APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

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APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby APOD Robot » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:06 am

Image Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest

Explanation: In front of a famous background of stars and galaxies lies some of Earth's more unusual trees. Known as quiver trees, they are actually succulent aloe plants that can grow to tree-like proportions. The quiver tree name is derived from the historical usefulness of their hollowed branches as dart holders. Occurring primarily in southern Africa, the trees pictured in the above 16-exposure composite are in Quiver Tree Forest located in southern Namibia. Some of the tallest quiver trees in the park are estimated to be about 300 years old. Behind the trees is light from the small town of Keetmanshoop, Namibia. Far in the distance, arching across the background, is the majestic central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. Even further in the distance, visible on the image left, are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, smaller satellite galaxies of the Milky Way that are prominent in the skies of Earth's southern hemisphere.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby Boomer12k » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:03 am

Awesome. The color changes from bottom left to upper right, and looks like a Rainbow. WILD!!! :D :D

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby neufer » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:27 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe wrote:
<<Aloe, also Aloë, is a genus containing about 500 species of flowering succulent plants. The most common and well known of these is Aloe vera, or "true aloe". The genus is native to Africa, and is common in the Cape Province, the mountains of tropical Africa, the islands of Africa including Madagascar, and the Arabian Peninsula.

Most Aloe species have a rosette of large, thick, fleshy leaves. The leaves are often lance-shaped with a sharp apex and a spiny margin. Aloe flowers are tubular, frequently yellow, orange, pink or red, and are borne, densely clustered and pendant, at the apex of simple or branched, leafless stems. Many species of Aloe appear to be stemless, with the rosette growing directly at ground level; other varieties may have a branched or unbranched stem from which the fleshy leaves spring. They vary in color from grey to bright-green and are sometimes striped or mottled. Some Aloes native to South Africa are arborescent.

Aloe species are frequently cultivated as ornamental plants both in gardens and in pots. Many aloe species are highly decorative and are valued by collectors of succulents. Of the 500+ species, only a few were used traditionally as a herbal medicine. The Ancient Greeks and Romans used Aloe vera to treat wounds. In the Middle Ages, the yellowish liquid found inside the leaves was favored as a purgative. Unprocessed aloe that contains aloin is generally used as a laxative. Both the translucent inner pulp and the resinous yellow aloin from wounding the aloe plant are used externally to relieve skin discomforts. As an herbal medicine, Aloe vera juice is commonly used internally to relieve digestive discomfort. The gel in the leaves can be made into a smooth type of cream that can heal burns such as sunburn.>>
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby emc » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:18 pm

Boomer12k wrote:Awesome. The color changes from bottom left to upper right, and looks like a Rainbow. WILD!!! :D :D

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Beautiful Starbow!

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby Ann » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:26 pm

It's a lovely picture with beautiful colors! :D

Note the interesting colors of the Earthly light pollution. On the right side of the picture the sky near the horizon is clearly greenish. This might be a case of the dark bluish night sky being reddened to a greenish hue by "normal atmospheric particles", so to speak, and these are going to seem to be particularly plentiful near the horizon, since we are looking at the sky through a deeper layer of atmosphere there.

On the left side of the picture, the horizon is yellow and red. This must clearly be a case of human light pollution.

It is interesting that our human light pollution is so red. Compare the color of the reddish sky near the horizon with the color of the galactic bulge at about 11 o'clock. The galactic bulge is made up almost entirely of old stars, so most of the light from this part of the Milky Way comes from "red" giants. But those giants are not so red. They are not nearly as red as much of our human artificial illumination. Is even Betelgeuse as red as the light pollution in this picture?

Maybe it is, but I'm not convinced.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby Guest » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:46 pm

Hi all!

Concerning the colours: they result from a 3600K white balance. I chose this, since a more "realistic" daylight white balance would have given the entire sky a slightly orange cast, no doubt from the light pollution. So I picked a cooler white balance which clearly separates the town lights from the stars. As a result, of course, the stars are more blue than they should be. This might also account for the greenish hue near the horizon.

Getting realistic colours was not my goal, but nor did I strive to introduce fake colours. My aim was to make a pretty landscape picture, not a scientific image. Hope you enjoy it!

Best regards,
Florian

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby owlice » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:36 pm

Guest wrote:My aim was to make a pretty landscape picture


And you succeeded; it's a lovely image!
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby nstahl » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:16 pm

Very cool picture. Well done!

