Tech News

Graveyard of the Gladiators Found in York England

on Jun.16, 2010, category Tech News

Researchers have identified what they believe may be the world’s only well-preserved Roman gladiator cemetery.

Skeletons featuring marks which could have resulted from a violent death were found during an ongoing archaeological investigation in York.

Archaeologists have been examining some 80 skeletons unearthed at the site in Driffield Terrace, just west of the centre of York, over the past decade.

Kurt Hunter-Mann, a field officer at York Archaeological Trust, said: “At present our lead theory is that many of these skeletons are those of Roman gladiators.

“So far there are a number of pieces of evidence which point towards that interpretation or are consistent with it.”

Mr Hunter-Mann, who is leading the investigation, said bite marks on one skeleton had helped the team reach their current theory.

He said: “One of the most significant items of evidence is a large carnivore bite mark – probably inflicted by a lion, tiger or bear – an injury which must have been sustained in an arena context.”

Mr Hunter-Mann said nearly all the skeletons, which date from the late first century AD to the 4th century AD, had features consistent with gladiators, in that they were male, strong and above average height.

He said: “Other important pieces of evidence include a high incidence of substantial arm asymmetry – a feature mentioned in ancient Roman literature in connection with a gladiator; some healed and unhealed weapon injuries; possible hammer blows to the head – a feature attested as a probable gladiatorial coup de grace at another gladiator cemetery, Ephesus, in Turkey.”

The arm asymmetry would be consistent with the fighters’ weapons training that had already started in teenage years, he added.

All the individuals were buried with some respect, with the most impressive send-off given to a tall man aged between 18 and 23, who had been decapitated by several sword blows to the neck.

He was buried in a large oval grave some time in the third century, alongside what appear to have been the remains of hefty joints of meat from at least four horses, which were possibly eaten at the funeral.

Forensic anthropologists at the University of Central Lancashire have also been researching the remains.

Dr Michael Wysocki, senior lecturer in forensic anthropology and archaeology at the university, said: “These are internationally important discoveries. We don’t have any other potential gladiator cemeteries with this level of preservation anywhere else in the world.”

Source SKY NEWS

Comments Off more...

Unknown Object in Nearby Galaxy Sending Mysterious Radio Waves

on Apr.20, 2010, category Tech News

There is something strange is lurking in the galactic neighborhood. An unknown object in galaxy M82 12 million light-years away has started sending out radio waves, and the emission does not look like anything seen anywhere in the universe before except perhaps by Ford Prefect. M82 is starburst galaxy five times as bright as the Milky Way and one hundred times as bright as our galaxy’s center.

“We don’t know what it is,” says co-discoverer Tom Muxlow of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics near Macclesfield, UK. But its apparent sideways velocity is four times the speed of light. This “superluminal” motion occurs usually in high-speed jets of material bursting out by black holes.

“The new object, which appeared in May 2009, has left us scratching our heads – we’ve never seen anything quite like this before,” said Dr Muxlow. “The object turned on very rapidly within a few days and shows no sign of decaying in brightness over the first few months of its existence. The new young supernova explosions that we were expecting to see in M82 brighten at radio wavelengths over several weeks and then decay over several months, so that explanation seems unlikely.”

The object was discovered while Muxlow and his colleagues were monitoring an unrelated stellar explosion in M82 using the MERLIN network of radio telescopes in the UK. Unlike supernova emissions, which usually get brighter over a few weeks and then fade away over months, the enigmatic source has hardly changed in brightness over the course of a year, and its spectrum is steady.

Yet it does seem to be moving – and fast: its apparent sideways velocity is four times the speed of light. Such apparent “superluminal” motion has been seen before in high-speed jets of material squirted out by some black holes. The stuff in these jets is moving towards us at a slight angle and travelling at a fair fraction of the speed of light, and the effects of relativity produce a kind of optical illusion that makes the motion appear superluminal.

The object is not quite in the middle of M82, where astronomers would expect to find the kind of supermassive central black hole that most other galaxies, including the Milky Way, have. Which leaves the possibility that it could be a smaller-scale “microquasar”.

A microquasar is formed after a very massive star explodes, leaving behind a black hole around 10 to 20 times the mass of the sun, which then starts feeding on gas from a surviving companion star. Microquasars do emit radio waves – but none seen in our galaxy is as bright as the new source in M82. Microquasars also produce plenty of X-rays, whereas no X-rays have been seen from the mystery object. “So that’s not right either”, Muxlow said in an interview with New Scientist Maybe it’s a megamicroquasar?

Muxlow’s best guess without having consulted Deep Thought is still that the radio source is some kind of dense object accreting surrounding material, perhaps a large black hole or a black hole in an unusual environment -a phenomena perhaps more common in M82 because it is a “starburst” galaxy – a cosmic cauldron where massive stars are forming and exploding at a much higher rate than in the Milky Way, creating new black holes.

“We have just started processing data from an array of 20 radio telescopes across the Earth were taken for the central nuclear region of M82. These images will allow us to examine the structure of the new radio source in detail. However, processing such huge datasets takes significant amounts of computing effort and painstaking work. Only then will we be able to see if it is some rare form of micro-quasar. Watch this space…!” said Muxlow.

Casey Kazan via Royal Astronomical Society and New Scientist

Source The Daily Galaxy

Comments Off more...

Solar flares set to wreak havoc on GPS signals

on Feb.10, 2010, category Tech News

The sun’s activity isn’t usually a hot topic around these parts, but when it threatens to derail satellite navigation services around the world, it must surely take center stage. UK researchers have corroborated Cornell’s 2006 warning that our solar system’s main life-giver is about to wake up and head toward a new solar maximum — a period of elevated surface activity and radiation. It is precisely that radiation, which can be perceived in the form of solar flares, that worries people with respect to GPS signaling, as its effects on the Earth’s ionosphere are likely to cause delays in data transmission from satellites to receivers and thereby result in triangulation errors. Still, it’s more likely to be “troublesome than dangerous,” but inaccuracies of around 10 meters and signal blackouts that could last for hours are being forecast in the absence of any intervening steps being taken. So yes, you now have another reason not to trust your GPS too much.

source Engadget

Comments Off more...

Large Hadron Collider producing tons of awesome collisions

on Feb.07, 2010, category Tech News

Hey, now, this is some great news, right? The trouble-plagued Large Hadron Collider looks to be doing a bang up job in some of its primary tasks. After breaking the energy record previously held by the Tevatron particle accelerator back at the end of November, 2009, reports are now coming in that the LHC is, in fact, producing some extremely high energy collisions. A research team led by MIT, CERN and the KFKI Research Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics in Budapest, Hungary have released a report detailing findings that the collisions are producing an “unexpectedly” high number of particles called mesons, subatomic particles composed of one quark and one antiquark. The research is considered one of the first steps in the search for rarer particles, and the elusive, theoretical Higgs Boson. The paper, published in the Journal of High Energy Physics has led scientists to fine-tuning their predictive models for how many mesons will be found in even higher energy collisions.

source engadget MIT

Comments Off more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...

Archives

All entries, chronologically...