APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

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APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby APOD Robot » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:06 am

Image Aurora Over White Dome Geyser

Explanation: Sometimes both heaven and Earth erupt. Colorful aurorae erupted unexpectedly earlier this month, with green aurora appearing near the horizon and brilliant bands of red aurora blooming high overhead. A bright Moon lit the foreground of this picturesque scene, while familiar stars could be seen far in the distance. With planning, the careful astrophotographer shot this image mosaic in the field of White Dome Geyser in Yellowstone National Park in the western USA. Sure enough, just after midnight, White Dome erupted -- spraying a stream of water and vapor many meters into the air. Geyser water is heated to steam by scalding magma several kilometers below, and rises through rock cracks to the surface. About half of all known geysers occur in Yellowstone National Park. Although the geomagnetic storm that created these aurorae has since subsided, eruptions of White Dome Geyser continue about every 30 minutes.

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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby Mactavish » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:30 am

There’s a lot going on in this scene! Nice job, Robert.
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The Great Taq Rip-off

Postby neufer » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:10 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermus_aquaticus wrote:
<<When studies of biological organisms in hot springs began in the 1960s, scientists thought that the life of thermophilic bacteria could not be sustained in temperatures above about 55° Celsius. Soon, however, it was discovered that many bacteria in different springs not only survived, but also thrived in higher temperatures. In 1969, Thomas D. Brock and Hudson Freeze of Indiana University reported a new species of thermophilic bacterium which they named Thermus aquaticus. The bacterium was first discovered in the Lower Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park, near the major geysers Great Fountain Geyser and White Dome Geyser, and has since been found in similar thermal habitats around the world. It thrives at 70°C, but can survive at temperatures of 50°C to 80°C. This bacterium is a chemotroph - it performs chemosynthesis to obtain food. However, since its range of temperature overlaps somewhat with that of the photosynthetic cyanobacteria that share its ideal environment, it is sometimes found living jointly with its neighbors, obtaining energy for growth from their photosynthesis.

DNA polymerase was first isolated from T. aquaticus in 1976. The first advantage found for this thermostable (temperature optimum 80°C) DNA polymerase was that it could be isolated in a purer form (free of other enzyme contaminants) than could the DNA polymerase from other sources. Later, Kary Mullis and other investigators at Cetus Corporation discovered this enzyme could be used in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) process for amplifying short segments of DNA, eliminating the need to add enzyme after every cycle of thermal denaturation of the DNA. The enzyme was also cloned, sequenced, modified (to produce the shorter 'Stoffel fragment'), and produced in large quantities for commercial sale. In 1989 Science magazine named Taq polymerase as its first "Molecule of the Year". In 1993, Dr. Mullis was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work with PCR.

The commercial use of enzymes from T. aquaticus has not been without controversy. After Dr. Brock's studies, samples of the organism were deposited in the American Type Culture Collection, a public repository. Other scientists, including those at Cetus, obtained it from there. As the commercial potential of Taq polymerase became apparent in the 1990s, the National Park Service labeled its use as the "Great Taq Rip-off". Researchers working in National Parks are now required to sign "benefits sharing" agreements that would send a portion of later profits back to the Park Service.>>
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby Moonlady » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:14 am

What a stunning picture! :clap:
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby Ann » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:25 am

The incredibly straight white plume rising into the sky parallels the almost equally straight red and green aurora streaks "falling" to the Earth.

This is a very striking image.

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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby Boomer12k » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:41 am

Wow...awesome...

A Red Aurora that is not in the Southern Hemisphere...thought they were only down there....

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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby Mike Binnie » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:47 am

Nice photo--but it looks like it is Photoshopped/HDR. Something about does not look real
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby Borc » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:02 am

It is fantastic. As far as "photoshop" 2 things: 1) photographers have been using light rooms for ages to modify the color hue saturation exposure etc. using digital light room to tweak digital photos is no different if he did do that, and does not warrant criticism.
2) it looks unreal due to exposure time. You can't usually see the stars and a lit ground surface at the same time unless you have a camera with exposure control or are an alien. ;) so any long exposure night shot is gonna look funky.
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby Indigo_Sunrise » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:16 am

My top two favorite things: Yellowstone NP, and the night sky. How awesome is that?

Pretty awesome!

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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby biddie67 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:21 am

WOW!!! I would have been so mesmerized that I'd probably have forgotten to take the picture .....
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby orin stepanek » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:47 pm

Yellowstone is a pretty awesome place to visit; even without the aurora! 8-)
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby geckzilla » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:53 pm

Borc wrote:It is fantastic. As far as "photoshop" 2 things: 1) photographers have been using light rooms for ages to modify the color hue saturation exposure etc. using digital light room to tweak digital photos is no different if he did do that, and does not warrant criticism.
2) it looks unreal due to exposure time. You can't usually see the stars and a lit ground surface at the same time unless you have a camera with exposure control or are an alien. ;) so any long exposure night shot is gonna look funky.


I think it looks unreal because of two reasons. First, going quite overboard with the clarity slider (assuming Adobe Camera Raw was used) and, second, for some reason parts of the image are blurred where you don't expect. The whole right side is for some reason but I understand that's probably not due to processing. Perhaps you don't think there is room for improvement but I personally don't like it when the clarity and sharpening is extreme.
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby Chris Peterson » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:59 pm

Boomer12k wrote:A Red Aurora that is not in the Southern Hemisphere...thought they were only down there....

