where the forest meets the sea


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Redwood National and State Parks (NPS) - CA, USA
Banana slugs (Ariolimax columbianus) are one of the more phenomenal invertebrates seen in our parks. They can come in a variety of patterns and shades, including spots like the one on the left! These two were found by the Lady Bird Johnson trailhead.
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Iris by (Ibai Acevedo)
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Massive Star Makes Waves
The giant star Zeta Ophiuchi is having a “shocking” effect on the surrounding dust clouds in this infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Stellar winds flowing out from this fast-moving star are making ripples in the dust as it approaches, creating a bow shock seen as glowing gossamer threads, which, for this star, are only seen in infrared light.
Zeta Ophiuchi is a young, large and hot star located around 370 light-years away. It dwarfs our own sun in many ways — it is about six times hotter, eight times wider, 20 times more massive, and about 80,000 times as bright. Even at its great distance, it would be one of the brightest stars in the sky were it not largely obscured by foreground dust clouds.
This massive star is travelling at a snappy pace of about 54,000 mph (24 kilometers per second), fast enough to break the sound barrier in the surrounding interstellar material. Because of this motion, it creates a spectacular bow shock ahead of its direction of travel (to the left). The structure is analogous to the ripples that precede the bow of a ship as it moves through the water, or the sonic boom of an airplane hitting supersonic speeds.
Credit: NASA/JPL
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Tomorrow is the last day of the Animystics show at Light Grey Art Lab! Last chance to see this really amazing group of work in person, if you haven’t made it to the gallery already, and to buy prints or originals (including the original gouache painting of my Wren Day piece!) in the online store here.