суббота, 23 февраля 2019 г.

Catacomb > Armenia_MLBA

It should be obvious by now, thanks to ancient DNA, that Transcaucasia and surrounds were affected by multiple, and at times significant, population movements from Eastern Europe during the Eneolithic and Bronze Age periods. Based on the ancient samples from what is now Armenia, I’d say that this process peaked during the Middle Bronze Age. But who exactly were the people who perhaps swarmed south of the Caucasus at this time?
The most likely suspects are the various groups that occupied the southernmost parts of the Pontic-Caspian steppe throughout the Bronze Age. They were associated with the so called Catacomb, Kubano-Tersk and Yamnaya archeological cultures. Below is a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) that compares samples from these cultures with those from Middle to Late Bronze Age Armenia (labeled Armenia_MLBA). The relevant datasheet is available here.

Note that Armenia_MLBA forms a cline that appears to be stretching out towards the Catacomb, Kubano-Tersk, Yamnaya and other Bronze Age steppe groups, and this suggests that it harbors significant and probably recent steppe-related ancestry. But PCA plots based on just two dimensions of genetic variation can be misleading at times, so let’s check this out with some formal mixture models using qpAdm.

Catacomb 0.234±0.028
Kura-Araxes_Kaps 0.766±0.028
chisq 10.723
tail prob 0.826248
Full output
Kubano-Tersk 0.254±0.030
Kura-Araxes_Kaps 0.746±0.030
chisq 13.535
tail prob 0.633284
Full output
Kura-Araxes_Kaps 0.768±0.028
Yamnaya_Kalmykia 0.232±0.028
chisq 14.454
tail prob 0.564954
Full output
Kura-Araxes_Kaps 0.762±0.029
Yamnaya_Caucasus 0.238±0.029
chisq 15.916
tail prob 0.458816
Full output

All of these models are statistically very sound, and even though I ranked the results by “tail prob”, there’s nothing in the output that clearly points to any one of the southern steppe groups as the obvious source of the steppe-related ancestry in Armenia_MLBA. But, interestingly, Catacomb tops the ranking, and it probably also makes the most sense based simply on Carbon-14 chronology. So, for now, I’m going with Catacomb.
I didn’t get a chance yet to investigate this issue in detail with the Global25. Does it contradict the results from my PCA and qpAdm analyses? If anyone reading this would like to take a close look that’d be great. Feel free to post your findings in the comments below. And if the answer is indeed Catacomb, then what language did these Catacomb-derived migrants, or perhaps invaders, speak? If not proto-Armenian then what?
By the way, please be aware that the Kubano-Tersk samples in my analyses are the same individuals as those featured in Wang et al. 2019 under the label “North Caucasus”.
On a related note, here are a couple of intriguing qpAdm models that I came up with recently for the five Hittite era Anatolians in my dataset (aka Anatolia_MLBA). I don’t have a clue why these models work so well and what they mean exactly. They do suggest, however, that the Hittite era Anatolians harbor steppe-related ancestry, which may have been mediated via populations from the Caucasus similar to Armenia_MBA. But, then again, this might just be an artifact of trying to model several streams of ancestry, coming from various directions, with just two and three potential mixture sources. Any thoughts?

Anatolia_EBA_Ovaoren 0.651±0.109
Armenia_MBA 0.174±0.063
Peloponnese_N 0.175±0.058
chisq 8.321
tail prob 0.91027
Full output
Anatolia_EBA_Isparta 0.831±0.053
Armenia_MBA 0.169±0.053
chisq 16.170
tail prob 0.441163
Full output

See also…
Steppe ancestry in Chalcolithic Transcaucasia (aka Armenia_ChL explained)
Likely Yamnaya incursion(s) into Northwestern Iran
Late PIE ground zero now obvious; location of PIE homeland still uncertain, but…


2019 February 23 The Stars of the Triangulum Galaxy Image…

2019 February 23

The Stars of the Triangulum Galaxy
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Durbin, J. Dalcanton, and B. F. Williams (University of Washington)

Explanation: Like grains of sand on a cosmic beach, stars of the Triangulum Galaxy are resolved in this sharp mosaic from the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). The inner region of the galaxy spanning over 17,000 light-years is covered at extreme resolution, the second largest image ever released by Hubble. At its center is the bright, densely packed galactic core surrounded by a loose array of dark dust lanes mixed with the stars in the galactic plane. Also known as M33, the face-on spiral galaxy lies 3 million light-years away in the small northern constellation Triangulum. Over 50,000 light-years in diameter, the Triangulum Galaxy is the third largest in the Local Group of galaxies after the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), and our own Milky Way. Of course, to fully appreciate the Triangulum’s stars, star clusters, and bright nebulae captured in this Hubble mosaic, you’ll need to use a zoom tool.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190223.html

Dramatic Jupiter

NASA – JUNO Mission logo.

