The scientific tourist #354 — the Me 163 revisited

I talked a bit about the Me 163 some time back — but a recent trip to Washington D.C. left me with a bit of time for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, which meant I was able to get some shots of their copy of the “Komet:”

Me 163 B-1 "Komet"

This is a B1 model of the craft — so, in the middle of its development history, and the only variant to see operational (if ineffective) use.

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The scientific tourist #353 — Hammurabi’s Code

Here, on display at the Louvre in Paris, is the Code of Hammurabi — a compilation of legal rulings dating back to about 1754 BC:

Hammurabi's Code

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The scientific tourist #352 — Pula Arena

Brought to you from the scenic town of Pula, Croatia — it’s an ancient Roman amphitheater, best known as the Pula Arena:

Pula Amphitheater Panorama

But this is no mere antiquity.  The Arena is the only remaining Roman amphitheatre to have four side towers entirely preserved, and is among the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the World.  Its construction started during the reign of Augustus (31 BC – 14 AD), and it was enlarged and revised until 96 AD.  It was used for gladiatorial shows until the 5th century, then fell into disuse until restoration began around 1800.  It’s now used for concerts, theater presentations, and other public events — it can seat some 5,000 people.

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Carnivalia — 3/11 – 3/17/2015

The past week’s selection of (mostly) science-oriented blog carnivals:

Carnival of Space #397

Friday Ark #511

Health Wonk Review: Spring Forward Edition

History Carnival #143

Math Teachers at Play #83

Morsels for the Mind — 13/03/2015

 

 

 

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The scientific tourist #351 — MGM-1 Matador missile

On display at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it’s a Matador cruise missile:

Matador

The Matador was the U.S.’ first operational surface-to-surface missile, with an operational concept much like that of the German V-1 missile — but with a twist.

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The scientific tourist #350 — bog iron, and the tools to produce it

On display at the National Museum of Iceland in Reykjavik — it’s bog iron, and some of the tools needed to produce it:

Bog iron, and the tools to produce it

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Casual Friday — fascinating engineering facts about the Titanic

Sure, the sinking of the Titanic gets all the press — but the engineering that went into her and her sister ships in the Olympic-class was impressive for their time, and still is today.  Bill (“Engineer Guy”) Hammack explains all:

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Carnivalia — 2/18 – 2/24/2015

The past week’s selection of science-related blog carnivals for you:

Carnival of Space #393

Friday Ark #509

Morsels for the Mind — 20/02/2015

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The scientific tourist #349 — Montezuma Pithouse

Some years ago, I told you about the (very inaccurately named) Montezuma’s Castle structure in Arizona.  Today, you get to see the remains of a pithouse down the road from it, just uphill from the (similarly inaccurately named) Montezuma Well:

Montezuma Pithouse panorama 1

A pithouse is a structure built partially underground, and partially above ground.  Most pithouses found in the southwest were family residences — this one is large enough that it is thought to have been home to several families, or more likely, a community structure used by them.  One of four pithouses in the area, this structure dates to about 1050 AD, and resembles similar structures from the same period built by the Hohokam culture near modern Phoenix. Continue reading

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Casual Friday — 5 years of SDO

February 11, 2015 was the fifth anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft.  SDO captures images of the whole sun 24 hours a day, taking more than one image per second.  In the process, it’s given us an unprecedentedly clear picture of how massive explosions on the sun grow and erupt.  The imagery isn’t just scientifically useful — it’s also captivating, as the constant ballet of solar material through the sun’s atmosphere (the corona) carries on.

 

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