Ever wonder how these spooky, 3D images of life beyond the macro are taken? Step inside the lab of the world’s foremost electron microscope photographer: David Scharf.
From the early days of film and hand-coloring to today’s more advanced digital microscopy images, Scharf is truly gifted. And he does it all out of his own home.
My favorite part is him explaining how he mounts his insect samples by putting them to sleep in the fridge. They have a surprise when they wake up:
“That usually calms them down and then they wake up and their butts are glued down.”
More at Petapixel.
I’ve had the good fortune to work with David Scharf creating some exhibits for science centers, and he is so helpful and generous. I’m glad to see him get some recognition for his amazing views into a world that would otherwise be invisible to us. His images are marvels.
When I say that you should go check out the rest of these quilts, GO CHECK OUT THE REST OF THESE QUILTS.
My favorite: Purkinje
These are stunning representations of the beauties in the natural world. Well done, Mrs. Busby of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
I love reading about James Gurney’s process:
“Where I needed a little more specularity on the beak and head, I painted some gloss medium. Now I had a reference tool with posable wings that I could take outdoors into real sunlight to study the effects of light and shade.
Every photo was full of little surprises. For example, who would have thought of the cast shadow of that cranial process on the far wing?”
James Gurney is one of the greatest natural history artists living—perhaps one of the greatest that has ever lived. His “Dinotopia” books are amazing works of art, science and imagination.
So excited! The Sun Spotter that we built for the Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena, California, was just installed, and the image is amazing! Not only is it amazing, but it’s amazing enough to show the transit of Venus to anyone—clearly, beautifully and safely. Our exhibit developers and fabricators are just awesome in every way. I have a cool job, but they do all the heavy lifting when it comes to pure engineering moxie. So impressed with them.
If you are in Pasadena, it’s Free Family Night at the museum. Get over there! We’re still installing the new Physics Forest, but I think they’re letting people look at the Sun Spotter.
Top photo: @plutokiller (Mike Brown on Twitter)
Bottom photo: @timscheidler (Tim Scheidler on Twitter)
New from Cassini, here’s Saturn with its moon Tethys in the foreground. Tethys is a bit more than 1,000 kilometers in diameter. For comparison, the Earth is about 12 times the size of Tethys—still laughably small next to the size of our ringed neighbor. Consider, also, that Tethys was about a quarter million kilometers closer to Cassini than Saturn when Cassini snapped this picture.
The size of things in the universe is truly mind-boggling, as is the beauty of those things. Yay for space science and the workhorse satellites that keep us looking up.
From Phil Plait:
"The study is called the Berkeley Earth Project (BEP), and what they found was stated simply and beautifully in their own two-page summary:
Global warming is real, according to a major study released today. Despite issues raised by climate change skeptics, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study finds reliable evidence of a rise in the average world land temperature of approximately 1° C since the mid-1950s.
"…The big deal is that this was an independent team of researchers who conducted the study (including, interestingly, Saul Perlmutter, who just won the Nobel Prize for co-discovering the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe, and knows a thing or two about data analysis), and whose funding was overwhelmingly donated by the private sector and not from any government. The study was initiated by Berkeley physicist Richard Muller, who was concerned that government researchers weren’t being as open as possible with their methods. He gathered together a team of scientists, and they used data from 39,000 temperature stations around the world, far more than the previous studies. They have put all their data and methodology online for anyone to investigate.
"And if you’re wondering who these private groups were, they’re listed on the BEP website. The largest single donor? Why, it’s the Koch brothers, über-conservatives who have pumped millions of dollars into climate change denial. I find that… interesting.
"Anyone claiming that climate scientists are alarmists only trying to protect their grant money will have to think about that one for a while.”
Click the headline above for the entire article with relevant graphs.