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Astronaut Reid Wiseman has been posting photos of Typhoon Neoguri in his Twitter feed this week. From our perspective on the ground, it’s easy to forget how three-dimensional the typhoons and hurricanes in our atmosphere are. But Wiseman’s photos capture the depth in the storm, especially the depression of the eye. From the top, the typhoon looks much like a vortex in a bathtub, or what’s more formally known as a free surface vortex. To understand why a vortex dips in the middle, imagine a container of water on a rotating plate. As the water is spun, its interface with the air takes on a paraboloid shape. Two external forces are acting on the fluid: gravity in the downward direction and a centrifugal force in the radial direction. The free surface of the fluid adopts a shape that is always perpendicular to the combination of these two forces. This ensures that the pressure along the free surface is a constant. (Photo credits: R. Wiseman 1,2,3)


Totally neglected to post these photos from our trip to Kenya back in January (whoops). 

Good news: we are opening a temporary exhibition from that expedition in late August, and will be (hopefully! fingers crossed!) hosting a meetup and discussion to talk about our experience sometime in early September! More deets to come. There will be lots of bats. 

Photos from Nairobi National Park: 

  •  Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus
  •  Impala, matching up (Aepyceros melampus), interrupted by a nosy warthog (Phacochoerus africanus). 
  • African sacred ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) photobombing the lesser flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor)
  • Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) - an unusual group of four, breathtaking.
  • Impala (Aepyceros melampus
  • Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer), past and present
  • White rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) 
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