APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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mjimih
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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by mjimih » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:29 am

" I have considered removing it due to photos being posted that have nothing to do with astronomy."

Pictures like this are up for A Day, then you get another free one 24 hours later. We are beginning to embark on a new journey where we realize our planet and everything we or nature does to it, is worth knowing about, because we are ALL astronauts in space and the Earth is our "spacesuit". Fire is a powerful agent we must respect and understand. Firemen wear "spacesuits" when running into burning "base camps" right? think about it.
Aliens will find Earth absolutely amazingly beautiful and fragile to behold. But if they get close enough, they'll see 7,000,000,000 of us and think "Uh oh, that's a lot for such a small planet. Wonder if we should help?"

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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by owlice » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:52 am

OzRob wrote:
owlice wrote:There are many professional images that could be shown instead of amateur images, and there are at this point likely millions of images just from NASA missions that could be shown rather than images from other telescopes/missions. Part of APOD's charm (and, given what the editors have said, design) is the breadth of material they consider suitable for the site.
Yes, we are aware of your opinon. Are you going to continually denigrate other people's opinions on this matter?
I didn't denigrate your opinion, just pointed out something that should be obvious to you. Yes, there are many great amateur photos that could be used, but why stop there? You haven't said. There are many other possible images, but this one got picked for today. You don't like it. As mjimih said, you get another free one in 24 hours. Do you expect every site to delight you every single day? Be tailored to your preferences?

There are many sites on which to see amateur images, including Asterisk, so why denigrate APOD for being, well, APODish?
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Ann
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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by Ann » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:53 am

owlice wrote:There are many professional images that could be shown instead of amateur images, and there are at this point likely millions of images just from NASA missions that could be shown rather than images from other telescopes/missions. Part of APOD's charm (and, given what the editors have said, design) is the breadth of material they consider suitable for the site.
As for professional and amateur images, may I throw in my two cents and say that some amateur images are just as good as professional ones. Often amateurs spend a huge amount of time on their images, and thus achieve stunning results. Professional images are often produced "on the cheap", for the simple reason that the individual images are just treated as entries in a large catalog: scientists need a huge database of the best possible quality, but there are many aspects of the images that can be dispensed with because they aren't necessary for the science in question. For example, the Hubble pictures are often two-color ones, photographed through two filters, which is often perfectly enough for science but disappointing from an aesthetic point of view.

I'm not trying to say that professional images are bad or lacking in any way. I'm most certainly not saying that they should not appear here at APOD. I'm just saying that professional images are professional, done for the sake of science, and amateur images, done for beauty, can often be every bit as satisfying for the general public as professional images.

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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by owlice » Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:11 am

Ann, I was in no way protesting the appearance of amateur images! I love that APOD shows them; I appreciate a great deal the work that astrophotographers do (and the astrophotographers totally rock!). But APOD isn't intended to show only amateur images, and I cannot understand why some seem to think so. I love the work the editors do on APOD, and that includes the selection of images and the breadth they show.

I don't care for your characterization of professionals and saying the images are done "on the cheap." I know some of these people, and they care very much about the work they do. I find Hubble images stunning; I know you don't. That doesn't mean they aren't pleasing aesthetically; it just means we have different aesthetics, and those are images that you don't especially like, just as there are images I don't especially like, though I think we both appreciate the need for and work on them.
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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by geckzilla » Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:32 am

Ann wrote:As for professional and amateur images, may I throw in my two cents and say that some amateur images are just as good as professional ones. Often amateurs spend a huge amount of time on their images, and thus achieve stunning results. Professional images are often produced "on the cheap", for the simple reason that the individual images are just treated as entries in a large catalog: scientists need a huge database of the best possible quality, but there are many aspects of the images that can be dispensed with because they aren't necessary for the science in question. For example, the Hubble pictures are often two-color ones, photographed through two filters, which is often perfectly enough for science but disappointing from an aesthetic point of view.
I don't know if you are simply failing to communicate what ideas are really in your head but there is just nothing correct about any of these statements other than that amateur images being just as good as professional ones. There is often very little difference between a professionally processed image and a dedicated amateur's but that goes for all parts of astronomy, not just imaging. At this point it doesn't even need to be stated that "amateur astronomy" doesn't mean "unskilled astronomy". I think the "professional" astronomers who get awarded Hubble time would be quite happy to get three filters. Time is just so limited (expensive, not "cheap") that if two will do then two it is. And there isn't a single Hubble processor, professional, amateur, or hobbyist who would also love if the third filter would be more common. You don't even know about the chip gaps. Oh, the chip gaps! The chip gaps are heartbreaking.
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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:59 am

geckzilla wrote:You don't even know about the chip gaps. Oh, the chip gaps! The chip gaps are heartbreaking.
What are "chip gaps"?
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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by geckzilla » Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:37 am

