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Iron Age-era mummy preserved in bog still has undigested last meal

Iron Age-era mummy preserved in bog still has undigested last meal

Archaeology team in Egypt find lion mummy at famed pyramid site Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities said archaeologists excavated the mummy in Saqqara, a town south of Cairo. The Ministry of Antiquities is planning to announce additional details about the discovery at the end of the month. In 2004, the first lion skeleton was found, revealing the sacred status of the animal during ancient times.A re-examination of the last meal of an Early Iron Age Denmark bog body called Tollund Man has revealed new details about his final hours. According to findings published Wednesday in the journal Antiquity, 12 to 24 hours before Tollund Man was killed he ate a bog-water porridge made of barley, pale persicaria, flax and likely fish.BEFORE AN ASTEROID WIPED THEM OUT, DINOSAURS WERE ALREADY IN DECLINE: STUDYResearchers, led by the Silkeborg Museum’s Nina Nielsen, also reported finding eggs and proteins from intestinal worms, indicating that the man was infected with parasites including tapeworm, whipworm and mawworm. “Although the meal may reflect ordinary Iron Age fare, the inclusion of threshing waste could possibly relate to ritual practices,” the report noted. “This re-analysis illustrates that new techniques can throw fresh light on old questions and contribute to understanding life and death in the Danish Early Iron Age.”Tollund Man’s death – likely some form of human sacrifice — dates back to some 2,400 years ago and the research highlights that thousands of people came to their end in the wetlands of North-west Europe during the Iron Age. Those placed in acidic peat bogs were turned into naturally mummified and preserved “bog bodies,” giving scientists a detailed and unique look into daily life at the time, including health, diet, manner of death and a final meal.Tollund Man, who was 30 to 40 years old when he died, had previously been hanged and placed into the peat-cutting pit.He was found during peat cutting in Bjældskovdal in 1950 and it was in that year that his stomach and intestinal tract were removed during forensic examinations before the contents of different parts of his gut were separately extracted in 1951.OPEN-AIR MUSEUM OF REBUILT HISTORIC BUILDINGS IN UK BECOMES TIKTOK HIT DURING LOCKDOWNPrevious examination found the presence of the barley, flax, and pale persicaria and gold-of-pleasure seed porridge, in addition to 16 additional plant species but plant residue degradation halted further progress.In the new analysis, scientists looked at plant macrofossils, pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs, steroid markers and proteins.”To gain the most information from the gut content, we decided to analyse the plant macrofossils, pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs (NPPs), lipids/steroid markers and proteins. Pollen and NPP analysis can reveal microscopic evidence of consumed food and drink. While the gut contents of a few bog bodies have been analysed for pollen (e.g. Scaife 1986, 1995), our work constitutes the first application of a full NPP analysis of a bog body’s gut content,” the report said. “In addition, the analysis of parasite eggs can illuminate individual health conditions; they have been observed in several cases (van der Sanden 1996), including Tollund Man, where whipworm (Trichuris) eggs were recorded (Helbæk 1959). Analyses of steroids and proteins can reveal chemical traces of consumed food and drink (e.g. from animal products) (Shillito et al. 2020), which so far have not been documented in Tollund Man.”In this re-investigation, the team said they had looked for ingredients that could relate to rituals, explored whether the weed seeds – also found in several other bodies — could represent a food shortage, and sought to investigate Iron Age health and sanitation as well as cooking practices.The team noted that previously input had argued that meat had not been a part of Tollund Man’s last meal, but they had found that the “coprostanol:5β-stigmastanol peak-area ratio of 3:1 represents a zoosterol level higher than in herbivores,” indicating Tollund Man’s last meal included both cholesterol-containing and plant-based foods.The paper added that five peptides unique to bony fish were identified, providing what they said was “clear evidence of the consumption of fish as part of the last meal,” noting Bjældskovdal’s proximity to a lake and watercourses.Nutritionally, the scientists concluded that Tollund Man’s final meal showed no evidence of a severe food shortage.And lastly, they noted that the presence of a tapeworm infection indicated that Tollund Man had previously consumed raw or undercooked meat infected with tapeworm cysts.CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP”Our study shows that it can be beneficial to re-analyze bog body gut contents stored in museum collections, and that combining pollen, NPP, macrofossil, steroid and protein analyses can yield further useful data,” the report asserted, adding that ongoing analysis was being done involving the search for aquatic lipid biomarkers. “Our quantification and identification of the different ingredients in Tollund Man’s last meal at a new level of detail can be used for comparison in future projects.””Future improved residue analyses will undoubtedly add further detail concerning the gut contents, diet and, perhaps, manner of death of Northern European bog bodies, and hence contribute to our understanding of life in the Danish Early Iron Age,” the researchers said.

