Wikipedia:Picture of the day/February 2016

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These featured pictures have been chosen to appear as picture of the day (POTD) on the English Wikipedia's Main Page, as scheduled below. Individual sections for each day on this page can be linked to with the day number of the month as the anchor name.

You can add an automatically updating POTD template to your user 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.Purge server cache


February 1

Portrait of an African Man

Portrait of an African Man is a painting by the Netherlandish Renaissance painter Jan Mostaert from between c. 1520 and 1530. The exact subject of the painting has long been unclear. Suggestions include that the subject is Christophle le More (Christopher the Moor), a black archer at the court of Emperor Charles V, or Saint Maurice, who was typically portrayed as black. If it is a portrait of a specific real individual, it appears to be the earliest known portrait of a black man in European painting.

Painting: Jan Mostaert


February 2

SMS Kaiserin Augusta

SMS Kaiserin Augusta was a unique protected cruiser built for the German Imperial Navy in the early 1890s. Named for Empress Augusta, she was laid down in 1890, launched in January 1892, and completed in November of that year. Between 1897 and 1902 Kaiserin Augusta served primarily in the East Asia Squadron, assisting in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion. She then underwent a five-year overhaul, after which she went into reserve. Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Kaiserin Augusta was mobilized as a gunnery training ship, serving in this role until she was sold for scrapping in October 1919 and broken up.

Lithograph: Carl Saltzmann; restoration: Adam Cuerden


February 3

Abhinaya

Shrinika performing Abhinaya, the art of expression in Indian aesthetics, understood as "leading an audience towards" the experience (bhava) of a sentiment (rasa). The concept, derived from Bharata Muni's Natya Shastra, is an integral part of all Indian classical dance styles.

Photograph: Augustus Binu


February 4

Delphinus, Sagitta, Aquila, and Antinous

A plate from Urania's Mirror depicting the constellations Delphinus (the dolphin), Sagitta (the arrow), and Aquila (the eagle), as well as the former constellation Antinous (according to legend, a young man who saved Hadrian from drowning).

Illustration: Sidney Hall; restoration: Adam Cuerden


February 5

Glaucus atlanticus

Glaucus atlanticus is a species of small, blue sea slug. This pelagic aeolid nudibranch floats upside down, using the surface tension of the water to stay up, and is carried along by the winds and ocean currents. The blue side of their body faces upwards, blending in with the blue of the water, while the grey side faces downwards, blending in with the silvery surface of the sea. G. atlanticus feeds on other pelagic creatures, including the Portuguese man o' war.

Photograph: Taro Taylor; edit: Dapete


February 6

Windmills

A windmill is a mill that converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. Traditional windmills were often used to mill grain, pump water, or both. Most modern windmills take the form of wind turbines used to generate electricity, or windpumps used to pump water, either for land drainage or to extract groundwater.

Here, the smock mill Goliath is viewed in front of the wind farm Growind in Eemshaven in the Netherlands.

Photograph: Uberprutser


February 7

Streatham portrait

The "Streatham" portrait is an oil painting on panel from the 1590s believed to be a later copy of a portrait of the English noblewoman Lady Jane Grey dating to her lifetime (1536/1537–54). It is in poor condition and damaged, as if it has been attacked. Although of historical interest, it is generally considered to be of poor artistic quality. As of January 2015 the portrait is in Room 3 of the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Painting: Unknown


February 8

Jules Verne

Jules Verne (1828–1905) was a French novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his adventure novels and his profound influence on the literary genre of science fiction. Trained to be a lawyer, he left the profession early in life to write for magazines and the stage. His collaboration with the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel led to the creation of the Voyages extraordinaires, a widely popular series of scrupulously researched adventure novels including Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873).

Photograph: Nadar; restoration: Jdcollins13, Centpacrr, and Quibik


February 9

Black-naped monarch

The black-naped monarch (Hypothymis azurea) is a slim and agile passerine bird belonging to the family of monarch flycatchers. They are sexually dimorphic: males have a distinctive black patch on the back of the head and a narrow black half collar ("necklace") while females are duller and lack the black markings. Their call is similar to that of the Asian paradise flycatcher. In tropical forest habitats, pairs may join mixed-species foraging flocks. Populations differ slightly in size and plumage colour.

