вторник, 26 ноября 2019 г.

Melting Mongolian ice patches may threaten reindeer pastoralism, archaeological artefacts


Northern Mongolian "eternal ice" is melting for the first time in memory, threatening the traditional reindeer-herding lifestyle and exposing fragile cultural artifacts to the elements, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by William Taylor from the Max Planck Institute, Germany, and the University of Colorado-Boulder, USA, and colleagues.

Melting Mongolian ice patches may threaten reindeer pastoralism, archaeological artefacts
This is a domestic reindeer saddled for riding outside a Tsaatan summer camp in Khuvsgul province,
 northern Mongolia [Credit: Julia Clark]
The mountainous tundra of the northern Mongolian steppes features "munkh mus" or "eternal ice", ice patches which remain intact even in the summer. For the reindeer-herding Tsaatan people, they provide a place for heat-stressed reindeer to cool down, as well as fresh water, useful plants, and a reprieve from summer insects for herders and reindeer alike.


The authors of the present study visited the Ulaan Taiga Special Protected Area of Mongolia to investigate the potential for cultural artifacts in the ice. They conducted an archaeological survey on foot and on horseback, and also held ethnographic interviews with eight local families over 2018.

Melting Mongolian ice patches may threaten reindeer pastoralism, archaeological artefacts
(Left): Image of a persistent snow and ice patch in Mengebulag taken in 2006, showing domestic reindeer using the
 patch, and (right): the same patch in 2018, which local residents indicated had melted for the very first time
[Credit: Taylor et al, 2019]
The families interviewed described how many ice patches had melted for the first time in memory between 2016 and 2018, while stressing the importance of eternal ice for reindeer and herding families alike. Many herders complained that recent declines in pasture quality had led to reindeer sickness and death.


The archaeological survey revealed a number of wooden artifacts at one melted ice patch site which dated from the 1960s, when herders moved into the area - the first discovered artifacts from this region. Organic materials are preserved in ice but degrade rapidly upon exposure to the elements, meaning that melting ice could affect the archaeological record.

Melting Mongolian ice patches may threaten reindeer pastoralism, archaeological artefacts
A domesticated reindeer from northern Mongolia
[Credit: O. Batchuluun]
As Mongolia continues to warm at a higher rate than the global average, the authors note that the eternal ice appears to be melting due to the increasing summer temperatures--and stress this puts both cultural heritage and traditional reindeer herding at extreme risk in the years to come.

The authors add: "This study shows us that global climate change is an urgent threat in Inner Asia - melting ice is threatening both reindeer herding as a way of life, and the region's cultural heritage."

Source: Public Library of Science [November 20, 2019]



* This article was originally published here

Bright meteor event on 16 Feb. 2018 at 21:52 local time (20:52 UT)

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This bright and slow meteor was spotted over Spain on Feb. 16, at 21:52 local time (20:52 universal time). It was produced by a fragment from an asteroid that hit the atmosphere at about 43000 km/h. The meteor overflew the south of Spain. It began over the province of Cordoba at a height of around 75 km, and ended at an altitude of about 26 km. It was recorded in the framework of the SMART Project from the astronomical observatories of Calar Alto (Almería), Sierra Nevada (Granada), La Sagra (Granada), La Hita (Toledo) and Sevilla.

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Esta lenta y brillante bola de fuego sobrevoló Andalucía el 16 de febrero a las 21:52 hora local (20:52 tiempo universal). Se produjo como consecuencia de la entrada en la atmósfera terrestre de un fragmento desprendido de un asteroide a una velocidad de unos 43 mil km/h. El evento se inició a una altitud de unos 75 km sobre el noroeste de la provincia de Córdoba, finalizando a una altura de alrededor de 26 km. La bola de fuego ha sido grabada por los detectores que operan en el marco del proyecto SMART desde los observatorios de Calar Alto (Almería), La Sagra (Granada), Sierra Nevada (Granada), La Hita (Toledo) y Sevilla.

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Category: Science & Technology
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Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy

The Sculptor dwarf galaxy is a companion to the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers will use Webb to study the motions of stars in Sculptor and Draco, another dwarf companion to the Milky Way. By studying how the stars move, the researchers will be able to determine how the dark matter is distributed in these galaxies. Credits: NASA, ESA, and R. van der Marel (STScI). Hi-res image


Studies will help scientists understand dark matter and galaxy formation

By studying dwarf galaxy companions to the Milky Way and the nearby Andromeda galaxy, scientists will learn about galaxy formation and the properties of the mysterious substance called dark matter, which is thought to account for approximately 85% of the matter in the universe. In the first study, astronomers will examine the motions of stars in Draco and Sculptor, two dwarf galaxies that are companions to the Milky Way. By measuring how the stars move, the researchers will be able to determine how the dark matter is distributed in these galaxies. In the second study, the team will observe how four dwarf galaxies move around Andromeda. They hope to determine if those galaxies are grouped within a flat plane in space, like the planets around our Sun. This will provide insights into the process whereby large galaxies form by accretion and accumulation of smaller galaxies.

