APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

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APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:07 am

Image Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails

Explanation: Engraved in rock, these ancient petroglyphs are abundant in the Teimareh valley, located in the Zagros Mountains of central Iran. They likely tell a tale of hunters and animals found in the middle eastern valley 6,000 years ago or more, etched by artists in a prehistoric age. In the night sky above are star trails etched by the rotation of planet Earth during the long composite exposure made with a modern digital camera. On the left, the center of the star trail arcs is the North Celestial Pole (NCP), the extension of Earth's axis into space, with Polaris, the North Star, leaving the bright, short, stubby trail closest to the NCP. But when these petroglyphs were carved, Polaris would have made a long arc through the night. Since the Earth's rotation axis precesses like a wobbling top, 6,000 years ago the NCP was near the border of the constellations Draco and Ursa Major, some 30 degrees from its current location in planet Earth's sky.

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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by BikerMike » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:51 am

What??!! No moronic discussion that petroglyphs do not belong on APOD? Goodness, gracious me, the carpers must have gone off to another galaxy! Good riddance! :D
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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by Remmos » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:05 am

Has anyone Really looked at the Petroglyphs at the Bottom Right in the Picture? I enlarged this picture, and it shows what appears to be a u.f.o. with landing gear.
There appear to be 2 objects with landing gear one circular and the other a long horizontal shape!

Guest

Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by Guest » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:45 am

BikerMike wrote:What??!! No moronic discussion that petroglyphs do not belong on APOD? Goodness, gracious me, the carpers must have gone off to another galaxy! Good riddance! :D
You should be able to take criticism without resorting to personal abuse. This has scientific interest although more strictly paleontology.
Remmos wrote:Has anyone Really looked at the Petroglyphs at the Bottom Right in the Picture? I enlarged this picture, and it shows what appears to be a u.f.o. with landing gear.
There appear to be 2 objects with landing gear one circular and the other a long horizontal shape!
Those are probably turtles.

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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by Indigo_Sunrise » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:06 am

Guest wrote: You should be able to take criticism without resorting to personal abuse. This has scientific interest although more strictly paleontology.
And you should be able to recognize sarcasm.
Also, the study of ancient drawings is not called paleontology - isn't that the study of fossilized organisms? Maybe you meant archeology.

:-?
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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:26 pm

I thought it looked like a couple of the figures might have been scratched out; but than it also looks like maybe dry weeds and grass is in the cracks of the rocks instead. :?
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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by rstevenson » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:40 pm

Guest wrote:
Remmos wrote:Has anyone Really looked at the Petroglyphs at the Bottom Right in the Picture? I enlarged this picture, and it shows what appears to be a u.f.o. with landing gear.
There appear to be 2 objects with landing gear one circular and the other a long horizontal shape!
Those are probably turtles.
Turtles, turtles, all the way down.

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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by neufer » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:01 pm

rstevenson wrote:
Guest wrote:
Remmos wrote:
Has anyone Really looked at the Petroglyphs at the Bottom Right in the Picture? I enlarged this picture, and it shows what appears to be a u.f.o. with landing gear.
There appear to be 2 objects with landing gear one circular and the other a long horizontal shape!
Those are probably turtles.
Turtles, turtles, all the way down.
  • Until you hit Glyptodons.
http://www.twanight.org/newtwan/photos.asp?ID=3003495 wrote:
<<A winter night above the prehistoric site of Teimareh in central Iran. There are over 20,000 engraved images in the valley which put the region among the world's most populated petroglyph sites, still largely undiscovered. In this view a unique panel of over 150 pictures is remotely located in the Zagros mountains. There are signs of the first era of horse riding in the Middle East (~ 6000 years ago) and some other pictures are from late Paleolithic (12000 years ago). But few of them might be even surprisingly older. They show animals which became extinct in this region by the ice age, including Smilodon (saber-toothed tiger) and a kind of large armadillos known as Glyptodon.>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyptodon wrote: <<Glyptodon (Greek for "grooved or carved tooth") was a large, armored mammal of the family Glyptodontidae, a relative of armadillos that lived during the Pleistocene epoch. It was roughly the same size and weight as a Volkswagen Beetle, though flatter in shape. With its rounded, bony shell and squat limbs, it superficially resembled turtles, and the much earlier dinosaurian ankylosaur, as an example of the convergent evolution of unrelated lineages into similar forms. Glyptodon is believed to have been an herbivore, grazing on grasses and other plants found near rivers and small bodies of water.

Glyptodon is part of the superorder of placental mammals known as Xenarthra. This clade of mammals also includes anteaters, tree sloths, armadillos, and extinct ground sloths and pampatheres. Glyptodon originated in South America. A related genus, Glyptotherium, reached the southern region of the modern USA about 2.5 million years ago as a result of the Great American Interchange, a set of migrations that occurred after North and South America were connected by the rising of the volcanic Isthmus of Panama. They became extinct about 10,000 years ago. The native human population in their range is believed to have hunted them and used the shells of dead animals as shelters in inclement weather.

