1. Os cientistas encontraram, pela primeira vez, pegadas humanas pré-históricas fora de África, na costa de Nortfolk, leste de Inglaterra. A descoberta é importante para identificar os primeiros seres humanos no Norte da Europa.
    À BBC, Nick Ashton, do Museu Britânico, disse que as pegadas são “uma das descobertas mais importantes, se não a mais importante, feita nas praias da Grã-Bretanha”, para além disso, irão “reescrever a nossa compreensão da ocupação humana no início da Grã-Bretanha e também da Europa”.
    Em maio do ano passado, a maré baixa, depois de uma temporada de forte agitação marítima, acabou por revelar as saliências identificadas, após a análise dos investigadores, como pegadas humanas.
    “No início, não tínhamos a certeza do que estavámos a ver, mas depois ficou claro que as cavidades se assemelhavam a pegadas”, relatou Ashton à BBC.
    As pegadas foram lavadas e a equipa analisou-as em 3D. Ao ver as imagens, Isabelle De Groote, da Universidade John Moores de Liverpool, confirmou que as cavidades eram, de facto, pegadas humanas. Possivelmente, de acordo com a análise, serão de cinco pessoas, um adulto (que calçaria o número 42) e algumas crianças.
    Embora não se possa, pelo menos para já, confirmar-se a espécie exata destes seres, os investigadores acreditam tratar-se de um antecessor do Homo que, outros estudos, confirmam ter vivido no sul da Europa. A espécie deverá ter passado para o Reino Unido através de uma faixa de terra que há um milhão de anos o ligava ao resto da Europa.
    O processo de investigação foi filmado e o resultado será exibido numa exposição no Museu de História Natural de Londres, no final do presente mês.

     


  2. O mistério da cratera detetada sexta-feira passada na península de Yamal (que se traduz por “o fim do mundo”), no norte da Sibéria, está resolvido. A expedição que tinha partido para investigar a descoberta diz tratar-se de uma consequência do aquecimento global e afasta a hipótese de meteorito.
    As novas imagens mostram um lago no fundo da cratera, proveniente do permafrost derretido. No vídeo, disponibilizado no YouTube por um canal de televisão russo, vê-se a equipa científica no local.

    Cientistas russos crêem que a cratera descoberta na península de Yamal, na Sibéria, se deve ao aquecimento global e não a um meteorito, como se tinha especulado no fim da semana passada. Em declarações ao Siberian Times, Andrei Plekhanov, investigador sénior no Centro para o Estudo do Ártico, disse que , a cratera era composta por 80% de gelo e não havia indícios de explosão e que, por isso, se eliminava a hipótese do buraco se dever à queda de um meteorito.
    As declarações que davam como certa a explosão, através da observação das bordas “queimadas” do buraco, são assim desmentidas e Plekhanov salienta o fato de se ter tratado de uma ejeção, sem a libertação de calor, e não de uma explosão.
    O russo também disse àquela publicação que “estão a trabalhar com imagens do espaço para perceber o momento exato da sua formação” e acrescentou que a cratera terá aparecido “há um ou dois anos”, mas que ainda “temos de fazer os nossos testes e depois dizê-lo mais definitivamente”. No fundo da cratera encontra-se um lago gelado, composto pela água que cai das paredes de permafrost em erosão.
    As primeiras observações no local corroboram a teoria que indicava o aumento de temperaturas como gerador do mistério que espantou a comunidade científica, afastando as possibilidades que muitos internautas levantaram, incluindo a da aterragem de um OVNI. “Não há nada de misterioso aqui, é simplesmente a lei da Natureza com as suas pressões internas e mudanças de temperatura”, disse Plekhanov.
    Vladimir Pushkarev, diretor do Centro russo para o Estudo do Ártico crê que “é um fenómeno interessante, faz todo o sentido continuar o trabalho científico sobre ele e agora estamos a discutir as melhores maneiras de explorar o local”.
    Os peritos que se dirigiram ao local, acompanhados por um especialista do Ministério da Emergência, recolheram amostras do solo, do ar e da água. Composta por elementos do Centro para o Estudo do Ártico (da Rússia) e do Instituto da Criosfera da Academia de Ciência, a equipa ainda investiga as razões que levaram à aparição do buraco.
    A peninsúla de Yamal é a principal zona de produção do gás que a Rússia fornece à Europa, cujo maior campo de extracção é Bovanenkovo, a 30 km da zona da cratera. A quantidade de gás no local pode tornar acontecimentos como este potencialmente perigosos.

