Xiaohan Wang was driving near Keluke Lake in Qinghai Province in China, but stopped to snap this lovely image of airglow bands framing the Milky Way.
Why would the sky glow like a giant repeating rainbow? Airglow. Now air glows all of the time, but it is usually hard to see. A disturbance however -- like an approaching storm -- may cause noticeable rippling in the Earth's atmosphere. These gravity waves are oscillations in air analogous to those created when a rock is thrown in calm water. Red airglow likely originates from OH molecules about 87-kilometers high, excited by ultraviolet light from the Sun, while orange and green airglow is likely caused by sodium and oxygen atoms slightly higher up.
Below is a lovely timelapse of airglow above the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory in the Canary Islands:
• Colorful Airglow Bands Surround Milky Way (NASA)
More than 40 years ago, Eric McMillan, a renowned designer of children’s play areas, and his team created the ball pit, those troughs of brightly-colored plastic balls that children swim around in. (Ball pits also may be a giant petri dish of pathogens but, hell, the kids love ’em.) Apparently, McMillan–who went on to be […]
On Thursday, the Oxbow Prairie Horizons School in Saskatchewan, Canada staged their annual student Christmas concert. The show, “Santa Goes Green,” pissed off parents in the town where oil is one of the major industries. Here’s a description from the Santa Goes Green sheet music: Melting ice caps, global warming, surfing reindeer! The North Pole […]
Last month, Propublica published a characteristically blockbuster piece on the use of "quiet rooms" in Illinois schools, especially in special ed programs: these are a euphemism for solitary confinement, and their use is so cruel and grotesque that Propublica's reporting prompted state level action to ban quiet rooms in schools and reform the policy on […]
Photoshop is one of the most widely used photo editing tools out there, to the point that it’s the default program designers think of whenever they need work done. Small wonder, too: The flagship software in Adobe’s creative suite is very powerful — if you know how to use it. There is a lot to […]
Bamboo fiber is a relatively new thing in luxury fabrics, but it’s no surprise it’s this snuggly. After all, pandas eat bamboo, and they constantly look comfortable. But seriously: To understand the benefits of real bamboo sheets, you have to spend a night on them. This 4-Piece Luxury 100% Rayon Bamboo Sheet Set is a […]
No chef’s arsenal is complete without a good set of knives. In fact, it’s the first big sign that you’re ready to start cooking meals as opposed to just warming them up. Here are 20 knife sets that any chef would be proud to own, from visually stunning old-world metallurgy to sleek modern cutlery. Mini […]