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A lake (in Scotland and Ireland they can be called a loch) is an area (prototypically filled with water, also of variable size), localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land apart from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drain the lake. Lakes lie on land and are not part of the ocean, and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are also larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams, which are usually flowing. However most lakes are fed and drained by rivers and streams. Natural lakes are generally found in mountainous areas, rift zones, and areas with ongoing glaciation. Other lakes are found in endorheic basins or along the courses of mature rivers. In some parts of the world there are many lakes because of chaotic drainage patterns left over from the last Ice Age. All lakes are temporary over geologic time scales, as they will slowly fill in with sediments or spill out of the basin containing them. Many lakes are artificial a...
Night or nighttime (sp. night-time or night time) is the period of time between the sunset and the sunrise when the Sun is below the horizon. This occurs after dusk. The opposite of night is day (or "daytime" to distinguish it from "day" as used for a 24-hour period). The start and end points of time of a night vary based on factors such as season, latitude, longitude and timezone. At any given time, one side of the planet Earth is bathed in light from the Sun (the daytime) and the other side of the Earth is in the shadow caused by the Earth blocking the light of the sun. This shadow is what we call the darkness of night. Natural illumination is still provided by a combination of moonlight, planetary light, starlight, diffuse zodiacal light, gegenschein, and airglow. In some circumstances, bioluminescence, aurorae, and lightning can provide some illumination. The glow provided by artificial illumination is sometimes referred to as light pollution because it can interfere with...
Sunset or sundown is the daily disappearance of the Sun below the western horizon, as a result of Earth's rotation. The time of sunset is defined in astronomy as the moment when the trailing edge of the Sun's disk disappears below the horizon. The ray path of light from the setting Sun is highly distorted near the horizon because of atmospheric refraction, making the sunset appear to occur when the Sun’s disk is already about one diameter below the horizon. Sunset is distinct from dusk, which is the time at which the sky becomes completely dark, which occurs when the Sun is approximately eighteen degrees below the horizon. The period between sunset and dusk is called twilight. Locations north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle experience no sunset or sunrise at least one day of the year, when the polar day or the polar night persists continuously for 24 hours. Sunset creates unique atmospheric conditions such as the often intense orange and red colors of t...
The sky (or celestial dome) is everything that lies above the surface of the Earth, including the atmosphere and outer space. In the field of astronomy, the sky is also called the celestial sphere. This is viewed from Earth's surface as an imaginary dome where the sun, stars, planets, and the moon are seen to be traveling. The celestial sphere is conventionally divided into regions called constellations. Usually, the term sky is used informally as the point of view from the Earth's surface; however, the meaning and usage can vary. In some cases, such as in discussing the weather, the sky refers to only the lower, more dense portions of the atmosphere. During daylight, the sky appears to be blue because air scatters blue sunlight more than it scatters red. At night, the sky appears to be a mostly dark surface or region scattered with stars. During the day, the Sun can be seen in the sky unless obscured by clouds. In the night sky (and to some extent during the day) the moon, p...
A building is a man-made structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of shapes, sizes and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a wide number of factors, from building materials available, to weather conditions, to land prices, ground conditions, specific uses and aesthetic reasons. To better understand the term building compare the list of nonbuilding structures. Buildings serve several needs of society – primarily as shelter from weather, security, living space, privacy, to store belongings, and to comfortably live and work. A building as a shelter represents a physical division of the human habitat (a place of comfort and safety) and the outside (a place that at times may be harsh and harmful). Ever since the first cave paintings, buildings have also become objects or canvasess of artistic expression. In recent years, interest in sustainable planning and building p...
A city is a large and permanent human settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town in general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law. Cities generally have complex systems for sanitation, utilities, land usage, housing, and transportation. The concentration of development greatly facilitates interaction between people and businesses, benefiting both parties in the process, but it also presents challenges to managing urban growth. A big city or metropolis usually has associated suburbs and exurbs. Such cities are usually associated with metropolitan areas and urban areas, creating numerous business commuters traveling to urban centers for employment. Once a city expands far enough to reach another city, this region can be deemed a conurbation or megalopolis. In terms of population, the largest city proper is Shanghai, while the fastest growing is Dubai.