and reliable public transportation to all of the culture that’s right at our fingertips. But there’s one thing that’s sadly missing from our lives — starry skies. In Thierry Cohen’s thought-provoking series Darkened Cities, we get to see what various cityscapes worldwide would look like minus all of the light pollution.
The Paris-based photographer’s work is very precise; the skies that he superimposes into his photos are taken from locations that are situated on the same latitude as the original cities, and shot at the same angle. The resulting images are beautiful. Click through to see what some of the world’s brightest cities look like when the lights are off and the stars come out to play.
- Hong Kong, China
- Los Angeles, California
- Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
- São Paulo, Brazil
- San Francisco, California
- Tokyo, Japan
- Paris, France
- Manhattan, New York
- Ground Zero, New York
- Shanghai, China
Amazing Volcanic Eruption With Northern Lights, Iceland
After hearing that the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano was erupting, photographer James Appleton made a journey to Iceland. Appleton managed to take these stunning photos of the volcano’s eruption while a light display of the aurora borealis (northern lights) filled the sky. His words express the experience best:
In 2010 I became aware of the volcanic activity on the Fimmvörðuháls mountain pass, on the side of Eyjafjallajökull. Having crossed the pass several times on previous trips to Iceland, I knew the area and that I would know my way around. Dealing with the severe winter conditions and obviously volatile situation would be something else. I am a strong believer that sometimes in life it is the risks we take that bring the greatest rewards, so with that in mind I booked flights, assembled my gear and headed out to Iceland. Arriving at night, I hitchhiked to the south coast and the start of the path up to the pass. Five days later I would return, physically and mentally exhausted, but with some of the greatest photographs I had ever taken and a pretty wide smile on my face.
Stars Become the Night
Australian photographer Lincoln Harrison captivated the world with his first Star Trails collection with surreal swirls of stars in the night sky, created using long-exposure techniques. Recently, Harrison added a new collection titled Nightscapes to his gallery and it’s just as breathtaking. In this series, the stars seem to be just out of reach, shining like suspended diamonds in a colorful night sky.
Harrison uses the same technique of long-exposure frames to capture the brilliant movements of the stars. He shoots the night sky separately with a creative zoom technique, and then layers the images in post-production. His entire collection can be viewed at his site.
Look Up! The Perseid Meteor Shower is Here
Skywatchers around the world are gearing up for the famous August Perseid meteor shower, which peaks August 11 through 13 and promises to be the best celestial fireworks show of the year.
The Perseids grace our skies when Earth plows into a stream of fragments—ranging in size from sand grains to boulders—left behind by a comet. These particles slam into the atmosphere at speeds of 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers) per hour, causing the meteors to burn up in the upper atmosphere, which produces a momentary streak across the overhead skies known as a shooting star.
"As the Earth passes through the dust trail of comets, it encounters debris—some of which can be the size of grapefruit or larger—which [then] can cause fireballs," said Raminder Singh Samra, resident astronomer at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. "The chances of seeing fireballs always increase when there is a strong meteor shower like this one," he added.
Expectations this year are particularly high for the Perseids because the waxing crescent moon will set early, allowing even the fainter meteors to be seen, explained Samra.
The Span of 30 Doradus - A Nearby Galaxy
Also known as the Tarantula nebula, 30 Doradus is a region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (a nearby irregular galaxy and a satellite of the Milky Way) and is one of the most active areas of star formation in the night sky.
Image: UT/CTIO Magellanic Cloud Emission Line Survey [high-resolution]
The Electrical Light Show in the Sky
Lightning strikes are electrical discharges on a massive scale between the atmosphere and an earth-bound object. They mostly originate in thunderclouds and terminate on the ground, called Cloud to Ground (CG) lightning. However, they may also be initiated from a very tall grounded object and reach into the clouds.
Although "a lightning strike" is commonly used to describe all lightning, it is rather erroneous and a misnomer, as only about 25% of all lightning events worldwide are CG. The large bulk of lightning events are Intracloud (IC) or Cloud to Cloud (CC), where discharge only occurs high in the atmosphere.
The scientific name for the complete process of a single lightning event is a “flash”, and a flash is a very complex, multiple step interaction, which is not entirely understood. Most CG flashes only “strike” one physical location, referred to as a termination. The primary conducting channel, the bright coursing light you may see and call a “strike”, is only about one inch in diameter, although to our eyes it looks much larger. They are miles long, and can be upwards of tens miles long. The entire flash lasts only fractions of a second, and most of it is not visible to the human eye.