Japanese Maple, North Carolina by Melissa Farlow
"The lacy leaves and wandering branches of a Japanese maple lend drama to the grounds of the Biltmore Estate near Asheville, North Carolina. Built in 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt, the Biltmore is the largest private residence in the United States and includes more than 75 acres (30 hectares) of manicured gardens."
Photograph by Michael Melford
"Sunlight dapples the shoulders of Algonquin and Wright, two of the more than 40 so-called High Peaks that rise above 4,000 feet. Once blighted by logging and industry, the region has undergone a renaissance of woods and waters."
Image Credit & Copyright : Yuichi Takasaka
"September's equinox arrives today at 0905 UT. As the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading south, spring begins in the southern hemisphere and autumn in the north. And though the seasonal connection is still puzzling, both spring and autumn bring an increase in geomagnetic storms. So as northern nights grow longer, the equinox also heralds the arrival of a good season for viewing aurora. Recorded earlier this month, these curtains of September's shimmering green light sprawl across a gorgeous night skyscape. In the foreground lies Hidden Lake Territorial Park near Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. Calm water reflects the aurora, with bright star trails peering through the mesmerizing sky glow. Of course, shining at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so, planet Earth's auroras are visible from space."
Today,September 23rd 2010, the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading south at 03:09 Universal Time.
To celebrate the equinox, consider this view of the Sun in extreme ultraviolet light from the Sun staring Solar Dynamics Observatory. Recorded yesterday, the false-color image shows emission from highly ionized iron atoms. Loops and arcs trace the glowing plasma suspended in magnetic fields above solar active regions.
"Prepare for the Super Harvest Moon! For the first time in two decades, the Sun will sink as the full Moon rises exactly opposite to it on the day the summer ends, creating in a strange 360-degree twilight show."