It’s the long way of describing our love for seeing likenesses in the shapes of clouds. If you are bitten by this bug and find yourself with a solar telescope, watch out. The fantastic plumes of hydrogen plasma we call solar prominences seen at the edge of sun will tempt you to identify them in earthly forms. I once set out to classify a bunch and this was the result. A Yeti, a bonsai, Don Quixote, the angel that fell to earth… there’s even one that looks like me or did, when I wore a goatee. Click on the picture to see the big version from my website. Each image there is a hot link to a little bit of averted imagination. Enjoy!
(They were actually firing a kind of “guide star” that is used to target and correct ground-based telescopes when this shot happened. Nature is still not impressed)
(via Short Sharp Science)
Fractals are sort of mind blowing. No matter how far you zoom into the image above you’ll always wind up with an identical version of the same shape. This really starts to become a mindfuck when you apply the theory that most everything in nature can be tied back to fractals. It’s equally interesting how long it took us to discover and reminds us how much more there is to learn about the basics of life itself.
Benoit Mandelbrot, who discovered mathematical shapes known as fractals, has died of cancer at the age of 85. Mandelbrot, developed fractals as a mathematical way of understanding the infinite complexity of nature. The concept has been used to measure coastlines, clouds and other natural phenomena and had far-reaching effects in physics, biology and astronomy. via BBC News See him talk about fractals and the art of roughness here.
Glow-in-the-dark mushroom rediscovered after 170 years
Spotted once in 1840 and then never seen again, one of the world’s most bioluminescent mushrooms has been rediscovered deep in the Brazilian wilderness.