Astronomers make first detection of this 'moon-forming' phenomenon

Astronomers make first detection of this 'moon-forming' phenomenon

NASA plans two missions to Venus NASA aims for two new missions to Venus to learn more about the ‘lost habitable’ world; former NASA astronaut Tom Jones provides insight on ‘CAVUTO Live.’Astronomers have discovered the presence of a disk around a planet beyond our solar system for the first time.By using the high-resolution Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), of which the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is an international partner, the scientists uncovered the circumplanetary disk which surrounds the exoplanet PDS 70c.HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE DELIVERS FIRST IMAGES SINCE SHUTDOWNPDS 70c is one of two giant, “Jupiter-like” planets orbiting a star almost 400 light-years away, according to a statement released by ESO on Thursday. PDS70c and PDS 70b were discovered in 2019 and 2019, respectively, using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). PDS 70b does not show “clear evidence” of a circumplanetary disk.While there had been signs of such a “moon-forming” region around the exoplanet before, the researchers could not differentiate the disk from its environment. “Our work presents a clear detection of a disc in which satellites could be forming,” the University of Grenoble and University of Chile’s Myriam Benisty, who led the research published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, said. “Our ALMA observations were obtained at such exquisite resolution that we could clearly identify that the disc is associated with the planet and we are able to constrain its size for the first time.”Benisty and her colleagues found that the disk has approximately the same diameter as the distance from our sun to the Earth, or around 94 million miles. Additionally, the disk has enough mass to make up to three satellites the size of the moon, which has a radius of about 1,080 miles.The findings will help to also understand when, where and how planets and moons form in young stellar systems.WHEN TO VIEW JULY’S FULL BUCK MOONPlanets are believed to begin as grains of dust smaller than the width of human hair before emerging from disks of gas and dust that circle young stars before gravity causes material within the disk to collide gently and fuse before dust particles combine to form minute planets or “planetesimals.”The planetesimals orbit their star, clearing material from their path as the star takes in nearby gas and pushes distant material out. before forming new worlds billions of years later.Gas giants were believed to have been created where the disk was colder – and gas molecules would slow down enough – and water could freeze, with ice fragments and dust eventually forming giant planetary cores. The warmer areas of the disk aided in the formation of rocky planets tens of millions of years after the birth of the star and following the formation of icy giants, though details regarding where planets form in disks is still an area of research, according to NASA.CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APPThe ESO notes that as planets take shape around young stars, they can potentially acquire their own circumplanetary disk which has gas and dust that can form progressively larger bodies through collisions that lead to the formation of moons.In the future, the observatory intends to use its Extremely Large Telescope (ELT)’s Mid-infrared ELT Imager and Spectrograph (METIS) to better understand the planetary systems, or sets of gravitationally bound objects that orbit a star.

NASA seismologists image the interior of another planet for the first time

NASA seismologists image the interior of another planet for the first time

For the first time, seismologists have imaged the interior of another planet.Using data from NASA’s InSight spacecraft’s seismometer, the agency’s Mars rovers and orbiters around the red planet, the scientists published three papers in the journal Science with revealing facts about the planet’s deep interior.NASA’S PERSEVERANCE MARS ROVER READIES TO BEGIN SAMPLING PROCESSAccording to a Thursday release from NASA’s Southern California-based Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), the decade-long research confirmed that the planet’s center is molten and detailed the depth and composition of its crust, mantle and core. While, comparatively, the Earth’s outer core is molten and its inner core is solid, researchers will continue to use information from the lander’s Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) instrument to understand whether Mars is similar. To date, SEIS has recorded more than 730 marsquakes and the papers used the data from 35 of those quakes, all with magnitudes between 3.0 and 4.0. However, unlike Earth, Mars has one large tectonic plate, but faults and fractures still form in the planet’s crust due to pressures caused by the “shrinking of the planet as it continues to cool.”In knowing the way that seismic waves can vary in both speed and appearance – or “wiggle” – when traveling through different materials in a planet, seismologists were given a method with which to study the planet’s inner structure.Each paper in Science focuses on a different layer of the planet – the crust, mantle and core structures had been separated in a process called “differentiation” – and part of InSight’s initial mission was to study the depth, size and structure of the three Martian layers.The crust, which goes as deep as 12 or 23 miles, was found to be thinner than previously believed and could have two to three sublayers.NASA’S PERSEVERANCE MARS ROVER BEGINS HUNT FOR SIGNS OF PAST LIFEThe mantle extends 969 miles below the dusty surface. Mars’ core was reported to have a radius of 1,137 miles.”This study is a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” ETH Zurich’s Simon Stähler, lead author of the core paper, said. “It took scientists hundreds of years to measure Earth’s core; after the Apollo missions, it took them 40 years to measure the Moon’s core. InSight took just two years to measure Mars’ core.”Using seismograms, InSight scientists reportedly spend a great deal of time combing over seismograms in search of these wiggles and vibrations that can uncloak properties in layering within the crust’s layers.According to JPL, the InSight team was surprised to discover that all of the planet’s significant quakes were sourced from Cerberus Fossae, a region of Mars that may have seen lava flows within the last few million years.CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APPThat said, no marsquakes have been detected in some of the planet’s more prominent volcanic regions, though it is possible that shadow zones are preventing a quake’s echo off an underground reflector from reaching SEIS.”We’d still love to see the big one,” JPL’s Mark Panning, co-lead author of the paper on the crust, said. “We have to do lots of careful processing to pull the things we want from this data. Having a bigger event would make all of this easier.

