NIGHTLIGHTS OF THE UNIVERSE

Sources of Light

Image Credit & Copyright: Andy Hutchinson.

Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia is one of life’s treasures at any time with its amazing beaches, endless sun and sea life. But when the Sun goes down the view changes magnificently as the light of life and the universe appear together like only a few places on Earth can provide.

In this beautiful image captured by Andy Hutchinson, the Milky Way reaches high across the night sky while below; down here, phytoplankton seemingly attempt to recreate the vista in the sky for themselves; the shoreline of their own personal cosmic ocean if you will.

Yes, that’s correct; the blue light aglow along the shoreline in these images is the light of life itself. It’s not a hotel or destination ambiance created to attract tourists. This light was created over the millennia by the universe itself manifest into millions of tiny bioluminescent phytoplankton. These phytoplankton, known as dinoflagellates chemically react to their surroundings when disturbed by predators, a passing boat, people swimming or crashing waves. If you’re careful you can see glowing outlines around fish and swimming humans alike. When concentrations are high enough even your footprints as you walk along the beach will glow behind you. These high concentrations of dinoflagellates primarily occur during summer months.

Just a beautiful scene and thanks to Andy for a brilliant capture. For more of his work see the links below and the last link is a University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) page that goes into more detail as to how these reactions take place.

Andy Hutchinson Photography: http://andyhutchinson.com.au/

Andy Hutchinson page for these images: http://andyhutchinson.com.au/some-kind-of-blue-bioluminescent-plankton-light-up-jervis-bay/

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/repomonkey/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyhutchinson

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andyhutchinsonphotography

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+AndyhutchinsonAu

UCSB Scienceline Bioluminescence: http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=3231

Stitched Panorama

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