Its been a while since I’ve compiled news items for my Sunday Science Update and while my resolve stands firm to stay up to date with the world of science, my time to post news stories is severely constricted. I’ve bookmarked the following stories for your reading pleasure over the course of the weekend. My commentary will be absent this week with my struggle for time.
Rome to ‘paint’ Trajan’s Column with light
Archaeologists want to use light to recreate the brilliant colors once seen on Trajan’s Column in Rome.
The chaste white of Roman temples and monuments is a product of centuries of wear that has removed the original paint. The archaeology department in Rome is discussing the technical details of creating a light beam that would temporarily repaint the column, with the power company Acea and researchers at Rome University, the Italian news agency Ansa reported.
Under the plan, the column would be illuminated on weekends for a few minutes every hour.
”Nothing acts like light to deepen our understanding, activating our emotional brain,” said Maurizio Anastasi, head of the technical office in the city archaeology department.
The column was erected in A.D. 113 to celebrate Trajan’s two successful campaigns against the Dacians, depicted in carved relief. Trajan, who reigned from 98 to 117, pushed the boundaries of the Roman Empire to their farthest extent.
From Roman hallmarks to Gamma-rays!
Death of massive star creates brightest burst ever seen
Gamma-Ray Bursts are the most powerful explosive events in the Universe. They occur in far-off galaxies and so are usually faint. But on the morning of March 19th 2008 the Swift satellite found a burst which was so bright it could have been seen without binoculars or a telescope even though it was seven thousand times further away than the Andromeda galaxy.
And finally, news from our own solar system:
Signs of Hidden Ocean Underneath Titan’s Crust
Astronomers’ mental image of Titan, the solar system’s second-largest moon, used to be that of a vast swimming pool. But maybe they should have imagined a water bed instead.
That’s all for now!