Category Archives: Science

“When we saw this, we knew straight away, this had never been seen or recorded before”

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales: Cropmarks 2018.

“The unprecedented spell of hot, dry weather across Wales has provided perfect conditions for archaeological aerial photography. As the drought has persisted across Wales, scores of long-buried archaeological sites have been revealed once again as ‘cropmarks’, or patterns of growth in ripening crops and parched grasslands. The Royal Commission’s aerial investigator Dr Toby Driver has been busy in the skies across mid and south Wales over the last week documenting known sites in the dry conditions, but also discovering hitherto lost monuments. With the drought expected to last at least another two weeks Toby will be surveying right across north and south Wales in a light aircraft to permanently record these discoveries for the National Monuments Record of Wales, before thunderstorms and rain wash away the markings until the next dry summer.”

NPR: In Ireland, Drought And A Drone Revealed The Outline Of An Ancient Henge.

“A drone flight and a lingering dry spell have exposed a previously unknown monument in Ireland’s Boyne Valley, forgotten for thousands of years and long covered by crops — which, struggling to cope with a lengthy drought, finally revealed the ancient footprint.

Photographer and author Anthony Murphy discovered the site. He was flying a drone near Newgrange, a famous prehistoric stone monument in County Meath, on Tuesday, taking pictures of the known archaeological attractions. Then he saw something strange — a perfect circle, etched in the color of the crops, in an otherwise unremarkable field.”

Links via MetaFilter: It’s like a carpet and chair, only with vegetation and buildings, In Ireland, Drought and a drone revealed the outline of an ancient henge.

Flight by electrostatic repulsion

The Atlantic: Spiders Can Fly Hundreds of Miles Using Electricity. “Scientists are finally starting to understand the centuries-old mystery of “ballooning.””

“The upper reaches of the atmosphere have a positive charge, and the planet’s surface has a negative one. Even on sunny days with cloudless skies, the air carries a voltage of around 100 volts for every meter above the ground. In foggy or stormy conditions, that gradient might increase to tens of thousands of volts per meter.

Ballooning spiders operate within this planetary electric field. When their silk leaves their bodies, it typically picks up a negative charge. This repels the similar negative charges on the surfaces on which the spiders sit, creating enough force to lift them into the air.”

Link via MetaFilter.

Astro-Alex startet wieder!

Heute started die nächste Crew zur ISS, der Start findet um kurz nach 13 Uhr deutscher Zeit statt. Bis zur Ankunft auf der ISS wird es allerdings dieses Mal zwei Tage dauern. Die Mission heißt Horizons.

Der deutsche Astronaut Alexander Gerst (Astro_Alex auf Twitter, Astro_Alex_ESA auf Instagram, Alexander Gerst auf Flickr) ist mit von der Partie und wird als erster Deutscher auch Kommandant auf der ISS werden.

DLR: Mission Horizons: Raketenstart mit Alexander Gerst aus Baikonur, Kasachstan (deutschsprachig), Live-Stream auf YouTube.

Alexander Gerst schreibt außerdem ein Blog bei der ESA.

Still unsolved after 47 years

Die Zeit 22/2018: “Die habe ich gesehen”. “Seit fünf Jahrzehnten ist die Identität einer geheimnisvollen Toten unbekannt. Doch jetzt gibt es eine neue Spur: Die Aussage eines norwegischen Fischers.” Von Tanja Stelzer.

Die Zeit 03/2018: Die Tote aus dem Isdal. “1970 wurde in Norwegen eine Frauenleiche gefunden: Verbrannt, entstellt, mit rätselhaftem Gepäck. Bis heute ist unklar, wer sie war. Eine Verrückte? Eine Agentin? Die Polizei ermittelt jetzt wieder. Neue Spuren weisen nach Deutschland.” Von Tanja Stelzer.

Der erwähnte Podcast findet sich hier – in englischer Sprache:

BBC: Death in Ice Valley. “An unidentified body. Who was she? Why hasn’t she been missed? A BBC World Service and NRK original podcast, investigating a mystery unsolved for almost half a century.”

It’s also available via iTunes, and you can listen to the first episode (with illustrations) here (31:50min).

See also The Independent: Death in Ice Valley: The new true crime podcast that’s the BBC’s answer to Serial. “It is hoped listeners will help solve the mysterious death of a Norwegian woman in 1970 outside Bergen, in this innovative podcast take on Nordic noir.”

More links in this MetaFilter thread: “Ich komme bald”. I especially recommend this article from the BBC:

BBC News: Isdal Woman: The mystery death haunting Norway for 46 years. By Helier Cheungm BBC News, Bergen. Published on 13 May 2017.