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Massimo Marengo
4,734 followers -
A picture is worth a thousand words, especialy when I mispelles tehm.
A picture is worth a thousand words, especialy when I mispelles tehm.

4,734 followers
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I usually draw the line on smartphone photography to low light conditions: for night photography I leave my smartphone in the pocket and carry along my wide lens DSLR camera. Well, this was shot at night (8:27PM) without moon, in a park outside town. Just far away streetlights reflecting off the clouds and snow, with minimal Lightroom processing.

The two steam columns are formed by the condensers of the Iowa State University heating plant.
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In the end we got about 5 inches of snow, but also a huge 70+ cars pileup in the highway just outside town, with 1 fatality and several critically injured. Snowstorms in Iowa can be wicked.
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It started snowing. We should get a few inches today, more during the week. Still cold, though (-15°C), so the snow is more like ice powder than snowflakes.
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Back to the sunny, bright, freezing Iowa winter day. Even with -15ºC, this morning stroll was a very pleasant walk in the park. The snow is all gone, but the dark clouds you see on the horizon may bring more in the weekend.
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Lake Laverne in front of the Memorial Union at Iowa State University. We actually have a pretty campus (though a little cold in winter). We had a warmer spell in the last couple of weeks (with temperatures above freezing) but we are now back to -20ºC with fresh snow forecast for the weekend... I guess winter is not done yet.
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Atacama desert view just after taking off from the Calama airport (Chile). For a moment I thought of digitally removing the lens flare and reflections (easy to do given the featureless sky), but then decided against it. The flare is actually part of the view and show how the image was taken almost against the very bright summer sun bathing one of the driest places on Earth.
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Remember Boyajian's star (a.k.a. Tabby's star or the "alien megastructure star")? Two years ago we launched a kickstarter.com campaign to buy time at a private telescope to monitor the brightness of the star in multiple colors, to investigate the nature of the material responsible for its mysterious dimming.

This finally paid off! During the last year we caught new dimming episodes and by looking at the amount of dimming at different colors we were able to determine that the culprit is a complex dust cloud in proximity of the star. This is most likely the result of some catastrophic event (destruction of a small planet or large asteroid) happened in recent times in Boyajian's star planetary system..

You can read the nice National Geographic article linked below, or go directly to the source (our article published on the Astrophysical Journal, open access here: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1801.00732.pdf).

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Sunset in the Atacama desert (Chile), driving down on the road from the Chajnantor plateau. The plateau itself is at over 5,000 m (16,500 ft) elevation. Photo from my last year's trip to the ALMA telescope site.

#hqsplandscape for +HQSP Landscape
#LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography curated by +Margaret Tompkins +Eric Drumm +Chandler L. Walker +Krzysztof Felczak +Jeff Beddow +H Peter Ji +Dorma Wiggin
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Early January morning, freezing cold. Sundogs (the bright rainbow-colored arcs on the two sides of the sun), the 22° circular halo, a sun pillar (vertical line passing through the sun) and the parhelic circle (the horizontal line passing through the sun). The larger circle may be the 46° halo, except that it should be twice as far from the sun as the inner circle (so I am not sure what it is). The circles and spots near the sun are just internal reflections in the camera. All this spectacle is produced by the refraction of sunlight by hexagonal ice crystals forming in the upper atmosphere; as I said, it is cold here in Ames, IA.
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Now that the snow is gone, but we are still below freezing at night, the morning frost is back, covering the fallen leaves that survived snow burial for the past two months.
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