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Photographer's Note

In the last image I uploaded, Straits of Gibraltar, I was standing 430m (1400 ft) below this point, admiring the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Having taken a cable car to the "Top of the Rock," in the present photo I could see the Barbary Apes who had declared squatters' rights. I could also gaze off to the left and make out the city and harbor, and on the right, the shear drop and the beach. I could also hear the howling winds... and actually see the mist and clouds forming.

As air rushes upwards along the steeper sides of a mountain, it cools rapidly and condensation begins to take place around particles of dust suspended in the air. This is the simple explanation of physicists for the formation of clouds hanging above peaks of mountains, as well as the thick fog seen here.

Cloud Chamber. Charles Thomson Rees Wilson (1869–1959), a Scottish physicist, is credited with inventing the cloud chamber. Inspired in seeing clouds hovering around mountain tops of the while working on the summit of Ben Nevis in 1894, he began to develop expansion chambers for studying cloud formation and optical phenomena in moist air. He pursued the application of this discovery and perfected the first cloud chamber in 1911. In Wilson's original chamber the air inside the sealed device was saturated with water vapor, then a diaphragm was used to expand the air inside the chamber (adiabatic expansion). This cools the air and water vapor starts to condense. When an ionizing particle passes through the chamber, water vapor condenses on the resulting ions and the trail of the particle becomes visible in the vapor cloud. Cosmic radiation was first observed using Professor Wilson's invention, earning for Wilson the 1927 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work.

An unusually good photo of the Rock of Gibraltar on a clear day was posted by Paul VDV, Solid as a Rock. To get a sense of the topography, our photos could be viewed together.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6057 W: 463 N: 10511] (35365)
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