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby dmullins@lcogt.net » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:49 pm

Yes, AWESOME picture! I miss the southern hemisphere skies!

However, I can't believe the APOD guys, for all their dedication and hard work, had to add a note about the last repetitive date this century? :roll: Just wanted to stir up some debate, huh?

I can't believe how many people fall for this when there will be a "repetitive date" in a little over three months! 3-3-3. Yep, that's just as repetitive as 12-12-12 if you arbitrarily drop one more digit out of the year. I thought we learned about dropping digits 12 years ago! :lol2:

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby Anthony Barreiro » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:40 pm

This is a lovely picture, thanks very much. But try as I might, I can't get my bearings in the sky, probably because I've never been to the southern hemisphere. Which direction are we looking? What date and time is it? I see the Magellanic clouds, but I can't figure out how they're oriented toward the Milky Way. Would somebody please help me out?
May all beings be happy, peaceful, and free.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby Guest » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:26 pm

Anthony Barreiro wrote:This is a lovely picture, thanks very much. But try as I might, I can't get my bearings in the sky, probably because I've never been to the southern hemisphere. Which direction are we looking? What date and time is it? I see the Magellanic clouds, but I can't figure out how they're oriented toward the Milky Way. Would somebody please help me out?


This is a 230 degree wide view, which is why it is so disorientating. Projecting such a large chunk of sky onto a flat image also distorts it somewhat. It roughly faces West, and was taken around 04h30 (local time) on 2 June 2012. One can more or less reproduce it (minus the trees) on Stellarium or similar software.

Enjoy!
Florian

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Anthony Barreiro
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby Anthony Barreiro » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:56 pm

Guest wrote:
Anthony Barreiro wrote:This is a lovely picture, thanks very much. But try as I might, I can't get my bearings in the sky, probably because I've never been to the southern hemisphere. Which direction are we looking? What date and time is it? I see the Magellanic clouds, but I can't figure out how they're oriented toward the Milky Way. Would somebody please help me out?


This is a 230 degree wide view, which is why it is so disorientating. Projecting such a large chunk of sky onto a flat image also distorts it somewhat. It roughly faces West, and was taken around 04h30 (local time) on 2 June 2012. One can more or less reproduce it (minus the trees) on Stellarium or similar software.

Enjoy!
Florian

Thanks Florian! Yes, the 230 degree view threw me off, also the fact that everything is upside down relative to how I'm used to seeing it in the northern hemisphere. But now I can see Alpha and Beta Centauri to the right of the leftmost foreground tree, Antares between the center and rightmost foreground trees, M7, M8, M20, and the large Sagittarius star cloud above the rightmost foreground tree, Vega just above and slightly to the left of the third backgound tree from the right, Altair above Vega, and Cygnus in the lower left corner of the photo.

The full resolution photo is really beautiful, by the way. I just wish I had a huge monitor to display the entire picture at high resolution.
May all beings be happy, peaceful, and free.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby Ann » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:04 am

owlice wrote:
Guest wrote:My aim was to make a pretty landscape picture


And you succeeded; it's a lovely image!


You succeeded indeed! It's a delightful image. Please understand that I wasn't in any way complaining about the color balance of it. On the contrary, I love the colors here, but I still appreciate your clarification. Thanks again!

Ann
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby ta152h0 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:26 am

the Milky Way is everywhere ( M0, right ? )
Wolf Kotenberg

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby Guest » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:14 am

Ann wrote:
owlice wrote:
Guest wrote:My aim was to make a pretty landscape picture


And you succeeded; it's a lovely image!


You succeeded indeed! It's a delightful image. Please understand that I wasn't in any way complaining about the color balance of it. On the contrary, I love the colors here, but I still appreciate your clarification. Thanks again!

Ann


Thanks!

...and don't worry, I know what you meant :)

I just wanted to point out that I wasn't striving for realism with the colours, so perhaps one needs to be a bit careful interpreting the image from an Astronomy point of view. It's actually almost impossible to even define "realistic colours", except perhaps by giving the complete spectrum of each pixel. The eye-mind system does some amazing trickery to make you see "white" under all sorts of different lighting conditions, and this is hard to reproduce in a photograph.

Enjoy!
Florian

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2012 Dec 12)

Postby mjimih » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:33 am

Guest wrote:
Hope you enjoy it!

Best regards,
Florian


it's awesome! makes a great desktop wallpaper. thanks


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