On Friday, Jan. 14, the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Huygens probe is scheduled to descend through the mysterious atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan. The above map illustrates planned imaging coverage by the probe during the its descent toward Titan's surface on Friday.
ESA's Huygens site here and NASA's Huygens site here. From NASA's site, it appears that the probe is scheduled to descend in the early morning hours (EST) Friday, meaning later in the day for you Euros (10:13 GMT, sayeth NASA), and Those Times That Do Not Really Exist for us western North Americans. There's some sort of NASA TV as well, that promises to provide live coverage (probably carried on those mid-20's cable channels run by universities). The Science Channel is also showing something on it at 9pm Friday night, so there should be pictures and such by then, if it's successful.
And along those same lines. . . Statue reveals ancient astronomy
A Roman statue of Atlas -- the mythical titan who carried the heavens on his shoulders -- holds clues to the long-lost work of the ancient astronomer Hipparchus, an astronomical historian said Tuesday.
The statue in question is known as the Farnese Atlas, a 7-foot tall marble work which resides in the Farnese Collection in the National Archeological Museum in Naples, Italy.
What makes it important to scientists is not the titan's muscular form but the globe he supports: carved constellations adorn its surface in exactly the locations Hipparchus would have seen in his day, suggesting that the sculptor based the globe on the ancient astronomer's star catalog, which no modern eyes have seen.
Modern danger and ancient mystery on Laos's Plain of Jars
A busload of Japanese tourists spills onto a mud road and poses for pictures next to a red sign that says, "DANGER!"
Nearby several bomb clearance workers armed with a metal detector prepare to face a potentially deadly hazard. They head single-file along a narrow path into the brush, and 20 minutes later a call rings out: they have found two live mortar bombs.
Inspection reveals the bombs do not pose an immediate danger and can be collected at another time for demolition. The teams moves on.
Later another call rings out ... this time for an archaeologist.
And still more on the Roman racetrack Chariot track will be protected
THE lead archaeologist at a groundbreaking dig in Britain's oldest recorded town has issued reassurances about the future of the site.
The move comes after Colchester MP Bob Russell called for national heritage bodies to take action to make sure the town's recently discovered chariot racetrack was preserved for generations to come.
Mr Russell made his comments in an early day motion published in yesterday's order paper at the House of Commons.
Web site alert Egyptian Excavation Returns to the Web
The world is invited to watch Johns Hopkins University archaeologists uncover clues to ancient Egyptian life by visiting “Hopkins in Egypt Today,” a Web site chronicling the university’s 12th annual dig, at
Daily progress reports for at least four different ongoing Johns Hopkins projects in Egypt are anticipated Jan. 15 through mid-February.
The web site referenced seems to be university-access only.
This seems like good news Restorers breathe new life into Afghanistan's shattered heritage
With each stroke of his paintbrush Shairazuddin Saifi watches the past come back to life, meticulously restoring a Buddhist statue which was broken by looters digging it out of the ground.
"I feel proud when I do this because it is Afghanistan (news - web sites)'s history," Saifi says as he rebuilds the features of the Buddha with a solution of mud and chemicals, in a backroom of the Kabul Museum heated by a flickering wood stove.
Researchers hail find of secret Da Vinci lab
Researchers have discovered the hidden laboratory used by Leonardo Da Vinci for studies of flight and other pioneering scientific work in previously sealed rooms at a monastery next to the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata, in the heart of Florence.
The workshop rooms, located between the Institute for Military Geography and the Basilica, include frescos on walls painted by Da Vinci that have "impressive resemblances" to other examples of his experimental work, including a tryptich of birds circling above a subsequently erased representation of the Virgin Mary that "constitutes a clear citation of the studies by the Maestro on the flight of birds", according to the three researchers, Alessandro Del Meglio, Roberto Manneschalchi and Maria Carchio.
Not really "archaeology" but cool.
Utah Woman's Property Turns Up Ancient Remains
A southern Utah woman's property has turned out to be a graveyard for some ancient remains.
An excavation crew digging the basement for a home Jamie Church is building in Parowan unearthed what is believed to be the 1,000-year-old remains of a Fremont Indian family, a man, woman and two children.
``It was kind of creepy, but I'm trying not to think that way,'' Church said.
Digging stopped immediately when the bones were discovered, Parowan Public Works Director Kelly Stones said. Police were immediately summoned to the site when the first of four skulls was found.
``They got hold of an archaeologist who was out here about three or four hours,'' Stones said. ``There were a lot of bones.''
Pottery, grinding stones and jewelry were also found with the human remains in a shallow grave about 2 1/2-feet deep.
``All the bodies were right together in the same spot,'' Church said. ``Right by that was a pit, like where they cooked food. They found a lot of other bones there, too, but they were deer bones.''
Archeologists immediately packed up the human remains and took them for further study.
That's the whole thing.