Tag: Eta (page 1 of 2)

Using X-rays, scientists read 2,000 year old scrolls charred by Mount Vesuvius


Mount Vesuvius today



By Amina Khan 
Excerpt from latimes.com

Talk about reading between the lines! Scientists wielding X-rays say they can, for the first time, read words inside the charred, rolled-up scrolls that survived the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius nearly two millenniums ago.
Testing the scroll
Researchers Daniel Delattre, left, and Emmanuel Brun observe the scroll before X-ray phase contrast imaging begins. (J. Delattre)
The findings, described in the journal Nature Communications, give hope to researchers who have until now been unable to read these delicate scrolls without serious risk of destroying them.
The scrolls come from a library in Herculaneum, one of several Roman towns that, along with Pompeii, was destroyed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in AD 79. This library, a small room in a large villa, held hundreds of handwritten papyrus scrolls that had been carbonized from a furnace-like blast of 608-degree-Fahrenheit gas produced by the volcano.

“This rich book collection, consisting principally of Epicurean philosophical texts, is a unique cultural treasure, as it is the only ancient library to survive together with its books,” the study authors wrote. “The texts preserved in these papyri, now mainly stored in the Officina dei Papiri in the National Library of Naples, had been unknown to scholars before the discovery of the Herculaneum library, since they had not been copied and recopied in late Antiquity, the middle ages and Renaissance.”
So researchers have tried every which way to read these rare and valuable scrolls, which could open a singular window into a lost literary past. The problem is, these scrolls are so delicate that it’s nearly impossible to unroll them without harming them. That hasn’t kept other researchers from trying, however – sometimes successfully, and sometimes not.

“Different opening techniques, all less effective, have been tried over the years until the so-called ‘Oslo method’ was applied in the 1980s on two Herculaneum scrolls now in Paris with problematic results, since the method required the rolls to be picked apart into small pieces,” the study authors wrote. (Yikes.)

Any further attempts to physically open these scrolls were called off since then, they said, “because an excessive percentage of these ancient texts was irretrievably lost by the application of such methods.”
This is where a technique like X-ray computed tomography, which could penetrate the rolled scrolls, would come in handy. The problem is, the ancient writers used ink made of carbon pulled from smoke residue. And because the papyrus had been carbonized from the blazing heat, both paper and ink are made of roughly the same stuff. Because the soot-based ink and baked paper have about the same density, until now it’s been practically impossible to tell ink and paper apart.

But a team led by Vito Mocella of the Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems in Naples, Italy, realized they could use a different technique called X-ray phase-contrast tomography. Unlike the standard X-ray CT scans, X-ray phase-contrast tomography examines phase shifts in the X-ray light as it passes through different structures.
Using the technique, the scientists were able to make out a few words and letters from two scrolls, one of them still rolled.

Reading these scrolls is difficult; computer reconstructions of the rolled scroll reveal that the blast of volcanic material so damaged its once-perfect whorls that its cross section looks like a half-melted tree-ring pattern. The paper inside has been thoroughly warped, and some of the letters on the paper probably distorted almost beyond recognition.
Nonetheless, the researchers were able to read a number of words and letters, which were about 2 to 3 millimeters in size. On an unrolled fragment of a scroll called “PHerc.Paris. 1,” they were able to make up the words for “would fall” and “would say.” In the twisted, distorted layers of the rolled-up papyrus called “PHerc.Paris. 4,” they could pick out individual letters: alpha, nu, eta, epsilon and others.

The letters in “PHerc.Paris. 4” are also written in a distinctive style with certain decorative flourishes that seemed very similar to a scroll called “PHerc. 1471,” which holds a text written by the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus. The researchers think they were written in the second quarter of the first century BC.


Ultimately, the researchers wrote, this work was a proofof concept to give other researchers a safe and reliable way to explore ancient philosophical works that were until now off-limits to them.

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Stunning 3-D Models Reveal Bizarre Double Star Ready to Explode


Picture of Eta Carinae star in the southern constellation of Carina
The supermassive star pair Eta Carinae erupted in the 1840s and produced this double-lobed cloud of dust called the Homunculus Nebula.