Feb. 22, 2019

Dramatic atmospheric features in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere are captured in this view from NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The new perspective shows swirling clouds that surround a circular feature within a jet stream region called “Jet N6.”

This color-enhanced image was taken at 9:20 a.m. PST on Feb. 12, 2019 (12:20 p.m. EST), as the spacecraft performed its 18th close flyby of the gas giant planet. At the time, Juno was about 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers) from the planet’s cloud tops, above a latitude of approximately 55 degrees north.

Citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill created this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager. The image has been rotated approximately 100 degrees to the right.

JunoCam’s raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products at http://missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam.  

Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter

More information about Juno is at http://www.nasa.gov/juno and http://missionjuno.swri.edu.

Image, Animation, Credits: NASA/Tony Greicius/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill.

Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link

Carn Liath Iron Age Broch, Sutherland, The Highlands, Scotland, 21.2.19.

Carn Liath Iron Age Broch, Sutherland, The Highlands, Scotland, 21.2.19.

Source link

Are You Ready to #BeTheSpark?


– want to modify a NASA

technology and solve a real word problem?


Our Optimus Prime Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge, known as OPSPARC for short, is a student challenge

that guides teams through various NASA Spinoff technologies that are in their

everyday world. The teams use their imagination, creativity, and engineering

skills to develop their own ideas for NASA spinoff technology.



are technologies originally created for space and modified into everyday

products used here on Earth.


Perhaps the most widely

recognized NASA spinoff, memory foam was invented by NASA-funded researchers

looking for ways to keep test pilots cushioned during flights. Today, memory

foam makes for more comfortable beds, couches and chairs, not to mention better

shoes, movie theater seats and even football helmets.


are more than two-thousand NASA Spinoffs They include memory foam, invisible

braces, firefighting equipment, programmable pace makers, artificial limbs, scratch-resistant

lenses, aircraft anti-icing systems, endangered species tracking software,

cochlear implants, satellite television, long-distance telecommunications, and

many, many more.



deadline has been extended to February 26th for our Mission 3 student challenge.

Sign up NOW here: https://opsparc.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Fans of the Hasbro TRANSFORMERS brand will pick up on the

play on words between the challenge name, OPSPARC, and the “AllSpark”

from the TRANSFORMERS universe. The AllSpark is what gave the TRANSFORMERS

robots life and knowledge, which they use to help mankind — just like NASA

spinoffs. Students from around the globe will have the opportunity to Be

The Spark!

OPTIMUS PRIME and TRANSFORMERS are trademarks of Hasbro and are

used with permission. © 2018 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

New Horizons Spacecraft Returns Its Sharpest Views of Ultima Thule

NASA – New Horizons Mission patch.

Feb. 22, 2019

The mission team called it a “stretch goal” – just before closest approach, precisely pointing the cameras on NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft to snap the sharpest possible pictures of the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule, its New Year’s flyby target and the farthest object ever explored.

Now that New Horizons has sent those stored flyby images back to Earth, the team can enthusiastically confirm that its ambitious goal was met.

Image above: The most detailed images of Ultima Thule — obtained just minutes before the spacecraft’s closest approach at 12:33 a.m. EST on Jan. 1 — have a resolution of about 110 feet (33 meters) per pixel. Their combination of higher spatial resolution and a favorable viewing geometry offer an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the surface of Ultima Thule, believed to be the most primitive object ever encountered by a spacecraft. This processed, composite picture combines nine individual images taken with the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), each with an exposure time of 0.025 seconds, just 6 ½ minutes before the spacecraft’s closest approach to Ultima Thule (officially named 2014 MU69). The image was taken at 5:26 UT (12:26 a.m. EST) on Jan. 1, 2019, when the spacecraft was 4,109 miles (6,628 kilometers) from Ultima Thule and 4.1 billion miles (6.6 billion kilometers) from Earth. The angle between the spacecraft, Ultima Thule and the Sun – known as the “phase angle” – was 33 degrees. Image Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute, National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

These new images of Ultima Thule – obtained by the telephoto Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) just six-and-a-half minutes before New Horizons’ closest approach to the object (officially named 2014 MU69) at 12:33 a.m. EST on Jan. 1, 2019 – offer a resolution of about 110 feet (33 meters) per pixel. Their combination of high spatial resolution and a favorable viewing angle gives the team an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the surface, as well as the origin and evolution, of Ultima Thule, which is thought to be the most primitive object ever encountered by a spacecraft.

