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Articles Posted by SunkenCiv

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Cave with Aurora Skylight

    07/22/2014 4:05:06 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | July 22, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Yes, but have you ever seen aurora from a cave? To capture this fascinating juxtaposition between below and above, astrophotographer Bjargmundsson spent much of a night alone in the kilometer-long Raufarhólshellir lava cave in Iceland during late March. There, he took separate images of three parts of the cave using a strobe for illumination. He also took a deep image of the sky to capture faint aurora, and digitally combined the four images later. The 4600-year old lava tube has several skylights under which stone rubble and snow have accumulated. Oh -- the person standing on each mound --...
  • Researchers Find Rare Coin, Other Artifacts at Bethsaida Dig Site

    07/22/2014 3:04:14 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    University of Nebraska Omaha ^ | July 17, 2014 | Charley Reed
    The highlight of the excavation was the discovery of a Judea Capta coin, which was minted by Roman Emporor Domitian during his reign of 81 – 96 CE in honor of the conquest of Judea and the destruction of Jersusalem in 70 CE by his father, Vespasian, and brother, Titus. Christie Cobb, a doctoral student at Drew University in New Jersey, discovered the coin. There are only 48 other versions of this coin that have been found, and fewer still at Biblical sites such as Bethsaida. “The coin confirms other ceramic data about the date of the large Roman period...
  • Violence and climate change in prehistoric Egypt and Sudan

    07/21/2014 10:50:52 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    British Museum ^ | Monday, July 14, 2014 | Renée Friedman, curator
    Among the most exciting of the new acquisitions are the materials from the site of Jebel Sahaba, now in northern Sudan, which were donated to the Museum by Dr Fred Wendorf in 2002. Excavating here in 1965–66, as part of the UNESCO-funded campaign to salvage sites destined to be flooded by the construction of the Aswan High Dam, Dr Wendorf found a cemetery (site 117) containing at least 61 individuals dating back to about 13,000 years ago. This discovery was of great significance for two reasons. First, as a designated graveyard, evidently used over several generations, it is one of...
  • Archaeologists Uncover Lost Population of Ancient Amarna

    07/21/2014 9:34:54 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | unattributed
    ...the burials of the deceased of the estimated 30,000 commoners and laborers remained elusive – until 2001, when archaeologist Barry Kemp of the University of Cambridge began to see the first signs. Kemp has directed excavations and surveys at Amarna for the Egypt Exploration Society since 1977. “The puzzle seems now to have been solved,” says Kemp. “ It has come about through the desert GPS survey begun in 2001 and continued in subsequent years. First came the discovery of two cemeteries (clearly robbed) of what must be relatively poor graves on the flat desert not far from tomb no....
  • Romanian cave holds some of the oldest human footprints

    07/21/2014 9:29:57 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    Science News ^ | July 17, 2014 | Bruce Bower
    About 400 footprints were first discovered in the cave in 1965. Scientists initially attributed the impressions to a man, woman and child who lived 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. But radiocarbon measurements of two cave bear bones excavated just below the footprints now indicate that Homo sapiens made these tracks around 36,500 years ago, say anthropologist David Webb of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania and his colleagues. Analyses of 51 footprints that remain — cave explorers and tourists have destroyed the rest — indicate that six or seven individuals, including at least one child, entered the cave after a flood had...
  • Report: IDF Destroys Iranian Missiles Meant for Hamas

    07/21/2014 9:04:23 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    Virtual Jerusalem ^ | Monday, July 21, 2014 | israelnn.com
    A report in London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Arab Monday said that Israeli planes over the weekend destroyed a warehouse in Sudan that was holding a large number of long-range Iranian missiles. The missiles belonged to Hamas, and were to be used against Israel after they were smuggled into Gaza. According to the report, eyewitnesses said they saw a "huge explosion" after planes flew over the building. Six people were injured in the attack, witnesses said. The resulting blaze required the services of large numbers of firefighters, they added. Sudanese officials confirmed that there was an explosion, but denied any connection...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Spacecraft Rosetta Shows Comet has Two Components