BDanielMayfield wrote:What are "chip gaps"?
Meet my nemesis. The biggest, most beautiful, ultra resolution images are invariably crossed by it.
chipgap.jpg
This particular galaxy has a rich set of data available so the chip gap can be filled easily. However, there are many oddities which aren't big, beautiful, grand design spirals for which there is no data available to fill in the gap with. Alternatively, sometimes there will be some data available but it will be in an entirely different part of the EM spectrum so it's hardly suitable (though I've forced it sometimes). A processor is left to either clone data (which is frowned upon and one might even call it unethical) or fill it with data from another telescope or even one's own telescope. It's one of the most frustrating things to confront in the HLA and the reason why many Hubble images are cropped to show only one of those rectangles. I'd rather take a big pile of cosmic rays than have to deal with it. The only worse thing is finding a very interesting object with low signal to noise ratio.
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Ann
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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by Ann » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:21 am

geckzilla wrote:

There is often very little difference between a professionally processed image and a dedicated amateur's but that goes for all parts of astronomy, not just imaging. At this point it doesn't even need to be stated that "amateur astronomy" doesn't mean "unskilled astronomy". I think the "professional" astronomers who get awarded Hubble time would be quite happy to get three filters. Time is just so limited (expensive, not "cheap") that if two will do then two it is.
Well... that's what I was trying to say. Sorry if it didn't come through the way I intended.

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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by OzRob » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:16 am

owlice wrote:There are many sites on which to see amateur images, including Asterisk, so why denigrate APOD for being, well, APODish?
It is because with name like Astronomy Picture of the Day I expect to see a photo directly related to astronomy every day. The website name is very specific. I don't expect to see a photo of a fire on Earth or a giant digging machine, no matter how interesting the photo may be. There are multitudes of websites dedicated to general photography. Some even have PODs.

Anyway I will leave you to it... :mrgreen:

zooto68

Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by zooto68 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:38 am

Even worse, it's a repeat from 2001:

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap001121.html

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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by owlice » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:33 am

It appeared in 2000; it's been 13 years since it first (and last) appeared on APOD, as has already been noted.

From the APOD FAQ page:
Q4: Have some APOD pictures been run more than once?
A4: Yes. Many of our readers have been with us less than a year and are unaware of some really spectacular or important astronomy pictures. New information about old pictures is becoming available over the WWW. The text and links for rerun pictures will make use of this newly available information. So although the picture might be old, some of the text and links of each APOD will be new. Also, more web surfers have larger bandwidth connections, which allows us to post higher-resolution image files that can be transferred conveniently. Software to handle more sophisticated image file formats has also become more common, so the picture's size and/or format might be new. Lastly, rerunning APODs saves us time and helps us update our archive. In general, our rerun policy currently is to only rerun APODs more than one year old to keep the pictures relatively "new" to new APOD viewers. We will almost never rerun more than two pictures in any given week. So when you load the current APOD, it is still, most probably, a new picture.
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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by DavidLeodis » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:28 pm

I hope the elk were subsequently OK.

I notice that the Bitterroot River they are in (the river was named through a link) does not seem deep so perhaps that is an indication that the area was dry and so more susceptible to fire.

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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:16 pm

I was quite looking forward to the discussion regarding this wonderful photo. I, too, would want APOD to re-show it off if I happened to be the photographer. My next inclination was to reply with a humorously-intended, sarcastic reply. “Wow, I’ve never seen a picture of the “Elk in the River While the Fire Burns Behind Nebula”. That might indicate my first opinion. Then I realized; this is my neck of the woods so I’d better be nice. We’ve had our share of publicity recently – some good, some sad. In the end I’d say that the Earth is part of the universe too and any active process involving its well being is fair game. I'd also agree with previous comments that if we spotted a fire anywhere else, it would surely be the next APOD. I'd love to see a fire burning high in the Martian atmosphere as long as it was just a lucky photo of a successful entry.
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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by geckzilla » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:38 pm

