вторник, 17 октября 2017 г.

Dagger (Katar), Arms and ArmorMedium: Steel, goldBequest of…

Dagger (Katar), Arms and Armor

Medium: Steel, gold

Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


Armor for Heavy Cavalry with Matching Shaffron (Horse’s…

Armor for Heavy Cavalry with Matching Shaffron (Horse’s Head Defense), Arms and Armor

Medium: Steel, gold, leather, textile

Rogers Fund, 1927

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


met-cloisters: Saint Michael, The CloistersMedium: Wood, paint,…


Saint Michael, The Cloisters

Medium: Wood, paint, and gilding

The Cloisters Collection, 1953

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


Weight, inscribed with “8”, Egyptian ArtMedium:…

Weight, inscribed with “8”, Egyptian Art

Medium: Sandstone

Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1922

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


This photo of water geysers spouting from Saturn’s moon…

This photo of water geysers spouting from Saturn’s moon Enceladus was taken by NASA’s Cassini orbiter in October 2007

Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

Astronomy & Astrophysics

ancientpeoples: Knossos (Greek Κνωσός), currently refers to the…


Knossos (Greek Κνωσός), currently refers to the main Bronze Agearchaeological site at Heraklion, a modern port city on the north central coast of Crete. Heraklion was formerly called Candia after the Saracen name for the place, Kandaiki, referring to the moat that was built around the then new settlement for defence. Kandaiki became Byzantine Chandax.

The name Knossos survives from ancient Greek references to the major city of Crete. The identification of Knossos with the Bronze Age site is supported by tradition and by the Roman coins that were scattered over the fields surrounding the pre-excavation site, then a large mound named Kephala Hill, elevation 85 m (279 ft) from current sea level. Many of them were inscribed with Knosion or Knos on the obverse and an image of a Minotaur or Labyrinth on the reverse, both symbols deriving from the myth of King Minos, supposed to have reigned from Knossos.

Art and Architecture

The features of the palace at Knossos depend on the time period. Currently visible is an accumulation of features over several centuries, the latest most dominant. The palace was thus never exactly as depicted today. In addition, it has been reconstituted in modern materials. The custom began in an effort to preserve the site from decay and torrential winter rain. After 1922, the chief proprietor, Arthur Evans, intended to recreate a facsimile based on archaeological evidence. The palace is not exactly as it ever was, perhaps in places not even close, and yet in general, judging from the work put in and the care taken, as well as parallels with other palaces, it probably is a good general facsimile. Opinions range, however, from most sceptical, viewing the palace as pure fantasy based on 1920s architecture and art deco, to most unquestioning, accepting the final judgements of Arthur Evans as most accurate. The mainstream of opinion falls between. 

From an archaeological point of view, the terms, “Knossos,” and “palace,” are somewhat ambiguous. The palace was never just the residence of a monarch. It contained rooms that might have been suitable for a royal family. Most of the structures, however, were designed as a civic, religious and economic center. The term, palace complex, is more accurate. Anciently Knosos was a town surrounding and including Kephala Hill. This hill was never an acropolis in the Greek sense. It had no steep heights, remained unfortified, and was not very high off the surrounding ground. These circumstances cannot necessarily be imputed to other Minoan palaces. Phaestos, contemporaneous with Knosos, was placed on a steep ridge commanding the access to Mesara Plain from the sea, and was walled. To what degree Minoan civilization might be considered warlike remains debatable. Whatever answer is given, Knossos bore no resemblance to a Mycenaean citadel, whether before or during Mycenaean Greek occupation.

The archaeological site, Knossos, refers either to the palace complex itself or to that complex and several houses of similar antiquity nearby, which were inadvertently excavated along with the palace. To the south across the Vlychia is the Caravanserai. Further to the south are Minoan houses. The Minoan Road crossed the Vlychia on a Minoan Bridge, immediately entering the Stepped Portico, or covered stairway, to the palace complex. Near the northwest corner of the complex are the ruins of the House of the Frescoes. Across the Minoan Road entering from the northwest is the Arsenal. On the north side of the palace is the Customs House and the Northeast House. From there to the northeast is the modern village of Makrotoichos. Between it and the palace complex is the Royal Villa. On the west side is the Little Palace.

