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Wikipedia:Picture of the day/May 2016


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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 – Sun

Pisces is a constellation of the zodiac. Its name is the Latin plural for fish. It lies between Aquarius to the west and Aries to the east. The ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect within this constellation and in Virgo. In Greek mythology, Pisces was associated with Aphrodite and Eros, who escaped from the monster Typhon by leaping into the sea and transforming themselves into fish.Illustration: Sidney Hall; restoration: Adam Cuerden

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May 2 – Mon

SMS Baden was one of four Sachsen-class armored frigates of the German Imperial Navy. Built in the Imperial Dockyard in Kiel from 1876 to 1883 and armed with a main battery of six 26 cm (10 in) guns in two open barbettes, she was commissioned in September 1883. Baden served on numerous training exercises and cruises in the 1880s and 1890s and participated in several cruises escorting Kaiser Wilhelm II on state visits. During 1896–1897, the ship was extensively rebuilt. She was removed from active duty in 1910, served in a number of secondary roles, and was sold in April 1938 and broken up in 1939–1940.Illustration: Hugo Graf; restoration: Adam Cuerden

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May 3 – Tue

Sadko is a character in the Russian medieval epic Bylina. An adventurer, merchant and gusli musician from Novgorod, Sadko becomes wealthy with the help of the Sea Tsar, but is thrown in the sea when he fails to pay the Sea Tsar his due respects. This story was widely adapted in the 19th century, including in a poem by Alexei Tolstoy and an opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Shown here is Sadko in the Underwater Kingdom, an 1876 painting by Ilya Repin. It depicts Sadko meeting the Sea Tsar under the sea.Painting: Ilya Repin

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May 4 – Wed

The nave of the Immaculate Conception Church on Farm Street, London, England, looking towards the entrance. This Roman Catholic parish church run by the Society of Jesus was designed by Joseph John Scoles and constructed between 1844 and 1849, later being remodelled by Adrian Gilbert Scott following the Second World War. Sir Simon Jenkins described it as "Gothic Revival at its most sumptuous".Photograph: David Iliff

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May 5 – Thu

The white-rumped shama (Copsychus malabaricus) is a small passerine bird of the family Muscicapidae. Native to densely vegetated habitats in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, its popularity as a cage-bird and songster has led to it being introduced elsewhere. The species feeds on insects in the wild, but in captivity may be fed a diet of boiled, dried legumes with egg yolk and raw meat.Photograph: JJ Harrison

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May 6 – Fri

Crater Lake is situated in a 7,700-year-old caldera in the Cascades of south-central Oregon, United States. The focus of Crater Lake National Park, it is famous for its intense blue color and the clarity of its water. The lake is the deepest in the United States at 594 m (1,950 ft) and, though no rivers flow into or out of it, its waters are replaced every 250 years through rain and snowfall. A post-caldera cinder cone forms Wizard Island.Photograph: WolfmanSF

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May 7 – Sat

Daedongyeojido is a large scale map of Korea produced by Chosun Dynasty cartographer and geologist Kim Jeong-ho in 1861. Considered to mark the zenith of pre-modern Korean cartography, the map consists of 22 separate, foldable booklets, each covering approximately 47 kilometres (29 mi) (north-south) by 31.5 kilometres (19.6 mi) (east-west). Combined, they form a map of Korea that is 6.7 metres (22 ft) wide and 3.8 metres (12 ft) long. Daedongyeojido is praised for precise delineations of mountain ridges, waterways, and transportation routes, as well as its markings for settlements, administrative areas, and cultural sites.Map: Kim Jeong-ho

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May 8 – Sun

The Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is the second main mosque in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, after State Mosque in Sembulan. Preparations for the mosque began in 1989, and after several delays it was officially opened in 2000 and nicknamed "The Floating Mosque" as it sits on a man-made lagoon. The Kota Kinabalu City Mosque has room for 12,000 worshipers.Photograph: Uwe Aranas

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May 9 – Mon

The El Atazar Dam is an arch dam near Madrid, Spain, on the Lozoya River, close to where the Lozoya joins the Jarama. Built in a narrow gorge between 1968 and 1972, the dam is 440 feet (134 m) high and 171.6 feet (52.3 m) wide at the foundation. It has a reservoir capacity of 344,000 acre feet (424,000,000 m3).Photograph: Carlos Delgado

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May 10 – Tue

Louis XVI of France (1754–1793) was King of France (later King of the French) from 1774 until his deposition in 1792. His early reign was marked by attempts to reform France in accordance with Enlightenment ideals, including ultimately quashed efforts to abolish serfdom, remove the taille, and increase tolerance toward non-Catholics. However, after several years of national debt and financial and food crises, Louis was arrested during the insurrection of 10 August 1792, found guilty of high treason, and executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793.Painting: Antoine-François Callet

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May 11 – Wed

An Alaskan parchment scrip banknote in the denomination of 1 ruble, printed on vellum or parchment by the Russian-American Company. On the obverse, the horizontal text immediately beneath the double-headed eagle reads "Seal of the Russian American Company". The oval text reads "under august protection of His Imperial Majesty", and under the oval is the value of the note "one ruble".

