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Winter solstice 2019, Southern Hemisphere: Google Celebrates Winter solstice Season with animated Doodle

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Google Doodle Friday celebrates the winter solstice – the shortest day and longest night of the year – an astronomical phenomenon also known as midwinter.

As half world gears up to celebrate the entry of summer and the longest day of the year with the summer solstice, the other half will experience the start of winter.

This year, the winter solstice will occur in the southern hemisphere of the equator on 21 June – a day Google has marked with a Google Doodle of the Earth topped with a snowman.

This is all that you have to think about the June 2019 winter solstice.

What’s going on here?

The word “solstice” derives from the Latin sol for “sun” and sistere meaning “to come to a stop or make stand”.

A solstice occurs when the sun achieves its lowest or highest point in the sky during the year as a result of the Earth’s tilted axis.

The June solstice, which happens in the same time for everyone on Earth, is when the northern hemisphere is tilted most closely towards the sun, while the southern hemisphere is tilted the furthest away from the sun.

The solstice denotes the shortest day of the year for those living in the southern hemisphere of the globe and the informal beginning of winter.

During the solstices, the two hemispheres of the globe experience opposite seasons, with the summer solstice bringing warmer weather in the northern hemisphere and colder weather in places such as Australia, New Zealand, South America and South Africa.

When is the next solstice?

On 21 December, the southern hemisphere experiencing its summer solstice and longest day of the year.

How is the solstice celebrated?

In ancient times, the southern hemisphere’s winter solstice was celebrated with Inti Raymi, a festival that honoured Inti, the Inca religion’s sun god, according to National Geographic.

In other parts of the southern hemisphere, bonfires were lit and offerings were left in the hopes of reigniting the sun.

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Mexico Discovers a Mysterious Maya Subterranean Construction

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Under a Maya ball court, archaeologists in Mexico have uncovered a fascinating underground building with painted walls.

While digging the ball court—the venue for the ceremonial game of ball played by the Maya and other Mesoamerican peoples—the team discovered the building.

“We located parts of an earlier building that had painted walls, but only further excavations may reveal the shape of that underlying building and what its function was,” the excavation’s director, Ivan Šprajc, an archaeologist at Slovenia’s Institute of Anthropological and Spatial Studies, said.

The finding is “evidently a very important structure, because ball courts are normally found only at major Maya sites, which were centers of the regional political organization,” Šprajc stated in an email. According to a translated statement from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, the edifice may have been built in the Early Classic period (A.D. 200–600) and is coated in a coating of painted stucco.

In the past, Šprajc and his associates used lidar—a method that uses millions of laser pulses fired from an aircraft—to study a sizable portion of the Maya Lowlands in the Mexican state of Campeche. The topography of the terrain may then be mapped by researchers thanks to these pulses that bounce off the ground and back to the aircraft’s equipment.

“We have found several ancient Maya settlements, with remains of residential buildings and temple pyramids,” Šprajc added. The team discovered Ocomtún in 2023, a long-lost Maya metropolis with multiple massive pyramids dating back to the Maya Classic era (between A.D. 200 and 900). According to him, the newly discovered location lies in an uncharted region south of Ocomtún.

According to the statement, the crew also found another site that had a rectangular water reservoir, a 52-foot-high (16-meter) pyramid, and a plaza. Archaeologists discovered several offerings atop the pyramid, including pottery vessels, a ceramic animal leg that might have belonged to an armadillo, and a spear point or knife made of chert.

According to Šprajc, these offerings “were deposited on top of the temple in the Late Postclassic period (last centuries before the arrival of Spanish conquerors),” which lasted from 1250 to 1524.

The central Maya Lowlands were already a politically chaotic region by the Late Postclassic. Yet individuals “remained in the area after the crisis that led to the drastic demographic decrease in the 9th and 10th centuries, caused by overpopulation, soil depletion, climatic change (prolonged droughts) and destructive warfare,” according to him.

“The offering indicates that, even after most of the Classic period Maya settlements had been abandoned, small and impoverished human groups were still rambling around, putting offerings on or near the buildings of their forebears,” Šprajc said.

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Anomaly occurs during the Starlink satellite launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9

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The reliable Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX had an unusual malfunction on Thursday night, July 11.

The event happened when SpaceX’s Starlink broadband satellites were being launched from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base. The Falcon 9 launched and operated flawlessly in the first eight minutes of flight; its two stages split on schedule, and the first stage descended as scheduled to land on a drone ship.

Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, claims that the rocket’s upper stage, which was carrying 20 Starlink spacecraft into low Earth orbit, ran into an issue.

