THE EYE OF THE SAHARA
Introducing the Richat Structure, more commonly known as the Eye of the Sahara.
This 40km-wide dome-like structure is situated in the western Sahara Desert, near the town of Ouadane, Mauritania.
You would be forgiven for mistaking the Eye for an impact crater - the huge domed shape certainly fooled some early geologists studying it - but there is no evidence of shock metamorphism or extraterrestrial material that we associate with such events. So what’s going on?
The Eye of the Sahara is in fact a heavily eroded dome that happens to have some very cool geology in the form of clearly-defined and varied beds.
Around 100 million years ago, an anticlinal fold formed at the site (caused by a combination of tectonic forces and a large igneous intrusion rising from deep below the crust) forcing beds of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock upwards into a very neat dome.
Since then, the structure has been heavily eroded - but the different rock types eroded at different rates. Sedimentary sandstone and limestone beds are very easily eroded, but igneous and metamorphic bodies are generally more resistant. Layers of erosion-resistant metaquartzite and rhyolite have led to the formation of escarpments and small cliffs at various points in the Structure, as layers of metamorphic and volcanic rock meet sedimentary beds. The Eye of the Sahara is, then, just a particularly impressive looking eroded dome.
Bizarrely, the Eye’s ‘pupil’ is now home to a small hotel - you can spend the night sleeping in a hut at the centre of a very cool geological formation.
Click here for a panoramic view from the centre of the Eye:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNfSXYnaYDM
To see our previous post on this, please go here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=375240989203618&set=pb.352857924775258.-2207520000.1350167490&type=1&theater
Image: http://farm1.staticflickr.com/23/29862421_ee94e16418_z.jpg?zz=1(Credit: Flickr user ‘Viva NOLA’)
Raccoon dogs look very similar to raccoons but have no genetic similarities between them. They belong to belong to the Canidae family, which are known to have distinct dog and wolf like characteristics and appearance. These animals are both carnivorous and omnivorous mammals.
They are monogamous and will mate for life. It is only if the mate dies or is killed, will the other search for a new mate. Two mates will hibernate in one den. During this period they will maintain close body contact to keep each other warm and will groom each other as well. This is a trait not practiced by canines, as dogs neither hibernate and nor are they monogamous in nature.
Didn’t know these existed…
Absolutely beautiful images from Botswana, the colours and patterns are breath taking. It’s so easy to forget how incredible nature can be. 7
‘Being above the ground at such low elevations, and having the ability to precisely maneuver, was like gliding over an enormous painting and being able to create brushstrokes at will. As soon as I saw the landscape from above I knew there was potential to create a special body of work.’
Cakes have gotten a bad rap. People equate virtue with turning down dessert. There is always one person at the table who holds up her hand when I serve the cake. No, really, I couldn’t she says, and then gives her flat stomach a conspiratorial little pat. Everyone who is pressing a fork into that first tender layer looks at the person who declined the plate, and they all think, That person is better than I am. That person has discipline. But that isn’t a person with discipline; that is a person who has completely lost touch with joy. A slice of cake never made anybody fat. You don’t eat the whole cake. You don’t eat a cake every day of your life. You take the cake when it is offered because the cake is delicious. You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that’s safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what’s served on the happiest days of your life. This is a story of how my life was saved by cake, so, of course, if sides are to be taken, I will always take the side of cake.
These are the depictions of the most intense meteor storm in recorded history – the Leonid meteor storm of 1833. The Leonid meteor shower is annually active in the month of November, and it occurs when the Earth passes through the debris left by the comet Tempel-Tuttle. While the typical rates are about 10 to 15 meteors per hour, the storm of 1833 is speculated to have been over 100,000 meteors per hour, frightening people half to death.
Here’s how Agnes Clerke, an astronomer witnessing the event, described it: “On the night of November 12-13, 1833, a tempest of falling stars broke over the Earth… The sky was scored in every direction with shining tracks and illuminated with majestic fireballs. At Boston, the frequency of meteors was estimated to be about half that of flakes of snow in an average snowstorm.” (x)
If I had to travel back in time to observe an event (without changing anything of course), I would definitely stop by 1833 and watch this meteor storm. It would be terrifying and beautiful.
John Cassidy on the World Cup round of sixteen: http://nyr.kr/1nWMIgE
“Every game is an elimination match, the equivalent of a Game Seven in a baseball or basketball playoff series. That makes things exciting, but it also tends to produce tense, low-scoring games, and misery for the fans. All too often, the games end in penalty shootouts, which, to any soccer purist, are coronary-inducing abominations.”
Photograph by Ryan Pierse - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images.