A scene unique to most museums — a life-size recreation of an archaeological dig, on display at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology in Albuquerque, New Mexico:
Given how much archaeological and anthropological work takes place at the University of New Mexico, it’s a bit surprising that its anthropology museum is as humble in size as is the Maxwell. Still, it’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area and have an interest in the fields. This recreation is basically the centerpiece of the permanent exhibit area in the Maxwell, while a number of other displays of artifacts and bones surround it on two levels. About an equal amount of space is devoted to traveling exhibits, and the museum’s bookstore has some real finds awaiting you!
The past week’s selection of science-related blog carnivals for you:
Carnival of Space 322
Friday Ark #449
Morsels for the mind – 4/10/2013
Posted in Astronomy, Biology, Carnivalia, Communicating science, Critical thinking, Foundations of science, Space
Tagged Biology, carnival, Carnivalia, critical thinking, Space
Another fine artifact shown from the “A Day in Pompeii” travelling exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science:
This millstone, made of lava rock (with a modern recreation wooden handle) would have been about the right size for a household or small shop. Its owner poured grain into the hole in the top, and then used the handle to rotate the upper stone. The grain worked its way into the gap between the stones where it was crushed.
From the House of Fabius Rufus in Pompeii.
This rather bedraggled looking item is the shell of a Polaris A-3 FBM, at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Polaris was a series of two-stage solid fueled submarine-launched ballistic missiles — in fact, they were the U.S.’ first such missiles after plans for submarine use of the large early cruise missiles was abandoned in the 1950s. The Polaris program began in 1956, with the first Polaris being launched from a submerged submarine on 20 July, 1960 (this variant was later renamed the A-1). The A-2 version of the Polaris, essentially an improved A-1, went into service late in 1961.
The Polaris A-3 was a largely redesigned missile (85% new when compared with the A-2), and entered service in 1964. With a range of 2500 nautical miles (2880 statute miles / 4635 km), it could hit targets anywhere on land without needing to launch from too near a coastline. Originally equipped with a single 500-kiloton warhead, the A-3s were later refitted to carry three separate 200-kiloton warheads (although they weren’t separately targetable, they could impact up to 800 meters away from each other).
Beginning in 1963, the United Kingdom also purchased Polaris missiles and submarines and support systems. But in order to make best use of their smaller Polaris submarine force (just 4 submarines), the British Polaris missiles were outfitted via a program called Chevaline that equipped them with smaller warheads coupled with decoys and other defensive countermeasures.
The U.S. Navy retired its last Polaris missile in 1981, replacing the series first with Poseidon and later with Trident missiles. British Chevaline variants of the Polaris were in the field until 1996.
The past week’s selection of (mostly) science-related blog carnivals for your reading pleasure:
Carnival of Space 320
Friday Ark #448
Morsels for the mind
Another fine specimen at the Holden / Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum in Aspen, Colorado — this time, it’s a sample of wulfenite:
Wulfenite has the chemical formula PbMoO4, and so is a secondary ore of both molybdenum and lead. It’s typically found in mineral zones formed by hydrothermal deposits, and prized by mineral collectors. It can be found in a number of colors, but shades of orange, red, and yellow seem to be dominant. It was first described in 1845, and is named after the Austrian minerologist Franz Xavier von Wulfen (1728-1805), who authored a monograph on the lead ores of Bleiberg, Austria.
Think that Titanic only sank because it hit an iceberg? Guess again, the physics of steel played a big part as well! Dr. Ainissa Ramirez explains all (direct link):
H/T: Boing Boing