August 18, 2018 - August 24, 2018
One giant sale: Neil Armstrong’s
collection goes to auction
July 16, 1969, file photo, Neil Armstrong waving in front, heads for the
van that will take the crew to the rocket for launch to the moon at
Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Fla. (AP Photo/File)
June 15, 2018 photo provided by Heritage Auctions shows an Apollo 11
Robbins Medallion which was also flown on the moon landing mission in
July 1969. (Emily Clements/Heritage Auctions via AP)
Cincinnati (AP) - Admirers
of Neil Armstrong and space exploration have a chance to own artifacts
and mementos that belonged to the modest man who became a global hero by
becoming the first human to walk on the moon.
The personal collection of
Armstrong, who died in his native Ohio in 2012, will be offered for sale
in a series of auctions handled by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions,
beginning Nov. 1-2 and continuing in May and November 2019.
The collection includes a variety
of artifacts from Armstrong’s 1969 lunar landing and private mementos
that include pieces of a wing and propeller from the 1903 Wright
Brothers Flyer that the astronaut took with him to the moon.
Other items that went to the moon
with Armstrong include a U.S. flag, the largest size typically flown
during Apollo missions; a United Nations flag; various state flags; and
some Robbins Medallions. The sterling silver medallions were paid for by
the crews of Apollo missions and were available for purchase only by
NASA astronauts. Armstrong’s collection also includes a rare gold
Among the more personal items to be
auctioned are a Purdue University centennial flag from Armstrong’s alma
mater that traveled on Apollo 11 and his Boy Scout cap.
Armstrong’s son, Mark Armstrong,
said his father never talked to him about what he wanted done with the
large amount of items he kept.
“I don’t think he spent much time
thinking about it,” Armstrong said. “He did save all the items, so he
obviously felt they were worth saving.”
Armstrong, who lives in suburban
Cincinnati, said his father did keep all of his “flown” items together.
Faced with the responsibility of
conserving, preserving and insuring irreplaceable items and honoring
their father’s legacy, Armstrong and his brother, Rick, found that some
things needed restoration, and that some required research to be
“We felt like the number of people
that could help us identify them and give us the historical context was
diminishing and that the problem of understanding that context would
only get worse over time,” he said.
The Armstrongs turned to Sarasota,
Florida-based Collectibles Authentication Guaranty for help with
preserving and authenticating the artifacts and memorabilia and chose
Heritage Auctions for the sales.
Greg Rohan, president of Heritage
Auctions, said it handles numerous categories of collectibles that
appeal to various collectors, but items connected with space seem to
have a universal appeal.
“Space is one of the very, very few
categories that every single person seems to be interested in,” Rohan
said. “You show somebody something from the space program, and they are
fascinated by it.”
Bids can be taken online, by phone
or in person.
August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018
Study: Climate change making Europe heatwaves more likely in Madagascar
enjoy the Bournemouth beach in Dorset, England, as the hot weather
continues across Britain. (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)
Berlin (AP) -
Researchers say heatwaves of the kind currently being seen in northern
Europe have become twice as likely due to climate change.
Scientists from the
World Weather Attribution team said they have compared observations and
forecasts for the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland with historical
records going back to the early 1900s. They concluded the likelihood of
three-day stretches of extreme heat in those areas has increased at
The group, which
works to determine if there’s a link between weather phenomena and
climate change, said current temperatures further north are so unusual
there’s not enough data to predict their future likelihood.
Erich Fischer, an
expert on weather extremes at ETH Zurich in Switzerland who was not
involved with the study, said the authors use well-established
methodology and “their estimates may even be rather conservative.”
Researchers use leaf blower to see how lizards endure storms
Oct. 19, 2017 photo provided by Colin Donihue, an anoles lizard hangs
onto a pole during a simulated wind experiment in the Turks and Caicos
Islands. (Colin Donihue via AP)
- Tropical lizards have a stick-to-itiveness
in high wind that puts TV weather reporters to shame. Now we know why,
thanks in part to a high-powered leaf blower.
