четверг, 11 апреля 2019 г.

Dyffryn Prehistoric Burial Chambers, Dyffryn Ardudwy, North Wales, 9.4.19.

Dyffryn Prehistoric Burial Chambers, Dyffryn Ardudwy, North Wales, 9.4.19.

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Bachwen Prehistoric Burial Chamber, North Wales, 9.4.19.

Bachwen Prehistoric Burial Chamber, North Wales, 9.4.19.

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aucelo: photograph by Steven ZuckerLunging Warrior (Right),…


photograph by Steven Zucker

Lunging Warrior (Right), West Pediment Sculptures, Temple of Aphaia, Island of Aegina. Glyptothek, Munich


aucelo: photograph by Steven ZuckerAthena Group, West Pediment…


photograph by Steven Zucker

Athena Group, West Pediment Sculptures, Temple of Aphaia, Island of Aegina. Glyptothek, Munich


aucelo: Roman Youth on Horseback, 1st century CE. marble,…


Roman Youth on Horseback, 1st century CE. marble, height · 2.05 metres. British Museum, London


NASA Invests in Potentially Revolutionary Tech Concepts

NASA logo.

April 11, 2019

Smart spacesuits and solar surfing may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but they are just two of the technology concepts NASA has selected for further research as part of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. The program will fund 18 studies to determine the feasibility of early-stage technologies that could go on to change what’s possible in space.

The funded technologies have the potential to transform human and robotic exploration of other worlds, including the Moon and Mars. One researcher, for example, will study an affordable way to mine the ample ice at the Moon’s polar regions. NASA aims to send astronauts to land on the Moon’s South Pole in five years.

Two studies were chosen from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, including a Venus lander charged by a floating power generator, and a fleet of small satellites that could explore the edges of the solar system and beyond.

Image above: NASA has selected two new concepts from JPL for future mission ideas, including a small satellite that could fly to the outer edges of the solar system. In this photo, a set of Earth-observing CubeSats launch from the International Space Station in 2014. Image Credit: NASA.

“Our NIAC program nurtures visionary ideas that could transform future NASA missions by investing in revolutionary technologies,” said Jim Reuter, acting associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. “We look to America’s innovators to help us push the boundaries of space exploration with new technology.”

The latest NIAC selections include Phase I and Phase II awards. The selected Phase I studies cover a wide range of innovations. Each Phase I award is valued at approximately $125,000, helping researchers define and analyze their proposed concepts over nine months. If the initial feasibility studies are successful, awardees can apply for Phase II awards.

Image above: A Venus lander charged by a floating power station is one of the JPL concepts chosen by NASA. Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

The new Phase I selections are:

Power Beaming for Long Life Venus Surface Missions: New approach to support a Venus surface mission with power beaming: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/Power_Beaming/
Erik Brandon, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, California

Low-Cost SmallSats to Explore to Our Solar System’s Boundaries: A design for a low-cost, small satellite heliophysics mission to the outer solar system: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/Low_Cost_SmallSats/
Robert Staehle, JPL

Bioinspired Ray for Extreme Environments and Zonal Exploration (BREEZE): Combines inflatable structures with bio-inspired kinematics to explore and study the atmosphere of Venus: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/breeze/
Javid Bayandor, State University of New York, Buffalo

SmartSuit: An intelligent spacesuit design with soft-robotics, self-healing skin and data collection for extravehicular activity in extreme environments that allows for greater mobility for exploration missions: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/SmartSuit/
Ana Diaz Artiles, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, College Station

Dual Use Exoplanet Telescope (DUET): A novel telescope design to find and characterize planetary systems outside the solar system: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/duet/
Tom Ditto, 3DeWitt LLC, Ancramdale, New York

Micro-Probes Propelled and Powered by Planetary Atmospheric Electricity (MP4AE): Similar to the ballooning capabilities of spiders, these floating microprobes use electrostatic lift to study planetary atmospheres: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/MP4AE/
Yu Gu, West Virginia University, Morgantown

Swarm-Probe Enabled ATEG Reactor (SPEAR) Probe: An ultra-lightweight nuclear electric propulsion probe for deep space exploration, designed to keep mass and volume low for commercial launch: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/SPEAR_Probe/
Troy Howe, Howe Industries LLC, Tempe, Arizona

Ripcord Innovative Power System (RIPS): An investigation of a drag using ripcord unspooling power system for descent probes into planets with atmospheres, such as Saturn: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/RIPS/
Noam Izenberg, Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, Maryland

Power for Interstellar Fly-by: Power harvesting from ultra-miniature probes to enable interstellar missions: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/Power_for_Interstellar_Fly_by/
Geoffrey Landis, NASA’s Glenn Research Center, Cleveland

Lunar-polar Propellant Mining Outpost (LPMO): Affordable lunar pole ice mining for propellant production: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/Lunar_Polar_Propellant_Mining_Outpost/
Joel Serce, TransAstra Corporation, Lake View Terrace, California