Image above: Illustration of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft encountering 2014 MU69 – nicknamed “Ultima Thule” – a Kuiper Belt object that orbits one billion miles beyond Pluto. New Horizons’ exploration of Ultima is the farthest space probe flyby in history. Image Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI.

“Bullseye!” said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). “Getting these images required us to know precisely where both tiny Ultima and New Horizons were — moment by moment – as they passed one another at over 32,000 miles per hour in the dim light of the Kuiper Belt, a billion miles beyond Pluto. This was a much tougher observation than anything we had attempted in our 2015 Pluto flyby.

“These ‘stretch goal’ observations were risky, because there was a real chance we’d only get part or even none of Ultima in the camera’s narrow field of view,” Stern continued. “But the science, operations and navigation teams nailed it, and the result is a field day for our science team! Some of the details we now see on Ultima Thule’s surface are unlike any object ever explored before.”

The higher resolution brings out a many surface features that weren’t readily apparent in earlier images. Among them are several bright, enigmatic, roughly circular patches of terrain. In addition, many small, dark pits near the terminator (the boundary between the sunlit and dark sides of the body) are better resolved. “Whether these features are craters produced by impactors, sublimation pits, collapse pits, or something entirely different, is being debated in our science team,” said John Spencer, deputy project scientist from SwRI.

Flying by Ultima

Video above: New Horizons scientists created this movie from 14 different images taken by the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) shortly before the spacecraft flew past the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule (officially named 2014 MU69) on Jan. 1, 2019. The central frame of this sequence was taken on Jan. 1 at 5:26:54 UT (12:26 a.m. EST), when New Horizons was 4,117 miles (6,640 kilometers) from Ultima Thule, some 4.1 billion miles (6.6 billion kilometers) from Earth. Ultima Thule nearly completely fills the LORRI image and is perfectly captured in the frames, an astounding technical feat given the uncertain location of Ultima Thule and the New Horizons spacecraft flying past it at over 32,000 miles per hour. Video Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

Project Scientist Hal Weaver, of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, noted that the latest images have the highest spatial resolution of any New Horizons has taken – or may ever take – during its entire mission. Swooping within just 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometers), New Horizons flew approximately three times closer to Ultima than it zipped past its primary mission target, Pluto, in July 2015.

Ultima is a smaller object than Pluto, but the Ultima flyby was done with the highest navigation precision ever achieved by any spacecraft before. This unprecedented precision was achieved thanks to the ground-based occultation campaigns from 2017 and 2018 conducted in Argentina, Senegal, South Africa and Colombia, as well as the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission, which provided the locations of the stars that were used during the occultation campaigns.

Look for these and other LORRI images on the New Horizons LORRI website this week. Raw images from the camera are posted to the site each Friday.

Mission operations manager Alice Bowman, of APL, reports that the spacecraft continues to operate flawlessly. New Horizons is nearly 4.13 billion miles (6.64 billion kilometers) from Earth; at that distance, radio signals, traveling at light speed, reach the large antennas of NASA’s Deep Space Network six hours and nine minutes after New Horizons sends them. Follow New Horizons on its trek through the Kuiper Belt.

Image above: This processed, composite picture combines seven individual images taken with the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), each with an exposure time of 0.025 seconds, just 19 minutes before the spacecraft’s closest approach to Ultima Thule (officially named 2014 MU69). The image was taken at 5:14 UT (12:14 a.m. EST) on Jan. 1, 2019, when the spacecraft was 10,350 miles (16,694 kilometers) from Ultima Thule and 4.1 billion miles (6.6 billion kilometers) from Earth. The angle between the spacecraft, Ultima Thule and the Sun – known as the “phase angle” – was 16 degrees. Image Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute, National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

New Horizons: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/main/index.html

Images (mentioned), Video (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Tricia Talbert.

Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link

Hubble Peers into the Vast Distance

NASA – Hubble Space Telescope patch.

Feb. 22, 2019

This picture showcases a gravitational lensing system called SDSS J0928+2031. Astronomers are using NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope observations of this type of lensing to research how stars form and evolve in distant galaxies.

Gravitational lensing can help astronomers study objects that would otherwise be too faint or appear too small for us to view. When a large object — such as a massive cluster of galaxies, as seen here — distorts space with its immense gravitational field, it causes light from more distant galaxies to travel along altered and warped paths. It also amplifies the light, making it possible for us to observe and study its source.

We see two dominant elliptical galaxies near the center of the image. The gravity from the galaxy cluster where these galaxies reside is acting as the aforementioned gravitational lens, allowing us to view the more distant galaxies sitting behind them. We see the effects of this lensing as narrow, curved streaks of light surrounding both of the large galaxies.

