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.

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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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.

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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Sunday, 13 March 2016

Ichthyosaurs – Ancient Victims of Climate Change

They ruled the oceans for more than 157 million years; dolphin-like marine reptiles called ichthyosaurs. Science learned of ichthyosaurs’ existence early in the nineteenth century with the discovery of the first complete skeleton in England. The order Ichthyosauria (Greek for fish-lizard) was named in 1834.
The mystery surrounding their extinction 66 million years ago towards the end of the Cretaceous period (30 million years prior to the global dinosaur extinction) has prompted many theories. Newly published research suggests the fate of ichthyosaurs was tied to climate change.
Strong fluctuations in temperatures and sea levels 100 million to 94 million years ago during the Cenomanian stage of the Cretaceous period coinciding with intense volcanic action, ice-free poles, rapidly shifting continents and periods of anoxia (a lack of oxygen) on the sea floor affected a large portion of the marine biosphere and significantly changed marine ecosystems.
Ichthyosaurs were unable to successfully evolve new species in response to their quickly changing world.

Friday, 4 March 2016

1,200 year old Anglo-Saxon island found in Lincolnshire

A glass counter decorated with twisted strands.
British archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a previously unknown Anglo-Saxon island, located in the village of Little Carlton, near Louth, Lincolnshire.

Once home to a Middle Saxon settlement, many intriguing items emerged from the field. The items include another 20 styli, about 300 dress pins, a huge number of “sceattas” – coins from the 7th-8th centuries – and a small lead tablet bearing the female Anglo-Saxon name, Cudberg.
It is thought the settlement might have been an island monastery or a trading center. Using geophysical and magnetometry surveys along with 3D modelling, the researchers digitally restored the water level of the island to its higher medieval state.

It was connected to the outside world through waterways.

The presence of coins from various parts of mainland Europe offered evidence of commerce with Germany, Scandinavia and the Low Countries.

Loom weights unearthed by archaeologists indicated that the Anglo-Saxons may have exported woven textiles while importing pottery and wine.
The Middle Saxon settlement in the kingdom of Lindsey, later Northumbria, may have thrived until its abandonment around the time when the Vikings began to pillage the British Isles.