четверг, 28 сентября 2017 г.

Первый за полгода восход Солнца ( начало полярного дня) на...

Первый за полгода восход Солнца ( начало полярного дня) на...


Первый за полгода восход Солнца ( начало полярного дня) на Южном полюсе, Антарктида. ☀❄❄
27 сентября 2017 года.
©NOAA ESRL


Гроза в Триполи ( Ливия, 27.09.2017)…

Гроза в Триполи ( Ливия, 27.09.2017)…







Гроза в Триполи ( Ливия, 27.09.2017)


Полярное сияние и Москва с МКС. Сентябрь 2017 года. ©Сергей...

Полярное сияние и Москва с МКС. Сентябрь 2017 года. ©Сергей...


Полярное сияние и Москва с МКС.
Сентябрь 2017 года.
©Сергей Рязанский‏


Testing the idea that environmental challenges drive the evolution of bigger brains

Testing the idea that environmental challenges drive the evolution of bigger brains


Given how proud we are of our big brains, it’s ironic that we haven’t yet figured out why we have them. One idea, called the cognitive buffer hypothesis, is that the evolution of large brains is driven by the adaptive benefits of being able to mount quick, flexible behavioral responses to frequent or unexpected environmental change.











Testing the idea that environmental challenges drive the evolution of bigger brains
Many birds have brains the size of walnuts, which has led our species to condescend to theirs and make jokes about their 
cognitive abilities. But recent research suggests the joke is on us [Credit: Washington University in St. Louis]

It is difficult to test this idea on people because there is only one living species in the genus Homo. Birds, according to Carlos Botero, assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, are another matter. There are many species, they have a range of brain sizes and they live everywhere. In many ways, they are the ideal group for testing this hypothesis.


As a young scholar, Botero was able to show how mockingbirds that live in variable habitats have more elaborate songs. Since song complexity is a proxy for learning ability, this finding seemed to support the cognitive buffer hypothesis.


But, after a while, he began to think about alternative explanations for his results. The hypothesis requires that big brains improve survival, but Botero’s study didn’t show this. And it didn’t settle a crucial timing issue: Did large brains evolve in variable habitats, or did they evolve elsewhere and then make it easier to colonize harsh environments? However,  the mockingbird study didn’t look back in time.


So together with Trevor Fristoe, postdoctoral associate in biology at Washington University and Canadian biologist Andrew Iwaniuk of the University of Lethbridge, Botero decided to tease out the assumptions behind the cognitive buffer hypothesis and test each of them separately.


Their study, published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, showed that large brains weren’t more likely to evolve in variable compared to stable habitats, so that part of the hypothesis wasn’t supported. But it also showed that brainier birds were better able to colonize seasonal, unpredictable places. So birds with big brains were able to move into a broader range of environments.


“The findings were pretty surprising,” Fristoe said. “In the first part of the study, we showed that a big brain really does give birds a survival advantage in variable environments. So the mechanism works. But that made it all the more puzzling when the second part of the study showed that big brains often evolved in stable — not in variable — habitats.”


What does size have to do with it?


Botero is the first to acknowledge that brain size is an imperfect measure of cognition, a term that itself has many definitions.


What the scientists looked at was not absolute brain size, but the difference between brain size and the statistically predicted brain size for the bird’s body size. “An ostrich seems to have a huge brain, but relative to its body size, it’s really not that impressive,” Botero said. “A raven is not much larger than a chicken, but its brain is proportionally much more massive.


“The correlation between relative brain size and cognitive ability is better for birds than for mammals,” Botero said. “Although relative brain size is a noisy metric, it’s still one of the better ways we have to measure brain-related differences among species at large taxonomic scales.


“This whole field is fraught with caveats.”


Nailing down the first assumption


Botero and Fristoe first tested the assumption that a bigger brain gave birds a survival advantage by analyzing the data gathered by the Breeding Bird Survey, a huge database of bird sightings that is used to monitor populations of North American birds.  Each year since 1966, volunteer birders have followed pre-established routes during peak breeding season, stopping for three minutes at designated points to count all the birds they can hear or see.


“We went through all the data for North America, all of the species for which we knew brain size, and came up with a metric for population stability, adjusting for other factors that can affect stability such as clutch size and whether or not the bird is migratory,” Botero said.


