Deepscape at Yacoraite

In this evocative night scene a dusty central Milky Way rises over the ancient Andean archaeological site of Yacoraite in northwestern Argentina. The denizens of planet Earth reaching skyward are the large Argentine saguaro cactus currently native to the arid region. The unusual yellow-hued reflection nebula above is created by dust scattering starlight around red giant star Antares. Alpha star of the constellation Scorpius, Antares is over 500 light-years distant. Next to it bright blue Rho Ophiuchi is embedded in more typical dusty bluish reflection nebulae though. The deep night skyscape was created from a series of background exposures of the rising stars made while tracking the sky, and a foreground exposure of the landscape made with the camera and lens fixed on the tripod. In combination they produce the single stunning image and reveal a range of brightness and color that your eye can’t quite perceive on its own. via NASA

Wikipedia article of the day for May 8, 2021

Wikipedia article of the day is Preening. Check it out: Article-Link Summary: Preening is a bird maintenance behaviour that involves using the beak to position feathers, interlock the barbules, clean plumage, and reduce parasites. Feathers contribute to a bird’s insulation, waterproofing and flight, so birds spend much time on preening. They may fluff up their feathers to “rezip” the barbules, and use their beaks to gather preen oil from a gland at the base of their tail. They spread the oil by drawing each contour feather through their bills. Ritualised preening has become part of some courtship displays and a displacement activity when birds are subjected to stress. Preening can be a social activity involving two or more birds called “allopreening”, which occurs either between a mated pair or flock members in a social species. This may assist in grooming, the recognition of individuals, or reducing conflict. Most allopreening is confined to the head and neck. Ingestion of pollutants or pathogens during preening can lead to health problems. Injury and infection can cause overpreening in caged birds.