photography, weather

Nephelococcygia from space (H. Michael Mogil, CCM, CBM, NWA-DS*)

On Sat., Feb. 4, 2017, I gave a talk to the Friends of Barefoot Beach. The talk centered on “Celebrating The Weather.” I decided to use cloud photography to focus the talk on the sky.

As part of the talk, I shared some cloud photography of things familiar to us. One image was a happy dog (ground perspective); another was a flying goldfish (taken from an airplane window over London).

Last evening, I was perusing some GOES (Geostationary Observational Environmental Satellite) images and came across an interesting cloud pattern, one the showed a smiley-faced storm just offshore from Washington State (Fig. 1). I’ve rotated the image clockwise 90-degrees to make the image easier to view (Fig. 2).

The term for viewing shapes in clouds is “nephelococcygia.” Loosely translated from Aristophanes’ play, “The Birds,” it means “cloud cuckooland.” Since Aristophanes lived around 400 B.C.E., I am 100 percent certain that he never considered cloud watching from some 22,000 miles above the Earth in his literary repertoire. However, interpretations from his writing indicate that Nephelococcygia was a utopian city in the clouds.

Stay tuned for more nephelococcygia stories.

© 2017 H. Michael Mogil

Originally posted 2/5/17

education, learning, photography, weather

It is National Sky Awareness Week

It’s always fun to look up at the sky and see the beauty and messages painted above. This includes white puffy or streaky clouds against a deep blue background (Fig. 1) or the fanning thunderstorm tops (known as anvils) spreading away from cauliflower-looking cumulonimbus cloud towers. It could include the crespuscular rays…To read the entire feature, click here.

Originally published 4/23/15

"Life", astronomy, biology, education, geology, hydrology, learning, nature, oceanography, photography

Bing’s homepage images return excitement to learning

There’s probably not a better way to get a brain engaged first thing in the morning than to use the Bing home page. Each day, Bing (a Microsoft-based search engine) features an incredible homepage image involving something from nature and the Earth, the human sphere, architecture, and other categories. Images range from…To read the entire feature, click here.

Originally published 3/12/15