They characterized environmental conditions over the same period with data from ecoClimate, an open database of climatic simulations, and data from NASA Earth Observations.


“We showed that species with big brains maintain stable populations in environments where the temperature, precipitation or productivity change a lot, and species with smaller brains cope less well,” Botero said.


“So the mechanism people were proposing really does seem to work,” he said. “Big brains do improve survival when environmental conditions change frequently and unexpectedly.”


Nailing down the second assumption


The scientists were now ready to tackle the main issue. “The cognitive buffer hypothesis asserts brains became bigger because species were being exposed to more variable environments,” Botero said. “It makes sense, but is it true?”


For the hypothesis to be true, the variable conditions had to happen first, and that meant the scientists had to devise some way to reconstruct the characteristics of birds and environments which vanished long ago.


To do this, they looked for evolutionary correlations between transitions in brain size and the temperature and precipitation variability of species-specific habitats in a global phylogeny of birds (a diagram that represents the order in which species are thought to have evolved from a common ancestor).


“We found that big brains are equally likely to evolve in places that had variable conditions and places that had stable conditions. We don’t see any difference between the two,” Botero said. (See sidebars for examples.)


“But we found that variable environments are more likely to be colonized by species that already had big brains,” he said. “That explains why, when we go out today, we find an association between big brains and variable environments. And probably why his earlier study found the best singers among mockingbirds lived in variable habitats.


So we now know a big brain helped species like the common raven to expand into the variety of habitats where they live today, but we still don’t know why ravens and even humans evolved big brains in the first place. Botero and Fristoe are thinking about it.


Author: Diana Lutz | Source: Washington University in St. Louis [September 25, 2017]




TANN




Lost city of Alexander the Great found in Iraq

Lost city of Alexander the Great found in Iraq


A city thought to have been founded by Alexander the Great has been uncovered by archaeologists in northern Iraq after being lost for more than 2,000 years.











Lost city of Alexander the Great found in Iraq
The Darband-i Rania pass from the northeast: the site of Qalatga Darband is the triangular spit 
of land beyond the bridge on the right [Credit: British Museum]

The remains of the settlement, known as Qalatga Darband, were identified by archaeologists from the British Museum, using drones equipped with cameras.


The images taken were processed, allowing the researchers to identify outlines of a large building hidden beneath grain fields. This enabled them to determine the exact location of the city.











Lost city of Alexander the Great found in Iraq
One of the team recording a marble statue of a nude male [Credit: British Museum]

“The drone yielded excellent information”, lead archaeologist John MacGinnis told The Times. “We got coverage of all the site using the drone in the spring – analysing crop marks hasn’t been done at all in Mesopotamian archaeology. Where there are walls underground, the wheat and barley don’t grow so well, so there are colour differences in the crop growth.”


The first evidence of a lost city came when archaeologists were sifting through spy satellite photos taken for the American military in the 1960s, which were declassified and made public in 1996.











Lost city of Alexander the Great found in Iraq
Statue of a nude male which could possibly be Adonis and a coin of Orodes II
[Credit: British Museum]

While Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, there was no possibility of investigating the site further and this remained the case during and after the 2003 invasion, because of safety concerns.


Recently, however, in light of improved security in the region, the British Museum sent a team to Darband as part of a project to train Iraqi archaeologists, who will be tasked with rescuing important sites that have been damaged by Isis.











Lost city of Alexander the Great found in Iraq
Archaeologists also found terracotta roof tiles, such as this antefix – which suggested 
Graeco-Roman influences [Credit: British Museum]

With the help of the trainees, the team established that a city dating back to the first or second centuries BCE once lay at the site, most likely built on the route that Alexander took in 331 BC while pursuing Persian king Darius III.


The size, complexity and richness of the site surprised researchers. They found statues of Graeco-Roman deities and other signs of Greek influence, such as terracotta roof tiles, suggesting to them that Alexander and his followers had founded the city.











Lost city of Alexander the Great found in Iraq
A graphic of what the ‘lost city’ would have looked like, with a temple, inner fort 
and wine press facilities [Credit: Leo Delauncey]

Various large buildings have also been found, alongside fortified walls and ancient wine presses.


