I like this. It's funny. Even a flat sheet of paper is not "flat" so the idea that people -really??- thought a galaxy was a "flat disc" I really do laugh at. Why?
The Milky Way galaxy is full of ripples and at least 50% larger than we think
A new study has found that the Milky Way galaxy is at least 50% larger than previously thought (see below).
new findings from an international team of scientists indicate the
galactic disk is contoured into several concentric ripples.
The research was led by +Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Professor +Heidi Jo Newberg.
The above image shows how the Milky Way galactic disk is a corrugated galaxy with concentric ripples.
says in a statement, "In essence, what we found is that the disk of the
Milky Way isn't just a disk of stars in a flat plane--it's corrugated.
As it radiates outward from the sun, we see at least four ripples in the
disk of the Milky Way. While we can only look at part of the galaxy
with this data, we assume that this pattern is going to be found
throughout the disk."
The study revisits astronomical data from the +Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
The 2002 survey established the presence of a bulging ring of stars beyond the known plane of the Milky Way.
new findings show that the features previously identified as rings are
actually part of the galactic disk. This extends the known width of the
Milky Way from 100,000 light years across to 150,000 light years.
Xu, a scientist at the National Astronomical Observatories of China and
lead author of the paper, says, "Going into the research, astronomers
had observed that the number of Milky Way stars diminishes rapidly about
50,000 light years from the center of the galaxy, and then a ring of
stars appears at about 60,000 light years from the center.
we see now is that this apparent ring is actually a ripple in the disk.
And it may well be that there are more ripples further out which we have
not yet seen."
A research paper on the findings, "Rings and
Radial Waves in the Disk of the Milky Way," was published in the
journal, Astrophysical Journal. +http://goo.gl/E8Z5EL
Learn more and check out a video with Professor Heidi Jo Newberg explaining the corrugated Milky Way galaxy.
After all the fuss I expected something good. From the very outset you can tell these are either torch-beams or from searchlights (police helicopter?). You cannot even tell if the lights are in the air or on the ground. I strongly suspect a hoax but since the witness is unknown and we just have a rough geographic area we'll never know 100% for certain.
Interesting since this is saying, virtually, what other scientists and astronomers were saying 60+ years ago before scientific dogma set in. Could Science be learning that per cognitionem veritas -through knowledge the truth not "dogma rules"?
Although the Martian surface is
now cold and dry, there is plenty of evidence suggesting that rivers,
lakes and seas covered the Red Planet billions of years ago. Since there
is life virtually wherever there is liquid water on Earth, some
researchers have suggested that life might have evolved on Mars when it
was wet, and life could be there even now, hidden in subterranean
aquifers. [The Search for Water on Mars in Photos]
Much remains unknown about how Mars lost its water
and how much liquid water might remain in underground reservoirs. One
way to solve these mysteries is to analyze the kinds of water molecules
in the Martian atmosphere.
This still from a NASA video offers a glimpse of what ancient Mars may have looked like from space (Space.com)
Normally, water molecules are
each made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. However, one or
both of these hydrogen atoms can be replaced with deuterium atoms to
create deuterated water. (Deuterium, like hydrogen, has one proton, but
also one neutron.)
Deuterated water is heavier than
normal water, so it behaves differently. For example, it can be easier
for normal water to escape Mars, since it can vaporize more easily in
the Martian atmosphere. Solar radiation can break this water up into hydrogen and oxygen, and the hydrogen can then escape into space.
By studying the current ratio of
deuterium to hydrogen in Martian water, researchers suggested they could
estimate how much total water the Red Planet used to have. They
constructed new maps of the ratio between hydrogen and deuterium in the
water in the Martian atmosphere using data gathered from 2008 to 2014 by
the Very Large Telescope in Chile, and the Keck Observatory and NASA's InfraRed Telescope Facility in Hawaii.
They found the ratio between
deuterated water and normal water in some regions of Mars was higher
than thought, typically seven times higher than in Earth's oceans. This
high ratio suggests that Mars has lost a great deal of water over time.