There is a duality to this photo which depends on which direction you think the elk are looking. In the most obvious sense, they are watching the fire burn their previous home. You could imagine this as a candid photo of them and that they are unaware of the photographer. On the other hand, if they are facing the photographer, they may be more greatly concerned with the presence of the human taking their photograph than with the fire raging behind them.
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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:03 am

geckzilla wrote:There is a duality to this photo which depends on which direction you think the elk are looking. In the most obvious sense, they are watching the fire burn their previous home. You could imagine this as a candid photo of them and that they are unaware of the photographer. On the other hand, if they are facing the photographer, they may be more greatly concerned with the presence of the human taking their photograph than with the fire raging behind them.
It is quite certain the elk on the left is looking towards the photographer, because otherwise we wouldn't see its mane. It's a little less certain which way the elk on the right is looking, but I'm pretty sure it is also towards the photographer.
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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:54 am

Gemma Caelestis wrote:And just to be clear, I'm also annoyed by the unscientific assumption that the elk in this picture were stunned by the fire.
Boomer12k wrote:... horrible tragedy....hope the Elk made it...
DavidLeodis wrote:I hope the elk were subsequently OK.
Chris Peterson wrote:
geckzilla wrote:There is a duality to this photo which depends on which direction you think the elk are looking. In the most obvious sense, they are watching the fire burn their previous home. You could imagine this as a candid photo of them and that they are unaware of the photographer. On the other hand, if they are facing the photographer, they may be more greatly concerned with the presence of the human taking their photograph than with the fire raging behind them.
It is quite certain the elk on the left is looking towards the photographer, because otherwise we wouldn't see its mane. It's a little less certain which way the elk on the right is looking, but I'm pretty sure it is also towards the photographer.
I wouldn’t be too worried about these elk, and in fact I doubt that they’re were all that “stunned” by the fire either. On a trip to Yellowstone National Park about ten years ago my wife and I watched a film in one of the visitor centers about the natural role of fire in maintaining the park’s ecology. The film showed a herd of elk actually peacefully grazing in a grassy meadow while a fire raged in the forest not far behind them. The elk in the film were smart enough to tell that the fire was not being blown in their direction, and the elk in this photo were smart enough to get into the river as a protection from this fire. Elk have been living with fire as a part of their natural environment for innumerable generations. And after the smoke cleared new growth would have improved the grazing for these elk and their descendents.
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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by geckzilla » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:01 am

That was the point I was making--just a little more subtly, Bruce. ;)
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retto

Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by retto » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:15 pm

I like the picture. Nice to have Mother Earth included. It adds to our knowledge, why all the beefs?
As far as the elk being "stunned'" the were not so stunned that they did not know to get out of the trees and into the river. I just hope they got
un-stunned enough to know to lie down in the water :!:

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Re: APOD: Fire on Earth (2013 Sep 01)

Post by neufer » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:40 pm

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=82004 wrote:

Progression of the Rim Fire at Night
Earth Observatory, September 8, 2013

<<The winter of 2012–2013 was among the driest on record for California, setting the stage for an active fire season. By September 6, 2013, the Rim Fire had made its way into the record books. Eighty percent contained, the fire was the third largest in California since records began in 1932.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite tracked the growth of the fire between August 20 and September 4. The VIIRS day-night band is extremely sensitive to low light, making it possible to see the fire front from space at night. The brightest, most intense parts of the fire glow white. Pale gray smoke streams away, generally to the north. Thin clouds obscured the view on some days, particularly August 31, September 1, and September 3. On August 20, the Moon was full, so the landscape was reflecting a large amount of moonlight. The background grew progressively darker as the September 5 new moon approached.

The perimeter of the fire changed along different fronts from day to day, depending on winds and firefighting efforts. On August 24, firefighters focused on containing the western edge of the fire to prevent it from burning into Tuolumne City and the populated Highway 108 corridor. They also fought the eastern edge of the fire to protect Yosemite National Park. These efforts are evident in the images: Between August 23 and 24, the eastern edge held steady, the western edge receded, and the fire grew in the southeast.

On the morning of August 25, 2013, fire managers reported that the blaze was growing in the north and east. With the fire burning aggressively and moving east into Yosemite, August 26 and 27 proved challenging days for firefighters. But over the next few days, they began to gain control after a series of burnout operations along the fire’s northern and eastern edges. On August 29, the evacuation advisory for Tuolumne City was lifted. The southeastern flank continued to burn intensely in the first week of September, but officials expect the blaze will be 100 percent contained by September 20.>>
Art Neuendorffer