Hurricanes Irma and
Maria put a group of little tree-hugging lizards to the test, and
scientists were perfectly positioned to see which reptiles survived and
why. Then, Harvard researchers cranked up the leaf blower to observe
just how 47 of the Caribbean critters held onto a wooden rod.
storm-force winds, the lizards lounged. As the wind speed cranked up,
they still held on, although it got tougher. Even at 102 mph (164 kph),
the lizards grasped the pole with two clingy front feet while their
tails and back legs flapped in the wind like a flag.
“All the lizard
needs is an inside out umbrella and the image would be perfect,” study
lead author Colin Donihue said.
But there’s only so
much a little lizard can take. At 108 mph (174 kph), it was flying
Don’t worry. No
lizard was harmed in the lab test.
“They do go flying
in the air, but it is softly into the net and everybody was returned
back home” unharmed, said Donihue, a Harvard evolutionary biologist.
The lizards’ secret
weapon to surviving hurricanes? The survivors had 6 to 9 percent bigger
toe pads, significantly longer front limbs and smaller back limbs,
compared with the population before the storm, according to a study in
Wednesday’s journal Nature. The study is the first to show
natural selection due to hurricane, Donihue said.
Donihue and colleagues had been measuring and studying lizards just
before the storms blew into the Turks and Caicos Islands last September.
They returned several weeks later to see if there was a difference in
the surviving population.
They found that the
survivors were a bit lighter overall despite the bulked-up front. Key
were those toe pads - they are at most about half the size of a pencil’s
eraser - Donihue said. It also explains why island lizards have bigger
toe pads than inland Central American lizards, a difference that had
praised the study, especially the researchers’ luck of being in the
right place at the right time.
provides exciting insight into the effects of extreme natural events,”
said Pennsylvania State University biologist Tracy Langkilde, who wasn’t
part of the study.
colleagues didn’t merely measure the differences. They took the leaf
blower and cranked up the power on different lizards, recording it all
with a high-speed camera.
“These lizards are
very impressive for their clinging in the high winds,” Donihue said.
August 4, 2018 - August 10, 2018
World gazes at total lunar eclipse, longest of this century
The moon turns red during a total lunar eclipse, as
seen from Dresden, Germany, Friday, July 27, 2018. (Sebastian
Kahnert/dpa via AP)
moon sets over the Petronas Twin Towers during a complete lunar eclipse
in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, July 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)
(AP) - Curiosity and awe greeted a complete
lunar eclipse on July 27, the longest one of this century and visible in
much of the world.
“blood moon,” when it turns a deep red, was visible at different times
in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America when the sun, Earth
and moon lined up perfectly, casting Earth’s shadow on the moon.
The total eclipse
lasted 1 hour and 43 minutes, with the entire event lasting closer to
Rio de Janeiro’s
spectators cheered when the blood moon emerged from the fog. Hundreds of
people watched at a fort overlooking the iconic Copacabana beach and
Sugarloaf Mountain. The local planetarium set up telescopes for
are fantastic. It’s one thing to see pictures of the planets in a book
and another to see it in real life,” said Ana Selma Ferreira, a 46-year
old lawyer who brought her children to the spectacle.
people turned to the sky, watching the reddish shadow slide up the
moon’s surface. In Somalia, some hurried to mosques for special prayers.
In South Sudan, some dared to take photos in a war-torn country where
using a camera in public is discouraged.
capital, Addis Ababa, people at an open-air restaurant admired a rare
clear view during the rainy season, comparing a live NASA webcast to
what they saw above. Then clouds rolled in.
chereka,” some murmured - Amharic for “blood moon.”
“The reason that
the moon turns red is because atmospheric scattering causes red light to
pass through the atmosphere and the composition of the atmosphere can
change if volcanic eruptions or forest fires occur,” said Tom Kerss, an
astronomer with the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
“And the density of
dust increasing in the atmosphere can cause the moon to appear a
particularly deep red, and indeed it has the same effect on our sunsets
In a special treat,
Mars is also at its closest approach to Earth this week since 2003,
making it appear bigger and brighter.
on social media shared photos of the bright planet just to the right of
missed out on Friday’s lunar eclipse but can look forward to the next
one on Jan. 21, 2019, according to NASA.