In two separate studies using NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, a team of astronomers will observe dwarf galaxycompanions to the Milky Way and the nearby Andromeda galaxy. Studying these small companions will help scientists learn about galaxy formation and the properties of dark matter, a mysterious substance thought to account for approximately 85% of the matter in the universe.

In the first study, the team will gain knowledge of dark matter by measuring the motions of stars in two dwarf companions to the Milky Way. In the second study, they will examine the motions of four dwarf galaxies around our nearest large galactic neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy. This will help determine if some of Andromeda’s satellite galaxies orbit inside a flat plane, like the planets around our Sun. If they do, that would have important implications for understanding galaxy formation. The principal investigator for both programs is Roeland van der Marel of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland.

Observing Stellar Motions in Dwarf Galaxy Companions to the Milky Way

The nearest galaxies to our own Milky Way are its companion dwarf galaxies, which are much smaller than the Milky Way. Van der Marel and his team plan to study the motions of stars in two of these dwarf galaxies, Draco and Sculptor. The orbits of the stars are governed by the gravity arising from the dark matter in each galaxy. By studying how the stars move, the researchers will be able to determine how the dark matter is distributed in these galaxies.

“How structures in the universe formed depends on the properties of the dark matter that comprises most of the mass in the universe,” explained van der Marel. “So we know there’s dark matter, but we don’t know what actually makes up this dark matter. We just know that there is something in the universe that has gravity and it pulls on things, but we don’t really know what it is.”

The team will study the distribution of dark matter in the centers of the dwarf galaxies to determine the temperature properties of this mysterious phenomenon. If dark matter is “cold,” its density will be very high near the centers of the galaxies. If dark matter is “warm,” it will be more homogenous throughout the area approaching the galactic centers.

At the same time Webb’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) is studying the centers of Draco and Sculptor, another instrument, the Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS), will be probing the outskirts of the dwarf galaxies. “These simultaneous observations will provide some insight into how stars move differently near the center and the outskirts of the dwarf galaxies,” said co-investigator Tony Sohn of STScI. “They will also allow two independent measures of the same galaxy, to check for any systematic or instrumental effects.”

Because Webb has approximately six times the light collection area of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, the team can measure the motions of stars much fainter than what Hubble can see. The more stars included in a study, the more accurately the team can model the dark matter that influences their motions.

Studying the Motion of Dwarf Galaxy Companions to Andromeda

The nearest large neighbor galaxy of our Milky Way, Andromeda has numerous dwarf galaxy companions, just as the Milky Way does. Van der Marel and his team plan to study how four of those dwarf galaxies are moving around Andromeda, to determine if they are grouped within a flat plane in space, or whether they are moving around Andromeda in all directions.

Unlike the first observation program, the team is not trying to measure how stars inside the dwarf galaxies move. In this study, they are trying to determine how the dwarf galaxies as a whole move around Andromeda. This will provide insights into the process whereby large galaxies form by accretion and accumulation of smaller galaxies, and how exactly that works.

In most models, dwarf galaxies that surround larger galaxies are not expected to lie in a plane. Typically, scientists would expect dwarf galaxies to fly around bigger galaxies in random ways. Slowly, these dwarf companions would lose energy and be accreted into the larger galaxy, which would grow larger still.

However, for both for the Milky Way and Andromeda, several studies have suggested that at least some fraction of the dwarf galaxies lie in a plane, and may even be rotating in that plane. One of the ways to determine if that’s true is to measure their three-dimensional motions. If the motions are actually in the plane, that would suggest that the dwarf galaxies will stay in a plane. But if the companion dwarfs appear to be in a plane but their motions are in all directions, that would indicate a chance alignment and not a long-lasting structure.

If the dwarf galaxies do line up in a plane, that can mean one of several things. It could be that a good fraction of the dwarf companions fell into orbit around Andromeda as a single group. If that were the case, the dwarfs would retain “memory” that they all fell in together, and they would exhibit similar dynamical properties right now.

Another possibility is that the dwarf galaxies of Andromeda formed as what are called “tidal dwarf galaxies.” These gravitationally bound collections of gas and stars form during mergers or interactions between large spiral galaxies. They are as massive as dwarf galaxies but are not dominated by dark matter, as scientists believe most of the dwarf galaxies around us are. It’s possible that a merger of two large galaxies with a lot of gas could form some dwarf galaxies that end up in a single planar structure, but that would be unusual, because scientists don’t think that tidal dwarf galaxies are the predominant type of dwarf galaxy in the universe. Dwarf galaxies are typically known to form inside of dark matter clouds called halos.

