понедельник, 4 марта 2019 г.

2019 March 4 Celestial Alignment over Sicilian Shore Image…

2019 March 4

Celestial Alignment over Sicilian Shore
Image Credit & Copyright: Dario Giannobile

Explanation: This was a sunrise to remember. About a month ago, just before the dawn of the Sun, an impressive alignment of celestial objects was on display to the east. Pictured, brightest and closest to the horizon, is the Moon. The Moon’s orange glow is caused by the scattering away of blue light by the intervening atmosphere. Next brightest and next closest to the horizon is the planet Venus. Compared to the Moon, Venus appears more blue – as can (also) be seen in its reflection from the water. Next up is Jupiter, while the bright object above Jupiter is the star Antares. Although this display was visible from almost anywhere on planet Earth, the featured image was taken along a picturesque seashore near the city of Syracuse, on the island of Sicily, in the country of Italy. This month Saturn appears between Venus and Jupiter before sunrise, while Mars is visible just after sunset.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190304.html

An exceptional burial indeed, but not that of an Indo-European

Not too many people have been buried sitting on wagons. The most famous case is that of an Early Bronze Age man who may have died in a high speed accident – high speed for its time anyway – on the Pontic-Caspian steppe in Eastern Europe.
It’s likely that this guy was one of the very first wagon-drivers in human history, because his four-wheeled wooden model is dated to 3336-3105 calBCE, which makes it the oldest wagon discovered thus far. His genotype data, under the label Steppe Maykop SA6004, were published recently along with Wang et al. 2019.
Early wagons are very important for a couple of reasons: they revolutionized human transport and warfare, and they’re often closely associated with the prehistoric expansions of Indo-European languages.
So I’m pretty sure that many of you must be thinking right now that wagon-driver SA6004 was an early Indo-European, or even a Proto-Indo-European! I bet that’s what Wang et al. thought too, considering the conclusion in their paper. But, alas, the chances of this are slim to none.
Steppe Maykop samples show a rather peculiar genetic structure for an West Eurasian population, with a large proportion of their ancestry deriving from a source closely related to western Siberian hunter-gatherers (aka West_Siberia_N in the ancient DNA record). Indeed, SA6004 basically looks like a 50/50 mix between West_Siberia_N and Progress_Eneolithic. Here’s a map with all of the relevant details.

Thus, clearly, the Steppe Maykop population wasn’t ancestral or even directly related to the steppe and steppe-derived groups generally regarded to have been Indo-European speaking, such as those associated with the Yamnaya, Corded Ware, and Bell Beaker cultures. That’s because these groups lack any discernible West_Siberia_N-related ancestry.
It also wasn’t ancestral or directly related to any present-day or currently sampled ancient Indo-European speaking populations, again because these populations basically lack West_Siberia_N-related ancestry.
On the other hand, Yamnaya, Corded Ware and other closely related groups show an exceptionally strong genetic relationship with Indo-European speakers, especially those from across Northern Europe, which experienced massive migrations from the Pontic-Caspian steppe during the late Neolithic period, and hardly anything from elsewhere since then.
Case in point, the samples from Wang et al. labeled Yamnaya Caucasus were recovered from the same area of the Pontic-Caspian as their Steppe Maykop samples, and yet, take a look at this linear model based on outgroup f3-statistics. Steppe Maykop does show high genetic affinity to Indo-European speakers (no doubt mediated via its Progress_Eneolithic-related ancestry), but, unlike Yamnaya Caucasus, it also shows unusually high affinity for an West Eurasian population to Native Americans and Siberians. The relevant datasheet is available here.

So the only way that the Steppe Maykop population was Indo-European-speaking, was if it inherited its Indo-European speech from its Progress_Eneolithic-related ancestors. And even if it was Indo-European-speaking, it probably spoke an extinct Indo-European language not closely related to any extant Indo-European languages. In other words, the chances that Steppe Maykop passed on its language to Yamnaya, along with its wagons, is close to zero. More likely, Yamnaya stole a few wagons from Steppe Maykop, and the rest is history.
See also…
The Steppe Maykop enigma
On Maykop ancestry in Yamnaya
Late PIE ground zero now obvious; location of PIE homeland still uncertain, but…


Emerald | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Locality: Malyshevo,…

Emerald | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral

Locality: Malyshevo, Ekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk), Middle Urals, Russia

Size: 10 x 8.5 x 8.1 cm

Photo Copyright © Saphira Minerals

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Azurite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Location: Tsumeb…

Azurite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral

Location: Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto, Namibia

Size: 8.0 x 6.5 x 6.0 cm (small-cabinet)

Photo Copyright © Weinrich Minerals

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Cerro de los Siete Colores “The Hill of Seven…

Cerro de los Siete Colores “The Hill of Seven Colors” | #Geology #GeologyPage #Argentina

Cerro de los Siete Colores (The Hill of Seven Colors) is one of the hills bordering the Quebrada de Purmamarca which is in turn is a western branch of the Quebrada de Humahuaca up to Cuesta del Lipán, in Jujuy Province, Argentina.

