Gallery series launches with unique Earth views

In keeping with the interstellar spirit that started our fall semester, the Gallery Series launched with a collection of photographs from NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
The pictures, taken during space shuttle flights, present a unique perspective of Earth’s weather and landforms.
Eight of the 24 photos display views of large scale weather phenomena such as hurricanes, large thunderstorms, typhoons and unusual cloud formations.
Six pictures present desert regions and one of those shows dark clouds of smoke from oil well fires that, from this view, resemble the colored smoke bombs kids light off during the 4th of July celebrations.
Four pictures stand out from the rest both in subject and in aesthetics. One is titled “Tongue of the Ocean,” and displays a portion of the Great Bahama Bank. There is a distinct difference in blue hues, made by the differing depths of the water and by the diverse coral patterns.
“Red Lake,” is a photo of Africa’s Lake Natron, shaped kind of like a peanut, which is literally a coppery-red shade because of the chemistry in the water and biotic blooms, per the tag under the picture.
Titled simply “Sunrise,” only one photo doesn’t appear to be taken from above. This one says it was taken by a space shuttle crew in 1991, with the silhouettes of thunderclouds along the horizon.
The most interesting photograph, in my opinion, was one titled “Volcanic Caldera,” which shows the Tambora caldera, located on Sumbawa Island in Indonesia. The information on the tag says, “it was formed in 1815 from a volcanic eruption.” The gases from the explosion prevented the sun’s heat from coming through the atmosphere which caused “snow to fall in New England as late as June in 1816.”
The photographs will be on display in Memorial Hall’s Gallery 239 until Sept. 28, the gallery is free and open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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