Huygens Descent – Masterpiece Edition

NASA released today an amazing video that documents the Huygens probe descent to the surface of Titan with striking clarity. Somebody (University of Arizona?) has got a lot of time and computer power to work with. There are a couple of version, both are worth watching…

Descent Movie Way-Big Size (91 meg)
Descent Movie Small With Narration (16 meg)
Descent Movie Small No Sound (10 meg)

Descent “Bells and Whistles” Movie Small With Sound (11 meg)

Descent Image Sequence Poster Way-Big Size (5.5 meg)
Descent Image Sequence Poster Small

Previous related Wohba links:
Another Titan Pass
Titan TV

Mount St. Helens’ Fin

Mt. St. Helens has been growing a huge fin for the last few months. It’s now about 300 feet (100 meters) high, growing at several feet a day. Very strange looking slab. Top Men have provided images and video…

Helecopter Next to Slab Photo Large Small
Closeup of Fin Photo Large Small

Slab Growth Movie Movie (QuickTime)

Previous related Wohba links:
Mountain Building
St. Helens’ Fire
How to Grow a Mountain

Victoria On The Horizon

Oddly enough, exactly one year ago Top Men expressed their desire to see the Mars rover Opportunity make it to the massive Victoria crater. And yesterday and today we’re picking up on the first apparent images of Victoria in the distance. It’s all educated speculation by the teeming masses at this point – nothing official -but Top Men are feeling optimistic.

Let’s review…

Eagle Crater (22 meters wide)
Endurance Crater (132 meters wide)
Victoria Crater (600 meters wide)

There are still plenty of things that could go wrong. Only one day after last year’s Wohba post about Victoria Crater, the rover got stuck for a couple months in deep sand while crossing a dune. NASA is driving smarter these days, but the rover is a couple years past its 90 day warranty period.

Top Men are hoping for just another month or two.

Previous related Wohba links:
Where is Opportunity
Opportunity is Out
Jinxed Opportunity
Will Opportunity Make It…

Bosnian Pyramid Update

Now this is amazing stuff. Excavation work has begun in Bosnia in and around the mysterious first pyramid in Europe. (See update below)

Here’s the story…

A centuries old legend claims that an old woman living at the base of Visocica hill (in what is now Bosnia) kept fourteenth century Turkish invaders away from an ancient walled city, high on the hill. She claimed that no one could enter the city on the hill unless they would pledge to guard the secret beneath it with their life. She even claimed that two layers covered the secret – one layer of earth, and one layer of egg shell. If the layers were removed and the contents disturbed, bad luck would follow for the people of the valley below.

Centuries passed. Rumors of tunnels beneath the hill passed from generation to generation. Children were said to have played in passages and pathways beneath the hill. Even recently some children have claimed to have been inside the pyramid itself. Stone blocks with strange inscriptions were occasionally found while building was taking place in the town that grew up beneath the hill.

In recent times locals have claimed that their are actually three pyramids in the area all connected by tunnels. There are even stories of local children climbing into holes in a smaller pyramid across the river and emerging near the top of the large pyramid near a wall that guarded the city on the hill. Locals claim that sounds travel through the hill, reverberating and echoing on the other side.

In 2005, during a visit to the town of Visoko, Bosnian born Semir Osmanagic, a self-described independent explorer, found the unusually geometric shape of the hills puzzling. He quickly discovered that the sides of the hills corresponded to the cardinal points and made plans to further investigate. In August 2005, he found cut stone and evidence of manmade structures. He now believes that there may be as many as five pyramids in the area dating as far back as the ice age.

Ten days ago (April 14, 2006) excavation began. Reportedly, ventilated tunnels have been found along with twenty meter long blocks of rock and a paved entrance plateau. Top Men wish they could be there (to make sure somebody is not pulling one over on us.) (See update below)

Here are links to some of the more interesting photos (and more)…

Town of Visoko and the Pyramid of the Sun
Valley with Three Pyramids
Collection of Recent Photos
MSNBC Article
Google Earth Link to Pyramid of the Sun

UPDATE (5/1): Top Men should have been there – looks like this could all be a fanciful scam by Mr. Osmanagic. Here’s the scoop by the Archaeological Institute of America. (Thanks Brice.)

Previous related Wohba links:
Europes First Pyramid
Mayan Mural