July 18th, 2017

The Mystery of Ross 128

Some very "peculiar signals" have been noticed coming from a star just 11 light-years away, scientists in Puerto Rico say. The mystery has gripped the internet as speculation mounts about the potential for a discovery of alien life on the red dwarf star known as Ross 128—despite the best attempts of astronomers to put such rumors to rest. Something unusual first came to light in April and May, when the team was studying a series of small and relatively cool red dwarf stars, some of which are known to have planets circling them. Ross 128 is not known to have planets, but "we realized that there were some very peculiar signals in the 10-minute dynamic spectrum that we obtained from Ross 128" said Abel Mendez, director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.

The signals were observed May 13 at 0053 GMT, and "consisted of broadband quasi-periodic non-polarized pulses with very strong dispersion-like features," he wrote. "We believe that the signals are not local radio frequency interferences (RFI) since they are unique to Ross 128 and observations of other stars immediately before and after did not show anything similar." Since the signals are likely too dim to be picked up by other radio telescopes in the world, Mendez said that scientists at the Arecibo Observatory joined with astronomers from SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Life) would use the Allen Telescope Array and the Green Bank Telescope to observe the star for a second time late Sunday. The results of these observations should be posted by the end of the week...

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King Tut’s Wife

A group of archaeologists made a breakthrough discovery when they found a tomb that may belong to King Tut’s wife.

The tomb, which resides near the tomb of Pharaoh Ay from the 18th Dynasty, was discovered in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings and could belong to Ankhesenamun, famed Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass told Live Science.

Hawass, who was the former head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, said he’s certain there’s a tomb there because his team found four foundation deposits. However, he said it’s unclear to whom the tomb belongs to.

The archaeologist explained to Live Science that the deposit sites are “caches or holes in the ground that were filled with votive objects such as pottery vessels, food remains and other tools as a sign that a tomb construction is being initiated.”

He said it’s possible the tomb belongs to Tutankhamun’s wife, Ankhesenamun. She married Ay after the young pharaoh’s death, Hawass said, and her tomb could be next to Ay’s. He noted that his team would continue to search the site.

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Levanevsky’s Flight

In 1937, the famed Soviet pilot Sigizmund Levanevsky took charge of what was intended to be the first cargo-passenger flight over the North Pole from Moscow to Fairbanks, Alaska. The distance was enormous, and experts thought that a full year of preparation would be needed. In a bid to impress Stalin, the officials in charge decided to do it in three months. The risks were so obvious that the aircraft’s radio officer even joked that the crew members were flying to their deaths. Unsurprisingly, something went wrong, and the man known to the American press as “the Russian Lindbergh” disappeared along with his six-man crew. During takeoff, the far-right engine was clearly emitting smoke, but engineers on the ground predicted it would soon stop. Nineteen hours later, a radio message was received: “The far-right engine has quit due to a problem with the oil system. Entering overcast skies. Elevation 4,600 meters. Will attempt a landing.” Russian, Canadian, and American rescue teams combed the Arctic, but no trace of the aircraft could be found.

Over the years, there have been various theories about the final resting place of Levanevsky and his crew. The most plausible involves a radio operator from Point Barrow, Alaska, who was told local Inuit had witnessed an aircraft crash into the water near the Jones Islands. A visiting schooner attempted a search of the area, with the crew noting that their compass needle was pointing straight down at one point. However, no wreckage could be found and the search had to be called off due to ice. A report was sent to Moscow, but it was quickly forgotten about after World War II broke out. Another theory suggests that there was a navigational error when the flight crossed the North Pole and was forced to descend below cloud level. Unbeknownst to the crew, they ended up making an accidental 80-degree turn, headed back into the Soviet Union, and crashed into Siberia’s Lake Sebyan-Kyuyel. A magnetic anomoly was apparently detected in the depths of the lake, but no more evidence could be found and the theory largely ran out of steam in the late ’90s.

Perhaps the most bizarre theory is that Levanevsky was forced to land on an ice floe, where he was rescued by a German submarine. He then supposedly offered his services to the Luftwaffe, even participating in the bombing of Moscow.

Kemo D. 7

credit: Listverse

Lasting Images

The morning mist surrounding Tawstock Castle melts through the day to reveal far reaching views of Devon. Set out in the early morning when the 18th century castle feels like it's shrouded in mystery– it'll seem as if you've entered a fantastical world where noble families battle for a throne, epic love stories begin, and dragons determine the fate of the world.

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credit: Airbnb