“It’s early days, but we think it would have been a bustling city on a road from Iraq to Iran. You can imagine people supplying wine to soldiers passing through,” MacGinnis said.


Author: Aristos Georgiou | Source: International Business Times [September 25, 2017]




TANN




1,000 year old flushing toilet found in South Korea

1,000 year old flushing toilet found in South Korea


Archaeological remains of a bathroom equipped with a flushing toilet used during the Silla Kingdom (57 BC to 935) have been discovered, the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration said Tuesday.











1,000 year old flushing toilet found in South Korea
This photos shows what is presumed to be remains of a bathroom from the Silla Kingdom (57 BC to 935) in Gyeongju, 
North Gyeongsang Province [Credit: Cultural Heritage Administration]

The state-run body has been conducting a dig since 2007 at the remains of Donggung and Wolji Pond in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, which was home to key government buildings of the ancient kingdom.


Among the relics revealed Tuesday were toilets and a plumbing system. The toilets were tilted so that excretion would naturally flow to a drain. Officials presume that water was manually poured into the toilet to wash away the waste.


This marks the first time a complete Silla-period bathroom has been discovered.


“The significance of the toilet remains in Donggung and Wolji is that it clearly shows how the top class of the unified Silla Kingdom used the bathroom. We can imagine what a high-end bathroom used by the royal family looked like, from the facilities made out of granite — a luxury at the time – the flush method that was employed and tile-like-bricks used,” said an official from the CHA.


In addition, storage facilities, a well and what is presumed to be the foundation of a palace gate — which if confirmed, would be the first — were discovered at the site.


The gate is expected to help researchers estimate the exact size of the palace.


Donggung and Wolji Pond refers to a palace complex complete with a man-made pond that was constructed in the year 674 by King Munmu. The first exploration of the site by the cultural heritage authorities in 1975 unearthed over 30,000 pieces of relics.


Author: Yoon Min-sik | Source: The Korea Herald [September 26, 2017]




TANN




Unexpected surprise: a final image from Rosetta

Unexpected surprise: a final image from Rosetta

ESA – Rosetta Mission patch.


28 September 2017


Scientists analysing the final telemetry sent by Rosetta immediately before it shut down on the surface of the comet last year have reconstructed one last image of its touchdown site.


After more than 12 years in space, and two years following Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko as they orbited the Sun, Rosetta’s historic mission concluded on 30 September with the spacecraft descending onto the comet in a region hosting several ancient pits.



Reconstructed last image from Rosetta

It returned a wealth of detailed images and scientific data on the comet’s gas, dust and plasma as it drew closer to the surface.


But there was one last surprise in store for the camera team, who managed to reconstruct the final telemetry packets into a sharp image.


“The last complete image transmitted from Rosetta was the final one that we saw arriving back on Earth in one piece moments before the touchdown at Sais,” says Holger Sierks, principal investigator for the OSIRIS camera at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, Germany.



Rosetta’s last images in context

“Later, we found a few telemetry packets on our server and thought, wow, that could be another image.”


During operations, images were split into telemetry packets aboard Rosetta before they were transmitted to Earth. In the case of the last images taken before touchdown, the image data, corresponding to 23 048 bytes per image, were split into six packets.


For the very last image the transmission was interrupted after three full packets were received, with 12 228 bytes received in total, or just over half of a complete image. This was not recognised as an image by the automatic processing software, but the engineers in Göttingen could make sense of these data fragments to reconstruct the image.



Rosetta’s landing site to scale

Owing to the onboard compression software, the data were not sent pixel-by-pixel but rather layer-by-layer, which gives an increasing level of detail with each layer.


The 53% of transmitted data therefore represents an image with an effective compression ratio of 1:38 compared to the anticipated compression ratio of 1:20, meaning some of the finer detail was lost.


That is, it gets a lot blurrier as you zoom in compared with a full-quality image. This can be likened to compressing an image to send via email, versus an uncompressed version that you would print out and hang on your wall.


The camera was not designed to be used below a few hundred metres from the surface but a sharper image could be achieved using the camera in a special configuration: while the camera was designed to be operated with a colour filter in the optical beam, this was removed for the last images. This would have resulted in the images being blurred for the normal imaging scenario above 300 m, but they came into focus at a ‘sweet spot’ of 15 m distance.