Either case could mean that galaxy formation may be more complicated than researchers sometimes think. Either would provide additional constraints on scientists who develop theoretical models of galaxy formation.

Webb’s Extreme Accuracy and Precision

In both programs, the team will push Webb to its limits in terms of accuracy and precision. “It’s a very tricky situation, because basically what we want to measure are very tiny motions,” explained co-investigator Andrea Bellini of STScI. “The accuracy we want to achieve is like measuring something that moves a few inches a year on the surface of the Moon, as seen from Earth.”

Both studies are Guaranteed Time Observations(GTO) programs allocated to the team of the Webb Telescope Scientist, Matt Mountain. He is also president of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), headquartered in Washington, D.C.

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the world’s premier space science observatory when it launches in 2021. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.




Contact:

Ann Jenkins / Christine Pulliam
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland
410-338-4488 / 410-338-4366
jenkins@stsci.edu / cpulliam@stsci.edu



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* This article was originally published here

Chichén Itzá 400 years older than previously thought


The ancient Mayan city of Chichén Itzá was founded at least 400 years earlier than previously thought, according to the head of a team that is exploring and mapping cenotes, or sinkholes, on the Yucatán peninsula.

Chichén Itzá 400 years older than previously thought
El Castillo, Chichén Itzá as viewed from the first level of the Temple of a thousand Columns
[Credit: WikiCommons]
Guillermo de Anda, an underwater archaeologist and head of the Great Mayan Aquifer (GAM) project, told the newspaper Milenio that the conclusion is based on studies of carbon remains found in the Balamkanché cave beneath the Yucatán state archaeological site.

It was previously thought that the Mayan people inhabited Chichén Itzá from the year 525 AD but archaeologists now believe that the city’s foundation occurred around 100 AD.


“As archaeologists, of course, we have to base [our hypotheses] on material facts, on things we can analyze [to determine] their age. Precisely according to these specific elements, we’re reaching this specific conclusion,” de Anda said.

The hypothesis was be further analyzed at the First Mayan Aquifer Archaeology Colloquium held last week at the Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City.

Chichén Itzá 400 years older than previously thought
The Balamkú cave [Credit: Karla Ortega, Great Mayan Aquifer Project]


De Anda described studying the Yucatán peninsula aquifer, and especially water tables beneath Chichén Itzá, as “fascinating.” The GAM team last year found hundreds of artifacts in the cave system known as Balamkú or “cave of the jaguar god.”

“. . . We found an altar in . . . Balamkú, where it had been determined that there were no burials but we’ve found and documented human bone fragments. We’re waiting to see what they correspond to, if it was [a place for] funeral rituals or [human] sacrifice. Both Balamkanché and Balamkú are at Chichén Itzá. They are two very important places . . .” he said.

The GAM team, made up of archaeologists, biologists, underwater photographers and cave divers, also discovered in 2018 a link between two systems of flooded caverns in Quintana Roo that together form the world’s largest underwater cave.

Source: Mexico News Daily [November 19, 2019]



* This article was originally published here

Amazing meteor event behind the clouds on 29 April at 1:50 local time

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This amazing fireball was spotted over Spain on 29 April at 1:50 local time (23:50 universal time on 28 April). It was produced by a fragment from an asteroid that entered the atmosphere at around 65.000 km/s. The event began at an altitude of about 80 km over the province of Almería, and ended at a height of 42 km over the province of Granada. It was recorded in the framework of the SMART Project by the meteor-observing stations located at the astronomical observatories of La Sagra (Granada), Sierra Nevada (Granada) and Sevilla.

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Esta hermosa bola de fuego sobrevoló el sur de España el 29 de abril a la 1:50 hora local (23:50 tiempo universal del 28 de abril). Se produjo como consecuencia de la brusca entrada en la atmósfera terrestre de una roca procedente de un asteroide a una velocidad de unos 65 mil km/h. El evento se inició a una altitud de unos 80 km sobre el oeste de la provincia de Almería, terminando a una altura de unos 42 km sobre el noreste de la provincia de Granada. Esta bola de fuego ha sido registrada por las estaciones de detección que operan en el marco del Proyecto SMART desde los observatorios astronómicos de La Sagra (Granada), Sierra Nevada (Granada) y Sevilla.

Video length: 1:07
Category: Science & Technology
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ROSCOSMOS - Soyuz-2.1v launches military satellite













ROSCOSMOS logo.

Nov. 26, 2019

Soyuz-2.1v launches military satellite

A Soyuz-2.1v launch vehicle, with a Volga upper stage, launched an unnamed military satellite from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia, on 25 November 2019, at 17:52 UTC (20:52 local time). According to official sources, the satellite was placed into the desired orbit.

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Roman remains found at Mijas on the Costa del Sol


Roman remains almost 2,000 years old have been found in Mijas in new excavations at the Cortijo de Acebedo site on the Costa del Sol.

