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When Mount Vesuvius erupted nearly 2,000 years ago, volcanic debris buried Pompeii and created a city forever frozen in time.
Researchers consider the doomed metropolis one of the most poignant archaeological sites in the world.
The well-preserved expanse of Pompeii is home to a host of finds that continue to surprise archaeologists as they unearth more of the lost city.
Intact objects such as chariots, frescoes and even graffiti have shed light on what ancient Roman life was like in the prosperous resort before the catastrophic event – and provided evidence of when the eruption occurred.
And now researchers examining artifacts from the neighboring city of Herculaneum are using new technology to peek beneath Vesuvius’ blanket of ash and mud to uncover more of history’s best-kept secrets.
Artificial intelligence has revealed the first near-complete passages decoded from the charred, brittle Herculaneum scrolls.
The hundreds of burned papyrus scrolls that managed to survive the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in what experts say was probably the home of Julius Caesar’s father-in-law look as if they could collapse at any moment.
But technological advances make it possible for the first time since 79 AD. possible to virtually unpack the scrolls, allowing papyrologists to translate the words of the philosopher Philodemus.
“(In these passages) he persuades those listening to him to relax a little, find good friendships, spend your time living in the moment and indulge in pleasures,” says Roger Macfarlane, professor of classical studies at Brigham Young University.
It is known as the most dangerous and terrifying part of the ocean.
The Drake Passage, which is 600 miles wide, is sandwiched between South America and Antarctica.
Landmasses help slow storms that gather strength over the oceans. But nothing stops screaming winds, towering waves and the world’s strongest storms from brewing in the deep waters of the Drake.
The marine area’s underwater mountains intrigue scientists, and it’s a crossing that ship captains ferrying tourists must make—and they do it with a healthy dose of fear.
A serene photo of a polar bear sleeping on an iceberg off the Norwegian archipelago of Spitsbergen has received the People’s Choice Award for Nature Photographer of the Year.
“While climate change is the greatest challenge we face, I hope this photo also inspires hope; there is still time to fix the mess we have created,” said British amateur photographer Nima Sarikhani, who took the photo.
The winning photo will be on display at London’s Natural History Museum until June 30, along with finalist photos of a beautiful lion parenting moment and glowing moon jellyfish under the Northern Lights.
Australian scientists have discovered an unlikely ally in their search for endangered species: spiders.
The fine webs spun by the eight-legged creatures not only catch prey such as flies, the silken structures also capture environmental DNA.
When researchers collected spider webs from Western Australia’s Perth Zoo and the Karakamia Forest Reserve, they were able to identify genetic material from 93 animals.
“As only trace amounts of DNA are needed to identify animals, this cheap and non-invasive method could be a game changer in the way we explore and protect our terrestrial biodiversity,” said Joshua Newton, a doctoral student at Curtin University’s School of Molecular and Life Sciences.
Meanwhile, a new finding could explain why insects gather under bright artificial lights at night – and it’s not because they’re attracted to the glow like ‘moths to a flame’.
Mimas, one of Saturn’s smallest moons, is known for a gigantic crater that gives the satellite an uncanny resemblance to the Death Star from the ‘Star Wars’ films.
Now astronomers think the crater-shaped chunk of ice orbiting Saturn holds a deep secret: a hidden ocean.
An international team of researchers analyzed data collected during NASA’s Cassini mission and noted that Mimas’ rotation and orbital motion have changed over time, likely due to the presence of a global ocean beneath its icy crust.
The research team was surprised to discover that the ocean is relatively young, astronomically speaking: only 5 to 15 million years old. Mimas could change the way scientists understand ocean worlds in our solar system that may harbor life beyond Earth.
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— Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient cemetery during excavations in the heart of London, including a rare wooden bed used in a Roman burial.
— The PACE mission launched this week to study the “invisible universe” of microscopic marine life on Earth and atmospheric particles from space.
– A ‘super-Earth’ – plus evidence of a second Earth-sized planet – has been spotted orbiting the habitable zone of a star 137 light-years away.
Researchers have found a new clue that sheds light on how microscopic tardigrades, also known as water bears, can survive in some of the most challenging environments on Earth.
— Wondering what April’s total solar eclipse will look like in your city? Check out our interactive map to see how much of the sun is blocked, based on your location.
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