CARACARA STEALS EGG-CAMERA AND FILMS PENGUIN COLONY FROM THE AIR
A striated caracara becomes very interested in a camera shaped like a penguin egg and carries it off into the sky to accidentally film a rockhopper penguin colony from the air. After dropping the durable camera, a turkey vulture comes by to inspect and peck it.
Stars and Dust in Corona Australis: Cosmic dust clouds and young, energetic stars inhabit this telescopic vista, less than 500 light-years away toward the northern boundary of Corona Australis, the Southern Crown. The dust clouds effectively block light from more distant background stars in the Milky Way. But the striking complex of reflection nebulae cataloged as NGC 6726, 6727, and IC 4812 produce a characteristic blue color as light from the regions young hot stars is reflected by the cosmic dust. The dust also obscures from view stars still in the process of formation. At the left, smaller yellowish nebula NGC 6729 bends around young variable star R Coronae Australis. Just below it, glowing arcs and loops shocked by outflows from embedded newborn stars are identified as Herbig-Haro objects. On the sky this field of view spans about 1 degree. That corresponds to almost 9 light-years at the estimated distance of the nearby star forming region. via NASA
Shackleton’s Aurora Australis: The first book printed in Antarctica
When Ernest Shackleton led his team to Antarctica in 1907, he had already travelled to this most inhospitable of continents as third officer on Scott’s Discovery expedition. One of the problems the Discovery trip revealed to Shackleton was what he called polar ennui, and thus he prepared some plans and schemes to keep his own crew productive and motivated during their long, cold northern winters.
Perhaps the 1907 Nimrod expedition’s most surprising undertaking was the writing, illustration, editing, setting, printing and binding of a book, the Aurora Australis. This required the transportation of paper, ink and a printing press across Antarctica.
Though the copies were not numbered, it’s believed that around 100 copies of Aurora Australis were produced, of which more than 30 remain unaccounted for.
This week, the Bodleian Libraries displayed our copy of Aurora Australis during the Oxford Teacher’s Seminar, which gave an opportunity to take the picture featured in this post.
The bindings of the book were made by Bernard Day from the exhibition’s packing cases. The Bodleian’s copy still shows “…d kidneys,” revealing the case’s original purpose.
There are literally millions of books in the Bodleian collections, and many thousands of genuine treasures. Even amongst this wealth of riches, Aurora Australis remains an inspiring and fascinating achievement.
The King Brown Snake or Mulga Snake (Pseudechis australis) is a highly venomous species found throughout Australia. These highly adaptive animals are found in a variety of habitats within its native country and will feed on anything from small mammals and birds to other venomous snakes. Though it is one of the leading causes of envenomation in Australia, deaths are uncommon when antivenin is administered.