UK space officials seek nifty name for Mars rover
(AP) - The U.K. Space Agency is looking for a
catchy name for the ExoMars Rover being developed for use in a mission
set for 2020.
The agency launched a competition
last week to find the best name for the rover, a key U.K. contribution
to the European Space Agency’s Mars voyage.
The winner won’t get a trip to Mars
- that would take far too long.
However, the winner will win the
chance to take three guests on a tour of the Airbus facility in
Stevenage, around 30 miles north of London, where the rover is being
The rover is a six-wheeled robot
that will search for evidence of past or even present life.
The contest is open to residents of
countries belonging to the European Space Agency.
Russian space agency confirms security agency search
Moscow (AP) -
Russia’s space agency is confirming that federal security agents have
searched two of its daughter operations, following a report that their
workers were suspected of treason for cooperating with the West.
business newspaper Kommersant reported that a criminal case for
treason had been filed in connection with the alleged passing on of
information about Russia’s hypersonic rocket development.
The searches were
confirmed by space agency spokesman Vladimir Ustimenko to state
television, but he said further information would have to come from the
Federal Security Service.
citing unnamed sources, said the searches involved hypersonic rockets.
Putin in March announced Russia had developed an array of new weapons,
including a nuclear missile that could fly at Mach 10 and evade enemy
July 28, 2018 - August 3, 2018
Archaeologists in Egypt discover mummification workshop
photographer films a gilded silver mummy mask found on the face of the
mummy of the second priest of Mut, as it is displayed during a press
conference in front of the step pyramid of Saqqara, in Giza, Saturday,
July 14, 2018. Archaeologists say they have discovered a mummification
workshop dating back some 2,500 years at an ancient necropolis near
Egypt’s famed pyramids. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Cairo (AP) -
Archaeologists in Egypt stumbled upon a new discovery dating back to
more than 2,500 years ago near Egypt’s famed pyramids at an ancient
necropolis south of Cairo.
The discovery which
includes a mummification workshop and a shaft, used as a communal burial
place, is located at the Saqqara necropolis of Memphis, the first
capital of ancient Egypt. Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its
vast necropolis are home to a wide range of temples and tombs as well as
the three renowned Giza pyramids.
The latest find,
announced at a press conference Saturday, belongs to the Saite-Persian
Period, from 664-404 B.C. The site, which lies south of the Unas
pyramid, was last excavated more than 100 years ago, in 1900.
mummification workshop, an embalmer’s cachette holding a large
collection of pottery vessels, bowels and measuring cups were found.
Archaeologists believe the findings will reveal more about the oils used
in the mummification process in the 26th Dynasty.
“We are in front of
a goldmine of information about the chemical composition of these oils,”
said Ramadan Hussein, the head of the German-Egyptian mission, at the
Among the artifacts
found were fragments of mummy cartonnages, canopic cylindrical jars and
marl clay and faience cups. Many will be displayed in the
under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum, the first phase of which is
expected to be inaugurated later this year.
found a gilded silver mask on the face of a mummy in a badly-damaged
wooden coffin. The mask, the first to be discovered since 1939, belongs
to a priest.
“The finding of
this mask could be called a sensation,” Hussein said. “Very few masks of
precious metals have been preserved to the present day, because the
tombs of most Ancient Egyptian dignitaries were looted in ancient
30-meter-deep shaft is a host of burial chambers carved into the bedrock
lining the sides of two hallways. There lie several mummies, wooden
coffins and sarcophagi.
“It’s only the
beginning,” added Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani. He told
reporters that the sites will likely yield more discoveries after
Egypt has gone at
great length to revive its vital tourism industry, still reeling from
the political turmoil that followed a 2011 popular uprising. The
Antiquities Ministry has boosted discoveries in recent years in the
hopes of bolstering tourism, a major pillar of foreign currency.
Temps rise, records fall:
Things to know about the heat wave
dives into the Devil’s Pool in Wissahickon Valley Park, Thursday, July
5, 2018, in Philadelphia. Record high temperatures have been logged over
the past week around the world. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
New York (AP) -
If you’ve been hot lately, you’re not alone. Record high temperatures
have been logged over the past week in the U.S. and around the world.