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Pyromorphite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Location: Bunker…

Pyromorphite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral

Location: Bunker Hill Mine, Kellogg, Coeur d’Alene District, Shoshone Co., Idaho, USA

Size: 8.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 cm (small-cabinet)

Photo Copyright © Weinrich Minerals

Geology Page



Quartz with Sphalerite | #Geology #GeologyPage…

Quartz with Sphalerite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral

Location: Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Size: 7.5 x 6.0 x 3.0 cm (small-cabinet)

Photo Copyright © Weinrich Minerals

Geology Page



Bayldonite after Mimetite | #Geology #GeologyPage…

Bayldonite after Mimetite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral

Locality: Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Oshikoto Region (Otjikoto Region), Namibia

Dimensions: 5.0 × 4.1 × 3.7 cm

Photo Copyright © Crystal Classics

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Discovery of Many New Ultra-Diffuse Galaxies in Galaxy Clusters

Figure 1. Map of the sky showing the clusters surveyed in KIWICS, and the eight clusters that have been already analysed.

Credit: Pavel Mancera Piña. Large format: [PNG]

Figure 2. Left panel: Example of UDGs found in different clusters, the white lines show a scale of 5 arcsec. Upper right panel: The Sérsic index distribution (a measure of the light concentration of a galaxy) for central (red) and outer (blue) UDGs, showing that the galaxies in the central regions are more concentrated. Lower right panel: Axis ratio distribution of the two samples, showing that galaxies in the central regions are rounder. Credit: Pavel Mancera Piña. Large format: [PNG].

In preparation for the new multi-object survey spectrograph, WEAVE, on the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope, the astronomical community is working on deep imaging surveys to identify the astronomical objects which will be studied later in more detail with WEAVE. 

WEAVE will allow astronomers to take optical spectra of up to ~1000 targets at the same time in a single exposure, or to carry out integral-field spectroscopy using 20 deployable mini integral-field units or one large integral-field unit. 

Galaxies, like our Milky Way, can live in large groups with many others, the so-called galaxy clusters. Such associations contain a potpourri of galaxies with many different properties such as colours, ages, morphologies and brightness. Among this broad diversity there exists a bewildering population of large but extremely faint galaxies, called “ultra diffuse galaxies” (see e.g., news release “The Puzzle of Ultra-Diffuse Galaxies”), and understanding their properties is important to understand how the environment of galaxies affects their evolution. Since they are so faint, they are easily perturbed by the cluster environment, and therefore are ideal probes to study what happens with galaxies in the dense cluster environment. 

Using the capabilities of the WFC at the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) to explore large areas of the sky and detect faint ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs), a collaboration of astronomers in the Netherlands and Spain performed a study to investigate these galaxies in detail, the Kapteyn IAC WEAVE INT Clusters Survey (KIWICS). 

When finished, the KIWICS survey will contain 48 X-ray selected clusters. The results for 8 clusters have recently been published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

By analysing the general properties of about 500 newly-found UDGs at different distances from the centres of the clusters the researchers found several signs of environmental effects. The first result was that the larger clusters show a lack of UDGs in their centres. This is proof that the enormous gravitational forces present there are tearing these fluffy galaxies apart.

Moreover they also found that UDGs away from the cluster centre are generally younger and have less concentrated stellar distributions, showing that the gravitational potential of the cluster, which is stronger close to the cluster centre, is changing the structure of galaxies, and is removing the interstellar gas, so that no new stars are being formed in the centres of clusters.

In addition, they see that, as UDGs approach the centres of their host clusters, their morphologies are transformed from irregular discs to more spheroidal systems. In fact, for dwarf galaxies, which are similar to UDGs, but much smaller, observations in the literature give the same results.

It is expected that the whole KIWICS survey will be finished at the end of 2019, just before WEAVE will be installed on the William Herschel Telescope.

More information:

Pavel E. Mancera Piña, Reynier F. Peletier, J. Alfonso López Aguerri, Aku Venhola, Scott C. Trager and Nelvy Choque Challapa, 2018, “Reviewing the frequency and central depletion of ultra-diffuse galaxies in galaxy clusters from the KIWICS survey”, MNRAS, 481, 4381 [ ADS ]

Pavel E. Mancera Piña, J. Alfonso López Aguerri, Reynier F. Peletier, Aku Venhola, Scott C. Trager and Nelvy Choque Challapa, 2019, “The evolution of ultra-diffuse galaxies in nearby galaxy clusters from the Kapteyn IAC WEAVE INT Clusters Survey (KIWICS)”, arXiv:1901.07577 [ ADS ]


Javier Méndez  (Public Relations Officer) 

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SpaceX Crew Dragon Hatch Open

SpaceX – COTS C-1 Mission patch.