Alaskan parchment scrip was used as a form of company scrip in Alaska when it was a possession of the Russian Empire. In circulation from 1816 to 1867, such scrip could be printed on vellum, parchment, or pinniped skin. Denominations of 10, 25, 50 kopecks and 1, 5, 10, and 25 rubles were issued.Banknote: Russian-American Company; image courtesy of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution

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May 12 – Thu

The Art of Painting is a 17th-century oil painting on canvas by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. The painting, often held to be an allegory of the art, has a composition and iconography that make it the most complex of Vermeer's works. Walter Liedtke describes it "as a virtuoso display of the artist's power of invention and execution, staged in an imaginary version of his studio", and Albert Blankert writes that "no other painting so flawlessly integrates naturalistic technique, brightly illuminated space, and a complexly integrated composition". The Art of Painting is owned by the Austrian Republic and is on display in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.Painting: Johannes Vermeer

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May 13 – Fri

A comparison of plumage characteristics between grey-sided flowerpeckers (Dicaeum celebicum) from mainland Sulawesi (top) and Wakatobi flowerpeckers (Dicaeum kuehni) from the Wakatobi archipelago (bottom); male flowerpeckers are on the left and females on the right. The Wakatobi flowerpecker was long considered a subspecies of the grey-sided flowerpecker, but it was reclassified in 2014.Photograph: Seán B. A. Kelly, David J. Kelly, Natalie Cooper, Andi Bahrun, Kangkuso Analuddin, Nicola M. Marples

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May 14 – Sat

A view (directly overhead) of the Christ Pantocrator in the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Old City of Jerusalem. In Christian iconography, Christ Pantocrator is a translation of both YHWH Sabaoth ("Lord of Hosts") and for El Shaddai ("God Almighty"). This was one of the earliest icons of the Early Christian Church, and in Byzantine church art and architecture, a mosaic or fresco of Christ Pantokrator occupies the space in the central dome. Today Christ Pantocrator remains a central icon of the Eastern Orthodox Church.Photograph: Andrew Shiva

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May 15 – Sun

Birdy (born 1996) is an English musician, singer and songwriter. She won the music competition Open Mic UK in 2008, at the age of 12, and her debut single, a version of Bon Iver's "Skinny Love", charted all across Europe and Australia. Her self-titled debut album, Birdy, was released on 7 November 2011 to similar success. She has since released two further albums: Fire Within (2013) and Beautiful Lies (2016).Photograph: Harald Krichel

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May 16 – Mon

A NASA video showing the launch of STS-134, the penultimate mission of NASA's Space Shuttle program and the 25th and last spaceflight of Space Shuttle Endeavour. Led by the mission commander Mark Kelly, this flight delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier to the International Space Station. The first launch attempt, on 29 April 2011, was canceled due to problems with two heaters on one of the orbiter's auxiliary power units (APU); a second, successful attempt was made on 16 May 2011. The shuttle landed for the final time on 1 June 2011.Video: NASA

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May 17 – Tue

A screenshot from Charlie Murder, a 2013 action role-playing beat 'em up video game developed by Ska Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The game features five playable characters—all members of the garage punk band Charlie Murder—who fight a demonic army, raised by a former band member, in an attempt to save the world from the apocalypse. Charlie Murder has both single-player and four-player online and offline cooperative gameplay modes.Image: Ska Studios

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May 18 – Wed

The Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Aspherical is an ultra wide angle prime lens produced by Samyang Optics for the 35 mm film format. Released in 2009 as a replacement for the short-lived Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED MC Aspherical, this manual focus-only lens has an aperture ring which manually adjusts the aperture with half-stop clicks.Photograph: David Iliff

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May 19 – Thu

The azimuthal equidistant projection is an azimuthal map projection in which all points on the map are both proportionately correct distances from the center point and at the correct azimuth (direction) from the center point. Distances and directions to all places, however, are true only from the center point of projection. This projection has been used for the flag of the United Nations, for the USGS National Atlas of the United States of America, and for large-scale mapping of Micronesia, among others.Map: Strebe, using Geocart

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May 20 – Fri

The Richard's pipit (Anthus richardi) is a medium-sized passerine bird which breeds in open grasslands in northern Asia. It is a long-distance migrant moving to open lowlands in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Named after the French naturalist Monsieur Richard of Lunéville, this bird belongs to the pipit genus Anthus in the family Motacillidae. It was formerly lumped together with the Australasian, African, mountain and paddyfield pipits in a single species, though these pipits are now commonly considered to be separate species.Photograph: JJ Harrison

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May 21 – Sat

Taurus is a large and prominent constellation in the northern hemisphere's winter sky, and one of the oldest constellations. Taurus marked the location of the Sun during the spring equinox and thus influenced various bull figures in the mythologies of Ancient Sumer, Akkad, Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Taurus hosts two of the nearest open clusters to Earth, the Pleiades and the Hyades, both of which are visible to the naked eye; it also hosts the red giant Aldebaran (the brightest star in the constellation) and the supernova remnant Messier 1, more commonly known as the Crab Nebula.