Comet from 331 m

Approaching 15 m therefore improved the focus and thus level of detail, as can be seen in the reconstructed image taken from an altitude of 17.9–21.0 m and corresponding to a 1 x 1 m square region on the surface.


In the meantime, the altitude of the previously published last image has been revised to 23.3–26.2 m. The uncertainty arises from the exact method of altitude calculation and the comet shape model used.


The sequence of images progressively reveals more and more detail of the boulder-strewn surface, providing a lasting impression of Rosetta’s touchdown site.


Notes for Editors:


The reconstructed image was presented in an ESA TV transmission earlier this year. Watch it here: http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/Videos/2017/05/Rosetta_s_ongoing_legacy


Related links:


Rosetta Mission: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta


Rosetta at Astrium: http://www.astrium.eads.net/en/programme/rosetta-1go.html


Rosetta at DLR: http://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-10394/


Ground-based comet observation campaign: http://www.rosetta-campaign.net/home


End of mission FAQ: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Rosetta_s_grand_finale_frequently_asked_questions


Images, Text, Credits: ESA/Markus Bauer/Matt Taylor/Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research/Holger Sierks/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA/ATG medialab.


Best regards, Orbiter.ch


met-european-sculpture: Miniature cradle (part of a set),…

met-european-sculpture: Miniature cradle (part of a set),…


met-european-sculpture:



Miniature cradle (part of a set), European Sculpture and Decorative Arts


Medium: Silver


Gift of Mrs. Morris Fatman, in the name of her late husband, 1931

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/196819



Headrest, Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the AmericasMedium: Wood,…

Headrest, Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the AmericasMedium: Wood,…


Headrest, Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas


Medium: Wood, fiber


The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Purchase, Nelson A. Rockefeller Gift, 1961

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/311214


Monumental Figure

Monumental Figure

Monumental Figure


Shield (Dhàl), Arms and ArmorMedium: Leather, lacquer, gold…

Shield (Dhàl), Arms and ArmorMedium: Leather, lacquer, gold…


Shield (Dhàl), Arms and Armor


Medium: Leather, lacquer, gold leaf, silver


Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/24292


Coin Noble Edward III

Coin Noble Edward III

Coin Noble Edward III


Pair of Rowel Spurs

Pair of Rowel Spurs

Pair of Rowel Spurs


met-photos: Karnak (Thèbes), Palais – Salle Hypostyle -…

met-photos: Karnak (Thèbes), Palais – Salle Hypostyle -…


met-photos:



Karnak (Thèbes), Palais – Salle Hypostyle – Décoration de la Paroi Intérieure au Point M by Félix Teynard, The Met’s Photography Department


Medium: Salted paper print from paper negative


Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1976

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/261859



Учёный РАН: находки археологов Калининграда достойны...

Учёный РАН: находки археологов Калининграда достойны...


Учёный РАН: находки археологов Калининграда достойны Лувра.
Находки археологов Калининграда достойны Лувра, о чём 27 сентября 2017 года заявила Ася Энговатова, замдиректора Института археологии Российской Академии наук.
В этом году международное научное сообщество, по словам Энговатовой, интересуются археологическими исследованиями в Калининградской области и в Крыму. Что касается российской Прибалтики, то здесь, как считает представитель Российской Академии наук, в 2017 году сделаны находки, достойные Лувра. Речь идёт о конских погребениях, исследованных местными специалистами. Находки оттуда, как подчеркнула замдиректора Института археологии, сохранились хорошо, в отличие от аналогичных, обнаруженных в Восточной Пруссии 150 лет назад.
Доклад Энговатовой сделан на Всероссийском съезде органов охраны памятников истории и культуры в Калининграде.
Источник ИА “Русский Запад”
http://ruwest.ru/


Limestone statue of a sphinx

Limestone statue of a sphinx

Limestone statue of a sphinx


bokehm0n:Wild Iceland, take a seat an enjoy.

bokehm0n:Wild Iceland, take a seat an enjoy.


bokehm0n:



Wild Iceland, take a seat an enjoy.