General Features

The great palace was gradually built between 1700 and 1400 BC, with periodic rebuildings after destruction. Structures preceded it on Kephala hill. The features currently most visible date mainly to the last period of habitation, which Evans termed Late Minoan. The palace has an interesting layout – the original plan can no longer be seen due to the subsequent modifications. The 1,300 rooms are connected with corridors of varying sizes and direction, which differ from other contemporaneous palaces that connected the rooms via several main hallways. The 6 acres (24,000 m2) of the palace included a theater, a main entrance on each of its four cardinal faces, and extensive storerooms (also called magazines). Within the storerooms were large clay containers (pithoi) that held oil, grains, dried fish, beans, and olives. Many of the items were processed at the palace, which had grain mills, oil presses, and wine presses. Beneath the pithoi were stone holes that were used to store more valuable objects, such as gold. The palace used advanced architectural techniques: for example, part of it was built up to five storeys high.


The palace at Knossos was a place of high color, as were Greek buildings in the classical period, and as are Greek buildings today. In the EM Period, the walls and pavements were coated with a pale red derived from red ochre. In addition to the background coloring, the walls displayed fresco panel murals, entirely of red. In the subsequent MM Period, with the development of the art, white and black were added, and then blue, green and yellow. The pigments were derived from natural materials, such as ground hematite. Outdoor panels were painted on fresh stucco with the motif in relief; indoor, on fresh, pure plaster, softer than the plaster with additives ordinarily used on walls.

The decorative motifs were generally bordered scenes: people, mythological creatures, real animals, rocks, vegetation, and marine life. The earliest imitated pottery motifs. Most have been reconstructed from various numbers of flakes fallen to the floor. Evans had various technicians and artists work on the project, some artists, some chemists and restorers. The symmetry and use of templates made possible a degree of reconstruction beyond what was warranted by only the flakes. For example, if evidence of the use of a certain template existed scantily in one place, the motif could be supplied from the template found somewhere else. Like the contemporary murals in the funerary art of the Egyptians, certain conventions were utilized that also assisted prediction. For example, male figures are shown with darker or redder skin than female figures.

Belt fragment with a buckle

Belt fragment with a buckle

Sword, Ancient Near Eastern ArtMedium: IronGift of Jerome M….

Sword, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Medium: Iron

Gift of Jerome M. Eisenberg, 1962

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


What are the three main types of faults?…

What are the three main types of faults? http://www.geologypage.com/2017/10/three-main-types-faults.html

Video capture of the blue, sulfur-rich fire at Kawah Ijen…

A post shared by YY/業嶢 (@yeapyau) on

Video capture of the blue, sulfur-rich fire at Kawah Ijen Volcano

Panorama over Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone

Panorama over Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone

Temple of Ramses II discovered in Giza

Parts of a temple to Pharaoh Ramses II (1213-1279 BC), along with reliefs of solar deities, have been uncovered by an Egyptian-Czech mission during excavation work in Abusir necropolis in the the governorate of Giza. The newly uncovered temple in Abusir necropolis helps piece together the activities

of Ramses II in the Memphis area [Credit: Czech Institute of Egyptology]Mohamed Megahed, deputy to the mission director, told Ahram…

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Why Neutron Stars, Not Black Holes, Show The Future Of…

Why Neutron Stars, Not Black Holes, Show The Future Of Gravitational Wave Astronomy

“3.) Gravitational waves move at exactly the speed of light! Before this detection, we never had a gravitational wave and a light signal simultaneously identifiable to compare with one another. After a journey of 130 million light years, the first electromagnetic signal from this detection arrived just 1.7 seconds after the peak of the gravitational wave signal. That means, at most, the difference between the speed of gravity and the speed of light is about 0.12 microns-per-second, or 0.00000000000004%. It’s anticipated that these two speeds are exactly equal, and the delay of the light signal comes from the fact that the light-producing reactions in the neutron star take a second or two to reach the surface.”