This image was observed by Hubble as part of the Sloan Giant Arcs Survey program.

For more information about Hubble, visit:




Image Credits: ESA/Hubble & NASA, M. Gladders et al; Acknowledgment: Judy Schmidt
Text Credits: European Space Agency (ESA)/NASA/Karl Hille.

Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link

Meteor Activity Outlook for February 23-March 1, 2019

This photograph of a bright fireball, provided by Daniel Bush, occurred on February 1, 2018 at 7:07 UT, from Auburn, Missouri. © Daniel Bush.

During this period the moon will reach its last quarter phase on Tuesday February 26th. At this time the moon will be located 90 degrees west of the sun and will rise near 0100 local standard time (LST). Useful meteor observations can be carrier out during the more active morning hours as long as you keep the moon out of your field of view. This weekend will be more difficult to view meteor activity as the gibbous moon will rise earlier and also be brighter than later in the week. Hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 4 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 5 as seen from mid-northern latitudes and 9 from the southern tropics. The actual rates will also depend on factors such as personal light and motion perception, local weather conditions, alertness and experience in watching meteor activity. Rates are  reduced during the morning hours due to moonlight. Note that the hourly rates listed below are estimates as viewed from dark sky sites away from urban light sources. Observers viewing from urban areas will see less activity as only the brighter meteors will be visible from such locations.

The radiant (the area of the sky where meteors appear to shoot from) positions and rates listed below are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning February 23/24 . These positions do not change greatly day to day so the listed coordinates may be used during this entire period. Most star atlases (available at science stores and planetariums) will provide maps with grid lines of the celestial coordinates so that you may find out exactly where these positions are located in the sky. A planisphere or computer planetarium program is also useful in showing the sky at any time of night on any date of the year. Activity from each radiant is best seen when it is positioned highest in the sky, either due north or south along the meridian, depending on your latitude. It must be remembered that meteor activity is rarely seen at the radiant position. Rather they shoot outwards from the radiant so it is best to center your field of view so that the radiant lies near the edge and not the center. Viewing there will allow you to easily trace the path of each meteor back to the radiant (if it is a shower member) or in another direction if it is a sporadic. Meteor activity is not seen from radiants that are located far below the horizon. The positions below are listed in a west to east manner in order of right ascension (celestial longitude). The positions listed first are located further west therefore are accessible earlier in the night while those listed further down the list rise later in the night.

Radiant Positions at 7:00pm Local Standard Time

Radiant Positions at 12:00am Local Standard Time

Radiant Positions at 5:00am Local Standard Time

These sources of meteoric activity are expected to be active this week.

The center of the large Anthelion (ANT) radiant is currently located at 11:12 (168) +11. This position lies in southeastern Leo, 2 degrees southwest of the 4th magnitude star known as sigma Leonis) Due to the large size of this radiant, Anthelion activity may also appear from western Virgo and Sextans as well as Leo. This radiant is best placed near 0100 local standard time (LST), when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. Rates at this time should be near 2 per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere and 1 per hour from south of the equator. With an entry velocity of 30 km/sec., the average Anthelion meteor would be of slow velocity.

The February Mu Virginids (FMV) were discovered by Damir Šegon and the Croatian Meteor Network team based on studying SonotaCo and CMN observations (SonotaCo 2007-2011, CMN 2007-2010). These meteors are active from February 17 through March 5 with maximum activity occurring on February 26. The current radiant position lies near 16:16 (244) -02, which actually places it on the border of Ophiuchus and Sepens Caput, 3 degrees north of the pair of stars known as “Yeds” (epsilon and delta Ophiuchi). Rates are expected to be less than 1 per hour no matter your location. These meteors are best seen near 0500 LST when the radiant lies highest above the horizon. At 62 km/sec. the February Mu Virginids would produce mostly swift meteors.

As seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45N) one would expect to see approximately 3 sporadic meteors per hour during the last hour before dawn as seen from rural observing sites. Evening rates would be near 2 per hour. As seen from the tropical southern latitudes (25S), morning rates would be near 8 per hour as seen from rural observing sites and 3 per hour during the evening hours. Morning rates are reduced due to moonlight. Locations between these two extremes would see activity between the listed figures.

RA (RA in Deg.) DEC Km/Sec Local Standard Time North-South
Anthelion (ANT) 11:12 (168) +11 30 01:00 2 – 1 II
February mu Virginids (FMV) Feb 26 16:16 (244) -02 62 07:00 <1 – <1 IV

Source link


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