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover readies to begin sampling process

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover readies to begin sampling process

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover is preparing to collect its first-ever sample. The agency’s Southern California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said that the rover was searching for a scientifically interesting rock target in Jezero Crater’s “Cratered Floor Fractured Rough.”The “Cratered Floor Fractured Rough” is one of the deepest, and potentially oldest, accessible geologic units in the crater.NASA’S PERSEVERANCE MARS ROVER BEGINS HUNT FOR SIGNS OF PAST LIFEThe sampling is expected to occur within the next two weeks as the team searches for hints regarding the existence of ancient microbial life. “When Neil Armstrong took the first sample from the Sea of Tranquility 52 years ago, he began a process that would rewrite what humanity knew about the moon,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters, said in the statement. “I have every expectation that Perseverance’s first sample from Jezero Crater, and those that come after, will do the same for Mars. We are on the threshold of a new era of planetary science and discovery.”The process begins with the rover’s 7-foot-long robotic arm.The arm will set up the necessary tools within reach and then perform an imagery survey in order for scientists on Earth to determine the exact target location for the first sample in addition to a second site in the same area for “proximity science.”Next, five of Perseverance’s science instruments will work together to “enable unprecedented analysis of geological materials at the worksite.”The SuperCam and Mastcam-Z will participate with the rover’s SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals), PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry), and the WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering) camera to provide a mineral and chemical analysis of the target, capture high-resolution imagery, collect data and spectroscopically measure the resulting plume from the SuperCam’s laser.NASA’S MARS PERSEVERANCE ROVER SNAPS SHOTS OF UNIQUE ROCK FORMATION IN ‘ANCIENT LAKEBED’After pre-coring, the JPL members working on Perseverance will limit its tasks for a sol, or a Martian day. The rest will allow the rover to fully charge its battery.On sampling day, the sampling arm within the Adaptive Caching Assembly will retrieve a sample tube, heat it and insert it into a coring bit before the bit carousel takes the tube and bit to a rotary-percussive drill on Perseverance’s robotic arm. The arm will then drill the untouched geologic “twin” of the rock and fill the tube with a core sample that’s only a couple of inches in length. Lastly, the robotic arm will move the bit-and-tube combination back into bit carousel and Adaptive Caching Assembly where the sample will be photographed, measured for volume, hermetically sealed and stored. Perseverance will require around 11 days to complete its first sampling, according to the agency. CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APPPerseverance landed on Mars on Feb. 18 and began its science phase on June 1.In the future, the rock and regolith samples the rover collects and caches will be returned in joint missions with the ESA (European Space Agency).

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover begins hunt for signs of past life

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover begins hunt for signs of past life