March 3, 2019

Aboard the space station, NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, and Russian cosmonaut and Expedition 58 commander Oleg Kononenko opened the hatch between the Crew Dragon and the orbital laboratory at 8:07 a.m. EST.

The crew members opened the hatch to Crew Dragon following standard leak checks and pressurization since the spacecraft completed its hard dock to the station at 6:02 a.m., the first autonomous docking of any U.S. spacecraft to the International Space Station.

Image above: Expedition 58 crew members enter the SpaceX Crew Dragon for the first time. They are wearing protective gear to avoid breathing particulate matter that may shaken loose during launch. Image Credit: NASA.

In addition to carrying Ripley, an anthropomorphic test device outfitted with sensors to provide data about potential effects on future astronauts who will travel in the Crew Dragon. NASA also sent more than 400 pounds of crew supplies and equipment to the space station, including bulk overwrap bags containing more than 1,000 food and drink packages for the crew.

For operational missions, Crew Dragon will be able to launch as many as four crew members and carry more than 220 pounds of cargo, enabling the expansion of the inhabitants of the space station, increasing the time dedicated to research in the unique microgravity environment, and returning more science back to Earth.

Crew Dragon hatch opening

The Expedition 58 crew members will host a welcoming ceremony for the Crew Dragon that will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 10:45 a.m.

Related articles:

SpaceX Crew Dragon Successfully Docks to Station

NASA, SpaceX Launch First Flight Test of Space System Designed for Crew

Related links:

International docking adapter: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/meet-the-international-docking-adapter

Learn more about NASA’s Commercial Crew program at: https://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

Commercial Space: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/index.html

International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

SpaceX: https://www.spacex.com/

Image (mentioned), Video, Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia/NASA TV/SciNews.

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Advanced Camera for Surveys Anomaly on Hubble Space Telescope

NASA – Hubble Space Telescope patch.

March 3, 2019

At 8:31 p.m. EST on Feb. 28, the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope suspended operations after an error was detected as the instrument was performing a routine boot procedure. The error indicated that software inside the camera had not loaded correctly. A team of instrument system engineers, flight software experts and flight operations personnel quickly organized to download and analyze instrument diagnostic information. This team is currently working to identify the root cause and then to construct a recovery plan.

Hubble Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA

The telescope continues to operate normally, executing observations with the other three science instruments — the Wide Field Camera 3, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph — that are all performing nominally. There are no critical observations using the Advanced Camera for Surveys scheduled for the remainder of this week or next week, and the observations that were planned over the next two weeks can be easily rescheduled.

Originally required to last 15 years, Hubble has now been operating for more than 28 years. The final servicing mission in 2009, expected to extend Hubble’s lifetime an additional five years, has now produced more than nine years of science observations. During that servicing mission, astronauts repaired the Advanced Camera for Surveys, installed in 2002, after its power supply failed in 2007.

For more information about Hubble, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/hubble

Image (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Rob Garner/Claire Saravia Andreoli/Elizabeth Landau.

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Kinord Iron Age Hut Circle Complex Photoset 2, Dinnet, The Highlands, Scotland, 20.2.19.

Kinord Iron Age Hut Circle Complex Photoset 2, Dinnet, The Highlands, Scotland, 20.2.19.

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Under a Wrist From typing to eating, driving to lifting, our…

Under a Wrist

From typing to eating, driving to lifting, our wrists play a vital role in our daily lives. Here a 3D computer model helps to predict how wrist bones work together. Magnetic resonance imaging scanned the wrists of 18 healthy people, capturing how the bones inside re-organise and collaborate as the joint bends and twists. Pooling information from men and women of different ages produced this general model of ten interlocking bones, but also revealed a strong similarity between left and right wrists, and that male wrist bones are generally larger. The model may now help to make predictions about the effects of injury or disease to our overall manoeuvrability – helping to understand painful conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Written by John Ankers

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New findings shed light on origin of upright walking in human…

New findings shed light on origin of upright walking in human ancestors http://www.geologypage.com/2019/03/new-findings-shed-light-on-origin-of-upright-walking-in-human-ancestors.html

Paleontology: Diversification after mass extinction…

Paleontology: Diversification after mass extinction http://www.geologypage.com/2019/03/paleontology-diversification-after-mass-extinction.html

Amoebae diversified at least 750 million years ago, far earlier…

Amoebae diversified at least 750 million years ago, far earlier than expected http://www.geologypage.com/2019/03/amoebae-diversified-at-least-750-million-years-ago-far-earlier-than-expected.html

A small plesiosaur lived in Spain 125 million years ago…

A small plesiosaur lived in Spain 125 million years ago http://www.geologypage.com/2019/03/a-small-plesiosaur-lived-in-spain-125-million-years-ago.html


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