     


  3. O Instituto Geológico dos Estados Unidos (USGS, na sigla inglesa) elaborou um mapa mais completo de Marte que inclui informação topográfica, termal e dados sobre a composição do solo.
    As imagens recolhidas pela nave “Odisea 2001”, que orbita em volta de Marte, tornaram possível a elaboração de um novo mapa, que melhora versões anteriores produzidas nos anos de 1970 e 1980, refere o USGS na sua página da internet.
    O mapa utiliza dados do Sistema Termal de Emissão de Imagens (THEMIS), um sistema de captação de imagens de emissão térmica, baseadas no espetro de radiações infravermelhas instalado na “Odisea”.
    O projeto foi liderado por Robin Fergason, do Centro Científico de Astrogeologia do USGS, em colaboração com investigadores do Centro Espacial de Marte da Universidade Estatal do Arizona.

     

  4. historical-nonfiction:

    Caral-Supe, one of the great cradles of civilization. It arose near when the more famous ones in China and Mesopotamia did, around 2600 BCE. Caral-Supe, on the coast of modern-day Peru, grew thanks to the abundance of the sea. In this it was unique — other “cradles” were based on newly invented agiculture. Caral-Supe had monuments of stone. It had a writing system made of textiles. It did not have ceramics. Or decorations of any kind. I suppose it’s hard to invent something like drawing if no one has ever thought of it before.

    (Source: timetravelturtle.com)

     

  5. gearbooks:

    Native American site at Cahokia Mounds.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cahokia

    This is the site of our new book PEOPLE OF THE MORNING STAR.  Now imagine a five story building on top!

     

  6. countess-bathory:

    heliosphoenix:

    the-thought-emporium-imperial:

    can-u-not-my-wayward-son:

    shvnyyy-e:

    zwamboobs:

    blazepress:

    Filming a rainbow when suddenly.

    Sick

    what the fuck

    i think the weather just dropped the bass

    WIZARD BATTLE

    Thor

    what the fuck

    (via ritterlied)

     

  7. spoookyscary:

    The crystal skulls, for example, which were “discovered” in the jungles of Belize in the 1920s and said to be 3,600 year old Mayan artifacts, but were actually carved in the 1840s, or the Voynich Manuscript, an undecipherable coded and illustrated manuscript from between the 1300s and 1400s, which is likely a series of gibberish meant to either discredit Jesuit Priest Athanasius Kircher, or possibly to gain fame and fortune for the unknown author. Or the Cerne Abbas Giant, an enormous giant in the English countryside holding a club and sporting a huge phallus, said to be neolithic, but much more likely the invention of some rowdy 1600s pranksters.

    The thing that makes old hoaxes so frustrating is that they are hard to tease out from their actual history. Something fabricated in the 1600s made to look like it is from the 1400s can be very hard to pick out. The astronaut on the Cathedral of Salamanca is not in fact a hoax, but an approved and modern addition to the Cathedral, however it has all the earmarks of something which may provide for great confusion some 500 years from now.

    Built between 1513 and 1733, the Gothic cathedral underwent restoration work in 1992. It is a generally a tradition of cathedral builders and restorers to add details or new carvings to the facade as a sort of signature. In this case after conferring with the cathedral, quarry man Jeronimo Garcia was given the go-ahead to add some more modern images to the facade including an astronaut floating among some vines. Among the other recently added images are a dragon eating ice cream, a lynx, a bull, and a crayfish.

    Despite there being clear documentation of the astronaut being a recent addition, the astronaut has already fueled ideas of ancient space travel, and alien interventions in easily influenced minds.

