Friday, December 25, 2015

Yellowstone super-eruption: Would you be safe? Not if you live anywhere in North America : SCIENCE : Tech Times

Yellowstone super-eruption: Would you be safe? Not if you live anywhere in North America : SCIENCE : Tech Times

An eruption of a supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park would leave no place to escape to, as it would deposit ash as far afield as Los Angeles, New York and Miami, a study has revealed.
A volcanic eruption is considered to be a supereruption if it ejects in excess of 240 cubic miles of eruption material into the atmosphere.
The Yellowstone region, with a giant pool of hot, partly melted rock beneath, has experienced three such eruptions in the past, at around 2.1 and 3.1 million years ago, and again around 640,000 years ago.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

BBC News - Death Star moon may be 'wonky or watery'

BBC News - Death Star moon may be 'wonky or watery':

Firstly, their calculations suggested that the wobbles could arise from a core that was squashed or elongated by 20-60km: a huge, central rugby ball of rock.

Alternatively, the moon could have a normal spherical core and crust, but separated by a "global ocean". That way, Dr Tajeddine explained, "the shell can wobble more easily, because it's not attached to another mass".

Of the two explanations, he favours the subterranean sea.

"When we saw this wobbling, the first thing we thought of was an ocean," Dr Tajeddine said.

Either possibility would make Mimas a much more interesting research subject: "This brings the spotlight back to this moon, which was a little bit ignored."

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sophisticated 600-year-old canoe discovered in New Zealand | Fox News

Sophisticated 600-year-old canoe discovered in New Zealand

Local Innovation’ Drove Technology Advancement in Ancient Times

Local Innovation’ Drove Technology Advancement in Ancient Times:

The researchers believed that ‘local innovation’ rather than ‘population expansion’ drove technological developments into the ancient times. Certainly, this means our ancestors didn’t need to wait for the technology transfer. Instead, they better develop new technologies on their own. This was the way how technologies emerged in Eurasia around 325,000 years ago.

Friday, December 11, 2015

What’s small, fluffy and a reason Neanderthals went extinct?

Researchers from the Bournemouth University in the U.K. earlier this year added a furry bit of evidence to this idea that Neanderthals were having a tougher time surviving in Europe than Homo sapiens and their numbers may have collapsed because of a simple fact:
They shunned rabbit meat.
Dr John Stewart, Associate Professor in Paleoecology and Environmental Change at Bournemouth University (BU), is part of a team which analysed data on rabbit bone remains, found in archaeological excavations of caves in the Iberian Peninsula. They found that while rabbits were a crucial part of the modern humans’ diet, they were relatively under-utilised by Neanderthals.
“Rabbits originated in Iberia and they are a very special kind of resource, in that they can be found in large numbers, they are relatively easy to catch and they are predictable,” said Dr Stewart. “This means that they are quite a good food source to target. The fact that the Neanderthals did not appear to do so suggests that this was a resource they did not have access to in the same way as modern humans.”
The fact that Neanderthals – typically associated with hunting large prey over short distances in woodland settings – were seemingly unable to catch and kill such creatures is compounded by rapid changes in the environment. “The climate was changing and the ecology was decreasing in terms of the amount of animals they were able to hunt,” Dr Stewart explained. “If Neanderthals were more tied to these large mammals, the loss of them could have driventhem to extinction.”

BBC News - Dead stars 'can re-ignite' and explode

BBC News - Dead stars 'can re-ignite' and explode

Astronomers have long had the tools to detect the signature of this fusion, but had to wait for a supernova to explode nearby in order to begin their observations.
Towards the end of its life, a star with the mass of the Sun will shed its outer layers as its core shrinks down to become a white dwarf. Left to their own devices, single white dwarfs will just cool off slowly over time.
But there is a maximum mass at which a white dwarf can remain stable - a property known as the Chandrasekhar limit, after the Indian-American astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.
If a white dwarf steals matter from a stellar companion, or collides with another white dwarf, the extra weight can compress the carbon in the star's core until this element undergoes nuclear fusion.
The carbon is fused into heavier elements with a sudden release of energy that tears the star apart.

1,500-Year-Old 'Last Supper' Papyrus Could Be One Of Oldest Christian Charms : Science : Design & Trend

A 1,500-year-old fragment of Greek papyrus with writing that refers to the biblical Last Supper and 'manna from heaven' could be one of the oldest Christian amulets found yet, say researchers.
The fragment was likely folded up and worn inside a locket or pendant as a sort of protective charm, according to Roberta Mazza, who spotted the papyrus while looking through thousands of papyri kept in the library vault at the John Rylands Research Institute at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, writes Live Science.
'This is an important and unexpected discovery as it's one of the first recorded documents to use magic in the Christian context and the first charm ever found to refer to the Eucharist - the Last Supper - as the manna of the Old Testament,' Mazza said in a statement.
The fragment likely originated in a town in Egypt.

1,500-Year-Old 'Last Supper' Papyrus Could Be One Of Oldest Christian Charms : Science : Design & Trend

Ancient gold trade route discovered

Archaeologists have found evidence of an ancient gold trade route, dating to the early Bronze Age (2500 BC), between the southwest of Britain and Ireland.

Using a new technique to measure the chemical composition of some of the earliest gold artefacts in Ireland, the researchers determined that the objects were actually made from gold imported from Cornwall in Britain.

“This is an unexpected and particularly interesting result as it suggests that Bronze Age gold workers in Ireland were making artefacts out of material sourced from outside of the country, despite the existence of a number of easily-accessible and rich gold deposits found locally,” said lead author Chris Standish from University of Southampton in Britain.