Wikipedia:Picture of the day/August 2009

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A monthly archive of the English Wikipedia's pictures of the day

These featured pictures have previously appeared (or will appear) as picture of the day (POTD) on the Main Page, as scheduled below. You can add the automatically updating picture of the day to your userpage or talk page using {{Pic of the day}} (version with blurb) or {{POTD}} (version without blurb). For instructions on how to make custom POTD layouts, see Purge server cache

August 1
Clyde River, NSW, Australia

Early morning mist on the Clyde River at Nelligen, New South Wales, Australia. Named after the River Clyde in Scotland, it originates in the Budawang Mountains and has a reputation for the cleanest, least polluted waters of any major river in Eastern Australia.

Photo credit: John O'Neill

August 2
NGC 1300

NGC 1300 is a barred spiral galaxy located roughly 69 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Eridanus. In its core, the nucleus shows its own extraordinary and distinct "grand-design" spiral structure that is about 3,300 light-years long.

Photo credit: Hubble Space Telescope

August 3
Metriorrhynchus rhipidius

Metriorrhynchus rhipidius is a species of beetle in the Lycidae family, members of which are commonly called net-winged beetles. Beetles of this family are elongated and usually found on flowers or stems.

Photo credit: Fir0002

August 4
Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong, nicknamed "Satchmo" or "Pops", was an American jazz trumpeter and singer. Armstrong was a foundational influence on jazz, shifting the music's focus from collective improvisation to solo performers. With his distinctive gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser and as a scat singer.

Photo credit: New York World-Telegram and Sun

August 5
Yellow-faced Honeyeater

The Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops) is a mid-sized bird in the honeyeater family Meliphagidae found on the east coast of Australia from northern Queensland to the coast of South Australia. As its name suggests, it has a distinctive yellow stripe on each side of its face, between two black stripes and a blue eye. It feeds on nectar, particularly of Eucalyptus and Banksia, seeds, fruits and insects and mainly forages in the foliage of trees.

Photo credit: Fir0002

August 6
Archaeological excavation

Archaeologists excavating Santa Ana Cave (Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain), searching for new archaeological levels and the end of the sediment deposits. "Excavation" usually refers to the exposure, processing and recording of archaeological remains.

Photo credit: Mario Modesto Mata

August 7
2008 South Ossetia war map

A map detailing the events of the 2008 South Ossetia war, which began one year ago today, when Georgia launched an operation in the disputed region of South Ossetia. Ossetian, Russian, and Abkhazian forces ejected the Georgian forces after five days of heavy fighting. All parties reached a ceasefire agreement on August 12, and Russian troops remain stationed in Abkhazia and South Ossetia to this day.

Map credit: Andrei nacu

August 8
Austins Ferry, Tasmania

Panoramic view of a portion of Austins Ferry, Tasmania, a suburb of the capital Hobart, with the River Derwent behind it. Austins Ferry is named after James Austin, who along with his cousin John Earl, established a ferry service across the river and later a punt which proved very conveniently located for vehicular traffic travelling between Hobart and regions to the north.

Photo credit: Noodle snacks

August 9
Richard Nixon resignation letter

The resignation letter from U.S. President Richard Nixon, following the wake of the Watergate scandal, signed August 9, 1974, making him the first and, to date, only President to resign from office.

August 10
Construction of Mt. Rushmore

The construction of Mount Rushmore, a United States National Monument depicting the heads of four U.S. Presidents carved into the Black Hills of South Dakota, began on August 10, 1927, with the bust of George Washington. This first phase was completed in seven years (partial completion in 1932 shown here), culminating in its unveiling in 1934. The remaining three heads—Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt—took only an additional seven years to complete.

Photo credit: Rise Studio

August 11
Apparent retrograde of Mars

An animated image showing the apparent retrograde motion of Mars in 2003 as seen from Earth. All the true planets appear to periodically switch direction as they cross the sky. Because Earth completes its orbit in a shorter period of time than the planets outside its orbit, we periodically overtake them, like a faster car on a multi-lane highway. When this occurs, the planet will first appear to stop its eastward drift, and then drift back toward the west. Then, as Earth swings past the planet in its orbit, it appears to resume its normal motion west to east.