"We can now get a pretty strong estimate of how much water was lost
on the planet," lead study author Geronimo Villanueva, a planetary
scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt,
Based on their findings, the
scientists estimate that Mars might have had enough water to cover up to
20 percent of the planet about 4.5 billion years ago. They suggest the
Red Planet could still possess substantial underground reservoirs of
Further refining maps of atmospheric water on Mars could help guide
the search for these deep aquifers, Villanueva said. One would
essentially look at such maps to see how much known sources of water
such as Martian ice caps could account for this atmospheric water, "and
any abnormalities might be released from hidden reservoirs," he said.
Archaeological team say they have set foot in a place untouched by
humans for at least 600 years in a site that may be the ‘lost city of
the monkey god’
Archaeologists have discovered two lost cities in the deep jungle of Honduras,
emerging from the forest with evidence of a pyramid, plazas and
artifacts that include the effigy of a half-human, half-jaguar spirit.
The team of specialists in archaeology and other fields, escorted by
three British bushwhacking guides and a detail of Honduran special
forces, explored on foot a remote valley of La Mosquitia where an aerial
survey had found signs of ruins in 2012.
Chris Fisher, the lead US archaeologist on the team, told the
Guardian that the expedition – co-coordinated by the film-makers Bill
Benenson and Steve Elkins, Honduras and National Geographic (which first reported the story on its site) – had by all appearances set foot in a place that had gone untouched by humans for at least 600 years.
“Even the animals acted as if they’ve never seen people,” Fisher
said. “Spider monkeys are all over place, and they’d follow us around
and throw food at us and hoot and holler and do their thing.”
“To be treated not as a predator but as another primate in their
space was for me the most amazing thing about this whole trip,” he said.
Fisher and the team arrived by helicopter to “groundtruth” the data
revealed by surveying technology called Lidar, which projects a grid of
infrared beams powerful enough to break through the dense forest canopy.
That data showed a human-created landscape, Fisher said of sister
cities not only with houses, plazas and structures, but also features
“much like an English garden, with orchards and house gardens, fields of
crops, and roads and paths.”
In the rainforest valley, they said they found stone structural
foundations of two cities that mirrored people’s thinking of the Maya
region, though these were not Mayan people. The area dates between
1000AD and 1400AD, and while very little is known without excavation of
the site and surrounding region, Fisher said it was likely that European
diseases had at least in part contributed to the culture’s
The expedition also found and documented 52 artifacts that Virgilio
Paredes, head of Honduras’s national anthropology and history institute,
said indicated a civilisation distinct from the Mayans. Those artifacts
included a bowl with an intricate carvings and semi-buried stone
sculptures, including several that merged human and animal
The cache of artifacts – “very beautiful, very fantastic,” in
Fisher’s words – may have been a burial offering, he said, noting the
effigies of spirit animals such as vultures and serpents.
Fisher said that while an archaeologist would likely not call these
cities evidence of a lost civilisation, he would call it evidence of a
culture or society. “Is it lost? Well, we don’t know anything about it,”
exploratory team did not have a permit to excavate and hopes to do so
on a future expedition. “That’s the problem with archaeology is it takes
a long time to get things done, another decade if we work intensively
there, but then we’ll know a little more,” Fisher said.
“This wasn’t like some crazy colonial expedition of the last century,” he added.
Despite the abundance of monkeys, far too little is known of the site
still to tie it to the “lost city of the monkey god” that one such
expedition claimed to have discovered. In about 1940, the eccentric
journalist Theodore Morde set off into the Honduran jungle in search of
the legendary “white city” that Spanish conquistadors had heard tales of
in the centuries before.
He broke out of the brush months later with hundreds of artifacts and
extravagant stories of how ancient people worshipped their simian
deity. According to Douglas Preston, the writer National Geographic sent
along with its own expedition: “He refused to divulge the location out
of fear, he said, that the site would be looted. He later committed
suicide and his site – if it existed at all – was never identified.”
Fisher emphasised that archaeologists know extraordinarily little
about the region’s ancient societies relative to the Maya civilisation,
and that it would take more research and excavation. He said that
although some academics might find it distasteful, expeditions financed
through private means – in this case the film-makers Benenson and Elkins
– would become increasingly commonplace as funding from universities
and grants lessened.
