Neanderthals’ Cave Art
The latest research suggests that Neanderthals and modern humans may have been able to paint and think in symbols.
Researchers used uranium-thorium dating of carbonate crusts to prove that cave paintings from three completely different sites in Spain are older than 64,000 years.
The paintings are the oldest cave paintings in the world that we have found so far. What’s important is that the paintings predate the arrival of modern humans in Europe by almost 20,000 years. This suggests that the paintings must be of Neanderthal origin.
Cave art is usually made of red and black paints and includes representations of everyday life such as animals or symbols such as geometric shapes, linear signs and handprints. The latest research suggests that Neanderthals had a much richer symbolic behavior and capabilities than previously assumed.
The nature and extent of symbolic behavior among Neanderthals is still a mystery to scientists. Evidence for Neanderthals’ ability to think in symbols has been proposed, all cave paintings found so far have been attributed to modern humans.
The newest research for three different sites in Spain shows that cave art emerged earlier than previously thought.
The newest results show that cave art in Spain is older than 64.8 thousand years, making it the earliest dated art implying Neanderthals authorship of these cave paintings.
Forbidden Planets! How can They Exist?
Can you believe that the first exoplanet around a star was found two decades ago?
The planet called 51 Pegasi b, was half as massive as Jupiter, however, its four-day orbit was incredibly close to the star but the time of orbit is smaller than the 88-day orbit of Mercury. This was hard to explain at the time since those rules really do not apply to our solar system. In the meantime, we found a lot of weird planets: the ones with highly tilted orbits and planets where their orbiting starts backward (meaning counter to the star’s rotation).
Since the launch of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft in 2009, we found 2,500 worlds and many confusing and different planets. With Kepler, we found that the most common planet in the galaxy is the size of Earth and Neptune, something that we can call “super-Earth.” This type of planet does not exist in our solar system and scientists think this planet would be impossible in our solar system. Often times we detect something in the universe that can’t be explained by the theories we have which only suggests how little we know.
Scientists are trying to catch up, trying to come up with theories which would explain previously forbidden kinds of planets.
The basic model of how stars and planets form dates back to the 18th century. We have much research and many theories but certain planets operate in a way that we can not explain. The generations to come have more work to do to understand the universe and the existence of so-called forbidden planets.
Water on the Moon
A new research of data from two lunar missions found strong evidence that the Moon’s water is widely distributed and not confined to only a particular region. The water on the Moon is present day and night, however, it’s not necessarily easily accessible.
The researchers are trying to figure out the origin of the water on the Moon and how easy it would be to use that water as a resource. If the Moon has just enough water, future explorers might be able to use it as drinking water or convert it into hydrogen and oxygen which can be used for rocket fuel or it can be converted into oxygen to breathe.
Joshua Bandfield, a senior research scientist at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and lead author of the study published in Nature Geoscience said: “We find that it doesn’t matter what time of day or which latitude we look at, the signal indicating water always seems to be present. The presence of water doesn’t appear to depend on the composition of the surface, and the water sticks around.”
Researchers are still trying to figure out what the findings can tell us about the source of the water on the Moon and how it can be used for mankind.