Science & Technology
Sun, 22 Jul 2007 09:03 CDT
Unicorns, giants and fairies - the UFOs of antiquity - have yet to turn up in any archaeologist's shovel.
Aside from their frequent appearances on ancient frescoes, statuary and artwork, such fanciful creatures of mythology don't have a clear origin, although some have linked the mermaid to lonely sailors who glimpsed dugongs (also known as sea cows) in the distance and made a giant leap.
But a recent discovery in an Iranian salt mine, one scholar suggests, may shed light on the origins of a famous satyr of antiquity, one so well known that it merited a visit from the emperor himself. The satyr is a goat-man in Greek legend who dances and frolics, playing pipes and chasing nymphs all day, living in a woodsy version of the Playboy Mansion.
Tue, 24 Jul 2007 05:19 CDT
An ambitious mission to uncover the past of the Solar System
Mon, 23 Jul 2007 23:04 CDT
A new space rock has been found that devotedly travels around with Mars as it orbits the Sun, bringing the total number of such 'groupies' to four. But astronomers say it was Mars - not its tiny companions - that originally insinuated itself into the rock group billions of years ago.
The asteroid, called 2007 NS2, was discovered by astronomers at the La Sagra Observatory in southern Spain on 16 July. Based on its brightness, it is estimated to be about 1 kilometre across.
Mon, 23 Jul 2007 13:56 CDT
The twin rovers on Mars are in good shape today despite widespread dust storms that worsened last week and threatened to cut off solar power to the robotic explorers.
Steve Squyres of Cornell University, the lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) project, said that both Spirit and Opportunity are in "excellent shape" based on a radio transmission received this morning.
"Both came through the weekend beautifully," Squyres said in a telephone interview. "They were both power positive over the weekend, meaning they were generating more power than they were consuming."
The amount of sunlight penetrating the dust-choked martian atmosphere has increased slightly in recent days, and the batteries of both rovers are fully charged, said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Explorations Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Astronomers measure atmospheric opacity in units of "tau." The lower the tau value, the clearer the sky.
The Boston Globe
Mon, 23 Jul 2007 13:10 CDT
It's sleek. It's chic. It's very, very, very tight. All the better to show an astronaut's gravity-defying figure back on earth.
Introducing the BioSuit: a prototype spacesuit recently completed by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
When the white high-tech design is finalized in a few years, it will be the first new look for astronauts in more than four decades, replacing the lumpy, awkward 300-pound outfit with something worthy of a super hero.
"The current spacesuit dates back to Apollo," said Robert Cassanova, director of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts, which partially funded the work. "It's a gas-pressurized bag that provides the atmospheric pressure humans need to survive, but they're heavy and bulky." The Michelin-man-like outfit is also exhausting -- about 70 percent of the energy astronauts expend is spent wearing the suit.
Sun, 22 Jul 2007 07:29 CDT
A faint star in the Ophiuchus constellation drew about 30 astronomers from around the globe Friday to Columbia Basin College in Pasco.
Sat, 21 Jul 2007 23:44 CDT
A key US space agency (Nasa) satellite important for detecting hurricanes and providing other climate data will go silent in the next few years, and missions to replace it have been cancelled or delayed.
Sat, 21 Jul 2007 23:19 CDT
PASADENA, Calif. - Mission scientists worry that nearly a month's worth of storms could permanently damage or disable the Mars rovers exploring the Red Planet.
San Francisco Chronicle
Sat, 21 Jul 2007 21:55 CDT
UC Berkeley scientists, digging deep into a remote New Mexico hillside, have discovered a trove of fossil bones that they say is evidence that dinosaurs and their early relatives lived side by side for tens of millions of years before the relatives slowly died off and left the dinosaurs to dominate the ancient world.
|©University of California Museum of Paleontology
|Dinosaur precursors (from bottom) Dromomeron romeri and a silesaurus-like animal, and dinosaurs Chindesaurus bryansmalli and a coelophysoid theropod.
George Psyllides, Associated Press Writer
Sat, 21 Jul 2007 10:05 CDT
AKAMAS, Cyprus - Archaeologists excavating the seabed off Cyprus have discovered the tools of ancient mariners, which they believe were used by foragers more than 10,000 years ago - before the island had permanent settlements.
|A diver searches the Aspros area for ancient artifacts off the western coast of Cyprus