That time of yearAs sunlight begins to decrease day to day in…

That time of yearAs sunlight begins to decrease day to day in…


That time of year


As sunlight begins to decrease day to day in the northern hemisphere, plants begin making less chlorophyll in their leaves, removing the source of their green color. Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado sits at elevations between 2000 and 4000 meters (7500 to 13000 feet). This picture captures the Aspen trees on the slopes above the sand dunes; along with Alaska and Canada these are some of the first trees on the North American continent starting to change color for the fall.


-JBB


Image credit: NPS
https://flic.kr/p/XJqA7F


On the geology of these dunes:
https://tmblr.co/Zyv2Js2JB2Yev


Clouds blow gently through the mountains of Jonkershoek Nature…

Clouds blow gently through the mountains of Jonkershoek Nature…




Clouds blow gently through the mountains of Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, South Africa


Ancient papyrus reveals how Egyptians transported limestone blocks to build the Great Pyramid

Ancient papyrus reveals how Egyptians transported limestone blocks to build the Great Pyramid


It has for centuries been one of the world’s greatest enigmas: how a Bronze Age society with little in the way of technology created Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza – the oldest and only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.











Ancient papyrus reveals how Egyptians transported limestone blocks to build the Great Pyramid
View of the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid [Credit: © Flickr/Sam Valadi]

Now archaeologists have discovered fascinating proof that shows how the Egyptians transported 2½-ton blocks of limestone and granite from 500 miles away to build the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu in about 2,600 BC.


At 481ft tall, it is the biggest of all the pyramids and was, until the Middle Ages, the largest man-made structure on Earth. Now the discovery of an ancient papyrus, a ceremonial boat and an ingenious system of waterworks have shed light on the infrastructure created by the builders.


The detailed archaeological material shows that thousands of skilled workers transported 170,000 tons of limestone along the Nile in wooden boats held together by ropes, through a specially constructed system of canals to an inland port just yards from the base of the pyramid.











Ancient papyrus reveals how Egyptians transported limestone blocks to build the Great Pyramid
Papyrus fragment found in the seaport Wadi Al-Jarf has given a new insight into the role boats played 
in the pyramid’s construction [Credit: Al-Sharq al-Awsat]

A scroll of ancient papyrus has also been found in the seaport Wadi Al-Jarf which has given a new insight into the role boats played in the pyramid’s construction.


Written by Merer, an overseer in charge of a team of 40 elite workmen, it is the only first-hand account of the construction of the Great Pyramid, and describes in detail how limestone casing stones were shipped downstream from Tura to Giza.


In his diary, Merer also describes how his crew were involved in the transformation of the landscape, opening giant dykes to divert water from the Nile and channel it to the pyramid through man-made canals.











Ancient papyrus reveals how Egyptians transported limestone blocks to build the Great Pyramid
Relief depicting the transport of large columns by boat [Credit: David Degner/Getty Reportage]

Although it has long been known that the granite from the pyramid’s internal chambers was quarried in Aswan, 533 miles south of Giza, and the limestone casing stones came from Tura, eight miles away, archaeologists disagreed over how they were transported.


Now archaeologist Mark Lehner, a leading expert in the field, has uncovered evidence of a lost waterway beneath the dusty Giza plateau. ‘We’ve outlined the central canal basin which we think was the primary delivery area to the foot of the Giza Plateau,’ he said.


A team of specialists also restored the wooden planks of the ceremonial boat designed for Khufu to command in the afterlife before scanning them with a 3D laser to work out how they were assembled. They discovered that they were sewn together with loops of rope.


Author: Claudia Joseph | Source: Daily Mail [September 23, 2017]




TANN




UNESCO calls for ceasefire, protection of archaeological sites in Libya’s Sabratha

UNESCO calls for ceasefire, protection of archaeological sites in Libya’s Sabratha


UNESCO said Thursday that it was informed by several sources that military action is intensifying within and around the Archaeological Site of Sabratha in Libya.











UNESCO calls for ceasefire, protection of archaeological sites in Libya's Sabratha
Aerial view of ancient Sabratha [Credit: © Jason Hawkes]

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has called on all parties to cease violence and ensure the protection of Sabratha’s invaluable cultural heritage, including its archaeological museum.