Roman remains found at Mijas on the Costa del Sol
Mayor of Mijas Josele Gonzalez visiting the site 
[Credit: Mijas Comunicacion BB]
Several rooms that were part of a large building have been uncovered and finds including a 1st century bronze spoon, jewellery, coins and an amphora made.


The mayor of Mijas, Josele Gonzalez, announced the new discovery and said that archaeological work will continue in order to obtain more information on the different rooms found.

It is thought they may have been part of a bath house, with the existence of a cold water pool and latrines already known.

Roman remains found at Mijas on the Costa del Sol
Bronze spoon found at the site [Credit: Mijas Comunicacion BB]


The director of the excavation, Desireé Piñero, has declared that it is possible to discover the context of the building with other rooms, such as other swimming pools, a possible vestibule and a patio, information that she hopes to “obtain in the coming months”.

The Councillor for Historical Heritage, Laura Moreno, has reported that “these excavations have brought to light numerous pieces of different materials and types” and that on these ceramic and metal items “restoration and consolidation work has been carried out for optimum conservation.”

Since 2017, the Department of Historical Heritage of Mijas Town Council has been carrying out archaeological surveys in the town, which uncovered two well preserved pottery kilns at the site.

Author: Dilip Kuner | Source: EuroWeekly News [November 21, 2019]



* This article was originally published here

Место нло 2

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2019 November 26 Venus and Jupiter on the Horizon Image Credit...



2019 November 26

Venus and Jupiter on the Horizon
Image Credit & Copyright: Juan Carlos Casado (TWAN)

Explanation: What are those two bright objects on the horizon? Venus and Jupiter. The two brightest planets in the night sky passed very close together – angularly – just two days ago. In real space, they were just about as far apart as usual, since Jupiter (on the right) orbits the Sun around seven times farther out than Venus. The planetary duo were captured together two days ago in a picturesque sunset sky from Llers, Catalonia, Spain between a tree and the astrophotographer’s daughter. These two planets will continue to stand out in the evening sky, toward the west, for the next few days, with a sliver of a crescent Moon and a fainter Saturn also visible nearby. As November ends, Jupiter will sink lower into the sunset horizon with each subsequent night, while Venus will rise higher. The next Jupiter-Venus conjunction will occur in early 2021.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap191126.html



* This article was originally published here

Ancient Akrotiri-Dreamer’s Bay Project: 2019 results


The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works has announced the completion of the 2019 underwater archaeological mission at the Akrotiri-Dreamer’s Bay ancient port, in the Limassol District. The survey was directed by staff from the University of Southampton, Centre for Maritime Archaeology, as part of the Ancient Akrotiri Project, an ongoing collaborative research project on the peninsula conducted since 2015 and led by the University of Leicester.

Ancient Akrotiri-Dreamer’s Bay Project: 2019 results
The 2019 season focused on three main tasks: further investigation of the ancient breakwater; completion of the survey
of Dreamer’s Bay, its approaches, and the area offshore of the buildings excavated by the University of Leicester
team on the coast to the west of the bay [Credit: Dept. of Antiquities, Republic of Cyprus]
Between September 8th and 19th 2019, a second season of underwater investigation was conducted at Dreamer’s Bay on the southern shores of the Akrotiri Peninsula, Cyprus. A team of professional diving maritime archaeologists, students of maritime archaeology, divers, surveyors, photographers, and terrestrial archaeologists predominantly from Cyprus and the UK, further investigated the ancient breakwater and the surrounding sea floor in Dreamer’s Bay.


Unlike the previous year that documented the remains of the ancient breakwater submerged some 1-4m beneath the water, the primary focus of the 2019 season was to complete a broader survey of the entire bay and the offshore approaches, and in particular to investigate an area to the east of the breakwater where a large amount of pottery was located in the previous season. The team suspected that this dispersed and concreted concentration of largely homogenous amphorae, was the remains of a shipwreck.

The 2019 season focused on three main tasks: further investigation of the ancient breakwater; completion of the survey of Dreamer’s Bay, its approaches, and the area offshore of the buildings excavated by the University of Leicester team on the coast to the west of the bay; and further analysis of the ceramic concentration to the east of the breakwater in order to determine its nature.

Ancient Akrotiri-Dreamer’s Bay Project: 2019 results
Survey conducted by divers using underwater scooters, enabled wider coverage of the offshore approaches, identified
new finds including numerous stone anchors and what appears to be the remains of a wreck carrying roof tiles
[Credit: Dept. of Antiquities, Republic of Cyprus]
The breakwater was extensively surveyed in 2018 both visually and photogrammetrically. The focus of 2019 was to calculate the volume of the rubble that had fallen from the breakwater largely to the east of the structure, in order to ascertain its original height and scale. The area around the breakwater was also more thoroughly investigated and a channel some 5-6m deep was clearly mapped to the east of the breakwater noting an entrance to the more sheltered water in the lee of the structure, an area of anchorage.