Crosscutting High Apogee Refueling Orbital Navigator (CHARON): Novel system for small space debris mitigation: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/Crosscutting_High_Apogee_Refueling_Orbital_Navigator/
John Slough, MSNW LLC, Redmond, Washington

Thermal Mining of Ices on Cold Solar System Bodies: Proposes using a unique heat application on frozen volatiles and other materials for resource extraction: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/Thermal_Mining_of_Ices_on_Cold_Solar_System_Bodies/
George Sowers, Colorado School of Mines, Golden

Phase II studies allow researchers to further develop concepts, refine designs and start considering how the new technology would be implemented. This year’s Phase II selections address a range of cutting-edge concepts from flexible telescopes to new heat-withstanding materials. Awards under Phase II can be worth as much as $500,000 for two-year studies.

The 2019 Phase II selections are:

The High Étendue Multiple Object Spectrographic Telescope (THE MOST): A new, flexible optical telescope design that can be a deployed in a cylindrical roll and installed upon delivery, on a 3D printed structure: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/The_Most/
Tom Ditto, 3DeWitt LLC, Ancramdale, New York

Rotary-Motion-Extended Array Synthesis (R-MXAS): A geostationary synthetic aperture imaging radiometer with a rotating tethered antenna: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/Rotary_Motion_Extended_Array_Synthesis/
John Kendra, Leidos, Inc., Reston, Virginia

Self-Guided Beamed Propulsion for Breakthrough Interstellar Missions: An effort to advance self-guided beamed propulsion technology: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/Self_Guided_Beamed_Propulsion/
Chris Limbach, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, College Station

Astrophysics and Technical Lab Studies of a Solar Neutrino Spacecraft Detector: A small-scale neutrino detector study to advance detector technology for future probe missions: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/Astrophysics_and_Technical_Lab_Studies/
Nickolas Solomey, Wichita State University, Kansas

Diffractive LightSails: A study to design and advance passive and electro-optically active diffractive films for missions in low-Earth orbit, inner solar orbits and to distant stars: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/Diffractive_Lightsails/
Grover Swartzlander, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York

Solar Surfing: A materials-science study to determine the best protective materials to enable heliophysics missions closer to the Sun: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/Solar_Surfing/
Doug Willard, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida

NASA selected Phase I and II proposals through a peer-review process that evaluates innovativeness and technical viability. All projects are still in the early stages of development, most requiring a decade or more of concept maturation and technology development.

For the first time this summer, the NIAC program will select one Phase III research study. The award will be up to $2 million for as long as two years. This final phase is designed to strategically transition a NIAC concept with the highest potential impact to NASA, other government agencies or commercial companies.

“NIAC is about going to the edge of science fiction, but not over,” said Jason Derleth, NIAC program executive. “We are supporting high impact technology concepts that could change how we explore within the solar system and beyond.”

NIAC partners with forward-thinking scientists, engineers and citizen inventors from across the nation to help maintain America’s leadership in aeronautics and space research. NIAC is funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is responsible for developing the cross-cutting, pioneering new technologies and capabilities needed by the agency to achieve its current and future missions.

For more information about NASA’s investments in space technology, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/spacetech

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Clare Skelly/JPL/Arielle Samuelson.

Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link

New species of early human found in the Philippines…

New species of early human found in the Philippines http://www.geologypage.com/2019/04/new-species-of-early-human-found-in-the-philippines.html

‘Cthulhu’ fossil reconstruction reveals monstrous relative of…

‘Cthulhu’ fossil reconstruction reveals monstrous relative of modern sea cucumbers http://www.geologypage.com/2019/04/cthulhu-fossil-reconstruction-reveals-monstrous-relative-of-modern-sea-cucumbers.html

Evolution imposes ‘speed limit’ on recovery after mass…

Evolution imposes ‘speed limit’ on recovery after mass extinctions http://www.geologypage.com/2019/04/evolution-imposes-speed-limit-on-recovery-after-mass-extinctions.html

Nepal expedition to remeasure height of Everest…

Nepal expedition to remeasure height of Everest http://www.geologypage.com/2019/04/nepal-expedition-to-remeasure-height-of-everest.html

Driving force of volcanic super-hazards uncovered…

Driving force of volcanic super-hazards uncovered http://www.geologypage.com/2019/04/driving-force-of-volcanic-super-hazards-uncovered.html

Penarth Prehistoric Burial Chamber, North Wales, 9.4.19.

Penarth Prehistoric Burial Chamber, North Wales, 9.4.19.