Bokova stressed in a statement on UNESCO’s website that there is an urgent need to protect cultural heritage in times of conflict, as recently urged by the UN Security Council in its Resolution 2347.











UNESCO calls for ceasefire, protection of archaeological sites in Libya's Sabratha
The remains of the Temple of Isis in Sabratha [Credit: © Jason Hawkes]

“I call on all parties to ensure the safeguarding of Sabratha’s unique cultural heritage. I appeal to all to refrain from any military use or targeting of cultural heritage sites and their immediate surroundings, in respect of the provisions of the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.” Bokova indicated.


She also described Libyan heritage as the expression of a shared memory of the country, and its protection represents a cornerstone for long lasting national reconciliation, resilience and peace. It must be kept out of conflicts.











UNESCO calls for ceasefire, protection of archaeological sites in Libya's Sabratha
Aerial view of the theatre at Sabratha [Credit: © Jason Hawkes]

Bokova also reaffirmed that UNESCO remains committed to work with all Libyan cultural professionals to reinforce emergency measures for cultural heritage protection, and enable the rapid assessment, documentation and monitoring of heritage.


“We will spare no efforts in supporting Libyans to protect their heritage, as a source of dignity and confidence for the future of all Libyans.” Bokova remarked.


Author: Abdulkader Assad | Source: The Libyan Observer [September 24, 2017]




TANN




Remains of decapitated toads found in 4,000 year old jar

Remains of decapitated toads found in 4,000 year old jar


Why were decapitated toads placed in a jar in a 4,000-year-old tomb in Jerusalem? Fascinating findings from an Israel Antiquities Authority excavation near the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo shed light on burial customs in the Canaanite period (the Middle Bronze Age). The archaeological excavation, which took place in 2014 with funding from the Housing Ministry (the Arim Urban Development Company) prior to the expansion of the Mana’at neighborhood, yielded the remains of at least nine toads, and evidence of the cultivation of date palms and myrtle in the area.











Remains of decapitated toads found in 4,000-year-old jar
Archaeologist David Tanami recovers the jug from the tomb 
[Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority]

According to the excavation directors on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Shua Kisilevitz and Zohar Turgeman-Yaffe: “This section of the Nahal Repha’im basin was fertile ground for settlement throughout time, especially during the Canaanite period. In recent years excavations in the area have uncovered two settlement sites, two temples and a number of cemeteries, which provide new insight into the life of the local population at that time.”


According to Kisilevitz and Turgeman-Yaffe: “For an archaeologist, finding tombs that were intentionally sealed in antiquity is a priceless treasure, because they are a time capsule that allows us to encounter objects almost just as they were originally left. At that time, it was customary to bury the dead with offerings that constituted a kind of “burial kit,” which, it was believed, would serve the deceased in the afterworld. When we removed the stone that blocked the tomb opening, we were excited to discover intact bowls and jars. In one of the jars, to our surprise, we found a heap of small bones. The study of the bones, by Dr. Lior Weisbrod of the University of Haifa, revealed at least nine toads. Interestingly, they had been decapitated.”











Remains of decapitated toads found in 4,000-year-old jar
Bones of decapitated frogs in the Canaanite clay jug, c.4,000 years old 
[Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority]

Another intriguing finding came to light through analysis of sediments collected from the clay jars and examined under a microscope.


The examination, by Dr. Dafna Langgut of Tel Aviv University, revealed that shortly before the vessels were placed in the tomb, they came into contact with various plants including date palms and myrtle bushes. This fact is interesting because this is not the natural habitat for those species, and they therefore seem to have been planted here intentionally.


According to Dr. Langgut, in this period the date palm symbolized fertility and rejuvenation, which could explain why the ancients cultivated the trees in this environment, where they do not grow naturally.




According to the scholars, these plants may have been part of an orchard planted in an area where funeral rituals were held, during which offerings of food and objects were made to the deceased. The scholars surmise that the jar with the headless toads was among these offerings.


The research will be presented for the first time on Thursday, October 18, at the conference “New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Region,” open to the public, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Source: Israel Antiquities Authority [September 25, 2017]




TANN




Bursting with Starbirth

Bursting with Starbirth

ESA – Hubble Space Telescope logo.


