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Wikipedia:Picture of the day/May 2015

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A monthly archive of the English Wikipedia's pictures of the day

These featured pictures have previously appeared (or will appear) as picture of the day (POTD) on the Main Page, as scheduled below. You can add the automatically updating picture of the day to your userpage or talk page using {{Pic of the day}} (version with blurb) or {{POTD}} (version without blurb). For instructions on how to make custom POTD layouts, see Wikipedia:Picture of the day.

May 1 – Fri

A motorboat pulling a water skier in Victoria, Australia. For such activities, boats often have a high power-to-weight ratio and a hull design which allows for easy planing.Photograph: Fir0002

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May 2 – Sat

A soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines), together with an egg, as viewed through a low-temperature scanning electron microscope at 1000x magnification. This nematode infects the roots of soybeans, and the female nematode eventually becomes a cyst. Infection causes various symptoms that may include chlorosis of the leaves and stems, root necrosis, loss in seed yield and suppression of root and shoot growth.Photograph: Agricultural Research Service

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May 3 – Sun

Dead Confederate troops behind the stone wall of Marye's Heights, killed during the Second Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, part of the eastern portion of the May 1863 Chancellorsville Campaign. At the wall, Confederate forces pushed back two waves of Union Army assaults before being overrun and forced to withdraw. Though the Union forces under Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick attempted to march on Chancellorsville, they were delayed by Confederate attacks and, the following morning, driven back.

Fought from April 30 to May 6, 1863, the Chancellorsville campaign saw Gen. Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia repel a force twice its size, Union Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's Army of the Potomac. However, in doing so they took numerous casualties and lost Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson to friendly fire.Photograph: Andrew J. Russell; restoration: Lise Broer

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May 4 – Mon

The earliest reliably dated photograph of people, taken by Louis Daguerre one spring morning in 1838 from the window of the Diorama, where he lived and worked. It bears the caption huit heures du matin (8 a.m.). Though it shows the busy Boulevard du Temple, the long exposure time (about ten or twelve minutes) meant that moving traffic cannot be seen; however, the bootblack and his customer at lower left remained still long enough to be distinctly visible. The building signage at the upper left shows that the image is laterally (left-right) reversed, as were most daguerreotypes.Photograph: Louis Daguerre

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May 5 – Tue

The heath fritillary (Melitaea athalia) is a species of butterfly in the family Nymphalidae, which can be found in heathland, grassland, and coppiced woodlands throughout the Palaearctic. They typically fly close to the ground, though they are generally sedentary and will rarely fly further than 100 metres (330 ft) at a time.Photograph: Darius Baužys

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May 6 – Wed

Output from a shallow water equation model of water in a bathtub. The water experiences five splashes which generate surface gravity waves that propagate away from the splash locations and reflect off the bathtub walls.

The shallow water equations are a set of hyperbolic partial differential equations that describe the flow below a pressure surface in a fluid. They are derived from depth-integrating the Navier–Stokes equations in cases where the horizontal length scale is much greater than the vertical length scale. The shallow water equations can also be simplified to the commonly used 1-D Saint Venant equation.Animation: Dan Copsey

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May 7 – Thu

A juvenile European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), photographed in the south of Cres, Croatia. This species of cormorant, first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1761, lives along the rocky coasts of western and southern Europe, southwest Asia, and north Africa. These birds eat a wide variety of fish, diving to depths of 45 m (148 ft) to find their prey.Photograph: Julius Rückert

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May 8 – Fri

Edward Gibbon (1737–1794) was an English historian who published The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. Born in Putney, Surrey, he became a voracious reader while being raised by his aunt, and was sent to study at Magdalen College, Oxford, and in Switzerland. Returning to England, in 1761 Gibbon published his first book, Essai sur l'Étude de la Littérature. This was well received, but Gibbon's next book was a failure. In the early 1770s Gibbon began writing his history of the Roman Empire, which was received with great praise.Painting: Henry Walton

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May 9 – Sat

Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, located 5 miles (8 km) downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell, near the town of Page, Arizona. It is accessible via hiking trail or an access road.Photograph: Christian Mehlführer

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May 10 – Sun

Chandiroor Divakaran (b. 1946) is a Malayalam–language poet and folk song writer from Kerala, India. He has published numerous collections of poetry since his debut collection, Radha, in 1965.Photograph: Augustus Binu