Detecting black holes and the gravitational wave signals from them was an incredible feat, but doing the same thing for neutron star mergers is a true game-changer. Instead of fractions of a second, neutron star mergers show up for up to half a minute. Unlike black holes, there’s an electromagnetic counterpart. Because of that, we can verify that the speed of gravity really is identical to the speed of light: to better than 1 part in 1,000,000,000,000,000. And perhaps most spectacularly, we can bring the electromagnetic and gravitational-wave skies together for the first time. Even though LIGO has seen more merging black holes, the fact is that there are more merging neutron stars. The key, now, is finding them. We live at a moment where gravitational wave astronomy is just in its infancy, giving us a whole new way to look at the Universe.

For the first time, we’re doing it. Here’s the incredible science of what we’re actually learning, and what the future of gravitational wave + electromagnetic astronomy now holds.

Webcam on Mars Express surveys high-altitude clouds

ESA – Mars Express Mission patch.

17 October 2017

An unprecedented catalogue of more than 21 000 images taken by a webcam on ESA’s Mars Express is proving its worth as a science instrument, providing a global survey of unusual high-altitude cloud features on the Red Planet.

Cloud over Mars

The low-resolution camera was originally installed on Mars Express for visual confirmation that the Beagle-2 lander had separated in 2003. In 2007 it was switched back on and used primarily for outreach, education and citizen science, with images automatically posted to a dedicated Flickr page, sometimes within just 75 minutes of being taken at Mars.

Last year, with new software, the camera was adopted as a supporting science instrument. Now, the first paper has been published, on detached, high-altitude cloud features and dust storms over the edge, or ‘limb’, of the planet.

While these limb clouds can be imaged by other instruments or spacecraft, it is not necessarily their main task – they are usually looking directly at the surface with a narrow field of view that covers a small portion of the planet for specialised study. By contrast, the webcam often has a global view of the full limb.

“For this reason, limb observations in general are not so numerous, and this is why our images are so valuable in contributing to our understanding of atmospheric phenomena,” says Agustin Sánchez-Lavega, lead author of the study from the University del Pais Vasco in Bilbao, Spain.

“Combining with models and other datasets we were able to gain a better insight to understanding atmospheric transport and seasonal variations that play a role in generating the high-altitude cloud features.”

Cloud structures over Mars

The catalogue of some 21 000 images taken between 2007 and 2016 were examined and 300 identified for the study.

Multiple images separated by a few minutes each were obtained for 18 events as they rotated into view, providing visual documentation of the features from different perspectives.

In general, the cloud features imaged by the camera have peak altitudes in the range of 50–80 km above the planet and extend horizontally from about 400 km up to 1500 km.

In order to understand the nature of the clouds – for example, if they were primarily composed of dust or icy particles – the team compared the images with atmospheric property predictions detailed by the Mars Climate Database. The database uses temperature and pressure information to indicate if either water or carbon dioxide clouds could be capable of forming at that time and altitude.

Mars Express

The team also looked at the weather report generated from images by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and in some cases had additional corresponding observations obtained from other sensors on ESA’s Mars Express.

From the 18 studied in depth, most were concluded to be water-ice clouds, and one was attributed to a dust storm.

The high water-ice clouds seemed to depend on the position of the sun: they are present at sunrise and early afternoon, when temperatures are lower, allowing water-ice to condense. Later in the day, as the sunlight increases, the water-ice evaporates, and they dissipate.

Temperature variability and water vapour content according to the season, as well as atmospheric dynamics, can also play a role in the visible characteristics of the clouds.

Dust clouds over Mars

One event was attributed to a local dust storm in the northern hemisphere, which was also captured by images taken looking down on the surface by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The storm evolved rapidly, and took on arc shape with a front of about 1950 km on its outer edge and 730 km on its internal edge, and a width of 60–130 km. Limb observations by the webcam indicated the altitude was about 65 km.

“This long-term monitoring has allowed us to detect and measure the extent of dust and clouds over the limb of the planet, and study changes with a high cadence of imaging,” says Dmitri Titov, ESA’s Mars Express project scientist.

“We will continue to maintain the database with systematic observations from the webcam to provide wide views of atmospheric phenomena.”