Image credit: Seav

August 12
Flaming Cliffs, Mongolia

The Flaming Cliffs is a region of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, in which important fossil finds have been made, such as the first discovery of dinosaur eggs. The name comes from the glowing orange colour of the rocks.

Photo credit: Zoharby

August 13
Colorado Blue Spruce cones

Immature cones of a Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens), a species of spruce native to western North America. It is a medium-sized evergreen tree growing to 25 to 30 metres (82 to 98 ft) tall, exceptionally to 46 m (151 ft) tall, and with a trunk diameter of up to 1.5 m (4.9 ft). The cones are slender and cylindrical, 6–11 centimetres (2.4–4.3 in) long, and are reddish to violet in color, maturing to pale brown 5–7 months after pollination. The Blue Spruce is the state tree of Utah and Colorado.

Photo credit: Noodle snacks

August 14
Dragonflies mating

Two Yellow Striped Hunter (Austrogomphus guerini) dragonflies mating. The male (top) is grasping the female's head in this photo, and the female is bringing her abdomen forwards to receive sperm, and the two are in what is known as the "Wheel Position".

Photo credit: Fir0002

August 15
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

An illustration from the first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, depicting the scene where Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion, the first time the four major characters of the novel come together. The book was originally published in 1900 and has since been reprinted countless times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of both the 1902 Broadway musical and the extremely popular, highly acclaimed 1939 film version. Thanks in part to the film it is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been widely translated. Its initial success, and the success of the popular 1902 musical Baum adapted from his story, led to his writing and having published thirteen more Oz books.

Artist: William Wallace Denslow

August 16
The Deluge

The frontispiece to Gustave Doré's illustrated edition of the Bible. Based on the story of Noah's Ark, this illustration shows humans and a tiger who, unable to board the Ark, are doomed by the flood that was sent by God to destroy all life, futilely attempting to save their children and cubs. The biblical story of Noah is contained in the Book of Genesis, chapters 6–9, wherein God tells Noah to build a large vessel to save his family and a representation of the world's animals before He destroys the world. Although traditionally accepted as historical, by the 19th century the discoveries of archaeologists and biblical scholars had led most people to abandon a literal interpretation of the Ark story.

Artist: Gustav Doré

August 17
Comb and wattle of a rooster

An adult male chicken, the rooster is distinguished from the hen by the prominent fleshy crest on its head called a comb and hanging flaps of skin on either side under its beak called wattles. Both the adult male and female have wattles and combs, but in most breeds these are more prominent in males, an example of sexual dimorphism.

Photo credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

August 18
Early Autumn

Early Autumn (13th century), a well-known example of bird-and-flower painting, a style of Chinese painting where the subject is traditionally described to be "flowers, birds, fish and insects", which in reality allows the artist to deal with a wide range of natural topics. In this painting, the depiction of decaying lotus leaves and dragonflies hovering over stagnant water is likely a veiled criticism of Mongol rule.

Artist: Qian Xuan

August 19
Grampians National Park

A roughly 180 degree panoramic view of the eastern side of Grampians National Park, located 235 kilometres (146 mi) west of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, looking roughly east from The Pinnacle, providing views of the town of Halls Gap on the left and Lake Bellfield on the right.

Photo credit: David Iliff

August 20

Phobos, the larger and closer of the two moons of Mars, as seen from about 6,000 kilometres (3,700 mi) away. A small, irregularly shaped object, Phobos orbits about 9,377 km (5,827 mi) from the center of Mars, closer to its primary than any other planetary moon. The illuminated part of Phobos seen in the images is about 21 km (13 mi) across. The most prominent feature in the images is the large crater Stickney in the lower right. With a diameter of 9 km (5.6 mi), it is the largest feature on Phobos.