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has begun its hunt for evidence of ancient microbial life. The spacecraft, which landed on the red planet in February, has tested an array of instruments on its 7-foot robotic arm. NASA’S MARS PERSEVERANCE ROVER SNAPS SHOTS OF UNIQUE ROCK FORMATION IN ‘ANCIENT LAKEBED’In a Monday release, NASA said that Perseverance had commenced its probe of Martian rocks and sediment, testing detectors and capturing its first science readings.The rover will use X-rays and ultraviolet light to examine rocks in addition to zooming for “closeups” of surfaces.
PIXL, one of seven instruments aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover, is equipped with light diodes circling its opening to take pictures of rock targets in the dark. Using artificial intelligence, PIXL relies on the images to determine how far away it is from a target to be scanned.
(NASA/JPL-Caltech)The agency said that Perseverance’s PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry) – an X-ray instrument – had already shown “unexpectedly strong science results” during its testing, including determining the composition of Martian dust clinging to a small calibration target aboard Perseverance”We got our best-ever composition analysis of Martian dust before it even looked at rock,” Abigail Allwood, PIXL’s principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said.HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE DLIVERS FIRST IMAGES SINCE SHUTDOWNPerseverance remains in the area around Jezero Crater – NASA’s initial landing site and a crater lake billions of years ago.Working with the SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) spectrometer – which uses an ultraviolet laser to map mineralogy and organic compounds – and its WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and Engineering) camera, NASA scientists combined mineral maps from the three instruments. 
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took this close-up of a rock target nicknamed “Foux” using its WATSON camera on the end of the rover’s robotic arm. The image was taken July 11, 2021, the 139th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.
(NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)Early images from WATSON have already provided data from Martian rocks, according to NASA, including information regarding colors, sizes of grains and the presence of “cement” between the grains. Eventually, the Perseverance rover will collect and cache the rock and regolith to be returned in a joint mission with the ESA (European Space Agency).CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APPHowever, any geological insights discovered before then will be critical to understanding the history of the crater and “place any indication of possible life in context.””Mars 2020, in my view, is the best opportunity we will have in our lifetime to address that question,” said Kenneth Williford, the deputy project scientist for Perseverance.

Florida beaches see nearly 800 tons of dead fish, sea life wash ashore

Florida beaches see nearly 800 tons of dead fish, sea life wash ashore

The Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg area of Florida has nearly 800 tons of a particularly smelly problem. Thousands of dead fish and marine life have washed up on beaches in the area largely due to red tide caused by toxic algal blooms.CALIFORNIA, FLORIDA FISH MORTALITY PINNED TO DROUGHT, CLIMATE CHANGEAccording to the St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, officials are working to mitigate the issue.”Nearly 800 tons now. We’re going to ignore the politics from the governor’s office and continue to work with other state officials and county officials to get these fish out of the water,” he tweeted last week. According to Kriseman and other critics, Gov. Ron DeSantis has downplayed the severity of the threat, and a spokesperson for the governor suggested Kriseman had been “deliberately lying” about needing state assistance, according to The Tampa Bay Times.DeSantis has claimed to be on top of the matter, working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to respond. “My administration & @FLDEPNews have committed more than $2 million to respond to red tide in Tampa Bay. Cleanup efforts are underway & @MyFWC has enhanced monitoring efforts year-over-year by 165%,” DeSantis tweeted on Sunday. “We will continue to work with local governments to provide assistance and identify ways to mitigate red tide.””It’s all-hand-on-deck to protect Tampa Bay. DEP and @MyFWC have ramped up water monitoring in the greater Tampa Bay area,” the Florida Department of Environmental Protection wrote in a separate post.However, many still want DeSantis to declare a state of emergency to help free up resources for the area, and the St. Petersburg City Council adopted a resolution calling for an emergency declaration.DeSantis has declined, saying a statewide emergency order is unnecessary as there is sufficient funding available from the state Department of Environmental Protection.More than 100 people gathered in a protest over the weekend at the St. Petersburg waterfront, calling out the waterway’s polluters. Although algal blooms can occur naturally, NPR said blooms are rarely seen in the summer and in the Tampa Bay area. Warmer waters, a change in salinity, more carbon dioxide, changes in rainfall and sea level rise all help to provide a hospitable environment for the blooms, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.The reason for the fish kills is under debate – though Tropical Storm Elsa recently lashed Florida shores.Scientists are looking into whether rapidly spreading red tide blooms are linked to the state’s decision to pump 215 million gallons of polluted wastewater into Tampa Bay last spring.A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman said previously that the Piney Point discharge did not cause red tide in Tampa Bay but it may have worsened conditions.CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APPFish kills and red tide outbreaks are also being reported in Manatee and Sarasota counties.Notably, red tide can cause respiratory troubles for some people –  especially those with existing conditions such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

How Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin crew trained for historic spaceflight

How Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin crew trained for historic spaceflight

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin will launch the first crewed mission on its New Shepard suborbital rocket on Tuesday morning, taking the richest person in the world and three others to the edge of space.Accompanying the billionaire are Bezos’ brother, Mark, “Mercury 13” aerospace pioneer Wally Funk and Netherlands native and first commercial customer Oliver Daemen.RICHARD BRANSON SAYS CRITICS ARE ‘NOT FULLY EDUCATED’ ON BENEFITS OF SPACE TRAVELFunk, 82, and Daemen, 18, will become the oldest and youngest people to go to space. Blue Origin announced the addition of Daemen last Thursday in place of an auction winner that bid $28 million for the seat but had “chosen to fly on a future New Shepard mission due to scheduling conflicts.”
This undated image provided by Blue Origin shows an illustration of the capsule that will be used to take tourists into space. (Blue Origin via AP)

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