Survey conducted by divers using underwater scooters, enabled wider coverage of the offshore approaches, identified new finds including numerous stone anchors and what appears to be the remains of a wreck carrying roof tiles, still of uncertain date. To the west of the breakwater other concentrations of ceramics were also noted, however, survey further offshore to the west in front of the shoreline buildings excavated by the Leicester team, still failed to identify any archaeological remains, making the theory that this was an area used as a roadstead, less feasible.

All finds were noted, described and photographed underwater and a record of their location taken using GPS. Selected finds were lifted only when they were either in danger of further displacement on the seafloor or were useful chronological indicators.

Ancient Akrotiri-Dreamer’s Bay Project: 2019 results
The most important result of the 2019 season was confirmation that the eastern concentration of largely homogenous
ceramics located on an elevated, rocky outcrop to the east of the breakwater and the sheltered channel,
was indeed a shipwreck [Credit: Dept. of Antiquities, Republic of Cyprus]
The most important result of the 2019 season was confirmation that the eastern concentration of largely homogenous ceramics located on an elevated, rocky outcrop to the east of the breakwater and the sheltered channel, was indeed a shipwreck.


Dating to the end of the 6th or the 7th century AD, as confirmed by ceramics expert Dr Stella Demesticha of the University of Cyprus, the extensive remains of broken amphorae were identified scattered over an area of approximately 130,000sqm, concreted to the rocks and caught in gullies. In the middle of the wreck lies an Aswan granite column also believed to belong to the vessel.

The area was extensively surveyed and the number of amphora shoulders and rims were counted equating to almost 800 in total, reflecting a fairly substantial vessel for the period. Examples of the amphorae were lifted for further analysis, which is still ongoing.

Ancient Akrotiri-Dreamer’s Bay Project: 2019 results
In the middle of the wreck lies an Aswan granite column also believed to belong to the vessel
[Credit: Dept. of Antiquities, Republic of Cyprus]
The work was carried out with the approval of the Republic of Cyprus Department of Antiquities and the UK Sovereign Base Areas Administration, and very much benefitted from the direct participation of RAF personnel who helped in the preparation and offered their time, expertise and support during the field season.

The University of Cyprus, MARELab, offered support in the form of an excellent dive boat, as well as expertise, particularly with respect to ceramic identification. Nicosia based CP Marine Explorations provided the dive logistics, safety and underwater survey scooters, and Kembali Divers the tanks and air. Further support was provided by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and the Western Sovereign Base Area Archaeological Society.

This season we were honoured to welcome for a day the Base Station commander as visiting diver. The project was generously funded by the Honor Frost Foundation, UK, and sustained by a hard working team of young maritime archaeologists.

Source: Dept. of Antiquities, Republic of Cyprus [November 21, 2019]



* This article was originally published here

Stunning meteor event on 2 July 2018 at 3:58 local time (1:58 universal time)

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Channel: Meteors  

This meteor event was recorded over the south of Spain on 2 July 2018 at 3:58 local time (1:58 universal time). The event was produced by a tough rock from a comet that hit the atmosphere at about 118000 km/h. The fireball began at an altitude of around 99 km over the province of Malaga, and ended at a height of about 31 km over the province of Cordoba. The fireball was recorded by the meteor observing stations operating in the framework of the SMART Project from the astronomical observatories of Calar Alto, La Sagra (Granada), La Hita (Toledo), Sierra Nevada (Granada), Huelva and Sevilla.

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Esta bola de fuego ha sido grabada sobre Andalucía el 2 de julio a las 3:58 hora local (que equivalen a la 1:58 en tiempo universal). El evento se produjo como consecuencia de la brusca entrada en la atmósfera terrestre de una roca procedente de un cometa a una velocidad de unos 118 mil km/h. La bola de fuego se inició a una altura de unos 99 km sobre la provincia de Málaga, atravesando el sureste de la provincia de Sevilla y finalizando a una altitud de unos 31 km sobre la provincia de Córdoba. El fenómeno ha sido registrado por los detectores que operan en el marco del Proyecto SMART desde los observatorios astronómicos de Calar Alto, La Sagra (Granada), La Hita (Toledo), Sierra Nevada (Granada), Huelva y Sevilla.

Video length: 1:22
Category: Science & Technology
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Hi Honey! NASA’s Second Astrobee Wakes Up in Space













ISS - Astrobee Mission patch.

Nov. 25, 2019


European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano performed initial tests of the second Astrobee robot, named Honey, aboard the International Space Station. Astrobee is a free-flying robot system that includes three robots and a docking station for recharging, and will be used to test how robots can assist crew and perform caretaking duties on spacecraft.

