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vineri, 6 iulie 2012

Egypt's Sphinx, Pyramids threatened by groundwater, hydrologists warn

One month ago, Giza's antiquities inspectorate installed a new system to pump subterranean water out from under Egypt's historical Sphinx monument and the underlying bedrock.

Subterranean water levels at the Giza Plateau, especially the area under the valley temples and Sphinx, have recently increased due to a new drainage system installed in the neighbouring village of Nazlet Al-Seman and the irrigation techniques used to cultivate the nearby residential area of Hadaeq Al-Ahram.

Galaxii eliptice

Aceste galaxii au un aspect destul de lipsit de caracteristici si variaza de la obiecte care sunt aproape sferice pana la obiecte care sunt aproape plate. Cele care au forma sferica sunt clasificate ca galaxii eliptice E0, iar cele care sunt cele mai plate sunt E7. Tipurile de galaxii eliptice, de la cele sferice pana la cele plate, sunt clasificate de la E1 la E6. Prin urmare, in general, o galaxie eliptica este etichetata En, unde numarul “n” este determinat de forma galaxiei. 

Problema cu aceasta clasificare este ca ea depinde foarte mult de orientarea unei galaxii fata de punctul nostru de vedere – adica, aceasta descrie cum arata galaxia privita de pe Pamant, si nu ne spune prea multe despre adevaratele proprietati fizice ale obiectului. Cu exceptia cazului in care o galaxie este perfect sferica, aceasta va avea un aspect diferit in functie de directia din care este observata. Cu toate acestea, sistemul de clasificare En este util pentru a descrie modul in care arata o galaxie privita prin telescop.

NASA Space Telescope Snaps Its First Black Hole Picture

NASA's newest space telescope has opened its X-ray eyes to take its first pictures of the high-energy universe, including a glimpse at a well-known black hole.

The space observatory, called the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, launched June 13 on a mission to observe high-energy, short-wavelength X-ray light from some of the most dynamic objects in space, such as black holes and supernova remnants. The observatory extended a 33-foot (10 meters) mast on June 21 to separate its light-gathering optics from their focal point.

Restaurare în Angkor

După o perioadă tumultuoasă marcată de războaie, molime şi dezastre naturale ce au dus la căderea civilizaţiei kmere, marele complex intră în declin la sfârșitul secolului al XV-lea şi, pentru o perioadă de aproape 400 de ani, ajunge, treptat, acoperit de vegetaţie şi uitat de istorie. 

Redescoperit pentru cultura occidentală în 1860 de către echipa de arheologi francezi condusă de Henri Mahout, com-plexul intră într-un lung proces de restaurare şi conservare. Între 1907 şi 1970, sub conducerea École française d’Extrême-Orient, au loc operaţiuni de eliberare a vegetaţiei, refacere a fundaţiilor şi a sistemelor de drenaj. Aflat în prezent sub protecţia UNESCO, în complex îşi duc munca de restaurare numeroase echipe internaţionale: Authority for the Protec-tion and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (APSARA), German Apsara Conservation Project (GACP), Japan-APSARA Safeguarding Angkor, World Monuments Fund, The Archaeological Survey of India, China, S.U.A.

British Museum vows to help regional collections through tough times

The British Museum has said that is loaning works to UK museums at an unprecedented level to help them weather waters that are likely to be choppy for at least five years.

Launching the museum's annual report, the museum's director, Neil MacGregor, spoke of "new kind of engagement" with museums across the UK to develop the sense of there being "one national collection, one community of scholarship".

Printing dinosaurs: the mad science of new paleontology

In April of this year, I headed out to a marl pit in Clayton, New Jersey to watch a team of Drexel University students and their teacher, Professor Kenneth Lacovara, dig for fossils. Marl, a lime-rich mud, had been mined and used as the 19th century’s leading fertilizer, but since around World War II (with the development of more advanced, synthetic fertilizers), demand for it has steeply lessened, and there aren’t many marl mining businesses left in the US. The marl pits of Southern New Jersey are famous for something else, though: they have been incredibly rich in fossil finds.

In February, Dr. Lacovara had announced that the Paleontology department at Drexel would team up with the Engineering department for what would largely be a novel new project: scanning all of the fossils in the University's collection (including some previously unidentified dinosaurs of Lacovara's own finds in other parts of the world) using a 3D scanner. The Engineering department would then take those scans and use a 3D printer to create 1/10 scale models of the most important bones. But, he reported, that wouldn't be the end of it: they intended, he said, to use those scale polymer "printouts" to model and then engineer fully working limbs, complete with musculature — to create, in effect, a fully accurate robotic dinosaur leg or arm, and eventually, a complete dinosaur.