    07/21/2014 8:58:06 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | July 21, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why does this comet's nucleus have two components? The surprising discovery that Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko has a double nucleus came late last week as ESA's robotic interplanetary spacecraft Rosetta continued its approach toward the ancient comet's core. Speculative ideas on how the double core was created include, currently, that Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko is actually the result of the merger of two comets, that the comet is a loose pile of rubble pulled apart by tidal forces, that ice evaporation on the comet has been asymmetric, or that the comet has undergone some sort of explosive event. Pictured above, the comet's unusual...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Solar Filament Erupts

    07/21/2014 8:53:26 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | July 20, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happened to our Sun? Nothing very unusual -- it just threw a filament. Toward the middle of 2012, a long standing solar filament suddenly erupted into space producing an energetic Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). The filament had been held up for days by the Sun's ever changing magnetic field and the timing of the eruption was unexpected. Watched closely by the Sun-orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, the resulting explosion shot electrons and ions into the Solar System, some of which arrived at Earth three days later and impacted Earth's magnetosphere, causing visible aurorae. Loops of plasma surrounding an active...
  • Israel pulls diplomats from Turkey after missions attacked

    07/19/2014 3:52:12 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    AFP ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | unattributed
    Israel on Friday ordered some of its diplomatic staff in Turkey to leave the country for security reasons, after protesters angered by its assault on Gaza sought to storm Israeli embassy buildings. Turkish protesters overnight tried to break into the ambassador's residence in Ankara as well as the consulate in Istanbul, with the diplomatic controversy over the Gaza assault risking a new crisis in relations between Turkey and the Jewish state. "Foreign Minister (Avigdor) Lieberman issued a statement... following the demonstrations and instructed the Israeli consulate and embassy to reduce their diplomatic staff in Turkey," an Israeli embassy spokesman told...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Alicante Beach Moonrise

    07/19/2014 4:44:12 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | July 19, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In this beach and skyscape from Alicante, Spain, July's Full Moon shines in the dark blue twilight, its reflection coloring the Mediterranean waters. Near the horizon, the moonlight is reddened by its long path through the atmosphere, but this Full Moon was also near perigee, the closest point to Earth along the Moon's elliptical orbit. That made it a Supermoon, a mighty 14% larger and 30% brighter than a Full Moon at apogee, the Moon's farthest orbital swing. Of course, most warm summer nights are a good time to enjoy a family meal oceanside, but what fish do you...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Ou4: A Giant Squid Nebula

    07/19/2014 4:41:59 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | July 18, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A mysterious, squid-like apparition, this nebula is very faint, but also very large in planet Earth's sky. In the mosaic image, composed with narrowband data from the 2.5 meter Isaac Newton Telescope, it spans some 2.5 full moons toward the constellation Cepheus. Recently discovered by French astro-imager Nicolas Outters, the remarkable nebula's bipolar shape and emission are consistent with it being a planetary nebula, the gaseous shroud of a dying sun-like star, but its actual distance and origin are unknown. A new investigation suggests Ou4 really lies within the emission region SH2-129 some 2,300 light-years away. Consistent with that...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- 3D Homunculus Nebula

    07/19/2014 4:36:33 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | July 17, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: If you're looking for something to print with that new 3D printer, try out a copy of the Homunculus Nebula. The dusty, bipolar cosmic cloud is around 1 light-year across but is slightly scaled down for printing to about 1/4 light-nanosecond or 80 millimeters. The full scale Homunculus surrounds Eta Carinae, famously unstable massive stars in a binary system embedded in the extensive Carina Nebula about 7,500 light-years distant. Between 1838 and 1845, Eta Carinae underwent the Great Eruption becoming the second brightest star in planet Earth's night sky and ejecting the Homunculus Nebula. The new 3D model of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Moon Eclipses Saturn