After Parmitano unpacked and inspected Honey, he placed the robot on Astrobee’s docking station and Honey woke up on the dock, for the first time in space, next to its robotic teammate Bumble. Honey and Bumble are identical, except for their colors. Bumble is dressed in blue and Honey, appropriately, wears yellow.

Because their systems are identical, Honey can take advantage of the work Bumble has done since its initial hardware checkout in April. Station crew and Astrobee’s team at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley used Bumble to map the interior of the space station’s Kibo module. The robots need a map to navigate, and the series of mapping exercises were a necessary step before Bumble took its first solo flight in June. 

Honey received Bumble’s mapping data though a software update from Astrobee engineers using a data port on the dock. Even though the robots now have the same software, Honey needs more testing before it’s ready to fly. The third robot, named Queen, launched to the station in July and will be the last of the three to wake up in space. 

Robots like Astrobee will play a significant part in the agency’s mission to return to the Moon under the Artemis program, and other deep space missions, by increasing astronaut productivity and helping maintain spacecraft when astronauts are not aboard.

Related links:

Astrobee: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=1891

Robotics: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/robotics/index.html

Kibo module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/japan-kibo-laboratory

Artemis: http://www.nasa.gov/artemis

Moon to Mars: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/moon-to-mars/

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

Image, Text, Credits: NASA/Gianine Figliozzi.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

* This article was originally published here

8,000-year old structure unearthed on former Greek island of Imbros


A structure believed to be around 8,000-years-old was unearthed on the former Greek island of Imbros off the western coast of Turkey, according to the head of the excavation team speaking to Turkish media sources.

8,000-year old structure unearthed on former Greek island of Imbros
Credit: AA
“During this years’ excavation work, we have found a structure that we believe dates back to around 6,000 BC,” Burcin Erdogu from Trakya University, archaeologist and head of the excavation team said.

Excavations in the Ugurlu-Zeytinlik mound in the northwestern province of Canakkale’s Gokceada (Imbros) district had earlier unearthed a 7,000-year-old structure complex.

Erdogu said the new excavation will shed light on the history of Gokceada island, which dates back to 8,800 years.


“This structure is an important discovery both for the Aegean islands and western Anatolia,” she said. She added that the T-shaped monument is an obelisk–like, four-sided tapering structure, ending in pyramidion.

It is made of two pieces, interconnected by seven-metre-long walls. It is reminiscent of the standing stones in Gobeklitepe, an archaeological site located in Turkey's southeastern Sanliurfa province.

Erdogu said it was the general thought that public structures, such as temples, were disappearing through the near East. “The monumental structures seem like part of an area where people gathered and held some activities and rituals,” she added.

Source: Anadolu Agency [November 21, 2019]



* This article was originally published here

Young Moon

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The young moon of twilight, an hour after sunset, May 7, 2019.

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Castlelaw Iron Age Hill Fort and Earth House Video Clip, Penicuik, Scotland, 24.11.19.

Castlelaw Iron Age Hill Fort and Earth House Video Clip, Penicuik, Scotland, 24.11.19.



* This article was originally published here

Celebrating 60 years of the Proton Synchrotron













CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research logo.

25 November, 2019

A colloquium on 25 November will celebrate the anniversary of CERN’s oldest accelerator


On 24 November 1959, CERN’s Proton Synchrotron became the highest-energy machine in the world when it accelerated a beam to its design energy of 24 GeV for the first time. Today, the PS is still in operation, being one of the main cogs in the CERN accelerator complex.

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Norwegians spot another Viking ship buried in the ground


Norwegian archaeologists say they have for a second time found the remains of what could be a Viking ship by using geo-radar techniques, adding it is likely more than 1,000 years old.

Norwegians spot another Viking ship buried in the ground
Overview of the area at Edøy [Credit: Manuel Gabler, NIKU]


Knut Paasche, an archaeologist with Norway’s Institute for Cultural Heritage Research, says a 13-meter (43-foot) long keel was spotted in September in a field that used to be a burial mound on the island of Edoeya about 110 kilometers (70 miles) west of Trondheim.

Norwegians spot another Viking ship buried in the ground
Geo-radar image of the Edo ship [Credit: Manuel Gabler, NIKU]


Paasche said Friday that the ship could be up to 17 meters (56 feet) long. There are no immediate plans to unearth it.


The Viking era was approximately 793-1066.

In March, a ship was found buried west of Oslo using geo-radar — a geophysical method that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface.

Source: The Associated Press [November 22, 2019]



* This article was originally published here

The dog eats a big marshmallow

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Channel: UFO Odessa  

The dog can not eat a big piece, for a long time without thinking, the dog swallows it.

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Disease Therapy Research Ahead of Cargo Traffic and Spacewalks













ISS - Expedition 61 Mission patch.

