Best Earth Images of the Week - Apr. 13, 2012
By Our Amazing Planet, 13 April 2012.
Deep-sea images, a wildfire in Florida and swirling ice floes, just the beginning of our photo picks this week…and there are a few stunning images too.
|1. Amur Leopard|
Credit: Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo
Above, an Amur leopard explores his new exhibit at the San Diego Zoo, looking for something to climb while one of its two siblings relaxes in the background.
[Full Story: Amur Leopards Explore New Zoo Home]
|2. Hello! How are You?|
This month, you can take a ride to a mysterious world of tube worms, strange fish and impressive crustaceans that dwell deep in the Gulf of Mexico, all without ever leaving your desk.
A live feed from a camera affixed to the remotely operated vehicle Little Hercules is available on the Web, complete with the commentary of the scientists who are directing the ROV from the research vessel Okeanos Explorer.
[Full Story: Watch Live: Robot Sends Back Footage of Deep-Sea Sights]
|3. Smoke Plumes|
A satellite snapped an image this week of a massive plume of smoke hovering over a Florida forest. The smoke is coming from a large wildfire that has raged in the region since it was sparked by a lightning strike in the early hours of April 5.
Known as the County Line Wildfire, it has burned approximately 18 square miles (47 square kilometres) of the Osceola National Forest in the far northern part of the Sunshine State.
[Full Story: Florida Wildfire Spied from Space]
|4. Ribbon Seal Census|
A joint team of U.S. and Russian scientists is slated to spend mid-April through May flying nearly 35,000 miles (56,000 kilometres) over Arctic waters that border the two countries aboard small aircraft.
The planes are scheduled to fly at altitudes between 800 and 1,000 feet (240 and 300 meters) to avoid disturbing the animals, and researchers will use high-resolution digital cameras and thermal sensors to spot the seals. The images will be analyzed later in the lab.
[Full Story: Scientists Take to Skies to Count Threatened Seals]
|5. Intriguing Ice off Russia's Coast|
During the winter, the peninsula, and its numerous volcanoes, are blanketed in snows, while sea ice forms on the Pacific coastline. As these ice floes grind against each other, they produce smaller floes that can be moved by wind and currents, according to a NASA statement.
The irregular southeastern coastline of Kamchatka provokes large, circular eddy currents to spin off from the main southwestward-flowing Kamchatka current. Ice floes in the astronaut image highlight three such eddies.
[Full Story: Earth As Art: Swirling Ice Floes]
|6. Splendid Sea Life|
Credit: © Greenpeace / John Hocevar
Footage from an expedition to some of the deepest seafloor canyons on Earth has revealed that life thrives in the darkness, as well as the toll that industrial-scale fishing is likely taking there.
A Greenpeace-sponsored expedition sent a manned submersible and remotely operated deep-diving robots to areas of the Zhemchug and Pribilof canyons, in the middle of the Bering Sea, after concerns over large-scale trawling and fisheries action in the region prompted calls for greater U.S. government protections for local marine life.
[Full Story: Deep-Sea Expedition Reveals Stunning Sea Life, Damage]
|7. Fog Clouds|
The large white patch covering the Yellow Sea in this satellite image on March 28 is a thick layer of fog, a not uncommon site in this area.
The low-lying cloud formation covered an area roughly the size of the Korean Peninsula, stretching nearly 400 miles (900 kilometres) from Korea Bay to the Chinese city of Shanghai.
[Full Story: Fog Clouds Yellow Sea in Satellite Image]
[Source: Our Amazing Planet. Edited. Top image added.]