Years ago, I told you about the Rheintochter R1 (or R I) surface-to-air missile, and in particular, the example on display at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany. But there’s also one of them at the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy center in Chantilly, Virginia:
The German Air Ministry started development of the Rheintochter R I in 1942, and 82 test missiles were launched from 1943 through 1944. Its planned successor (the R II) showed no improvement in performance, while only six of the next variant (R III) were ever flown before the program was cancelled in February of 1945.
The R I weighed 748 kg (1650 lbs) and was 5.9 meters (19.5 feet) long.
For your consideration this week, a large cooking pot from the ancestral puebloan site of Mesa Verde in southern Colorado (on display at the History Colorado Center in Denver):
This particular style of pot is called Mesa Verde Corrugated Gray — it’s smooth on the inside but intentionally rough on the outside. The corrugations made the pot easier to grip and helped spread heat more evenly. Meanwhile, the tapered neck and flared rim helped avoid boil-overs.
This pot is part of the museum’s Wetherill Collection — a cache of artifacts collected by early explorer Richard Wetherill, and purchased by the museum for $3,000 in 1889.
Posted in Astronomy, Biology, Carnivalia, Communicating science, Critical thinking, Foundations of science, History, Math, Space
Tagged Astronomy, Biology, carnival, Carnivalia, evolution, History, Math, Space
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.