Just stuff I find that makes me smile, laugh, or introspect.
The Milky Way and Bioluminescence
If I could put two of my favourite things in a photo, this would be the result.
Captured by Fefo Bouvier, this absolutely incredible image shows both the Milky Way AND bioluminescent plankton illuminating the Atlantic Ocean at Barra de Valizas, Uruguay.
The blue glow is caused by a species of dinoflagellate, probably Noctiluca scintillan. The light is emitted from small organelles within the cells and is generated by a chemical reaction known as a luciferin-luciferase reaction. When the organism is disturbed, Luciferin becomes oxidised by molecular oxygen, with the help of the catalyst luciferase. As a result, an inactive oxyluciferin and light is produced.
It is thought that N. scintillans may use bioluminescence for many different purposes. It could be used as a defence against predators, an offensive strategy to keep away other predators from their prey, or as a means of communication.
The image, which was featured on Earth Picture of the Day, was take in June 2014 with an exposure time of 15 seconds.
Original image: http://www.fefobouvier.com/Astrofotografia/i-W5J2Sx8
Image of the day: http://epod.usra.edu/blog/2014/08/bioluminescence-and-galactic-glow.html