Notes for editors:

“Limb clouds and dust on Mars from images obtained by the Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) onboard Mars Express,” A. Sánchez-Lavega et al is published in Icarus 299 (2018): http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019103517301501?via%3Dihub

All webcam images are freely available via the dedicated Flickr account, here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/esa_marswebcam/

Mars Climate Database: http://www-mars.lmd.jussieu.fr/mars/access.html

Mars Express: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express

Mars Express overview: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express_overview

Mars Express in-depth: http://sci.esa.int/marsexpress

ESA Planetary Science archive (PSA): http://www.rssd.esa.int/PSA

High Resolution Stereo Camera: http://berlinadmin.dlr.de/Missions/express/indexeng.shtml

HRSC data viewer: http://hrscview.fu-berlin.de/

Behind the lens… http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express/Behind_the_lens

Frequently asked questions: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express/Frequently_asked_questions

Text, Images, Credits: ESA/Markus Bauer/Dmitri Titov/University del Pais Vasco/Agustin Sánchez-Lavega/MARCI: NASA/JPL/MSSS; VMC: ESA , CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

Head of an Oba, Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the AmericasMedium:…

Head of an Oba, Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

Medium: Brass

The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


met-european-paintings: Classical Landscape with Figures by…


Classical Landscape with Figures by Henri Mauperché, European Paintings

Medium: Oil on canvas

Bequest of Harry G. Sperling, 1971

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY



CHILE: The collapse of Rapa Nui’s (Easter Island) population is a long-standing mystery, often attributed to the loss of terrestrial food sources and overexploitation of natural resources. However, a new study shows that the islanders were actually able to adapt to the harsh ecological conditions. Analysis of human, faunal, and botanical remains dating to around 1400 indicates that marine sources comprised an unexpectedly large part of the islanders’ diet, and that they were also capable of manipulating the nutrient-poor soil to increase its fertility. —Jason Urbanus

Glass cameo bowl fragment, Greek and Roman ArtMedium: GlassGift…

Glass cameo bowl fragment, Greek and Roman Art

Medium: Glass

Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


theancientwayoflife:~ Drachm. Culture: Greek (Cretan,…


~ Drachm.

Culture: Greek (Cretan, Gortynian)

Place of origin: Gortyna, Crete

Date: 3rd century B.C.

Medium: Silver

geogallery: Posnjakite



Page of Calligraphy from a from a Kalila wa Dimna, Islamic…

Page of Calligraphy from a from a Kalila wa Dimna, Islamic Art

Medium: Ink and opaque watercolor on paper

The Alice and Nasli Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Alice Heeramaneck, 1981

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


met-american-decor: Wine Glass by Adams and Company, American…


Wine Glass by Adams and Company, American Decorative Arts

Medium: Pressed yellow glass

Gift of Mrs. Emily Winthrop Miles, 1946

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


Cylinder Seal with the Name of Pepi I, Egyptian ArtMedium:…

Cylinder Seal with the Name of Pepi I, Egyptian Art

Medium: Steatite

Gift of Helen Miller Gould, 1910

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


met-ancient-art: Zoomorphic tube, Ancient Near Eastern…


Zoomorphic tube, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Medium: Bronze

Gift of Louise Crane, 1980

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


met-robert-lehman: Water pot, Robert Lehman CollectionMedium:…


Water pot, Robert Lehman Collection

Medium: Porcelain with white glaze

Robert Lehman Collection, 1975

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


bokehm0n:Never ending coastline.


Never ending coastline.

The beauty of the tinyIt’s that time of year again when a…

The beauty of the tiny

It’s that time of year again when a variety of panels adjudge several major photography competitions around the world, including one of my favourites, the Nikon Small World photomicrography competition. The beauties here depicted are a set of dandelion stigma covered in bright pollen (magnified 25x), some moth eggs evanescently wrapped in spider silk (16x), the surreal head of a tapeworm, resembling a 3rd stage guild navigator from the movie version of Dune (200x) and the beautiful seed head of a plant (only 2x)…One joy of writing here is the realisation of the beauty of our only home at whatever scale and from whichever perspective it is viewed, another example of the great set of fractal patterns in space and time that provide the warp and weft of the planet that produced us.


Image credit: 1: Dr. Robert Markus 2: Walter Piorkowski 3: Teresa Zgoda 4: Dr Havi Sarfaty


jeremylfisher:Early morning on the Oregon Coast 9/11/15


Early morning on the Oregon Coast 9/11/15


https://t.co/hvL60wwELQ — XissUFOtoday Space (@xufospace) August 3, 2021 Жаждущий ежик наслаждается пресной водой после нескольких дней в о...