    07/16/2014 2:18:00 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | July 16, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What happened to half of Saturn? Nothing other than Earth's Moon getting in the way. As pictured above on the far right, Saturn is partly eclipsed by a dark edge of a Moon itself only partly illuminated by the Sun. This year the orbits of the Moon and Saturn have led to an unusually high number of alignments of the ringed giant behind Earth's largest satellite. Technically termed an occultation, the above image captured one such photogenic juxtaposition from Buenos Aires, Argentina that occurred early last week. Visible to the unaided eye but best viewed with binoculars, there are...
  • Chalcolithic catastrophe on the Mondsee

    07/15/2014 4:22:50 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | Saturday, July 5, 2014 | Alexander Binsteiner
    This is what may have happened around 3,200 BC on the Lake of Mondsee (Lake Constance), resulting in the exodus of a metalworking community that lived there. When the site of this particular settlement was excavated in the 19th century, 595 stone axes and studded battleaxes, 451 arrowheads along with 12 copper axes and six daggers were discovered. These items represented highly sought-after status symbols, and would never have been left behind intentionally, unless of course the settlement had been abandoned as the result of a disaster. Well preserved foods such as charred hazelnuts, grain and pieces of apples were...
  • Positioning the Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) Hunted by the Tyrolean Iceman...

    07/15/2014 3:34:24 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    PLOSone ^ | July 02, 2014 | Cristina Olivieri et al (see below)
    Abstract -- In the last years several phylogeographic studies of both extant and extinct red deer populations have been conducted. Three distinct mitochondrial lineages (western, eastern and North-African/Sardinian) have been identified reflecting different glacial refugia and postglacial recolonisation processes. However, little is known about the genetics of the Alpine populations and no mitochondrial DNA sequences from Alpine archaeological specimens are available. Here we provide the first mitochondrial sequences of an Alpine Copper Age Cervus elaphus. DNA was extracted from hair shafts which were part of the remains of the clothes of the glacier mummy known as the Tyrolean Iceman or...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Blue Bridge of Stars between Cluster Galaxies

    07/15/2014 2:02:13 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | July 15, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why is there a blue bridge of stars across the center of this galaxy cluster? First and foremost the cluster, designated SDSS J1531+3414, contains many large yellow elliptical galaxies. The cluster's center, as pictured above by the Hubble Space Telescope, is surrounded by many unusual, thin, and curving blue filaments that are actually galaxies far in the distance whose images have become magnified and elongated by the gravitational lens effect of the massive cluster. More unusual, however, is a squiggly blue filament near the two large elliptical galaxies at the cluster center. Close inspection of the filament indicates that...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Auroras over Northern Canada

    07/14/2014 4:45:11 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | July 14, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Gusting solar winds and blasts of charged particles from the Sun resulted in several rewarding nights last December for those anticipating auroras. The above image captured dramatic auroras stretching across a sky near the town of Yellowknife in northern Canada. The auroras were so bright that they not only inspired awe, but were easily visible on an image exposure of only 1.3 seconds. A video taken concurrently shows the dancing sky lights evolving in real time as tourists, many there just to see auroras, respond with cheers. The conical dwellings on the image right are teepees, while far in...
  • Surprising Support for Israel, not Hamas

    07/13/2014 8:05:20 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    DP's own website ^ | July 13, 2014 | Daniel Pipes
    The current Hamas assault on Israel has lured the predictable coven of Palestinian nationalists, Islamists, Leftists, and antisemites from the woodwork to bash the Jewish state. But, more surprisingly, Israel is getting support, or at least restraint and fairness, from unexpected sources: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon... Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh... François Hollande, president of France... The BBC... CNN's Jake Tapper... Azza Sami, Al-Ahram: "Thank you Netanyahu and may God give us more like you to destroy Hamas." Amr Mustafa, actor, addressing Palestinians in the Gaza Strip... Al-Bashayer newspaper... Hamdi Bakhit, a former general: Israel should re-occupy the Gaza...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Planetary Nebula NGC 2818 from Hubble