For reasons that are yet unknown, an engine RUD occurred during the upper stage restart to raise perigee. The team is analyzing the data now to determine the underlying cause.Despite their deployment, the Starlink satellites might not be able to raise their orbit due to the low perigee. In a few hours, we’ll know more.12 July 2024

“Upper stage restart to raise perigee resulted in an engine RUD for reasons currently unknown. Team is reviewing data tonight to understand root cause. Starlink satellites were deployed, but the perigee may be too low for them to raise orbit. Will know more in a few hours,”  Musk stated via X.

“Rud” stands for “rapid unscheduled disassembly,” which is SpaceX jargon for a detonation or breakdown.

Through the company’s X account, SpaceX released additional information an hour after Musk’s post.

“During tonight’s Falcon 9 launch of Starlink, the second-stage engine did not complete its second burn. As a result, the Starlink satellites were deployed into a lower-than-intended orbit. SpaceX has made contact with 5 of the satellites so far and is attempting to have them raise orbit using their ion thrusters,” according to a statement from the firm.

Musk stated that this endeavor “will probably not work, but it’s worth a shot” in response to that post.

To be honest, the upper stage of the Falcon 9, which is propelled by a single Merlin engine, appeared a little strange throughout this flight. During the engine’s firing in orbit, fluffy white ice built up nearby. This was a rare sight, and it could be a sign of a propellant leak, according to SpaceX’s launch webcast. But that’s just conjecture; neither Musk nor SpaceX have made any announcements regarding the ice to date.

Currently, the most common rocket in use is the Falcon 9, having launched 69 times as of 2024. The Falcon 9 is renowned for its dependability; in its illustrious history, there has only been a single complete in-flight malfunction, and that happened in June 2015 during the launch of a robotic Dragon cargo capsule into the International Space Station (ISS).

Also human-rated, the Falcon 9 has carried out 13 crewed missions to far, nine of which have carried astronauts to the International Space Station on behalf of NASA. At this point, it’s unknown how Thursday’s event will impact the rocket and its manifest; SpaceX needs to first determine the precise cause of the incident and how to resolve it.

Thirteen of the twenty Starlink satellites launched on Thursday can provide direct cell phone service. These days, the majority of Falcon 9 launches are for the massive and constantly expanding Starlink megaconstellation, which comprises of over 6,100 operational satellites. As of now in 2024, 49 of the 69 flights have been specifically for Starlink.

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A Hundred Years of Complete Dinosaur Fossil Found in the UK Indicates a New Species

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Around 125 million years ago, a hitherto unidentified species of plant-eating dinosaur occupied an island off the south coast of England, according to new study.

Jeremy Lockwood, a main author of a study on the prehistoric monster and PhD researcher at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, estimates that the dinosaur would have weighed around a ton and been the size of a huge American bison.

According to Lockwood, the dinosaur was most likely a herding animal based on fossilized footprints discovered next to the bone. He speculated that “Possibly large herds of these dinosaurs may have been thundering around if spooked by predators on the floodplains over 120 million years ago.”

According to study published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, the 149-bone dinosaur fossil was unearthed on the Isle of Wight in 2013 and is the most complete skeleton to be recovered in the United Kingdom in over a century.

Nick Chase, a passionate local fossil collector who passed away from cancer in 2019, discovered the bones.

“Nick had a phenomenal nose for finding dinosaur bones – he really was a modern-day Mary Anning,” Lockwood stated in a press release, making reference to the well-known paleontologist from the 19th century. “He collected fossils daily in all weathers and donated them to museums. I was hoping we’d spend our dotage collecting together as we were of similar ages, but sadly that wasn’t to be the case.”

Comptonatus chasei is the name given to this new species of dinosaur in honor of Chase and Compton Bay, where he discovered the bones.

Due to distinctive characteristics like its jaw and notably big pubic hip bone, the researchers were able to conclude that the skeleton belonged to a new dinosaur species.

“It helps us understand more about the different types of dinosaurs that lived in England in the Early Cretaceous,” Lockwood said, describing the discovery as “a remarkable find.”

The “extraordinary discovery” was hailed by Mike Greenslade, general manager of the Isle of Wight-based conservation charity, the National Trust.

In addition to highlighting the island’s palaeontological significance, Greenslade added, “Finding the most complete dinosaur in the UK in a century not only showcases the island’s palaeontological significance but also underscores the importance of preserving our landscapes for future generations to explore and learn from,”

He continued, “Nick Chase’s remarkable find and Jeremy Lockwood’s dedicated research are a testament to the incredible history waiting to be uncovered here,”

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