Photograph: JJ Harrison


February 10

Van der Grinten projection

The van der Grinten projection is a compromise map projection that is neither equal-area nor conformal. It projects the entire Earth into a circle, though the polar regions are subject to extreme distortion. The projection was the first of four proposed by Alphons J. van der Grinten in 1904, and, unlike perspective projections, is an arbitrary geometric construction on the plane. It was adopted as the National Geographic Society's reference map of the world from 1922 until 1988.

Map: Strebe, using Geocart


February 11

Phalanta phalantha

Phalanta phalantha is a sun-loving butterfly of the nymphalid family. It is found in Sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia (including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Burma).

Photograph: Muhammad Mahdi Karim


February 12

Sega Genesis and Sega Mega Drive

The Mega Drive (top), known as the Sega Genesis (bottom) in North America, is a 16-bit home video game console developed and sold by Sega Enterprises, Ltd. Using hardware adapted from Sega's System 16 arcade board, it was first released in 1988 and supported a library of more than 900 games. Though sales were poor in Japan, the system achieved considerable success in North America, Brazil, and Europe. The release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System two years after the Genesis resulted in a fierce battle for market share in the United States and Europe that has often been termed as a "console war" by journalists and historians.

Photograph: Evan Amos


February 13

Corpus Christi College

Corpus Christi College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, in England. The sixth-oldest college in Cambridge, it is the only one established by the townspeople. It is among Cambridge's wealthier colleges, as well as one of the more academically successful.

Photograph: David Iliff


February 14

Two Lovers

Two Lovers is a 1630 painting in miniature by the Persian artist Reza Abbasi towards the end of his career. Using tempera and gold on paper, Abbasi depicted two lovers in a sensual embrace, becoming, according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, "inextricably bound together, merged volumes confined within one outline."

Painting: Reza Abbasi


February 15

Jefferson Memorial

The Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial in Washington, D.C. designed by the architect John Russell Pope and built by the Philadelphia contractor John McShain from 1939 to 1943. It is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), one of the most important of the American Founding Fathers and the nation's third president. It is managed by the National Park Service.

Photograph: Joe Ravi


February 16

SMS Kaiser Wilhelm II

SMS Kaiser Wilhelm II was the second ship of the Kaiser Friedrich III class of pre-dreadnought battleships. Commissioned into the German fleet in 1902, she was armed with a main battery of four 24-centimeter (9.4 in) guns and powered by triple expansion engines. Initially the flagship, she was replaced by the SMS Deutschland in 1906 and decommissioned. With the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II was brought back into active duty as a coastal defense ship, but was withdrawn in February 1915. The ship was stricken from the navy list in 1918 and sold for scrap in the early 1920s.

Lithograph: Hugo Graf; restoration: Adam Cuerden


February 17

Browsing

Browsing is a type of herbivory in which a herbivore (or, more narrowly defined, a folivore) feeds on leaves, soft shoots, or fruits of high growing, generally woody, plants such as shrubs. In this photograph, a chital (Axis axis) is attempting to browse at Nagarhole National Park.

Photograph: Yathin S Krishnappa


February 18

The Fall of Phaeton

The Fall of Phaeton is a painting by the Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens depicting the Greek myth of Phaeton, the son of the sun god Apollo. In the myth, Phaeton received permission to drive the Sun chariot around Earth, but was unable to control the chariot and risked incinerating the world. Zeus was thus forced to kill him.

Rubens painted The Fall of Phaeton in Rome c. 1604/1605; the painting was probably reworked later, around 1606/1608. It is housed in the National Gallery of Art.

Painting: Peter Paul Rubens


February 19

Chosen at random from a selection of two; all alternatives shown below

Burning of the Trade Unions Building

The burning of the Trade Unions Building—used as the headquarters of the Euromaidan movement—during the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, following a failed attempt by the Ukranian police to capture the building. After the fire, the damaged building was covered with large canvas screens on two sides with the words "Glory to Ukraine" printed on them in large letters.

Photograph: Amakuha

Burning of the Trade Unions Building

The burning of the Trade Unions Building—used as the headquarters of the Euromaidan movement—during the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, following a failed attempt by the Ukranian police to capture the building. After the fire, the damaged building was covered with large canvas screens on two sides with the words "Glory to Ukraine" printed on them in large letters.