They are no more common in the south than the north. The only auroras I've seen in the U.S. were primarily red. At lower latitudes they are more common than green.
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby emc » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:28 pm

cool shot!
earth based hydrothermal explosion meets interplanetary geomagnetic storm
... reminds me of an ancient sci-fi movie title
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby ddorn777 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:16 pm

Great picture!

And, thanks to neufer for the extremely interesting tidbit about the bacteria discovered at the White Dome Geyser. Always something fun in his posts.
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby LocalColor » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:25 pm

Fantastic photo. We are a little farther north than "Jellystone" but missed the aurora.
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby neufer » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:06 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triton_%28 ... ovolcanism wrote:
<<Triton is geologically active; its surface is young and has relatively few impact craters. Although Triton is made of various ices, its subsurface processes are similar to those that produce volcanoes and rift valleys on Earth, but with water and ammonia lavas as opposed to liquid rock. Triton's entire surface is cut by complex valleys and ridges, probably the result of tectonics and icy volcanism. The vast majority of surface features on Triton are endogenic—the result of internal geological processes rather than external processes such as impacts. Most are volcanic and extrusive in nature, rather than tectonic.

The Voyager 2 probe observed a handful of geyser-like eruptions of invisible nitrogen gas and entrained dust from beneath the surface of Triton in plumes up to 8 km high. Triton thus joins the Earth, Io, and Enceladus as one of the few worlds of the Solar System on which active eruptions of some sort have been observed. (Venus, Mars, Europa, Titan, and Dione may also be volcanically active.) The best observed examples were named Hili and Mahilani (after a Zulu water sprite and a Tongan sea spirit, respectively).

All the geysers observed were located between 50° and 57°S, the part of Triton's surface close to the subsolar point. This indicates that solar heating, although very weak at Triton's great distance from the Sun, plays a crucial role. It is thought that the surface of Triton probably consists of a translucent layer of frozen nitrogen overlying a darker substrate, which creates a kind of "solid greenhouse effect". Solar radiation passes through the surface ice, slowly heating and vaporizing subsurface nitrogen until enough gas pressure accumulates for it to erupt through the crust. A temperature increase of just 4 K above the ambient surface temperature of 37 K could drive eruptions to the heights observed. Although commonly termed "cryovolcanic", this nitrogen plume activity is distinct from Triton's larger scale cryovolcanic eruptions, as well as volcanic processes on other worlds, which are powered by the internal heat of the body in question. Analogous plumes of gaseous CO2 are thought to erupt from the south polar cap of Mars each spring.

Each eruption of a Triton geyser may last up to a year, driven by the sublimation of about 100 million cubic metres (3.5×109 cu ft) of nitrogen ice over this interval; dust entrained may be deposited up to 150 km downwind in visible streaks, and perhaps much farther in more diffuse deposits. Voyager's images of Triton's southern hemisphere show many such streaks of dark material. Between 1977 and the Voyager flyby in 1989, Triton shifted from a reddish colour, similar to Pluto, to a far paler hue, suggesting that in the intervening decade lighter nitrogen frosts had covered older reddish material. The eruption of volatiles from Triton's equator and their deposition at the poles may redistribute enough mass over the course of 10,000 years to cause polar wander.>>
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby Anthony Barreiro » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:24 pm

That damn geyser is blocking the aurora! And the aurora is blocking the stars! And there's earth in the foreground! I thought this was supposed to be the Astronomy Picture of the Day. Sputter, fume ... .

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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby ta152h0 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:28 pm

" we " don't need to go to Triton anymore. We have a close up now
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby alter-ego » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:03 am

APOD Robot wrote:
... A bright Moon lit the foreground of this picturesque scene, while familiar stars could be seen far in the distance.

Starfield Identified - Aurora Over White Dome Geyser.JPG
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Stepping stones in "the river"

Postby neufer » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:54 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ursa_Major#Mythology wrote:
<<The constellation of Ursa Major has been seen as a bear by many distinct civilizations. This may stem from a common oral tradition stretching back more than 13,000 years. The Odyssey notes that it is the sole constellation that never sinks below the horizon and "bathes in the Ocean's waves".

The Iroquois Native Americans interpreted Alioth, Mizar, and Alkaid as three hunters pursuing the Great Bear. According to one version of their myth, the first hunter (Alioth) is carrying a bow and arrow to strike down the bear. The second hunter (Mizar) carries a large pot — the star Alcor — on his shoulder in which to cook the bear while the third hunter (Alkaid) hauls a pile of firewood to light a fire beneath the pot.

In Burmese, Pucwan Tārā (pronounced "bazun taja") is the name of a constellation comprising stars from the head and forelegs of Ursa Major; pucwan is a general term for a crustacean, such as prawn, shrimp, crab, lobster, etc.

In South Korea, the constellation is referred to as "the seven stars of the north". In the related myth, a widow with seven sons found comfort with a widower, but to get to his house required crossing a stream. The seven sons, sympathetic to their mother, placed stepping stones in the river. Their mother, not knowing who put the stones in place, blessed them and, when they died, they became the constellation.>>
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby ta152h0 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:31 pm

interesting that at that location, you are not exactly " looking up " ( RIP Jack Horkheimer )
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Re: APOD: Aurora Over White Dome Geyser (2012 Oct 17)

Postby sashaiel » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:48 pm

awsome
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