Here’s a quick look at the heat.
What’s going on?
For the week through Tuesday, July
3, 227 U.S. records were broken for highest temperature for particular
days, and another 157 were tied, federal statistics show.
There was also a lack of cooling
overnight, with 451 records broken for warmest minimum temperatures for
particular days, and another 421 tied. In Burlington, Vermont, for
example, the temperature got down only to 80 degrees (27 degrees
Celsius) on July 2, its highest low temperature ever.
Some other countries have seen
all-time highs, such as 105 degrees (41 C) in Tblisi, the capital of the
nation of Georgia, on Wednesday, and 109 degrees (43 C) in Baku, the
capital of Azerbaijan, on Sunday. On Monday, Iran experienced its
hottest July temperature ever, 127 degrees (53 C).
Is this due to climate change?
Heat waves are a part of every
summer, and scientists hesitate to link any single weather event to the
warming climate that researchers have measured over long periods of
time. Still, Matthew Rosencrans of the National Weather service says
that because of global warming, “heat waves like this are likely to be
more frequent going forward than they have been in the past.”
Jeff Masters, director of
meteorology for the private forecasting service Weather Underground,
said the past week’s heat wave “is the kind of thing you expect to see
on a warming planet ... it’s easier to set a heat record.” He notes that
2016 was the warmest year on record globally, and that year saw the most
all-time heat records broken around the world.
8 endangered black rhinos die in Kenya after relocation
wildlife official on Friday, July 13, 2018 says eight critically endangered
black rhinos are dead following an attempt to move them from the capital to
a national park hundreds of kilometers away. (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim,
Nairobi, Kenya (AP)
- Eight critically endangered black rhinos are
dead in Kenya after wildlife workers moved them from the capital to a new
national park, the government said Friday, calling the toll “unprecedented”
in more than a decade of such transfers.
investigations point to salt poisoning as the rhinos tried to adapt to
saltier water in their new home, the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said
in a statement, describing how the animals likely became dehydrated and
drank more salty water in a fatal cycle.
The ministry suspended
the ongoing move of rhinos and said the surviving ones in the new park were
being closely monitored.
The loss is “a complete
disaster,” said prominent Kenyan conservationist Paula Kahumbu of
Africa have been working hard to protect the black rhino sub-species from
poachers targeting them for their horns to supply an illegal Asian market.
In moving a group of 11
rhinos to the newly created Tsavo East National Park from Nairobi last
month, the Kenya Wildlife Service said it hoped to boost the population
there. The government agency has not said how the rhinos died. Fourteen of
the animals were to be moved in all.
will definitely be taken” if an investigation into the deaths indicates
negligence by agency staff, the wildlife ministry said.
“Moving rhinos is
complicated, akin to moving gold bullion, it requires extremely careful
planning and security due to the value of these rare animals,” Kahumbu said
in a statement. “Rhino translocations also have major welfare considerations
and I dread to think of the suffering that these poor animals endured before
is a strategy used by conservationists to help build up, or even bring back,
animal populations. In May, six black rhinos were moved from South Africa to
Chad, restoring the species to the country in north-central Africa nearly
half a century after it was wiped out there.
Kenya transported 149
rhinos between 2005 and 2017 with eight deaths, the wildlife ministry said.
According to WWF, black
rhino populations declined dramatically in the 20th century, mostly at the
hands of European hunters and settlers. Between 1960 and 1995 numbers
dropped by 98 percent, to fewer than 2,500.
Since then the species
has rebounded, although it remains extremely threatened. In addition to
poaching the animals also face habitat loss.
African Parks, a
Johannesburg-based conservation group, said earlier this year that there
are fewer than 25,000 rhinos in the African wild, of which about 20 percent
are black rhinos and the rest white rhinos.
In another major
setback for conservation, the last remaining male northern white rhino on
the planet died in March in Kenya, leaving conservationists struggling to
save that sub-species using in vitro fertilization.