Fisher also suggested that the Lidar infrared technology used to find
the site would soon be as commonplace as radiocarbon dating: “People
just have to get through this ‘gee-whiz’ phase and start thinking about
what we can do with it.”
Paredes and Fisher also said that the pristine, densely-wooded site
was dangerously close to land being deforested for beef farms that sell
to fast-food chains. Global demand has driven Honduras’s beef industry,
Fisher said, something that he found worrying.
“I keep thinking of those monkeys looking at me not having seen
people before. To lose all this over a burger, it’s a really hard pill
Or so people keep saying. Again -total rubbish. I think this
posting by Erika makes some great points including the "forced
perspective" issue I've mentioned before.
Yes, the locals DO know about pangolins but they kill them because they can cause damage to the cheaply made houses -that is NOT and can NEVER be an excuse especiallyt when locals KNOW these are protected species.
This video has been making the rounds recently. It
supposedly depicts an "alien," which was killed in Pakistan. The
video is just someone holding their camera up to their computer screen, on
which we see a picture of a large creature in the foreground, with some people
in the background.
The first, most obvious thing about this picture is that it
suffers from forced perspective. Forced perspective is what happens when you
have a big discrepancy between the foreground and the background in a photo.
Like when tourists take photos in which they appear to be holding up the
Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The creature is clearly in the foreground, and presumably
being hung up in the air. This makes it look a lot larger than it really is.
This is a common characteristic of supposed "monster" pictures, and
it is a good thing to learn how to spot.
As for the creature itself, it is actually a pangolin.
Pangolins are secretive, nocturnal animals which are larger cousins to the
You don't ordinarily see a pangolin from the perspective in
this photograph. However, note the animal's cone-shaped face, its
extraordinarily long tongue, its paws with two giant claws, and of course the
overlapping scales. This is quite clearly a pangolin, and judging from its
posture it has been strung up with a rope under its armpits.
Pangolins are endangered throughout their range. In Africa they are killed as bush meat. In India and Asia
they are killed because Chinese Traditional Medicine considers pangolin meat
and scales to have medicinal properties. Their meat is also treasured in China as a
I did a bit of sleuthing online and found this article from
July 2011 about a Giant pangolin being killed in a Pakistan village by terrified
villagers. There is a common misconception among cryptozoologists in the west
that "the people live there, so they must know all the animals in the
area, and if they don't know what it is, then it must be a monster or an
alien." But in this case, this is manifestly untrue.
Giant pangolins are rare, certainly, but that can't account
for the villagers being so terrified at the presence of this harmless animal
(pangolins don't even have teeth!) that they beat it to death with rocks, hung
it up in the town square on display, then tossed its carcass into an empty
field for stray dogs to eat.
I strongly suspect that this is that pangolin. The poor
thing. RIP, pangolin.
I've been looking at what was called "the Dinosaur mass extinction
Yes, asteroid go boom!
All dinosaurs died "in one year"
according to physicist Michio Kaku in an absolutely appalling piece of
Dinosaurs on land died out gradually over a long
period. Some say decades and others "hundreds" of years. In "one year" is, perhaps, the daftest statement about dinosaur extinction I've heard.
discover new species in fossils and what we don't know we make up by saying "yes, a beaver does this and so this type of dinosaur very likely did so" and TV
copies this - Anthropomorphisised dino families and
"they did THIS" and "They then did THAT" -we DO NOT KNOW.
massive silly assumptions but, hey,a TV "expert" ( "X" =The Unknown and "spurt" is a drip under pressure) says it then that's a
We are now, after scientists have said, at least eight times in
my life time, that we have discovered the "earliest man"...oh, we
discovered homo floresiensis (the so called "hobbit"). And now...in case you missed it:
Jaw bone fossil discovered in Ethiopia is oldest known human
Around 400,000 years older than previous discovery of homo
lineage, 2.8m-year-old jaw and five teeth was found on rocky slope in Afar
Ian Sample science editor
A lower jaw bone and five teeth discovered on a hillside in Ethiopia are
the oldest remains ever found that belong to the genus Homo, the lineage that
ultimately led to modern humans.
Fossil hunters spotted the jaw poking out of a rocky slope
in the dry and dusty Afar region of the country about 250 miles from Addis Ababa.
