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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...
The sea, the world ocean, or simply the ocean, is the connected body of salty water that covers 70.8% of the Earth's surface. The sea moderates the Earth's climate and has important roles in the water cycle, carbon cycle, and nitrogen cycle. Although the sea has been travelled and explored since prehistory, the modern scientific study of the sea—oceanography—dates broadly to the British Challenger expedition of the 1870s. The sea is conventionally divided into four or five large sections, such as the Pacific, called oceans while smaller sections, such as the Mediterranean, are known as seas. Owing to the present state of continental drift, the Northern Hemisphere is now fairly equally divided between land and sea (a ratio of about 2:3) but the South is overwhelmingly oceanic (1:4.7). Salinity in the open ocean is generally in a narrow band around 3.5% by mass, although this can vary in more landlocked waters, near the mouths of large rivers, or at great depths. About 85% of the solids
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...
A beach is a landform along the coast of an ocean, sea, lake, or river. It usually consists of loose particles, which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles, or cobblestones. The particles comprising a beach are occasionally biological in origin, such as mollusc shells or coralline algae. Some beaches have man-made infrastructure, such as lifeguard posts, changing rooms, and showers. They may also have hospitality venues (such as resorts, camps, hotels, and restaurants) nearby. Wild beaches, also known as undeveloped or undiscovered beaches, are not developed in this manner. Wild beaches can be valued for their untouched beauty and preserved nature. Beaches typically occur in areas along the coast where wave or current action deposits and reworks sediments.
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles. It is defined by size, being finer than gravel and coarser than silt. Sand can also refer to a textural class of soil or soil type; i.e. a soil containing more than 85% sand-sized particles (by mass). The composition of sand varies, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal settings is silica (silicon dioxide, or SiO2), usually in the form of quartz. The second most common type of sand is calcium carbonate, for example aragonite, which has mostly been created, over the past half billion years, by various forms of life, like coral and shellfish. It is, for example, the primary form of sand apparent in areas where reefs have dominated the ecosystem for millions of years like the Caribbean.
In meteorology, a cloud is a visible mass of liquid droplets or frozen crystals made of water or various chemicals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of a planetary body. These suspended particles are also known as aerosols and are studied in the cloud physics branch of meteorology. Terrestrial cloud formation is the result of air in any of the lower three principal layers of Earth's atmosphere (collectively known as the homosphere) becoming saturated due to either or both of two processes: cooling of the air and adding water vapor. With sufficient saturation in the troposphere, precipitation will fall to the surface; an exception is virga, which evaporates before reaching the surface. Clouds that form at very high altitudes in the stratosphere and mesosphere do not contain sufficient moisture to generate any outfall of droplets or crystals. Clouds in the troposphere, the atmospheric layer closest to Earth's surface, have Latin names due to the universal adaptation...
A ship is a large buoyant watercraft. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size, shape and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing, entertainment, public safety, and warfare. Historically, a "ship" was a sailing vessel with at least three square-rigged masts and a full bowsprit. Ships and boats have developed alongside humanity. In armed conflict and in daily life they have become an integral part of modern commercial and military systems. Fishing boats are used by millions of fishermen throughout the world. Military forces operate vessels for naval warfare and to transport and support forces ashore. Commercial vessels, nearly 35,000 in number, carried 7.4 billion tons of cargo in 2007. As of 2011, there are about 104,304 ships with IMO numbers in the world. Ships were always a key in history's great explorations and scientific and technological devel...