This illustration comes from Urania's Mirror, a set of 32 astronomical star chart cards first published in November 1824.Lithograph: Sidney Hall; restoration: Adam Cuerden

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May 22 – Sun

Waddesdon Manor is a country house located in the Aylesbury Vale, in Buckinghamshire, England. The house was built in the Neo-Renaissance style of a French château between 1874 and 1889 for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild as a weekend residence. The last member of the Rothschild family to own Waddesdon was James de Rothschild, who bequeathed the house and its contents to the National Trust. Waddesdon Manor is now administered by a charitable trust that is overseen by Jacob Rothschild. It is one of the National Trust's most visited properties, with around 335,000 visitors annually.Photograph: David Iliff

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May 23 – Mon

The Washington Family is a life-sized group portrait of U. S. President George Washington, First Lady Martha, two of her grandchildren (George and Eleanor Parke Custis), and an enslaved servant (probably Christopher Sheels) completed by Edward Savage. Based on life studies made early in Washington's presidency, Savage began the work in New York City in 1789–90, and completed it several years later in Philadelphia, 1795–96. The painting is now at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.Painting: Edward Savage

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May 24 – Tue

A side-by-side comparison of the Aral Sea in 1989 and 2008, showing its severe shrinkage owing to poor water resource management. The Aral Sea was once the fourth-largest lake in the world. However, the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet-era irrigation projects. It had shrunk to 10% of its former size by 2007, and is still shrinking. The near-loss of the Aral Sea, which is now in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, has been considered one of the planet's most disastrous examples of poor environmental resource management.Photographs: NASA; edit: Zafiroblue05

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May 25 – Wed

A gas mask (Polish MUA model pictured) is a mask used to protect the user from inhaling airborne pollutants and toxic gases. It forms a sealed cover over the wearer's nose and mouth, but may also cover the eyes and other vulnerable soft tissues of the face. Most gas masks are also respirators, though the term gas mask is often used to refer to military equipment (e.g. a field protective mask). Gas masks do not protect from gas that the skin can absorb.Photograph: Nikodem Nijaki

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May 26 – Thu

Refunding Certificates were banknotes issued by the United States Treasury in 1879 which originally promised to pay 4% annual interest in perpetuity. Depicting Benjamin Franklin, they were issued only in the $10 denomination. The issuance of these certificates reflects the end of a coin-hoarding period that began during the American Civil War, and represented a return to public confidence in paper money.Banknote: United States Treasury; image courtesy of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution

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May 27 – Fri

Hemerocallis is a genus of plant (H. lilioasphodelus pictured) native mainly to eastern Asia and now widely naturalized. The flowers of many species are edible and are used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine.Photograph: Paolo Costa Baldi

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May 28 – Sat

The buff-banded rail (Gallirallus philippensis) is a distinctively coloured, highly dispersive, medium-sized rail of the family Rallidae. This species comprises several subspecies found throughout much of Australasia and the south-west Pacific region. A largely terrestrial bird the size of a small domestic chicken, it feeds on a range of terrestrial invertebrates and small vertebrates, seeds, fallen fruit and other vegetable matter, as well as carrion and refuse.Photograph: Toby Hudson

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May 29 – Sun

The effects of a month of forced starvation on a North Vietnamese defector who was recaptured by the Viet Cong. Individuals experiencing starvation lose substantial fat (adipose tissue) and muscle mass as the body breaks down these tissues for energy. Vitamin deficiency is another common result of starvation, often leading to anemia, beriberi, pellagra, and scurvy. The energy deficiency inherent in starvation causes fatigue and renders the victim more apathetic over time. Atrophy of the stomach weakens the perception of hunger, and victims of starvation are often unable to sense thirst.Photograph: United States Information Agency; restoration: Chris Woodrich

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May 30 – Mon

Sam Poo Kong is the oldest Chinese temple in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia. The complex was first used by the Chinese Muslim explorer Zheng He. Though Zheng's temple collapsed in a 1704 landslide, a new one was built in its place. This temple has seen several restorations, most recently from 2002 to 2005. Sam Poo Kong is now shared by Indonesians of multiple religious denominations, including Muslims and Buddhists, and ethnicities.

Shown here, from right to left, are the Tho Tee Kong Temple (Dewa Bumi Temple), Kyai Juru Mudi Temple, and the main temple.Photograph: Chris Woodrich

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May 31 – Tue

A map of the Battle of Jutland, a naval battle fought by the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet against the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet during the First World War. The only full-scale clash of battleships in the war, the Germans intended it to lure out, trap and destroy a portion of the Grand Fleet, as the German naval force was insufficient to openly engage the entire British fleet. Fourteen British and eleven German ships were sunk, and more than 8,000 people were killed. Both sides claimed victory, and dispute over the significance of the battle continues to this day.Map: Grandiose

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Picture of the day archive


Today is Wednesday, November 13, 2019; it is currently 18:41 UTC.