The US-led research team believes the individual lived about
2.8m years ago, when the now parched landscape was open grassland and shrubs
nourished by tree-lined rivers and wetlands.
The remains are about 400,000 years older than fossils which
had previously held the record as the earliest known specimens on the Homo
The discovery sheds light on a profoundly important but
poorly understood period in human evolution that played out between two and
three million years ago, when humans began the crucial transformation from
ape-like animals into forms that used tools and eventually began to resemble
“This is the the first inkling we have of that transition to
modern behaviour. We were no longer solving problems with our bodies but with
our brains,” said Brian Villmoare at the University
of Nevada in Las Vegas.
The new fossil, found at a site called Ledi-Geraru, has a
handful of primitive features in common with an ancient forerunner of modern
humans called Australopithecus afarensis. The most well-known specimen, the
3m-year-old Lucy, was unearthed in 1974 in Hadar, only 40 miles from the
Ledi-Geraru site. But the latest fossil has more modern traits too. Some are
seen only on the Homo lineage, such as a shallower chin bone.
The picture that emerges from the fossil record is that 3m
years ago, the ape-like Australopithecus afarensis died out and was superseded
by two very different human forms. One, called Paranthropus, had a small brain,
large teeth and strong jaw muscles for chewing its food. The other was the Homo
lineage, which found itself with much larger brains, a solution that turned out
to be more successful.
“By finding this jaw bone we’ve figured out where that
trajectory started,” said Villamoare. “This is the first Homo. It marks in all
likelihood a major adaptive transition.”
What drove Australopithethus to extinction and led to the
rise of Homo is a mystery, but researchers suspect a dramatic change in the
environment transformed the landscape of eastern Africa.
“It could be that there was some sort of ecological shift and humans had to
evolve or go extinct,” said Villmoare.
Other fossils recovered nearby the new human remains suggest
that the region was much wetter than Hadar where Lucy was found. Remnants of
antelopes, prehistoric elephants, primitive hippos, crocodiles and fish were
all recovered from the Ledi-Geraru site, researchers said. Details of the
discoveries are reported in two papers published in Science.
The human jaw was discovered in January 2013 by Chalachew
Seyoum, an Ethiopian national on the team, and a student at Arizona State
University. He was part
of a group that had set off from camp that morning to look for fossils on a
hill that was later found to be brimming with ancient bones.
Villamoare, who was on the expedition, recalled the moment
of discovery. “I heard people yelling Brian! Brian! And I went round the corner
and there was Chalachew. He recognised it, and said: ‘We’ve got a human.’ It
had eroded out of the stratigraphy. It was in two pieces and was missing some
of the teeth, but it was clearly of the genus Homo.”
The fossil bones are too fragmentary to give them a human
species name. The jawbone could belong to Homo habilis, known as “handy man”,
the earliest known species on the Homo lineage. But Villamoare is not
convinced. It could be a new species that lived before Homo habilis.
Other researchers agree. In a separate paper published in
Nature, Fred Spoor at University College, London,
reports a virtual reconstruction of a Homo habilis skull. “By digitally
exploring what Homo habilis really looked like, we could infer the nature of
its ancestor, but no such fossils were known,” said Spoor. “Now the Ledi-Geraru
jaw has turned up as if on request, suggesting a plausible evolutionary link
between Australopithecus afarensis and Homo habilis.”
But until more remains are found, the mystery will remain.
The US-led team has been back to the site this January to look for more
fossils, but Villamoare said he cannot yet talk about what they did or did not
Oh. That's nine times now though I actually think it is far more times that I've heard this. At least now a few more scientists are saying "the oldest so far"....which means this could be the oldest but they are privately thinking there might be more. Komodo Dragon:http://www.animalpictures123.org/?attachment_id=11688
It is not
stretching the imagination to believe that dinosaurs -not all but a few-
survived but evolved and these became "dragons" -look at Komodo Dragons
-or even if you want to think about it, "sea monsters". If this
extinction was so huge then WHY did many MANY other species survive?
And mega fauna -Dire Wolves, etc.- as well as the "tall story" gigantic
snakes could have existed -I say they probably did.
