Last week, you got the west side of Copan’s Altar Q — today, you get to see the top:
Altar Q is unique in that its sides present a complete list (including the names) of all the rulers in Copan’s last dynasty. Its top hosts 36 hieroglyphs describing the origins and history of Copan’s dynastic founder, K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’.
This is the west side of Altar Q, from the ancient Maya site of Copan in Honduras. Or more accurately, it’s the west side of a very high-quality replica of the altar.
This altar was built in part to legitimize the reign of the 16th (and as it turned out, final) ruler of Copan. The sides of the altar show all 16 rulers in chronological order. This side shows Copan’s dynastic founder (the second figure from the left) passing his staff of power to the 16th ruler, Yax Pasaj Chan Yopaat. The carving thus indicates that the 16th ruler of Copan received his right to rule directly from Copan’s founder.
This was on display at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science as part of the Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed traveling exhibit.
Posted in Astronomy, Biology, Carnivalia, Critical thinking, Humanity, Space
Tagged Astronomy, Biology, Carnivalia, critical thinking, health, Space
This week, for your perusal, I present a J47 jet engine — with its casing cut open for a better view of its internal structure:
In this presentation, the engine would be “flying” to the right — air is pulled in and compressed in 12 (blue) compressor stages, heated in the combustion section (the orange / red cans with holes in them), then ejected through the exhaust turbines on the left.
From the placard (at the South Dakota Air and Space Museum in Box Elder, South Dakota):
The J47 was developed by the General Electric Company from the earlier J35 engine and was first flight-tested in May 1948 as a replacement for the J35 used in the North American XF-86 “Sabre.” In September 1948, a J47 powered an F-86A to a new world’s speed record of 670.981 miles per hour. More than 30,000 engines of the basic J47 type were built before production ended in 1956. The engine was produced in at least 17 different series and was used to power such USAF aircraft as the F-86, XF-91, B-36, B-45, B-47, and XB-51.
Notably, the J47 was also the first axial-flow jet engine to be approved for use in commercial aircraft. The last J47 was finally retired in 1978, so the design saw a full 30 years of service.
It’s been a while since I talked about White Sands National Monument — so today, let’s take a closer view of it. Here’s a very close-up look at the sands themselves:
As I mentioned previously,the sands of White Sands aren’t your usual white beach sand — they’re made of gypsum, dissolved by rivers from local mountains, precipitated out, then blown into dunes by the area’s prevailing winds. In the process, the soft gypsum crystals (starting in various tabular, lenticular, and columnar shapes) are tumbled into rounded often-cylindrical shapes very different from what you’d see on a beach.
Posted in Astronomy, Biology, Carnivalia, Critical thinking, History, Space
Tagged Astronomy, Biology, carnival, Carnivalia, critical thinking, History, Space
The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago displays this coffin in an oddly understated way, packed in among a bevy of mummies and their grave goods. It belonged to a man named Harwa, who lived in the early 7th century BC in what is now Thebes.
Harwa attained an office variously translated as “Grand Steward of the Divine Adoratrice” or “Chief Steward of the Divine Wife” — but recent study of his tomb has revealed that he was essentially the ruler of all of southern Egypt on behalf of the pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty.
As for Harwa’s green face — here’s what a placard has to say about it:
Green was the color of fertility, and often of the god Osiris. Painting the images of dead people with green faces showed that they had become like Osiris and would have eternal life.
The past week’s selection of (mostly) science-related blog carnivals for you:
Carnivalesque #104 (history)
Carnival of Space #364
Friday Ark #482
Morsels for the Mind
Courtesy of the “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed” traveling exhibit, it’s Stela C from the Maya site of Quiriguá in Guatemala:
Well, OK — it’s actually a museum quality replica of Stela C. Quiriguá was a medium-sized site (located in what is now southeastern Guatemala) during the Maya Classic period, attaining its greatest power and status just before the end of the Classic in the 9th century AD.