Photograph: Amakuha


February 20

Lesser sand plover

The lesser sand plover (Charadrius mongolus) is a small wader in the plover family of birds. This highly migratory species feeds on insects, crustaceans and annelid worms.

Photograph: JJ Harrison


February 21

New Jersey pound

A twelve-shilling note from the Province of New Jersey, dated 25 March 1776. The New Jersey pound was a type of colonial currency used in New Jersey until 1793, when it was replaced by the U.S. dollar.

Banknote: Province of New Jersey and I. Collins (printer); image courtesy of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution


February 22

Darwinius

Darwinius is a genus of strepsirrhine primates from the middle Eocene epoch. The only known fossil, a juvenile female named Ida, was discovered in 1983 in the Messel pit, Germany. After the amateur excavation the fossil was divided into a slab and partial counterslab, which were sold separately and not reassembled until 2007. Two years later, the species was formally described.

Photograph: Jens L. Franzen, Philip D. Gingerich, Jörg Habersetzer1, Jørn H. Hurum, Wighart von Koenigswald, B. Holly Smith


February 23

Aries

Aries and Musca Borealis as depicted in Urania's Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c. 1825. Aries, one of the constellations of the zodiac, is located in the northern celestial hemisphere between Pisces and Taurus. Its name is Latin for ram, an animal it has represented since late Babylonian times. Aries is one of the 48 constellations described by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy; it remains one of the 88 modern constellations, while Musca Borealis does not.

Illustration: Sidney Hall; restoration: Adam Cuerden


February 24

Howard Thurston

Howard Thurston (1869–1936) was a stage magician from Columbus, Ohio. After an unhappy childhood, he ran away to join the circus, where his future partner Harry Kellar also performed. Thurston was deeply impressed after he attended magician Alexander Herrmann's magic show and was determined to equal his work. He eventually became the most famous magician of his time, with a show so large that eight train cars were required to transport it.

Lithograph: Strobridge Litho. Co.; restoration: Adam Cuerden

Recently featured:

February 25

Mako shark jaw

The jaw of a shortfin mako shark. Cartilaginous fishes such as sharks and rays have one set of oral jaws made mainly of cartilage; unlike bony fishes, they do not have pharyngeal jaws. Generally fish jaws are articulated and oppose vertically, comprising an upper and lower jaw. Cartilaginous fishes grow multiple sets of ordered teeth, replacing them as they wear.

Photograph: Didier Descouens

Recently featured:

February 26

Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo (1802–1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement who is considered one of the greatest and best-known French writers. He is recognized for his poetry, including Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles, as well as the novels The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1831) and Les Misérables (1862). Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo later changed his views and became a passionate supporter of republicanism; his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and the artistic trends of his time. His legacy has been honoured in many ways; for some years his portrait appeared on the 5-franc banknote.

Photograph: Étienne Carjat; restoration: Scewing


February 27

Cylindrical equal-area projection

The cylindrical equal-area projection is a family of cylindrical, equal area map projections including the Gall–Peters, Behrmann, Lambert projections, and others. Cylindrical projections stretch distances east-west as a function of latitude; as such, cylindrical equal-area projections have a north-south compression precisely the reciprocal of east-west stretching. The various specializations of this projection differ only in the ratio of the vertical to horizontal axis.

Map: Strebe, using Geocart


February 28

Peace of Münster

The 1648 ratification of the Peace of Münster, as painted the same year by Gerard ter Borch. With this treaty, which was reached after seven years of negotiations, Spain formally recognized the independence of the United Netherlands. The treaty contributed to the Peace of Westphalia, which ended both the Thirty Years' War and the Eighty Years' War.

Painting: Gerard ter Borch


February 29

Lagoon Nebula

The Lagoon Nebula is a giant interstellar cloud in the constellation Sagittarius. It is classified as an emission nebula and as a H II region. Discovered by Giovanni Hodierna before 1654, it is one of only two star-forming nebulae faintly visible to the naked eye from mid-northern latitudes. Seen with binoculars, it appears as a distinct oval cloudlike patch with a definite core. In the foreground is the open cluster NGC 6530.

Photograph: ESO/VPHAS+ team


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