While researching While researching Some More Things Strange & Sinister and looking at reports of gorillas before they were officially "discovered" -a pleasant German army officer with his Askari machine gunned some -and so his name, Berenger was given to the new species- I came across a book published by Henry Fetherstone, of London, in 1614 not 1630 as some cryptozoologists claim 9but what's in a year?). Purchas, his Pilgrimage refers to an Englishman, Andrew Battle (not "Battell" as often miss-quoted) who escaped from the Portuguese (so his account was from the late 16th/early 17th century)
Battle was watching and learning about the wildlife and that makes the next
piece very interesting:
“But more strange it seemed which hee tolde
mee of a kinde of great Apes,if
they might so bee
termed,of the height of a man,but twice as bigge in feature
limmes,with strength proportionable,hairie all over,otherwise altogether
like men and
women in their whole bodily shape.They
lived on such wilde
fruits as the
Trees and Woods yeelded,and in the night time lodged on the Trees:
accompanied with two Negro-Boyes:and they carried away one of
them by a sudden
surprise:yet not hurting him,as they use not to doe any which
the Captive doe then looke upon them.This slave after a
with them convayed himselfe away againe to his Master. “
It is likely that the gorillas
were known to other Europeans such as the Portuguese but not caught,possibly
because of danger involved,superstition or there not being any interest in
doing so.There is the possibility that Battle also observed chimpanzees and Purchas does note
that “Other Apes there are store” –in other words there were a lot seen by Battle
Europeans in Africa in the 17th century
describe phenomenally large herds of zebra and other animals so plenty
of food. Battle was not just "telling tall tales".
Incidentally, the Europeans helped wipe out most of that
wildlife -though the Americans came in late and "helped out" -after all,
they had helped drive their bison to near extinction.
Are "sea monsters" surviving aquatic dinosaurs? Many scientists, particularly in the 19th century and early 20th, thought they might be. But then the blustering majority who stood by dogma from their books and even Bible, put pressure on. A word here. A casual remark there and those pro surviving dinosaur were mocked in newspapers and magazines but the brave few endured. However, the open mind of science was "shut for custom"!
The coelacanth, yes I am going to bring that up again, Science! These fish were thought to have gone extinct in the Late Cretaceous, but were rediscovered in 1938 off the coast of South Africa -hence the silly term "living fossil" but we do know it put more than a few stuffed-shirts off their breakfast kippers. "Damned nerve turning up un-extinct like that! Messes up my books!"
But there was no doubt what it was. It looked exactly like the fossils.
Even as a youngster I could not understand how "Nessie" could be a plesiosaur -after 65 million years should it not have evolved?
Unknown sea creatures could be evolved aquatic dino-survivors, though some are close to scientifically known "fossils" in description. Others not -but that does NOT mean they are not real.
I say "are not" even though I suspect Mans effects on the world's seas and oceans have now made they rare if not, in certain cases, extinct.
Crocodiles and other reptiles have remained unchange. We still get mega crocodiles. Brutus for instance:
Celebrity crocodile: Amazing pictures of Brutus the giant
croc who became a mega-star after he was snapped eating a bull shark
A 5.5m crocodile
grabbed hold of a bull shark on Kakadu's Adelaide River,
the moment was captured by a tourist
attracted international headlines, but this is not the first global attention
for the 80-year-old croc
Brutus jumping out of the water went viral in 2011
The 5.5-metre crocodile pictured with a bull shark between
its jaws a few days ago has made international headlines and become a reptilian
But this is not the first time the 80-year-old two-tonne
beast called Brutus, has attracted international attention. Photographs of him
lifting his two-tonne frame out of the Adelaide
River in the Northern Territory to gnaw at some kangaroo
meat during a 'jumping crocodile' tour made headlines in 2011.
The giant crocodile is known on the river tours for his huge
size and the fact that he is missing his right foreleg – believed to have been
torn off in a fight with a shark.
So imagine the size of predators when there was as much food available as reported by Battle et al!
Let's think when we see these TV programmes or
read books by stuffed-shirts who will NEVER veer off the track of dogma
into the dangerous minefield of free and open thinking. This lecture
was brought to you by the extinct Falkland Islands Wolf and someone who
really needs to stop wasting time.....