November 25, 2019

International Space Station (ISS). Animation Credit: NASA

Thanksgiving week starts with the Expedition 61 crew exploring the stresses microgravity imposes on organisms at the cellular level. The International Space Station is also ramping up for cargo traffic and another spacewalk in December.

The astronauts in the U.S. segment of the orbiting lab focused their attention today on identifying the cellular changes caused by weightlessness. Observations may provide doctors with advanced therapeutic insights into diseases afflicting humans on Earth and ailments that affect astronauts in space.


Image above: Astronaut Andrew Morgan, whose U.S. spacesuit is outfitted with a variety of tools and cameras, holds on to a handrail during the second spacewalk to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. Image Credit: NASA TV.

Two more spacewalks are scheduled to service an astrophysics device, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), searching for clues to the origin of the universe. Astronauts Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano will continue the complex work on Monday, Dec. 2 at 6:50 a.m. EST to replace the AMS thermal control system.

Russia’s Progress 73 cargo craft will compete its 121-day mission attached to the Pirs docking compartment this Friday and undock for a fiery disposal above the south Pacific. It will be replaced when the Progress 74 resupply ship launches Dec. 6 and docks to Pirs on Dec. 8.


Image above: NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan is seen here tethered to the Starboard-3 truss segment work site during the second spacewalk to repair the International Space Station's cosmic particle detector, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. During the 6.5 hour spacewalk, Morgan and Station Commander Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency the two successfully cut eight stainless steel tubes, including one that vented the remaining carbon dioxide from the old cooling pump. The crew members also prepared a power cable and installed a mechanical attachment device in advance of installing the new cooling system. Image Credit: NASA.

SpaceX is targeting Dec. 4 for the launch if its 19th commercial cargo mission to the space station. The Dragon space freighter would arrive on Dec. 7 delivering a variety of brand new research gear including Japan’s Hyperspectral Imager Suite, or HISUI.

Related links:

Expedition 61: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition61/index.html

Cellular changes caused by weightlessness: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7906

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=729

Progress 73: https://go.nasa.gov/2GDbLZA

Pirs docking compartment : https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/pirs-docking-compartment

SpaceX: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/launch/spacex.html

Brand new research gear: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/spx19-research

Hyperspectral Imager Suite (HISUI): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7476

Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html

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

Images (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia/Yvette Smith.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

* This article was originally published here

Pictish Decorations and Iron Age Status Chains, The National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh,...

Pictish Decorations and Iron Age Status Chains, The National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, 24.11.19.



* This article was originally published here

5,000-year-old pyramid-like structure found in northern Peru


A pyramid-like structure at least 5,000 years old, allegedly devoted to ceremonial purposes, was unveiled thanks to excavation works conducted at Sechin archaeological complex in Casma Province of Ancash Region in northern Peru.

5,000-year-old pyramid-like structure found in northern Peru
Credit: Andina
It is a stepped structure, at least 3.20 metres high and 5 metres wide. Sechin Archaeological Project archaeologists and workers had to excavate some 6 metres of soil and remove stones in order to unearth it.


Archaeologist Monica Suarez, coordinator at Sechin Archaeological Project, commented that the pyramid is located within the south-central part of the main building. It is believed that it was used for ceremonial purposes.

5,000-year-old pyramid-like structure found in northern Peru
5,000-year-old pyramid-like structure found in northern Peru
Credit: Andina
"It is of great importance in these ceremonial sites. It served a ceremonial purpose, but we need to make further analysis (…)," she said in statements to Andina news agency.


Additionally, the team of researchers discovered two skulls —one of an adult and one of a child— and a dismembered body on the side, which makes the theory of ceremonial practices gain traction.

5,000-year-old pyramid-like structure found in northern Peru
5,000-year-old pyramid-like structure found in northern Peru
Credit: Andina
The researcher stressed the possibility that the stepped, pyramid-shaped structure served as a ladder to get to a higher level.

"There is an adobe wall at the top, with fingerprints of Sechin inhabitants visible in the mud. They are believed to be a symbol of their work," she said.

Source: Andina [November 21, 2019]



* This article was originally published here

Slow motion of pigeons soaring into the sky

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Channel: UFO Odessa  

Rare species of pigeons that are specially bred were seen in the suburbs of Odessa by the sea. I decided to scare them so that they would fly up to the sky and see their movements in flight.Замедленная съёмка взлёта голубя.Редкие виды голубей которых специально разводят были замечены в пригороде Одессы у моря.Решил их спугнуть чтобы они поднялись в небо и посмотреть их движения в полёте.

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The Clumpy and Lumpy Death of a Star

Tycho supernova remnant
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIKEN & GSFC/T. Sato et al; Optical: DSS

Astronomers now know that Tycho's new star was not new at all. Rather it signaled the death of a star in a supernova, an explosion so bright that it can outshine the light from an entire galaxy. This particular supernova was a Type Ia, which occurs when a white dwarf star pulls material from, or merges with, a nearby companion star until a violent explosion is triggered. The white dwarf star is obliterated, sending its debris hurtling into space.

