This Glorious Gallery Highlights A Myriad Optical Delights

The International Year of Light continues with a beautiful gallery celebrating all aspects of light: multispectral astronomical, technological innovations, bioluminescence, eclipses, and even noctilucent clouds. I'll say this for it: this is the most visually interesting and diverse "Year of..." celebration!

While the entire gallery is gorgeous celebrating the International Year of Light is beautiful and well worth perusing, these are my favourites:

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Dark field image vorticella, a single-celled protozoa lit by scattered light while the direct light source is deliberately blocked. Image credit: Frank Fox

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The lights of Earth — star trails, terrestrial lights, and auroras — seen at 27,000 kilometers per hour from the International Space Station, 386 kilometers above the surface. Image Credit: NASA/JSC/Don Petit

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Microscopic photograph of common cold medication under polarized light. Image credit: Marek Mís

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The Eagle Nebula (Messier 16) colour-coded by its dominant elemental components: hydrogen (green), oxygen (red), and sulfur (blue). Image Credit: T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage/B.A. Wolpa/NOAO/AURA/NSF

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Optical fibres transport light through flexible, hollow cords. Image credit: Optoelectronics Research Centre

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The 1999 total eclipse as seen from Turkey, so only the corona of the sun is visible around the shadowy disc of the moon. Image Credit: Dan Schechter

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Fireflies produce bioluminescence through the interaction of luciferin in their abdomen with atmospheric oxygen, producing light that further reflected by uric acid crystals. Image Credit: Tsuneaki Hiramatu

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Elliptical galaxy Hercules A, with a giant cloud of gas surrounding a black hole. Multispectral image with optical light (red, green, and blue with bright galaxies in white), X-rays (purple), and radio data (blue). Image Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO (X-ray); NASA/STScI (optical); and NSF/NRAO/VLA (radio)

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Light and shadow emphasizing the sandstone texture of Antelope Canyon in Arizona. Image Credit: J. L. Spaulding

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Salt Lake City, Utah, seen at night from the International Space Station. Older high-pressure sodium lights glow yellow, while more modern light-emitting diodes are sharper whites an green. Image Credit: NASA/Johnson Space Center

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Noctilucent clouds are the highest clouds on Earth, tiny crystals of water ice and dust on the edge of space. Image Credit: NASA

Want to contribute to the a visual celebration of the International Year of Light? You can host an exhibit using by curating a collection from the images, or donate pictures to the gallery.

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