     

  8. (Source: kurtcobangs, via phokinggood)

     


  9. NASA has set its sights on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, to explore the icy orb for potential life within our galaxy. Now the space agency is seeking proposals for scientific experiments to take place during the mission.

    “Europa is an icy world slightly smaller than Earth’s moon. It is unique in the solar system, being thought to have a global ocean of water in contact with a rocky seafloor,” NASA said in a profile of Jupiter’s moon. “If the ocean is proven to exist, Europa could be a promising place to look for life beyond Earth.”

    The space agency is planning to launch a mission to the icy moon in the 2020s, landing there within three years of take-off. Now NASA is seeking proposals for scientific instruments that could be carried aboard the probe. The organization will select around 20 proposals in April 2015 to receive about $25 million to advance instrument formulation and development, according to a statement from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

    After a detailed review of the projects, agency officials will choose eight instruments to be built for flight and science operations.

    "The possibility of life on Europa is a motivating force for scientists and engineers around the world," John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, said in the JPL statement. "This solicitation will select instruments which may provide a big leap in our search to answer the question: are we alone in the universe?"

    In a June interview with the Guardian, NASA’s chief scientist Dr. Ellen Stofan detailed why a mission to Europa is “clearly our next step” in searching for alien life within the Milky Way.

     


  10. A series of new telescopes – a magnitude more powerful than the ones already in use – will allow humanity to detect alien life within decades, according to top NASA scientists.

    “I think in the next 20 years we will find out we are not alone in the universe,” announced NASA astronomer Kevin Hand, during a public talk in Washington that showcased the US space agency’s top extra-terrestrial life specialists.

    While the prediction may have seemed bold, it chimed with the utter certainty of all experts present, fueled by the already impressive work of the Kepler telescope – which is about to be superseded. In just five years, the space observatory has identified up to 5,000 planets, more than in the entire history of astronomy.

    "What we didn’t know five years ago is that perhaps 10 to 20 percent of stars around us have Earth-size planets in the habitable zone. It’s within our grasp to pull off a discovery that will change the world forever,” said Matt Mountain, director and Webb telescope scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

    The James Webb Space Telescope (artist’s concept above) will be one of the primary instruments scientists use to continue the search for planets outside our Solar System. (Image from nasa.gov)The James Webb Space Telescope (artist’s concept above) will be one of the primary instruments scientists use to continue the search for planets outside our Solar System. (Image from nasa.gov)

    Since our galaxy, the Milky Way, alone contains up to 400 billion stars, the first results obtained by Kepler are just a tiny sample of information about the universe.

    In 2017 and 2018 respectively, NASA will launch a double team of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and the James Webb Space Telescope, specifically aimed at finding “another Earth”. TESS will have its four telescopes trained on more than half a million suns, monitoring temporary dips in brightness that could indicate that a planet is orbiting a star, and temporarily obstructing the view. The suitable candidates, in the goldilocks zone – meaning they are not too far away and the right temperature – will then be studied in detail by the Webb Telescope, which will study gases emanating from it, to see whether the planet has an atmosphere, and contains water and oxygen.


    “Sometime in the near future, people will be able to point to a star and say, ‘that star has a planet like Earth’,” said Sara Seager, professor of planetary science and physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    While the Webb telescope is 6.5 meters long, more than twice the length of the Hubble launched back in 1990, the scientists agreed that a qualitative breakthrough could be achieved once a 20-meter telescope reaches the Earth’s atmosphere.

    Such a project is currently limited by the payload restrictions of rockets currently in use. The Space Launch System, currently being perfected by NASA scientists, should be able to deliver a payload of 130 tons, more than ten times that of Russia’s popular Proton rocket.

    And even if that is not enough, the alien-hunters still believe that finding a second Earth is just a matter of when, not if.

    "Just imagine the moment, when we find potential signatures of life. Imagine the moment when the world wakes up and the human race realizes that its long loneliness in time and space may be over — the possibility we’re no longer alone in the universe," said Mountain.