marshall islands

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Total Solar Eclipse

These stunning photographs of July 2009′s solar eclipse were taken by Miloslav Druckmüller, a mechanical engineering professor at Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic. The event was captured on Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands, an island country located in the northern Pacific Ocean.

This is a fairly precise sea map. In order to navigate by canoe among the Marshall Islands, residents made developed a way to show islands and patterns of ocean swells and breakers by lashing together sticks, threads, and shells.

The atolls lie so low that even the tops of the palms are lost to sight 20 kilometers off shore, so a Marshallese navigator may spend several days out of sight of land. Having studied swell patterns with the aid of such charts, they can find their way by observing the motion of the canoe.

For example, an island breaks up the easterly trade wind swell, producing a wave pattern that signals the presence of land. “These navigation signs … extend seaward from any atoll or island in specific quadrants and can be detected up to 40 km away,” writes oceanographer Joseph Genz. “The relative strength of these radiating wave patterns indicates the distance toward land, while the specific wave signatures indicate the direction of land.”

It’s National Coffee Day - Marines break for rest and coffee during a lull in the fighting on Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands:

These Marines, begrimed and weary from two days and two nights of fighting, are typical of the conquerors of Eniwetok Atoll. Private First Class Faris M. (Bob) Tuohy, 19, is the Marine holding the coffee cup., ca. 1944