Photo credit: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

August 21

A stereogram, an optical illusion of depth created from flat, two-dimensional images, of an Asiatic hybrid lily. To view the image cross your eyes until four images appear, then allow the image to converge to a set of three, focusing on the centre image.

Photo credit: Noodle snacks

August 22
Anti-Israel protest in Tanzania

Protesters in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, demonstrate against the 2008–2009 Gaza War. International reaction came from many countries with the majority condemning Israel and a few supporting. Also notable was the level of civilian demonstrations, which sometimes displayed sentiment significantly different from the respective government's official position.

Photo credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

August 23
Redeye cicada

The redeye (Psaltoda moerens) is a species of cicada found throughout southeastern Australia, from southern Queensland to South Australia, as well as Tasmania. As the name implies, the eyes are a deep red colour, although pinkish- and brownish-eyed specimens are seen. They feed primarily on eucalyptus but also on Angophora trees.

Photo credit: Fir0002

August 24
Keble College, Oxford

The chapel of Keble College, a constituent college of the University of Oxford. Keble was established in 1870, having been built as a monument to John Keble, a leading member of the Oxford Movement, which sought to stress the Catholic nature of the Church of England. It remains distinctive for its red-brick Gothic Revival buildings designed by William Butterfield.

Photo credit: David Iliff

August 25
Liberation of Paris

American troops in an M8 Greyhound passing the Arc de Triomphe during a parade celebrating the liberation of Paris, which concluded 65 years ago today. Paris had been administered by Nazi Germany since the Second Compiègne armistice in June 1940 when Germany occupied the North and West of France and when the Vichy puppet regime was established with its capital in the central city of Vichy. This battle marked the end of Operation Overlord, the restoration of the French Republic and the exile of the Vichy government to Sigmaringen in Germany.

Photo credit: United States Office of War Information

August 26
The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

A sketch of the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, a luxury hotel in New York City, done in charcoal and pastel on brown paper by Joseph Pennell, ca. 1904–1908. It started as two hotels: one owned by William Waldorf Astor, whose 13-story Waldorf Hotel was opened in 1893, located on the current site of the Empire State Building, and the other owned by his cousin, John Jacob Astor IV, called the Astoria Hotel and opened four years later in 1897, four stories higher. Initially foreseen as two separate entities, founding proprietor George Boldt planned the new structure so it could be connected to the old, and the combined hotel became the largest in the world at the time. The Waldorf-Astoria relocated to its present location in 1931.

August 27
White-faced Heron

A White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) in breeding plumage searching for trapped bait fish at low tide. It is a common bird throughout most of Australasia, relatively small for a heron, ranging from 60–70 centimetres (24–28 in) in height. The White-faced heron uses a variety of techniques to find food including standing still and waiting for prey movement, walking slowly in shallow water, wing flicking, foot raking or even chasing prey with open wings, generally feeding solitarily or independently in small groups.

Photo credit: Noodle snacks

August 28
NGC 2207 and IC 2163

NGC 2207 and IC 2163 are a pair of spiral galaxies about 144 million light-years away in the constellation Canis Major that are in the process of colliding and merging together. In about a billion years time they will merge and become an elliptical galaxy.

Photo credit: Hubble Space Telescope

August 29
Gazania rigens

Gazania rigens is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to Southern Africa, but widely cultivated as an ornamental garden plant. It is grown for the brilliant colour of its flowers which appear in the late spring and early summer.

Photo credit: Noodle snacks

August 30

A person traverses in front of a limestone wall at Pamukkale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in southwestern Turkey. Meaning "cotton castle", Pamukkale was the site of the ancient city of Hierapolis and is now a tourist attraction, known for its hot springs that bubble up into pools in the limestone.

Photo credit: Mila Zinkova

August 31
Camera obscura

A seventeenth century drawing of a camera obscura, an optical device whose invention eventually led to photography. Light from a scene enters through a hole in side of a room, as depicted here in a cutaway view (a box may be used, such as with a pinhole camera), and strikes a surface where it is reproduced, in color, and upside-down.

Artist: Unknown

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