28 September 2017



Result of a galactic crash

This oddly-shaped galactic spectacle is bursting with brand new stars. The pink fireworks in this image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope are regions of intense star formation, triggered by a cosmic-scale collision. The huge galaxy in this image, NGC 4490, has a smaller galaxy in its gravitational grip and is feeling the strain.


Compared to the other fundamental forces in the Universe, gravity is fairly weak. Despite this, gravity has an influence over huge distances and is the driving force behind the motions of the most massive objects in the cosmos. The scattered and warped appearance of the galaxy in this image, NGC 4490, is a prime example of the results of gravity’s unrelenting tug.


Over millions of years, the mutual gravitational attraction between NGC 4490 and its smaller neighbour, NGC 4485, has dragged the two galaxies closer. Eventually, they collided in a swirling crush of stars, gas, and dust. In this image, this most intense period is already over and the two galaxies have moved through each other, untangled themselves, and are speeding apart again. But gravity’s pull is relentless; the galaxies are likely to collide again within a few billion years.



Pan across NGC 4490

Together NGC 4490 and NGC 4485 form the system Arp 269, which is featured in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies. They are located 24 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). The extreme tidal forces of their interaction have determined the shapes and properties of the two galaxies. Once a barred spiral galaxy, similar to the Milky Way, NGC 4490’s outlying regions have been stretched out, resulting in its nickname of the Cocoon Galaxy. Virtually no trace of its past spiral structure can be seen from our perspective, although its companion galaxy NGC 4485 — not pictured here — still clings on to its spiral arms.


This cosmic collision has created rippling patches of higher density gas and dust within both galaxies. The conditions there are ripe for star formation; the brilliant pink pockets of light seen here are dense clouds of ionised hydrogen, glowing as they are irradiated with ultraviolet light from nearby young, hot stars. This spectacular burst of new activity has led to NGC 4490’s classification as a starburst galaxy.


Star formation is also evident in the thin thread that connects the two galaxies: a bridge of stars created by the ancient crash, stretching over the 24 000 light-years that currently separate the fated pair. But where there is life, there is also death. Several supernovae have also been spotted in NGC 4490 over the past few decades, including SN 1982F and SN 2008ax.



Hubble Space Telescope

More information:


The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.


Links:


Images of Hubble: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/archive/category/spacecraft/


HST websites:


http://hubblesite.org/
http://www.nasa.gov/hubble
http://www.spacetelescope.org/


Image, Video, Text, Credits: ESA/Hubble, NASA/Acknowledgements: D. Calzetti (UMass) and the LEGUS Team, J. Maund (University of Sheffield), and R. Chandar (University of Toledo)/Music credit: Astral Electronic.


Best regards, Orbiter.ch


met-european-paintings: Madame de Maison-Rouge as Diana by Jean…

met-european-paintings: Madame de Maison-Rouge as Diana by Jean…


met-european-paintings:



Madame de Maison-Rouge as Diana by Jean Marc Nattier, European Paintings


Medium: Oil on canvas


Rogers Fund, 1903

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/437183



3D Face Authentication for mobile devices3D scanning hardware…

3D Face Authentication for mobile devices3D scanning hardware…



3D Face Authentication for mobile devices


3D scanning hardware company pmd Technologies demonstrate their Face ID system in video released a DAY before the recent Apple event … I don’t know if this is coincidence, forward thinking or unlucky …




3D Face Authentication totally stable in hardest conditions like direct sunlight, totally darkness or half-shade, in movement or with confusing add ons like hats or changing of haircolor.

In under 100ms and resistant to any chicanery.



More Here


СЕЛЕВОЙ ПОТОК В ГВАТЕМАЛЕПо данным местной радиостанции, 12...

СЕЛЕВОЙ ПОТОК В ГВАТЕМАЛЕПо данным местной радиостанции, 12...







СЕЛЕВОЙ ПОТОК В ГВАТЕМАЛЕ


По данным местной радиостанции, 12 человек погибли или пропали без вести в результате схода селевого потока в деревне Пантик. Инцидент произошел сегодня утром в муниципалитете Тамау, департамент Альта Верапас.


Featured

Полет на параплане с обрыва на мысу Куяльницкого лимана, соленого озера. Экстремальный развлекательный полет проводится для любителей. ...

Popular