It’s a clear night here in Norfolk, so here’s a shot – 30 seconds at 1600 ISO – of Vega, the rest of the Lyra constellation and the Milky Way (bottom of frame).
No apologies for the size of the picture!
My telescope is getting its (sadly) annual run out but I need not have bothered this week – as despite clear skies the Moon is also about (full Moon is on 1 August) – and that makes even setting up the telescope difficult: you can pick out Vega as a bright star in your scope, but Deneb? Even it is being drowned in moonlight.
Maybe next week will be clear too and I can get a good run: maybe even getting to see Uranus (no sniggering at the back), which is viewable right now, though low. Or even, if luck holds, Neptune.
But leaves are turning yellow as the seasonal clock moves on, no matter what the temporary weather is like.
As winter approaches the chlorophyll in the leaves diminishes and pre-existing yellow and orange pigments become more prominent. But many plants also manufacture a red pigment called anthocyanin.
Anthocyanin protects leaves for longer and minimises insect damage.
And here’s the interesting bit…
In North America more insect species survived the ice age – they could simply move south when the ice advanced. In Europe ice advanced from both the north and the Alps in the south, so exterminating insect species.
Hence trees native to Northern Europe are adapted to produce less anthocyanin than those from North America.