    07/13/2014 6:09:41 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | July 13, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: NGC 2818 is a beautiful planetary nebula, the gaseous shroud of a dying sun-like star. It could well offer a glimpse of the future that awaits our own Sun after spending another 5 billion years or so steadily using up hydrogen at its core, and then finally helium, as fuel for nuclear fusion. Curiously, NGC 2818 seems to lie within an open star cluster, NGC 2818A, that is some 10,000 light-years distant toward the southern constellation Pyxis (the Compass). At the distance of the star cluster, the nebula would be about 4 light-years across. But accurate velocity measurements show...
  • Egyptian forces seize rockets being smuggled from Gaza to Sinai

    07/12/2014 10:41:25 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    Israel Behind the News ^ | Friday, July 11, 2014 | Ahram Online
    Egyptian forces seize rockets being smuggled from Gaza to Sinai 20 Grad rockets and their launching bases were seized after a clash with militants in Rafah. Egyptian security forces have intercepted a number of Grad rockets being smuggled from the Gaza Strip through cross-border tunnels into Egypt’s Sinai, MENA reported on Friday. Security forces thwarted the smuggling of 20 rockets and launching bases when they clashed with Egyptian and Palestinian Islamist militants at the opening of one of the tunnels in Egypt's border city of Rafah, security sources told the state news agency. Around one hundred people have been killed...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- SN 1006 Supernova Remnant

    07/12/2014 4:20:54 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | July 12, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A new star, likely the brightest supernova in recorded human history, lit up planet Earth's sky in the year 1006 AD. The expanding debris cloud from the stellar explosion, found in the southerly constellation of Lupus, still puts on a cosmic light show across the electromagnetic spectrum. In fact, this composite view includes X-ray data in blue from the Chandra Observatory, optical data in yellowish hues, and radio image data in red. Now known as the SN 1006 supernova remnant, the debris cloud appears to be about 60 light-years across and is understood to represent the remains of a...
  • Cursed Warship Revealed With Treasure Onboard

    07/10/2014 10:31:59 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    National Geographic ^ | July 7, 2014 | Jane J. Lee
    It was the largest and fiercest warship in the world, named the Mars for the Roman god of war, but it went up in a ball of flames in a brutal naval battle in 1564, consigning 800 to 900 Swedish and German sailors and a fortune in gold and silver coins to the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Now, a few years after the ship's discovery, researchers have concluded that the one-of-a-kind ship is also the best preserved ship of its kind, representing the first generation of Europe's big, three-masted warships. Naval historians know a lot about 17th-century ships, but...
  • What Rome's Arch-Enemies Wore Into Battle

    07/10/2014 10:15:51 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    Forbes ^ | July 8, 2014 | Paul Rodgers
    Naval archaeologists think they’ve found the only example of armor from Carthage to survive the destruction of the city-state by Rome in 146BC. The helmet, recovered from the site of the Battle of the Egadi Islands, northwest of Sicily, is dramatically different from the Celtic style worn across Europe, popularly known as a Roman helmet. It appears to have a nose guard, a broad brim protecting the back of the neck from ear to ear, and a high, narrow crest, said Dr Jeff Royal, director of archaeology at the RPM Nautical Foundation in Florida. Roman helmets, called montefortinos, are easily...
  • Mesolithic shamanistic meteorite talisman unearthed

    07/10/2014 10:08:05 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | Monday, July 7, 2014 | PAP – Science and Scholarship in Poland
    Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology (IAE) in Szczecin, Poland, have discovered a meteorite fragment inside the remains of a hut dating back more than 9,000 years at Bolków by Lake Świdwie in Western Pomerania... The archaeologists also excavated a rich assemblage of objects with a spiritual association: an amulet, a bone spear tip with engraved decoration and so-called magic wand made of antler, decorated with geometric motifs. In addition to the remains of the hut, which contained the meteorite, archaeologists discovered a second, almost identical structure. In both of them, within the peat layer, were the preserved...
  • 11,000 years old elk bones shrouded in mystery

    07/10/2014 10:03:45 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    Science Nordic ^ | July 1, 2014 | Anne Marie Lykkegaard
    Someone put elk bones in a bog several thousand years ago -- but archaeologists have no clue who it was... when the bones of several elks were excavated from Lundby bog in south Zealand in 1999, the archaeologists dated some of the animal remains back to sometime between 9,400 and 9,300 BC. Recently, however, the archaeologists did a new carbon 14 dating on some of the bones which revealed that they dated back to between 9,873 and 9,676 BC. These elk bones were clearly not buried in the bog over a short period, as originally thought, but were placed there...
  • Forestry officials unearth stone spearheads in northern Lapland

    07/10/2014 9:58:10 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    YLE ^ | July 4, 2014 | unattributed
    Archaeologists in Finland are celebrating the discovery of a number of artefacts in Lapland, northern Finland. A series of surveys by the forestry watchdog Metsähallitus has unearthed hundreds of hunting pits, several prehistoric habitations, pottery shards and a stone spearhead. The most exceptional part of the archaeological find was a stone spear tip or a possible prehistoric knife, which was discovered close to the Norwegian border. The stone implement has been uncovered by high winds as it lay in a sand pit. Experts estimate that the rough blade had been used during the Stone Age or the early metal age,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Spotty Sunrise over Brisbane

    07/10/2014 9:26:58 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | July 11, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In this composite cityscape, dawn's first colors backdrop the lights along Brisbane's skyline at the southeastern corner of Queensland, Australia, planet Earth. Using a solar filter, additional exposures made every 3.5 minutes follow the winter sunrise on July 8 as planet-sized sunspots cross the visible solar disk. The sunspots mark solar active regions with convoluted magnetic fields. Even as the maximum in the solar activity cycle begins to fade, the active regions produce intense solar flares and eruptions launching coronal mass ejections (CMEs), enormous clouds of energetic particles, into our fair solar system.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M51: X-Rays from the Whirlpool

    07/10/2014 8:36:47 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | June 10, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What if we X-rayed an entire spiral galaxy? This was done (again) recently by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory for the nearby interacting galaxies known as the Whirlpool (M51). Hundreds of glittering x-ray stars are present in the above Chandra image of the spiral and its neighbor. The image is a conglomerate of X-ray light from Chandra and visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope. The number of luminous x-ray sources, likely neutron star and black hole binary systems within the confines of M51, is unusually high for normal spiral or elliptical galaxies and suggests this cosmic whirlpool has experienced...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- How to Identify that Light in the Sky

    07/10/2014 8:33:02 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | June 09, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What is that light in the sky? Perhaps one of humanity's more common questions, an answer may result from a few quick observations. For example -- is it moving or blinking? If so, and if you live near a city, the answer is typically an airplane, since planes are so numerous and so few stars and satellites are bright enough to be seen over the din of artificial city lights. If not, and if you live far from a city, that bright light is likely a planet such as Venus or Mars -- the former of which is constrained...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Open Cluster NGC 290: A Stellar Jewel Box

    07/10/2014 8:29:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | June 08, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Jewels don't shine this bright -- only stars do. Like gems in a jewel box, though, the stars of open cluster NGC 290 glitter in a beautiful display of brightness and color. The photogenic cluster, pictured above, was captured recently by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. Open clusters of stars are younger, contain few stars, and contain a much higher fraction of blue stars than do globular clusters of stars. NGC 290 lies about 200,000 light-years distant in a neighboring galaxy called the Small Cloud of Magellan (SMC). The open cluster contains hundreds of stars and spans about 65...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M16 and the Eagle Nebula

    07/10/2014 8:26:31 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | June 07, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A star cluster around 2 million years young, M16 is surrounded by natal clouds of dust and glowing gas also known as The Eagle Nebula. This beautifully detailed image of the region includes cosmic sculptures made famous in Hubble Space Telescope close-ups of the starforming complex. Described as elephant trunks or Pillars of Creation, dense, dusty columns rising near the center are light-years in length but are gravitationally contracting to form stars. Energetic radiation from the cluster stars erodes material near the tips, eventually exposing the embedded new stars. Extending from the left edge of the frame is another...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Manhattanhenge: A New York City Sunset

    07/05/2014 10:42:01 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | July 06, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This coming Saturday, if it is clear, well placed New Yorkers can go outside at sunset and watch their city act like a modern version of Stonehenge. Manhattan's streets will flood dramatically with sunlight just as the Sun sets precisely at each street's western end. Usually, the tall buildings that line the gridded streets of New York City's tallest borough will hide the setting Sun. This effect makes Manhattan a type of modern Stonehenge, although only aligned to about 30 degrees east of north. Were Manhattan's road grid perfectly aligned to east and west, today's effect would occur on...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M106 Across the Spectrum

    07/04/2014 9:25:25 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | July 05, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The spiral arms of bright, active galaxy M106 sprawl through this remarkable multiwavelength portrait, composed of image data from radio to X-rays, across the electromagnetic spectrum. Also known as NGC 4258, M106 can be found toward the northern constellation Canes Venatici. The well-measured distance to M106 is 23.5 million light-years, making this cosmic scene about 60,000 light-years across. Typical in grand spiral galaxies, dark dust lanes, youthful star clusters, and star forming regions trace spiral arms that converge on a bright nucleus. But this composite highlights two anomalous arms in radio (purple) and X-ray (blue) that seem to arise...
  • French archaeologists discover an exceptional Gallic chariot tomb at Warcq in France

    07/04/2014 8:35:24 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    Art Daily ^ | Friday, July 4, 2014 | unattributed
    A combined team composed of archaeologists from the Ardennes departmental archaeology unit and from Inrap is currently excavating a Gallic aristocratic tomb at Warcq (Ardennes)... This type of aristocratic tomb emerges in the 7th century B.C. – during the first Iron Age – and ends with the end of the Gallic period. The oldest chariots have four wheels (like that found at Vix), while those from the second Iron Age have only two. The deceased person – who could be male or female – was generally inhumed on the chariot, which was an object of prestige and a symbol of...
  • King Mentuhotep II's chapel unearthed in Sohag

    07/04/2014 5:56:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    Ahram Online ^ | Wednesday, July 2, 2014 | Nevine El-Aref
    At the Arabet Abydos area in Sohag, where the large temple of King Seti I is located, an Egyptian excavation mission from the Ministry of Antiquities and Heritage (MAH) stumbled upon a limestone ancient Egyptian chapel from the 11th Dynasty. The excavation work came within the framework of a cleaning programme carried out by the MAH in that area, after officers of the tourism and antiquities police caught red handed inhabitants trying to illegally excavate the area in front their residences in search of treasured artefacts. Ali El-Asfar, head of the ancient Egyptian Section at the MAH, told Ahram Online...
  • Blood residue from ancient tools reveals clues about past

    07/04/2014 5:45:35 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    Aiken Standard ^ | Saturday, June 28, 2014 | Dede Biles
    Blood residue on spear points and other ancient stone tools made by American Indians thousands of years ago is providing scientists based at the Savannah River Site with... interesting information that indicates what animals those early people hunted and when huge Pleistocene creatures such as mammoths and mastodons might have ceased to exist... The tools they looked at were made anywhere from 13,000 to 500 or 600 years ago. They were found at a Carolina bay at the Savannah River Site known as Flamingo Bay, at other locations in the CSRA and in the Fort Bragg area in eastern North...
  • Changes in Human Skin Studied [Vitamin D myth]

    07/04/2014 5:37:17 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    Archaeology ^ | Wednesday, July 02, 2014 | unattributed
    It had been thought that Northern Europeans developed light skin in order to absorb more UV light to process more vitamin D, necessary for healthy bones and immune function. But a new study conducted by a team led by professor of dermatology Peter Elias from the University of California, San Francisco, shows that the changes in skin’s function as a barrier to water loss is more likely. The skin-barrier protein filaggrin is broken down into a molecule called urocanic acid, which Elias says is the most potent absorber of UVB light in the skin. “It’s certainly more important than melanin...
  • VIDEO: Five skeletons uncovered during big dig near Roman Villa

    07/04/2014 5:30:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    Bournemouth Echo ^ | Thursday, July 3, 2014 | Gayle McDonald
    Archaeologists from Bournemouth have uncovered ancient burials during a dig near a Roman villa in north Dorset... It’s thought the remains, which date back to the mid-4th century, could belong to three generations of the same family who owned the villa. The skeletons of two adult males, two adult females and one elderly female were discovered at the farm, which is currently being excavated as part of the Durotriges Big Dig project. Miles Russell, senior lecturer in archaeology at Bournemouth University and one of the archaeologists leading the dig, said: “The discovery is of great significance as it is the...
  • How Big is Rosetta’s Comet?

    07/04/2014 4:47:19 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    Universe Today via Phys.org ^ | Thursday, July 03, 2014 | Jason Major
    ...while it's one thing to say that the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is about three by five kilometers in diameter, it's quite another to see it in context with more familiar objects. Think about it—a comet as tall as Mt Fuji! At the time of this writing Rosetta is 35 days out on approach to Comet 67P/C-G, at a distance of about 51,000 km (31,700 miles) and closing. Three "big burn" maneuvers have already been performed between May 7 and June 4 to adjust the spacecraft's course toward the incoming comet, and after smaller ones on June 18 and July...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- OCO-2 Night Launch

    07/04/2014 2:59:44 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | July 04, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In this alluring time exposure, star trails arc across the night sky above foggy Monterey Bay and the lights of Santa Cruz, California in the United States of America. Since the exposure began around 2:56am PDT on July 2 it also records the trail of a Delta II rocket lofting NASA's OCO-2 spacecraft into orbit. Seen from a vantage point 200 miles north of the Vandenberg Air Force Base launch site, the trail represents the first five minutes of the rocket's flight along a trajectory south and west over the Pacific to join the A-Train in polar orbit around...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Along the Cygnus Wall

    07/03/2014 3:59:35 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | July 03, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The prominent ridge of emission featured in this vivid skyscape is known as the Cygnus Wall. Part of a larger emission nebula with a distinctive shape popularly called The North America Nebula, the ridge spans about 10 light-years along an outline that suggests the western coast of Mexico. Constructed from narrowband image data, the cosmic close-up maps emission from sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms to red, green, and blue colors. The result highlights the bright ionization front with fine details of dark, dusty forms in silhouette. Sculpted by energetic radiation from the region's young, hot, massive stars, the dark...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 4651: The Umbrella Galaxy

    07/03/2014 3:55:36 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | July 02, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Image : : Explanation: Spiral galaxy NGC 4651 is a mere 62 million light-years distant, toward the well-groomed northern constellation Coma Berenices. About the size of our Milky Way, this island universe is seen to have a faint umbrella-shaped structure that seems to extend (left) some 100 thousand light-years beyond the bright galactic disk. The giant cosmic umbrella is now known to be composed of tidal star streams - extensive trails of stars gravitationally stripped from a smaller satellite galaxy. The small galaxy was eventually torn apart in repeated encounters as it swept back and forth on eccentric orbits...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind Machine

    07/01/2014 4:25:05 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | July 01, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Some stars explode in slow motion. Rare, massive Wolf-Rayet stars are so tumultuous and hot that they slowly disintegrating right before our telescopes. Glowing gas globs each typically over 30 times more massive than the Earth are being expelled by violent stellar winds. Wolf-Rayet star WR 124, visible near the above image center spanning six light years across, is thus creating the surrounding nebula known as M1-67. Details of why this star has been slowly blowing itself apart over the past 20,000 years remains a topic of research. WR 124 lies 15,000 light-years away towards the constellation of Sagitta....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Peculiar Elliptical Galaxy Centaurus A

    07/01/2014 4:21:04 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | June 30, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happened to the center of this galaxy? Unusual and dramatic dust lanes run across the center of elliptical galaxy Centaurus A. These dust lanes are so thick they almost completely obscure the galaxy's center in visible light. This is particularly unusual as Cen A's red stars and round shape are characteristic of a giant elliptical galaxy, a galaxy type usually low in dark dust. Cen A, also known as NGC 5128, is also unusual compared to an average elliptical galaxy because it contains a higher proportion of young blue stars and is a very strong source of radio...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Galaxy Cove Vista Revisited

    06/29/2014 3:09:02 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | June 29, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: To see a vista like this takes patience, hiking, and a camera. Patience was needed in searching out just the right place and waiting for just the right time. A short hike was needed to reach this rugged perch above a secluded cove in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in California, USA. And a camera was needed for the long exposure required to bring out the faint light from stars and nebulae in the background Milky Way galaxy. Moonlight illuminated the hidden beach and inlet behind nearby trees in the above composite image taken last month. Usually obscured McWay...
  • Archaeologists find 25 quipus at Inca site in Peru

    06/28/2014 1:47:12 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 34 replies
    Peru this Week ^ | June 25, 2014 | Andina
    Quipus where used as a form of record-keeping in Inca society, which had no written language. A set of twenty-five well-preserved quipus were found in the archaeological complex of Incahuasi, south of Lima, Alejandro Chu, archaeologist in charge of the site reported on Tuesday. Chu told Andina News Agency that this is a major finding as the quipus were found in warehouses or kallancas and not in a funerary context, as most discoveries in the past, “what makes us believe they were used for administrative purposes”. According to the Peruvian archaeologist, these objects, used by the Inca empire and previous...
  • Neandertals ate their veggies, their feces reveal

    06/28/2014 8:43:41 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 33 replies
    Science ^ | Wednesday, June 25, 2015 | Ann Gibbons
    Scientists excavating an archaeological site in southern Spain have finally gotten the real poop on Neandertals, finding that the Caveman Diet for these quintessential carnivores included substantial helpings of vegetables. Using the oldest published samples of human fecal matter, archaeologists have found the first direct evidence that Neandertals in Europe cooked and ate plants about 50,000 years ago... ...the team was able to detect the chemical byproducts created by bacteria in the gut in the digestion of cholesterol from meat, as well as sterols and stanols, which are lipids in plants that are similar to cholesterol. The tests revealed that...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Orion Arising

    06/28/2014 5:40:14 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | June 28, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Orion's belt runs just along the horizon, seen through Earth's atmosphere and rising in this starry snapshot from low Earth orbit on board the International Space Station. The belt stars, Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka run right to left and Orion's sword, home to the great Orion Nebula, hangs above his belt, an orientation unfamiliar to denizens of the planet's northern hemisphere. That puts bright star Rigel, at the foot of Orion, still higher above Orion's belt. Of course the brightest celestial beacon in the frame is Sirius, alpha star of the constellation Canis Major. The station's Destiny Laboratory module...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Martian Anniversary Selfie

    06/28/2014 5:37:37 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | June 27, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: June 24th marked the first full Martian year of the Curiosity Rover's exploration of the surface of the Red Planet. That's 687 Earth days or 669 sols since its landing on August 5, 2012. To celebrate, consider this self-portrait of the car-sized robot posing next to a rocky outcrop dubbed Windjana, its recent drilling and sampling site. The mosaicked selfie was constructed with frames taken this April and May using the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), intended for close-up work and mounted at the end of the rover's robotic arm. The MAHLI frames used exclude sections that show...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Conjunction by the Sea

    06/25/2014 9:47:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | June 26, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Early morning risers were treated to a beautiful conjunction of Venus and waning Crescent Moon on June 24, captured in this seaside photo near Belmar, New Jersey, USA, planet Earth. The serene celestial pairing is seen above the Atlantic Ocean horizon as the eastern sky grows brighter with dawn's early light. Wispy, scattered clouds appear in silhouette. But the exposure also reveals the night side of the lunar orb in the arms of the sunlit crescent. That shadowed part of the Moon, with hints of the smooth, dark lunar seas or maria, is illuminated by Earthshine, sunlight reflected from...