Snowy Bits

Melting snow and ice on a car windshield at Lake Tahoe. #noticing
Photo by Amy Snyder © Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Snowy Bits

Melting snow and ice on a car windshield at Lake Tahoe. #noticing

Photo by Amy Snyder
© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Hands-on light exploration exhibit in development in the Exploratorium’s workshop, 2012.

Photo by Gayle Laird
© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu

explodingtorium:

Palace of Fine Arts in a Fresnel Lens, 1980’s, photo by Nancy Rodger

explodingtorium:

Palace of Fine Arts in a Fresnel Lens, 1980’s, photo by Nancy Rodger

Ice Balloon
Salt sprinkled on a ball of ice etches intricate channels in the frozen sphere.
Photo by Lily Rodriguez© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Ice Balloon

Salt sprinkled on a ball of ice etches intricate channels in the frozen sphere.

Photo by Lily Rodriguez
© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

explodingtorium:

Perpendicular Shadows, 1986, photo by Nancy Rodger

explodingtorium:

Perpendicular Shadows, 1986, photo by Nancy Rodger

explodingtorium:

Sophisticated Shadows, 1980

explodingtorium:

Sophisticated Shadows, 1980

Ice Balloons
Ice balloons tinted with food coloring create a lesson in water phenomena for teachers at the Exploratorium. To see Exploratorium physicist Paul Doherty discuss ice balloons and other chilly phenomena, check out Ice Stories: Dispatches from Polar Scientists.
Photo by Amy Snyder© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Ice Balloons

Ice balloons tinted with food coloring create a lesson in water phenomena for teachers at the Exploratorium. To see Exploratorium physicist Paul Doherty discuss ice balloons and other chilly phenomena, check out Ice Stories: Dispatches from Polar Scientists.

Photo by Amy Snyder
© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Eroding Tree

Etched by the force of windblown snow, the growth lines of a now-dead pine tree on Mount Clark at Yosemite National Park have been accentuated.

Photo by Paul Doherty© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Eroding Tree

Etched by the force of windblown snow, the growth lines of a now-dead pine tree on Mount Clark at Yosemite National Park have been accentuated.

Photo by Paul Doherty
© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Glitter Path
The sun’s light, reflected on water rippled by waves, creates what is known as a “glitter path.” The glitter effect is caused by the sun’s light reflecting off the many wavelet faces, which distorts the image of the light source. A perfectly smooth body of water would act like a mirror and make an image of the sun. The glitter path widens as the sun rises or as the waves get steeper. As the sun sets, the height of the waves shadows the faces of the waves, and the glitter path becomes fainter and fainter.
Photo by Amy Snyder © Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Glitter Path

The sun’s light, reflected on water rippled by waves, creates what is known as a “glitter path.” The glitter effect is caused by the sun’s light reflecting off the many wavelet faces, which distorts the image of the light source. A perfectly smooth body of water would act like a mirror and make an image of the sun. The glitter path widens as the sun rises or as the waves get steeper. As the sun sets, the height of the waves shadows the faces of the waves, and the glitter path becomes fainter and fainter.

Photo by Amy Snyder
© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Moonrise in an Anti-Twilight Arch
The next time you see the sun setting, turn your back on it and look in the opposite direction for the anti-twilight arch, a band of colors ranging from reds to purples, created by light from the setting sun. Below the arch, you will see dark blue—the shadow of the earth cast on the atmosphere by the setting sun.In the picture above, a full moon is rising in the anti-twilight arch. The winter months, when the sun sets earliest, are an excellent time to view an anti-twilight arch. Sadly enough, it also helps if there are pollutants in the air, which contribute to atmospheric scattering, making the colors of the arch more intense.

Photo by Paul Doherty© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Moonrise in an Anti-Twilight Arch

The next time you see the sun setting, turn your back on it and look in the opposite direction for the anti-twilight arch, a band of colors ranging from reds to purples, created by light from the setting sun. Below the arch, you will see dark blue—the shadow of the earth cast on the atmosphere by the setting sun.

In the picture above, a full moon is rising in the anti-twilight arch. The winter months, when the sun sets earliest, are an excellent time to view an anti-twilight arch. Sadly enough, it also helps if there are pollutants in the air, which contribute to atmospheric scattering, making the colors of the arch more intense.

Photo by Paul Doherty
© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Dendritic Mineral Deposit in Sandstone
The piece of Colorado sandstone above is marked with a dendritic, or branching, pattern, formed by a surface mineral deposit (often iron or manganese oxide) that has crystallized. Because the pattern resembles fossilized leaves, this phenomenon is also known as a pseudofossil.
Photo by Paul Doherty© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Dendritic Mineral Deposit in Sandstone

The piece of Colorado sandstone above is marked with a dendritic, or branching, pattern, formed by a surface mineral deposit (often iron or manganese oxide) that has crystallized. Because the pattern resembles fossilized leaves, this phenomenon is also known as a pseudofossil.

Photo by Paul Doherty
© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Apple Seeds
Every apple starts as an apple blossom with five petals. After pollination, seeds develop in the blossom’s ovary in pockets called carpels. The outer wall of the ovary becomes the white, fleshy part of an apple, and the inner wall becomes the apple core, containing seeds for the next generation of apples. Just as the blossom had five petals, the apple has five seed compartments. If you slice an apple in half crosswise, you can see the five sections that hold the apple’s seeds in the shape of a star.
Photo by Amy Snyder © Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Apple Seeds

Every apple starts as an apple blossom with five petals. After pollination, seeds develop in the blossom’s ovary in pockets called carpels. The outer wall of the ovary becomes the white, fleshy part of an apple, and the inner wall becomes the apple core, containing seeds for the next generation of apples. Just as the blossom had five petals, the apple has five seed compartments. If you slice an apple in half crosswise, you can see the five sections that hold the apple’s seeds in the shape of a star.

Photo by Amy Snyder
© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper

Pepper Arc 
A tipped-over shaker rolls out a nearly perfect semi-circle with dots of pepper before coming to rest. (Spotted in a cafe in Cirque de Navacelles, Cevennes Mountains, France.)
Photo © Dave Adair
via http://www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper/

Pepper Arc 

A tipped-over shaker rolls out a nearly perfect semi-circle with dots of pepper before coming to rest. (Spotted in a cafe in Cirque de Navacelles, Cevennes Mountains, France.)

Photo © Dave Adair

via http://www.exploratorium.edu/downloads/wallpaper/

“Nature is full of surprises.” —Frank Oppenheimer
Above: Sandwiched between two pads of glass or plastic, a layer of bubbles looks like a honeycomb. The bubbles form a regular pattern—the common walls of three bubbles meet at 120 degree angles. Each bubble has a common wall with six others, forming a pattern of hexagons
Frank update: 86/100.
100 posts, over 100 days, leading to 100 years since Exploratorium founder Frank Oppenheimer’s birth, August 14. Follow along with #Frank100 at: http://exploratorium.tumblr.com/tagged/frank100
Image © Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu

“Nature is full of surprises.” —Frank Oppenheimer

Above: Sandwiched between two pads of glass or plastic, a layer of bubbles looks like a honeycomb. The bubbles form a regular pattern—the common walls of three bubbles meet at 120 degree angles. Each bubble has a common wall with six others, forming a pattern of hexagons

Frank update: 86/100.

100 posts, over 100 days, leading to 100 years since Exploratorium founder Frank Oppenheimer’s birth, August 14. Follow along with #Frank100 at: http://exploratorium.tumblr.com/tagged/frank100

Image © Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu