A red laser pointer. A chunk of “bad” glass. A blank wall. And here, a remarkable thing.
From the Wikimedia Commons description:
A red laser beam passes through an irregular sheet of glass and produces an image on the wall. Here the caustic effect, normally seen with incoherent light, is combined with interference of laser rays travelling along different lenght paths because of varying refraction angles. Class II laser pointer, 650nm lambda, 0.05m laser to glas…
I’m not sure exactly what the story is behind this image, because it’s part of the bewildering-but-great (and partially mechanically curated) British Library Space & SciFi album.
It’s from the 1889 novel The Conquest of the Moon: a story of the Bayouda, by André Laurie (a pseudonym of Paschal Grousset). There are more (splendid!) illustrations from it here, especially what seems to be an Arabic eclipse. At least they had some camels die on the way, maybe?
At the end of the 17th century, this was some weird and wild stuff – a fruit that in the Americas, they call “banana” (if I’m reading the Dutch text from Biodiversity Heritage Library’s copy of Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium correctly).
Merian was curious about entomology, and all sorts of other parts of nature, and made some lovely illustrations of insects and the plants they relied on for food. But it was the Insects of Surinam that made her reputation.
This is a sidelong look at the king of planets from NASA’s Image of the Day gallery.
The NASA folks say:
This striking Jovian vista was created by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft.
The tumultuous Great Red Spot is fading from Juno’s view while the dynamic bands of the southern region of Jupiter come into focus. North is to the left of the image, and south is on the right.
If you want t…
Science Art: Representations of the Braid Groups by Nancy Scherich, overall winner, Dance Your Ph.D. 2017.
“A representation is faithful if it has only one braid in its kernel.”
So, this is doctorate-level mathematics rendered as interpretative dance, and that is not a joke.
It’s really kind of beautiful. There’s even a plot, and a plot twist.
The other 2017 Dance Your Ph.D. winners this year are pretty great, too.
I only recently found out about this annual Science magazine contest, now in its 10th year, from my better half.
An owl and a bat, in German and Latin, as presented by Conrad Gessner in Icones Animalium Quadruped Viviparorum et Oviparorum.
This may have been more timely on Halloween, but really, it’s been available since the 16th century. Any day is a good day… or any night is a good night, really… for Owl and Bat.
[via Scientific Illustration]
Chaetopoda by Ernst Haeckel. More incredible illustrations by him here.
Please hold for connection.