Monday, July 10, 2017

The Pyramids of Giza

There are many pyramids around the world. The most famous are the pyramids of Giza in Egypt (shown above). The pyramids of Menkaure, Khafre and Khufu (from left), erected on the west bank of the Nile were built between 2575-2465 BC for three Egyptian kings.

The pyramid of Khafre is located beside Khufu's "Great Pyramid" at Giza. These pyramids are being scanned by members of the Scan Pyramids project. Using thermal imaging, radiography and 3D reconstruction, the team is gathering data on the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the pyramid of Khafre, and two pyramids built by the pharaoh Snefru at Dahshur. These are called the Red and Bent pyramids.

The first and the largest Giza pyramid was built by the pharaoh Khufu. He reigned from about 2551 to B.C.). His pyramid stands 455 feet (138 meters) tall.
Archaeologists know of the existence of three large chambers within the Great Pyramid. One of these chambers is called the "Queen's Chamber" (although there is no evidence that a queen was buried there). In the 1990s, investigations began on two small shafts that extend out from this chamber and go upward on a shallow slope.

Several robots were sent up these shafts. The robots showed that both shafts lead to doorways with copper handles. When a robot drilled through one of the doors, it revealed a small chamber in front of another sealed door.
Read more here: Lost Pharaoh?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

New Craters in the Siberian Tundra

Seven craters have been identified in the Siberian tundra. Scientists are not sure what has caused them. Russian investigations suggest they are due to escaping methane gas that has blown holes in the Siberian tundra. (See photos here.)

Yamal, a large peninsula jutting into Arctic waters, is Russia's main production area for gas supplied to Europe.

Recently reindeer herders northwest of the village of Seyakha in Siberia's far north reported seeing an eruption of fire and smoke on the morning of June 28 — an event caught on seismic sensors at 11 a.m. local time, according to The Siberian Times. Scientists visiting the site photographed a fresh crater blown into the banks of a river.

Another theory involves global warming.  Warmer temperatures in the region which may have caused the ice plug (pingos) that form near the surface to melt. When an ice plug melts, the ground collapses and a crater is formed. However, the process does not explain the explosions seen by the reindeer herders. Rocks ejected by the explosion have been found around the craters.

Young lady with a golden flower. Yamal Peninsula near the Kara Sea
Photo credit: Lara Danilova
Here, near the Kara Sea in the Arctic, people live 70 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. At this latitude the sun is visible for 24 hours during the summer solstice.