APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

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APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun May 15, 2016 4:12 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 (2016 May 15)

Post by pacman » Sun May 15, 2016 10:39 am

Why do we view the Milky Way as an arch when the Earth is in the plane of the disk?

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by geckzilla » Sun May 15, 2016 11:08 am

pacman wrote:Why do we view the Milky Way as an arch when the Earth is in the plane of the disk?
Popular question; It is a consequence of rendering a 3d object (the dome of the sky) on a 2d surface. You can straighten it out if you curve the ground instead of the sky, but a straight horizon is a much more popular format. Here's an example that shows a straight bridge also distorted by the projection.
Image
Bridge to the Milky Way panorama by Mikey Mack, on Flickr

Here's an example of the Milky Way straight with the ground curving around it.
Image
Blue Marble - Warribanno by Luke Busellato, on Flickr
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by grump » Sun May 15, 2016 12:59 pm

Oh, this sort of 'photo' annoys me. You will never see the Milky Way like that.

On a travel forum I inhabit, a poster asked something like "where can I go in New Zealand to see the Milky Way? I went outside last night (in a rural place) and could not see it." The guy was expecting to see something like today's APOD because of the exaggerated, enhanced 'photos' of the Milky Way he found with Google.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by BobGillette » Sun May 15, 2016 1:21 pm

How come you've repeated the 12 December 2012 image today? Is APOD running short of candidate images?

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by bystander » Sun May 15, 2016 1:50 pm

BobGillette wrote:How come you've repeated the 12 December 2012 image today? Is APOD running short of candidate images?
If you have been looking at APOD since 2012, why are you just now noticing that there are repeats some of the time? Sunday's APODs are often repeats. Even APOD editors deserve a day off.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun May 15, 2016 2:13 pm

grump wrote:Oh, this sort of 'photo' annoys me. You will never see the Milky Way like that.
So what? 99% of all astronomical imagery shows us things in a way our eyes cannot directly see. That is the value of such techniques. We use technology to extend our senses. An image like this is mixing art and science.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by neufer » Sun May 15, 2016 4:02 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
An image like this is mixing art and science.
  • That can't be good :!:
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun May 15, 2016 4:21 pm

neufer wrote:
Chris Peterson wrote: An image like this is mixing art and science.
  • That can't be good :!:
We used to have a focus on STEM at our school, and now it's become STEAM.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by Nitpicker » Sun May 15, 2016 11:27 pm

Whilst I support the change from STEM to STEAM, once you add "art", there really isn't much left to not focus on. So, it is not so much about a focus on STEAM, as it is a broad and general education. What a good idea.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun May 15, 2016 11:32 pm

Nitpicker wrote:Whilst I support the change from STEM to STEAM, once you add "art", there really isn't much left to not focus on. So, it is not so much about a focus on STEAM, as it is a broad and general education. What a good idea.
True... although to be fair, the "A" isn't really "the arts" but more like art in the service of science, or science expressed in art.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by geckzilla » Mon May 16, 2016 12:25 am

The A is definitely needed. I say this after looking at VISTA's science archive website. It hurts my eyes to look at it and I can't even seem to get any data at all from the Helix Nebula out of it even though I know there's some there from 2012 or earlier. Hmm, another ESO archive that manages to make accessing public data a painful process. I'm beginning to notice a pattern.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by Nitpicker » Mon May 16, 2016 12:40 am

What in particular bothers you about the VSA website? I've not used it, but a cursory glance tells me that there are a lot of instructions on how to use it. (I may be in a minority, but I like good and detailed instructions.) Or are you are just complaining about the website design? If so, I don't really mind that either. It is at least consistent throughout and has a semblance of structure.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by geckzilla » Mon May 16, 2016 12:54 am

It's got no elegance to it. The interface design is cold and technical. There's not even an object lookup to make coordinate input easier (for the user). No data footprints, no previews, just a bunch of tabular data. It's like walking into the supermarket and everything is contained in an opaque package with only text to describe it. Oh yeah, and you have to install your own door when you want to go in.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by geckzilla » Mon May 16, 2016 1:04 am

Maybe I can make my point clearer by providing an example of what I consider a great archive interface:
http://sha.ipac.caltech.edu/applications/Spitzer/SHA/

All you have to do is type "Helix Nebula" in, hit submit, and you get a list of files, meta data, etc. You can click any file and see a preview of what it is, whether it's FITS data or even just a table.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by Nitpicker » Mon May 16, 2016 2:17 am

OK, but I'm not sure the differences between the VSA and SHA websites are glaring examples of the difference between STEM and STEAM.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by geckzilla » Mon May 16, 2016 3:43 am

From my perspective, interface design is an art and those two provide a stark contrast in design. It's one of those arts that is so nerdy most people are barely aware it exists.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by Nitpicker » Mon May 16, 2016 4:22 am

My own experience with programming user interfaces (my least favourite thing to program, as I constantly fight my pedantic nature) is that one can never win. Especially when programming for technically minded users, no matter what one does, some users will love the interface and others will hate it. Providing constructive feedback to the programmer may yield positive results -- tis the only thing that possibly can.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon May 16, 2016 4:47 am

Nitpicker wrote:My own experience with programming user interfaces (my least favourite thing to program, as I constantly fight my pedantic nature) is that one can never win. Especially when programming for technically minded users, no matter what one does, some users will love the interface and others will hate it. Providing constructive feedback to the programmer may yield positive results -- tis the only thing that possibly can.
Subjective issues aside, there are objective rules regarding good web and graphical design, and the site under discussion is lacking. That's the art. I don't personally consider user interface design to be art, but rather engineering. And there are objective principles there, as well, and this site is just awful. I agree with Geck that ESA sites tend to be bad. Part of that is design, but part is a real lack of interest in making their data public, I think. So there's almost no effort to facilitate searches. Even published images are usually lacking a great deal of technical information.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by geckzilla » Mon May 16, 2016 5:26 am

It is definitely engineering, but it's also definitely a kind of art in my eyes. "What is art?" Ah, who could answer that question anyway. He's a guy at this forum.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by Nitpicker » Mon May 16, 2016 5:27 am

It looks to me like they've made a big effort in documenting their complicated search facilities. Perhaps they should have spent the time making the search facilities easier, thereby reducing the need for so much documentation on how to search? I imagine there are a small collection of nerds who really like it this way, though.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest (2016 May 15)

Post by Unwed Widow » Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:20 am

I am confused. I had not heard of quiver trees, and wanted to compare them to other odd looking trees like dragon's blood or Joshua trees. So I went Googling and was surprised to find the same photo identified elsewhere as Joshua trees in California, rather than quiver trees in Namibia.

Whatever the origin of the image, it is spectacular.

I realize this comment is belated but I enjoy browsing the archives so didn't see it until now.