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May 11 – Mon

The Aitoff projection is a modified azimuthal map projection first proposed by David A. Aitoff in 1889. Based on the equatorial form of the azimuthal equidistant projection, Aitoff halved longitudes from the central meridian, projected by the azimuthal equidistant, and then stretched the result horizontally into a 2:1 ellipse.Map: Strebe, using Geocart

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May 12 – Tue

A carpenter ant (Camponotus sp.) worker drinking water, as found in Kibaha, Tanzania. Ants of this genus are indigenous to many forested parts of the world and build nests inside wood, chewing out galleries with their mandibles. These foragers, unlike termites, do not feed on the wood; rather, they eat parts of dead insects or substances derived from other insects.Photograph: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

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May 13 – Wed

A panoramic view of the skyline of Hong Kong, a city which has been considered the world's worst for light pollution owing to its numerous spotlights and LED billboards. A 2013 study found that Tsim Sha Tsui was the worst polluted area, with readings on average 1000 times brighter than the benchmark "normal dark sky", and subsequent studies have found areas such as Tin Shui Wai, Mong Kok, and Causeway Bay to be well above the recommended level of light emissions. Since 2008 the subject of light pollution has been a matter of public debate, though no legislative measures have been enacted.Photograph: Samuel Louie, edited by Carol Spears

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May 14 – Thu

A diagram of the bones of the human arm, including the pectoral girdle, upper arm, forearm, wrist, and hand. Humans have 32 bones in each arm (including the shoulder), most of them in the hand and wrist.Diagram: LadyofHats

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May 15 – Fri

The southern brown tree frog (Litoria ewingii) is a species of tree frog native to Australia found in a wide range of habitats. Reaching 45 millimetres (1.8 in), this species is generally brown, but green and green-striped morphs are also recorded.Photograph: JJ Harrison

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May 16 – Sat

Levi P. Morton (1824–1920) was an American politician who served as Representative from New York, the 22nd Vice President of the United States, and later the 31st Governor of New York. Morton held a variety of odd jobs, including as a teacher, clerk, and merchant, before unsuccessfully running for the 45th Congress in 1876. He ran again, successfully, in 1879, serving until 1881, when he was made Minister to France. Four years after returning from Europe, Morton became Benjamin Harrison's running mate in the 1888 election. After Harrison's election the two were frequently at odds, and when the incumbent ran for a second term, he chose Whitelaw Reid over Morton. Morton, meanwhile, was elected Governor of New York in 1895, serving for two years before becoming a real estate investor.Photograph: BradyHandy, restoration: Adam Cuerden

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May 17 – Sun

Snow delineates the escarpment formed by the Alpine Fault along the Southern Alps' northwest edge, near the west coast of New Zealand's South Island, in a satellite image showing the aftermath of a blizzard that hit the island in July 2003. This geological fault, which forms a transform boundary between the Pacific Plate and the Indo-Australian Plate, has experienced numerous earthquakes over the past millennium, including four which reached magnitude eight on the Richter scale.Photograph: Jacques Descloitres / MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA/GSFC

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May 18 – Mon

Ruthenium is a rare transition metal belonging to the platinum group of the periodic table. Like the other metals of its group, ruthenium is inert to most other chemicals. The Baltic German scientist Karl Ernst Claus discovered the element in 1844, and named it after Ruthenia. Ruthenium usually occurs as a minor component of platinum ores; annual production is about 20 tonnes. Most ruthenium produced is used for wear-resistant electrical contacts and the production of thick-film resistors. A minor application of ruthenium is its use in some platinum alloys, and, like many elements located near platinum, is used in automobile catalytic converters.Photograph: Heinrich Pniok

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May 19 – Tue

A panoramic view of some tors in Dartmoor, Devon, taken in late December 2009 during some early winter snow; the nearest on the right is Saddle tor, with Hay tor behind and to the left. The tors found in this moorland, which covers 954 square kilometres (368 sq mi) and is protected as the Dartmoor National Park, are granite hilltops dating from the Carboniferous period. They provide habitats for Dartmoor wildlife. The image is a stitched panorama using five individual images.Photograph: Herbythyme

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May 20 – Wed

The 2013 Moore tornado as it approached the city of Moore, Oklahoma, on May 20, 2013. This EF5 tornado, with peak winds estimated at 210 mph (340 km/h) and a maximum width of 1.3 miles (2.1 km), killed 25 people and injured 377 others. Damages from the storm were estimated at $2 billion.Photograph: Ks0stm

