Earth Science Image of the day

The Bismantova Stone - April 09, 2020

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The bismantova stone_2020_pierluigi giacobazzi

Photographer: Pierluigi Giacobazzi
Summary Author: Pierluigi Giacobazzi 

With its peculiar size and shape, the Bismantova Stone (Pietra di Bismantova) can be considered the natural jewel of the entire Reggio Emilia Apennines, in northern Italy. The formation of the rocky massif dates back to the Miocene epoch (16-20 million years ago) when layers of bio-calcarenites resting on a base of clay marls formed in a shallow, tropical marine environment. Standing 985 ft (300 m) above the highlands that form its base -- it's 0.62 mi long (1 km) and 787 ft wide (240 m) --  the Bismantova Stone represents a massive example of residual erosion.

To date, several minerals (particularly quartz), mollusk shells, calcareous algae, sponge spicule and fish teeth (mostly from sharks) have been found incorporated both on its walls and on the fallen rocks surrounding this monolith. The photo above shows its south-side, lit by the almost full Moon. Photo taken on January 8, 2020, during a crystal-clear winter evening, one hour after the end of the astronomical twilight.

Photo Details: Camera: NIKON D750; Software: Adobe Photoshop 21.1 (Macintosh); Exposure Time: 13.000s; Aperture: ƒ/2.8; ISO equivalent: 400; Focal Length (35mm): 24; Lens: 24.0 mm f/1.4. Taken at 6.43 p.m. UTC.

 EPOD is a service of NASA's Earth Science Division and the EOS Project Science Office (at Goddard Space Flight Center)
and the Universities Space Research Association.

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