Excerpt from news.nationalgeographic.com

The star system Eta Carinae sends out the brightest flares yet recorded.

SEATTLE—Armed with a 3-D printer, a supercomputer, and several space telescopes, astronomers have gotten their best look yet at one of the galaxy's biggest, weirdest double star systems.

Surprising new observations of the system, known as Eta Carinae, described Wednesday at the American Astronomical Society's annual winter meeting, include a set of oddly bright flares that might signal a change in the two stars' billowing stellar winds. What's more, 3-D printed simulations show unexpected anatomy within the star system's churning, tempestuous center.

Scientists have kept a close eye on Eta Carinae since the 1840s, when a series of unexpected eruptions briefly transformed it into the brightest star in the southern sky. At any time, the unstable system could explode in a spectacular supernova. (Don't worry—Earth will be fine. But the light show will be unforgettable.)

The new observations don't pin down when Eta Carinae might explode, but they are helping astronomers better understand the turbulent pair.

"It's not only the most massive and luminous object that's close to us, but it's also extremely erratic," says astronomer Michael Corcoran of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland.

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MAY JUNE 2012 SOLUNTRA KING

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4 May 2012

By Soluntra King

MAY

THE 1st MAY IS THE WINTER OR SUMMER QUARTER IN THE CELTIC CALENDAR The first day of Winter in the Southern Hemisphere and the first day of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere. IN THE SOUTH...

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Drekx Omega: What is the Purpose and Mission of the Galactic Federation of Light?

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Apr 24

http://www.ashtarcommandcrew.net/forum/topics/what-is-the-purpose-and-mission-of-the-galactic-federation-of

THE PURPOSE & MISSION OF THE GFL IS TO HELP FULFILL THE PROPHETIC REALIZATION OF THE DIVINE WILL OF HEAVEN&...

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SaLuSa 27-September-2010

27 September 2010 - 7:19am

Channeler: Mike Quinsey

You are in unusual times and so shall it continue until the course for mankind becomes clear. There are signs that indicate progress is being made, and the long...

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SaLuSa 17-September-2010

17 September 2010 - 7:18am

Channeler: Mike Quinsey

As you must imagine many events are lining up that will bring you freedom, they will follow in a sequence that will make good sense and quickly open up the path...

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SaLuSa 15-September-2010

15 September 2010 - 7:15am

Channeler: Mike Quinsey

Everything is racing along its allotted path, and when it all comes together you will have reached Ascension. It is the final act that will close the door on du...

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SaLuSa 13-September-2010

13 September 2010 - 7:12am

Channeler: Mike Quinsey

It is not just the U.S, that has paid its respects to those who died in the tragedy that was 9/11, but the whole world remembers the human loss involved. There ...

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SaLuSa 10-September-2010

10 September 2010 - 7:13am

Channeler: Mike Quinsey

Let no one deny you your rights to your own beliefs, but honor another soul who has chosen a different path. It should be possible to exist side by side, with...

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SaLuSa 3-September-2010

3 September 2010 - 7:12am

Channeler: Mike Quinsey

You are moving so far ahead of the dark Ones, that they have no hope of altering the outcome. They have no answers to the growing Light levels, and can only pe...

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SaLuSa 01-September-2010

1 September 2010 - 7:16am

Channeler: Mike Quinsey

We know that these messages are received mainly by the converted, which have stirred within and sensed the importance of these times. Others take a passing loo...

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SaLuSa 27-August-2010

27 August 2010 - 7:39am

Channeler: Mike Quinsey

Warning: may generate feelings of unease. If this happens, discard and read something else. 

We are with you to give guidance, and just one of many s...

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SaLuSa 18-August-2010

18 August 2010 - 7:14am

Channeler: Mike Quinsey

You have power beyond your imagination, and as you get nearer to the end of this cycle, it will become more evident. Up to now it has been largely expressed thro...

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