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May 21 – Thu

Paralucia aurifera is a butterfly in the family Lycaenidae found in eastern Australia. Émile Blanchard first described this species, which is active from December to January, in 1848.Photograph: JJ Harrison

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May 22 – Fri

Portrait of a Lady is a small oil-on-oak panel painting executed around 1460 by the Netherlandish painter Rogier van der Weyden. Using geometric shapes to form the lines of the woman's veil, neckline, face, and arms, the work conveys the subject's humility and reserved demeanour through her fragile physique, lowered eyes and tightly grasped fingers. This is the only known portrait of a woman accepted as an autograph work by van der Weyden, and has been described as "famous among all portraits of women of all schools". It is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.Painting: Rogier van der Weyden

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May 23 – Sat

Ambrose Burnside (1824–1881) was an American soldier and politician from Rhode Island, serving as governor and a United States Senator. As a Union Army general in the American Civil War, he conducted successful campaigns in North Carolina and East Tennessee and countered the raids of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan, but suffered disastrous defeats at the Battles of Fredericksburg and the Crater. His distinctive style of facial hair became known as sideburns, a term derived from his last name.Photograph: Mathew Brady; restoration: Michel Vuijlsteke

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May 24 – Sun

Cendrillon is an opera in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Henri Caïn. Based on Charles Perrault's 1698 version of the Cinderella fairy tale, it follows a young woman who meets and falls in love with a prince owing to help from her fairy godmother. The opera has been performed numerous times since its 1899 premiere at the Salle Favart, and several recordings have been produced.Poster: Émile Bertrand; restoration: Adam Cuerden

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May 25 – Mon

Trithemis annulata, or violet dropwing, is a species of dragonfly which is found in most of Africa, in the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula, and is increasing its range in southern Europe. As the larvae develop rapidly, this highly adaptable species can breed in temporary bodies of water.Photograph: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

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May 26 – Tue

The Heddal stave church is a stave church located at Heddal in Notodden, Norway. The largest church of its kind in Norway, this three-nave building dates to the 13th century; according to legend, it was built in three days.Photograph: Micha L. Rieser

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May 27 – Wed

Dolomite (shown here with magnesite) is an anhydrous carbonate mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate. It forms white, tan, gray, or pink crystals, which do not react with dilute hydrochloric acid. Termed "stinking stone" by naturalist Belsazar Hacquet, the mineral gives the smell of petroleum when rubbed. It has multiple uses, including as a radiation buffer and a catalyst for destruction of tar.Photograph: Didier Descouens

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May 28 – Thu

The little wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera) is a passerine bird in the honeyeater family. First described in 1802, this bird is found in coastal and sub-coastal south-eastern Australia. It uses its long, brush-tipped tongue to feed on nectar; this wattlebird may also eat insects, berries and some seeds.Photograph: JJ Harrison

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May 29 – Fri

The head of an impact sprinkler, a type of irrigation sprinkler in which the sprinkler head, driven in a circular motion by the force of the outgoing water, pivots on a bearing on top of its threaded attachment nut. Invented in 1935 by Orton Englehardt, it quickly found widespread use.Photograph: JJ Harrison

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May 30 – Sat

A map of the Olmec heartland, the southern portion of Mexico's Gulf Coast region between the Tuxtla mountains and the Olmec archaeological site of La Venta. It is considered the heartland of the Olmec culture, which was widespread over Mesoamerica from 1400 BCE until roughly 400 BCE.

On this map, yellow dots represent ancient habitation sites, including San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, La Venta, and Tres Zapotes. Red dots represent isolated artifact finds unassociated with any ancient town or village, such as the Las Limas Monument 1, the San Martín Pajapan Monument 1, and "The Wrestler".Map: Madman2001

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May 31 – Sun

Compound eyes on a blue bottle fly. Unlike simple eyes, which have a single concave photoreceptive surface, compound eyes consist of a number of individual lenses (called ommatidia) laid out on a convex surface; this means that they point in slightly different directions. Compound eyes provide a wide field of view and can detect fast movement, but have low resolution.Photograph: JJ Harrison

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Picture of the day archive

Today is Friday, November 15, 2019; it is currently 10:50 UTC.