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2019 April 11 First Horizon-Scale Image of a Black Hole Image…

2019 April 11

First Horizon-Scale Image of a Black Hole
Image Credit: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration

Explanation: What does a black hole look like? To find out, radio telescopes from around the Earth coordinated observations of black holes with the largest known event horizons on the sky. Alone, black holes are just black, but these monster attractors are known to be surrounded by glowing gas. The first image was released yesterday and resolved the area around the black hole at the center of galaxy M87 on a scale below that expected for its event horizon. Pictured, the dark central region is not the event horizon, but rather the black hole’s shadow – the central region of emitting gas darkened by the central black hole’s gravity. The size and shape of the shadow is determined by bright gas near the event horizon, by strong gravitational lensing deflections, and by the black hole’s spin. In resolving this black hole’s shadow, the Event Horizon Telescope (ETH) bolstered evidence that Einstein’s gravity works even in extreme regions, and gave clear evidence that M87 has a central spinning black hole of about 6 billion solar masses. The EHT is not done – future observations will be geared toward even higher resolution, better tracking of variability, and exploring the immediate vicinity of the black hole in the center of our Milky Way Galaxy.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190411.html

cma-greek-roman-art: Tetradrachm, 500, Cleveland Museum of Art:…


Tetradrachm, 500, Cleveland Museum of Art: Greek and Roman Art

Size: Diameter: 2.4 cm (15/16 in.)
Medium: silver



cma-greek-roman-art: Stater: Baal (obverse), 379, Cleveland…


Stater: Baal (obverse), 379, Cleveland Museum of Art: Greek and Roman Art

Size: Diameter: 2.3 cm (7/8 in.)
Medium: silver



theancientwayoflife: ~ Fragmentary Attic Red-Figure Nestoris.Artist/Maker:...


~ Fragmentary Attic Red-Figure Nestoris.

Artist/Maker: Attributed to Polygnotos (Greek (Attic), active 450 – 430 B.C.)

Culture: Greek (Attic)

Place of origin: Athens, Greece

Date: ca. 440 B.C.

Medium: Terracotta


NASA Launches Two Rockets Studying Auroras

NASA – Wallops Flight Facility patch.

April 10, 2019

NASA successfully launched the Auroral Zone Upwelling Rocket Experiment or AZURE mission on April 5 from the Andøya Space Center in Norway.

Image above: An aurora is seen dancing across the night sky prior the launch of AZURE rockets at the Andøya Space Center in Norway. Image Credits: NASA/Lee Wingfield.

Two Black Brant XI-A sounding rockets were launched at 6:14 and 6:16 p.m. EDT on April 5 carrying scientific instruments for studying the energy exchange within an aurora.

The AZURE mission is designed to make measurements of the atmospheric density and temperature with instruments on the rockets and deploying visible gas tracers, trimethyl aluminum (TMA) and a barium/strontium mixture, which ionizes when exposed to sunlight. The vapors were released over the Norwegian Sea at 71 through 150 miles altitude.

Image above: One of two Black Brant XI rockets leaves the launch pad at the Andøya Space Center in Norway. Image Credits: NASA/Lee Wingfield.

These mixtures, using substances similar to those found in fireworks, created colorful clouds that allow researchers to track the flow of neutral and charged particles with the auroral wind. By tracking the movement of these colorful clouds via ground-based photography and triangulating their moment-by-moment position in three dimensions, AZURE will provide valuable data on the vertical and horizontal flow of particles in two key regions of the ionosphere over a range of different altitudes.

Many people believe the Earth’s atmosphere “ends” some 20-30 miles above the ground. However, the air we breathe does not abruptly end at some predefined point — instead, it gradually thins. At 150 to 200 miles above Earth, the “air” is extremely thin and these vapor clouds disperse rapidly and follow the winds which can be moving at a few hundred miles per hour.

AZURE is one of nine missions being conducted as part of the Grand Challenge Initiative (GCI) – Cusp, a series of international sounding rocket missions planned for launch in 2018 – 2020.

Image above: Colorful clouds formed by the release of vapors from the two AZURE rockets allow scientist to measure auroral winds. Image Credits: NASA/Lee Wingfield.

NASA and U.S. scientists are joining those from Norway, Japan, Canada and other countries to investigate the physics of heating and charged particle precipitation in this region called the geomagnetic cusp — one of the few places on Earth with easy access to the electrically charged solar wind that pervades the solar system.

NASA previously conducted two missions in December 2018 and two in January 2019 as part of the Initiative.  The final two NASA missions — the Cusp Heating Investigation and the Cusp Region Experiment — are scheduled for November 2019.

More information on NASA’s use of vapor tracers in scientific studies is available at:


AZURE is supported through NASA’s Sounding Rocket Program at the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. NASA’s Heliophysics Division manages the sounding rocket program.

Related links:

The AZURE mission: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/sounding-rocket-mission-will-trace-auroral-winds

Grand Challenge Initiative (GCI) – Cusp: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/science-on-the-cusp-sounding-rockets-head-north

Space Weather: https://www.nasa.gov/subject/3165/space-weather

Sounding Rockets: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sounding-rockets/index.html

Wallops Flight Facility: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/home/

Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC): https://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/home/index.html

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Rob Garner/Wallops Flight Facility, by Keith Koehler.

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