minnesota morton sphere

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This derelict round tank, called the 'Morton Sphere', is part of the old Gopher Ordnance Works ruins - a long abandoned World War II era gun powder factory south of the Twin Cities in Rosemount, MN. The plant just started production when the war ended in 1945 and everything was shut down.

More than you probably want to know:
The University of Minnesota took over the Gopher Ordnance Works property and renamed it ‘UMore Park’ (That's 'industrial' park and not 'play' park because a big chunk of the place is still contaminated). Currently, the U of M’s Agricultural Research Station and the Dakota County Technical College are located on part of the site.

The Morton Sphere was used to hold anhydrous ammonia during the GOW (Gopher Ordnance Works) days and later for the University’s supersonic wind tunnel research. It sits empty and rusting now.

Thanks to my very smart friend Ralph who sent me info as to why it's called a Morton Sphere; apparently a person called Pierce Morton confirmed the focus-directrix property in 1829 that has something to do with geometric conic sections that include mathematically induced round shapes called dandelin spheres. The brainiacs that created this thing probably read Pierce’s books for fun and named this sphere after him – mystery solved, thanks Ralph!!

Melissa Banaszak, Greg Lilly Photos, and 325 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. Panchut 57 months ago | reply

    wowwwww so beautiful picture;-))

  2. brooksbos 56 months ago | reply

    Superb work!

  3. Kartik J 55 months ago | reply

    Spectacular clouds and amazing details

  4. girlfrench 54 months ago | reply

    beautiful, absolutely beautiful! A++

  5. jt_photo 53 months ago | reply

    wow. that looks so sick. i really like it

  6. EarthShots.org Photo Contest 50 months ago | reply

    This is a really wonderful photo!

    I'm from a Photo of the Day contest called Earth Shots. It is a non-profit website created purely to celebrate the beauty and diversity of our planet.We would like to invite you to submit your wonderful image to our contest.

    To find out more visit www.earthshots.org/enter/ or view our Flickr profile. You can submit your photos to Earth Shots by adding them to our Flickr pool.</p

  7. Dazza450D 50 months ago | reply

    Amazing photostream.

  8. big juicy kris [deleted] 49 months ago | reply

    great shot of one of my favorite locations

  9. molokai27 [deleted] 47 months ago | reply

    Thanks for your very interesting information and the great found and shot! Just found your site and must say, it is amazing!

  10. Roolooth [deleted] 47 months ago | reply

    Interesting shot & info

  11. joeandersun 46 months ago | reply

    you find the most interesting subjects to shoot!

  12. A Brand New Minneapolis 40 months ago | reply

    Hi Dan, this shot inspired me to take these:

    Thanks, your work is amazing and an inspiration!

  13. Mark Sabanathan 39 months ago | reply

    Another great shot. Nice composition and a very atmospheric shot.

  14. pselle2010 36 months ago | reply

    what a GREAT surface!

  15. Batikart 18 months ago | reply

    Nice find and amazing clouds ... wonderful processing!

  16. Kibsee 16 months ago | reply

    Interesting capture, and great shot.

  17. -hndrk- 3 weeks ago | reply

    Reminds me of the Edgar Jacob's graphic novels with Blake and Mortimer. As a kid I devoured them...


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