IYL 2015 Images

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    Monarch Butterflies Pismo Beach, California, USA

    Every year, monarch butterflies migrate from the same tree in the Eastern part of the United States to the same tree in California or Mexico. This is in spite of the fact that, by the time this journey is complete, this is not the same butterfly. Rather it is the fourth generation of the butterfly that originally left as the monarch only lives for an average of two months. Scientists think that the monarch butterflies know their route based on a combination of the position of the Sun in the sky, as well as a special photoreceptor in their antennae that acts as a chemical compass in the presence of the violet-blue part of visible light.
    Image Credit: J L Spaulding, creative commons license,
    view and download image here. http://lightexhibit.org/photoindex.html

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    Bluebells Buckinghamshire, England

    When light reaches a green plant, many different reactions take place to store the energy from light into sugar (aka, carbohydrate) molecules. The plant doesn't use all of the light that it receives. Plants absorb mainly the red and blue parts of visible light from the Sun. The green color we see most often in plants is there because it is a color that the plant reflects rather than absorbs. The green leaves and grasses in this photograph, found amid this field of bluebell flowers, reflect the green range of light, whereas the bluebells reflect blue light.
    Image Credit: Sue Vincent
    view and download image here. http://lightexhibit.org/photoindex.html

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    Sandstone Mesas With Rainbow

    Sunlight is made up of a mixture of many wavelengths of light. Each visible wavelength is perceived as a different color, with violet having the shortest wavelength, and red the longest. When sunlight enters a raindrop, its path is bent; the light is "refracted". Each wavelength is bent slightly differently, with shorter wavelengths bent more than longer ones. This rainbow is caused by light being refracted (bent) when entering a droplet of water, then reflected inside on the back of the droplet and refracted again when leaving it. This causes the combined colors of sunlight to spread out into the familiar red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet of a rainbow. A person viewing this light from the viewpoint where the light has been reflected is treated to the spectacular view of a rainbow, like the one seen here above the mesas in Utah.
    Image Credit: David Parker/ Science Photo Library
    view and download image here. http://lightexhibit.org/photoindex.html

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    Bioluminescence in the Gippsland Lakes Victoria, Australia

    Bioluminescence is light produced by a chemical reaction inside a living organism. There are many bioluminescent life forms on land, including different kinds of fungus and insects. Most bioluminescence, however, occurs in water, particularly in in the depths of Earth's oceans where sunlight cannot reach. Here we see the bioluminescent glow of marine plankton in the Gippsland Lakes in southeastern Australia. Above, the spectacular light of the Milky Way and star trails from a long exposure are also visible.
    Image Credit: Phil Hart
    view and download image here. http://lightexhibit.org/photoindex.html

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    Lenticular Clouds Stromness Bay, South Georgia

    In this photo, we can see a couple of light's qualities. First, the setting Sun is illuminating the lenticular clouds above in a reddish tone because red light from the Sun is scattered less than shorter wavelengths as it travels through the Earth's atmosphere. Below, the sunlight is then reflected, or bounces, off of the water. When light bounces off of a smooth surface—say a mirror—it will produce a clear image in the reflection. When it bounces off a rough surface, it creates an irregular image. This is because light reflects away from something at the same angle it hits it. In the case of choppy water, there are many different angles for light to encounter and therefore the rays of light are reflected in many different directions.
    Image Credit: Serge Ouachée
    view and download image here. http://lightexhibit.org/photoindex.html