Thursday, 31 March 2016

Amazing Discoveries of the Hubble Telescope

A section of the expanding remains of a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago, the Veil Nebula.

Star cluster R136. It's in the Tarantula Nebula within the Large Magellanic Cloud about 170,000 light years from Earth. Its home to dozens of stars – including the most massive star ever found.
The Horsehead Nebula was first discovered by Scottish astronomer Williamina Fleming in 1888. This view of was captured by Hubble 125 years later.

The Monkey Head Nebula is a cluster of young stars embedded in bright wisps of cosmic gas and dust within the constellation Orion (the Hunter) 6,400 light-years from Earth.
NGC 6503 is a dwarf spiral galaxy that sits all alone in a region of empty space known as the Local Void.

The Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, 15 million light-years away in the constellation of Hydra, the Sea Serpent.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Fossilized skull reveals the last 'Siberian unicorn' lived 29,000 years ago

For decades, scientists have estimated that the Siberian unicorn - a long-extinct species of mammal that looked more like a rhino than a horse - died out some 350,000 years ago, but a beautifully preserved skull found in Kazakhstan has completely overturned that assumption. Turns out, they were still around as recently as 29,000 years ago.

The real unicorn, Elasmotherium sibiricum, was shaggy and huge and looked just like a modern rhino, only it carried a mighty horn on its forehead.
The Siberian unicorn stood roughly 2 metres tall, was 4.5 metres long, and weighed about 4 tonnes. That’s closer to woolly mammoth-sized than horse-sized. The newly found skull was found in the Pavlodar region of Kazakhstan.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Ice Age puppies found perfectly preserved in Russia

Scientists are probing the remains of two Ice Age puppies found perfectly preserved in Russia's far northeast region of Yakutia and dating back 12,460 years. The mummified dogs were found by hunters searching for mammoth tusks in a riverbank by a deposit of ancient bones in remote Arctic tundra. As they explored the area, they found a puppy's snout in the permafrost.

The second puppy was found a few feet away. The dogs both died when they were about three months old and were likely siblings. It's unclear if the Ice Age dogs were domesticated or wild.
The find could offer clues about the origin of domesticated dogs. The world's oldest dog remains were discovered in a cave in Belgium. They were 36,500 years old, but weren't well preserved.

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Thursday, 24 March 2016

Robin Symes Stolen Loot returned to Italy

Forty-five crates containing tens of thousands of archaeological relics were returned to Rome. The booty included Etruscan painted sarcophaguses representing human figures, a Roman sarcophagus, marble statues of animals and pieces of the floor and walls of a temple, all dating to between the 7th century BC and 2nd century AD.

The haul, worth nine million euros, was found in 2014 in a storage unit at the Geneva Freeport rented by disgraced Robin Symes, a giant in the illegal antiquities trade with ties to Italian tomb raiders.
They were stolen from digs in Sicily, Puglia, Campania and Calabria in the 1970s and 80s.

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Sunday, 20 March 2016

Teyujagua paradoxa found in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Scientists in Brazil found an ancient 250-million-year-old beast that they have named Teyujagua paradoxa. Fossil remains of the previously unknown species of reptile were found in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. It is an important find because it is a link between ancient reptiles and the creatures that would eventually become dinosaurs and then birds and crocodiles.

This skull reveals for the first time the mosaic assembly of key features of the archosauriform skull.
The fossil was found in an area of exposed Triassic rock, and it would have lived not long after a massive volcanic eruption in eastern Russia eliminated 90 percent of living species. The reptile - and its close relatives the archosauriforms - became the dominant animals on land and eventually gave rise to the dinosaurs.

Teyujagua paradoxa are transitional in morphology between archosauriforms and more primitive reptiles.
Teyujagua paradoxa was a small, quadrupedal reptile. The species grew up to about 5 feet (1.5 m) in length and lived in the margins of lakes and rivers, hunting amphibians and procolophonids — extinct, small bodied reptiles similar to lizards.

Its teeth were recurved with fine serrations and sharply pointed, indicating a carnivorous diet.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

The Oracle of Delphi - Pythia

Dating to 1400 BC, the Oracle of Delphi was the most important shrine in Greece. Built around a sacred spring, Delphi was considered to be the omphalos - the center of the world.
Delphi was inhabited since Mycenaean times (14th - 11th c. B.C.) by small settlements who were dedicated to the Mother Earth deity. The worship of Apollo as the god of light, harmony, and order was established between the 11th and 9th centuries. Slowly over the next five centuries the sanctuary grew in size and importance.

During the 8th c. B.C. Delphi became internationally known for the oracular powers of Pythia.
The ancient people of the Mediterranean had such faith in Pythia's view of the future that no major decision was made without consulting the Oracle of Delphi first. Greek and foreign dignitaries, heads of state, and common folk made the pilgrimage to the Delphi sanctuary, and paid great sums for Pythia's oracles. Since the sanctuary only served the public a few days over nine months out of the year, great sums were paid by the more affluent to bypass the line of pilgrims.
Pythia entered the inner chamber of the temple, sat on a tripod and inhaled the light hydrocarbon gasses that escaped from a chasm on the porous earth. After falling into a trance, she muttered words incomprehensible to mere mortals. The priests of the sanctuary then interpreted her oracles in a common language and delivered them to those who had requested them. The oracles were always open to interpretation and often signified dual and opposing meanings.

In 356 B.C. the Spartans captured the sanctuary of Delphi, and stripped the temples. In 338 B.C. Philip of Macedon defeated the combined armies of the Athenians and the Spartans. In 191 B.C. the sanctuary of Delphi fell into Roman hands. The Oracle of Delphi lost its influence over the next few centuries as Apollo's worship was replaced by a new religion imported from the East: Christianity.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Egypt claims there is a 90% chance two rooms are hiding in King Tutankhamun's tomb

Following months of investigations, researchers studying King Tutankhamun's tomb believe there is a 90% chance it contains at least one, if not two, hidden chambers.

The search follows claims by British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves that high-resolution images of the tomb show 'distinct linear traces' on the walls, pointing to two unexplored chambers. Reeves said the plastered walls could conceal two unexplored doorways, one of which perhaps leads to Nefertiti's tomb.

In particular, he believes these chambers are behind the northern and western walls of tomb and that one contains the remains of queen Nefertiti, the chief wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten and mother to six of his children, who is Tutankhamun's mother.

Scan results used electromagnetic waves to inspect the chamber's so-called cavity pattern. The red arrows indicate the entrance to the cavity and the yellow and green sections are believed to be metal and organic material

DNA testing has shown that Queen Tiye was the grandmother of King Tutankhamun

King Tut's great grandfather, Yuya

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