As with many supernova remnants, the Tycho supernova remnant, as it's known today (or "Tycho," for short), glows brightly in X-ray light because shock waves — similar to sonic booms from supersonic aircraft — generated by the stellar explosion heat the stellar debris up to millions of degrees. In its two decades of operation, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has captured unparalleled X-ray images of many supernova remnants

Chandra reveals an intriguing pattern of bright clumps and fainter areas in Tycho. What caused this thicket of knots in the aftermath of this explosion? Did the explosion itself cause this clumpiness, or was it something that happened afterward? 

This latest image of Tycho from Chandra is providing clues. To emphasize the clumps in the image and the three-dimensional nature of Tycho, scientists selected two narrow ranges of X-ray energies to isolate material (silicon, colored red) moving away from Earth, and moving towards us (also silicon, colored blue). The other colors in the image (yellow, green, blue-green, orange and purple) show a broad range of different energies and elements, and a mixture of directions of motion. In this new composite image, Chandra's X-ray data have been combined with an optical image of the stars in the same field of view from the Digitized Sky Survey.

By comparing the Chandra image of Tycho to two different computer simulations, researchers were able to test their ideas against actual data. One of the simulations began with clumpy debris from the explosion. The other started with smooth debris from the explosion and then the clumpiness appeared afterwards as the supernova remnant evolved and tiny irregularities were magnified.

A statistical analysis using a technique that is sensitive to the number and size of clumps and holes in images was then used. Comparing results for the Chandra and simulated images, scientists found that the Tycho supernova remnant strongly resembles a scenario in which the clumps came from the explosion itself. While scientists are not sure how, one possibility is that star's explosion had multiple ignition points, like dynamite sticks being set off simultaneously in different locations. 

Understanding the details of how these stars explode is important because it may improve the reliability of the use of Type Ia supernovas "standard candles" — that is, objects with known inherent brightness, which scientists can use to determine their distance. This is very important for studying the expansion of the universe. These supernovae also sprinkle elements such as iron and silicon, that are essential for life as we know it, into the next generation of stars and planets. 

A paper describing these results appeared in the July 10th, 2019 issue of The Astrophysical Journal and is available online. The authors are Toshiki Sato (RIKEN in Saitama, Japan, and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland), John (Jack) Hughes (Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey), Brian Williams, (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center), and Mikio Morii (The Institute of Statistical Mathematics in Tokyo, Japan).

3D printed model of Tycho's Supernova Remnant
Credit: RIKEN/G. Ferrand, et al & NASA/CXC/SAO/A. Jubett, N. Wolk & K. Arcand

Another team of astronomers, led by Gilles Ferrand of RIKEN in Saitama, Japan, has constructed their own three-dimensional computer models of a Type Ia supernova remnant as it changes with time. Their work shows that initial asymmetries in the simulated supernova explosion are required so that the model of the ensuing supernova remnant closely resembles the Chandra image of Tycho, at a similar age. This conclusion is similar to that made by Sato and his team. 

A paper describing the results by Ferrand and co-authors appeared in the June 1st, 2019 issue of The Astrophysical Journal and is available online

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center manages the  Chandra program. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Chandra X-ray Center controls science and flight operations from Cambridge, Massachusetts.




Fast Facts for Tycho's Supernova Remnant:

Scale: Image is about 12 arcmin (45 light years) across.
Category: Supernovas & Supernova Remnants
Coordinates (J2000):  RA 00h 25m 17s | Dec +64° 08' 37"
Constellation:  Cassiopeia
Observation Date: 14 pointings between Oct 1, 2001 & April 22, 2016
Observation Time: 336 hours 2 minutes (14 days 0 hours 2 minutes)
Obs. ID: 115, 3837, 7539, 8551, 10093-10097; 10902-10904; 10906, 15998
Instrument: ACIS
Also Known As:  G120.1+01.4, SN 1572
References: Sato, T. et al. 2019, ApJ, 879, 64; arXiv:1903.00764
Color Code: X-ray Broadband: Red: 0.3-1.2 keV, Yellow: 1.2-1.6 keV, Cyan: 1.6-2.26 keV, Navy: 2.2-4.1 keV, Purple: 4.4-6.1 keV; X-ray Motion Shift Orange: 1.7666-1.7812 keV, Blue: 1.9564-1.971 keV; Optical: Red, Blue
Distance Estimate:  About 13,000 light years






* This article was originally published here

Ballymeanoch Prehistoric Stone Row and Complex, Kilmartin Glen, Argyll, Scotland, 23.11.19.

Ballymeanoch Prehistoric Stone Row and Complex, Kilmartin Glen, Argyll, Scotland, 23.11.19.



* This article was originally published here

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