The nasal passage was reduced with heavy muscle attachments for some unknown purpose. Some have speculated that the muscle attachments were for a proboscis, or trunk, much like that of a tapir or elephant. Most animals with a trunk, however, have nasal bones receding back on the skull, and glyptodonts do not have this feature. The lower jaws were very deep and helped support massive chewing muscles to help chew the coarse fibrous plants that can be found along river and lake banks.>>
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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by owlice » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:06 pm

HA! Thanks, Rob, for the new sig line! :-D

neufer, those Glyptodons are pretty darn cute.
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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by Moonlady » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:15 pm

Rob, the Turtle-Bus picture is cute! Take a slow-motion ride! :D

Glyptodons are like the mediavel armours, many protection but heavy and unflexibel, no wonder they did not survive :wink:

All the petroglphys around the world are always stunning! I wonder if and what would I engraved in rocks?!

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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by Indigo_Sunrise » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:33 pm

Forget the box, just get outside.

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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:38 pm

Remmos wrote:Has anyone Really looked at the Petroglyphs at the Bottom Right in the Picture? I enlarged this picture, and it shows what appears to be a u.f.o. with landing gear.
There appear to be 2 objects with landing gear one circular and the other a long horizontal shape!
I believe you might be confusing "UFOs", which are things seen in the sky which can't be identified (and which are common), with "flying saucers", fictional staples of (mostly bad) science fiction movies from the 1950s and 1960s.
Last edited by Chris Peterson on Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by plazz » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:16 pm

Is anyone else confused by the apparent presence of Glyptodon, a N. and S. American animal, in Iran?

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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by Remmos » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:47 pm

I agree that it could be a turtle, but How come they depicted it with 6 Legs. Also the so called horizontal turtle is the Flattest turtle I have ever seen, it looks more like a table than a turtle.

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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by BikerMike » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:57 pm

Oh Lordy! I spoke to soon! :roll:

With thanks to INDIGO_SUNRISE! :D
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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:03 pm

Remmos wrote:I agree that it could be a turtle, but How come they depicted it with 6 Legs. Also the so called horizontal turtle is the Flattest turtle I have ever seen, it looks more like a table than a turtle.
Looks like a beetle or other bug to me.
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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by emc » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:16 pm

One of the coolest things about art is that every single person can have a unique perception.

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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:25 pm

emc wrote:One of the coolest things about art is that every single person can have a unique perception.
And it's all the more extreme when we, with our current views of things, try to interpret the art (if, indeed, it was intended as art) of people living thousands of years ago.
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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by Mactavish » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:21 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
Remmos wrote:I agree that it could be a turtle, but How come they depicted it with 6 Legs. Also the so called horizontal turtle is the Flattest turtle I have ever seen, it looks more like a table than a turtle.
Looks like a beetle or other bug to me.
Clearly a hexatestudine.

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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by quigley » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:27 pm

What happens when the Earth's spin slows down to the point that a top would fall over?

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Re: APOD: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails (2012 Jul 12)

Post by neufer » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:46 pm

quigley wrote:
What happens when the Earth's spin slows down to the point that a top would fall over?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geomagnetic_reversal wrote: <<A geomagnetic reversal is a change in the Earth's magnetic field such that the positions of magnetic north and magnetic south are interchanged. The Earth's field has alternated between periods of normal polarity, in which the direction of the field was the same as the present direction, and reverse polarity, in which the field was the opposite. These periods are called chrons. The time spans of chrons are randomly distributed with most being between 0.1 and 1 million years with an average of 450,000 years. Most reversals are estimated to take between 1,000 and 10,000 years. The latest one, the Brunhes–Matuyama reversal, occurred 780,000 years ago. Brief disruptions that do not result in reversal are called geomagnetic excursions.

Not long after the first geomagnetic polarity time scales were produced, scientists began exploring the possibility that reversals could be linked to extinctions. Most such proposals rest on the assumption that the Earth's field has much lower intensity during reversals. Possibly the first such hypothesis was that high energy particles trapped in the Van Allen radiation belt could be liberated and bombard the Earth. Detailed calculations confirm that, if the Earth's dipole field disappeared entirely (leaving the quadrupole and higher components), most of the atmosphere could be reached by high energy particles. However, the atmosphere would stop them. Instead there would be secondary radiation of 10Be or 36Cl from collisions of cosmic rays with the atmosphere. There is evidence that this occurs both during secular variation and during reversals.

Another hypothesis by McCormac and Evans assumes that the Earth's field would disappear entirely during reversals. They argue that the atmosphere of Mars may have been eroded away by the solar wind because it had no magnetic field to protect it. They predict that ions would be stripped away from Earth's atmosphere above 100 km. However, the evidence from paleointensity measurements is that the magnetic field does not disappear. Based on paleointensity data for the last 800,000 years, the magnetopause is still estimated to be at about 3 Earth radii during the Brunhes-Matuyama reversal. Even if the magnetic field disappeared, the solar wind may induce a sufficient magnetic field in the Earth's ionosphere to shield the surface from energetic particles.

Hypotheses have also been advanced linking reversals to mass extinctions. Many such arguments were based on an apparent periodicity in the rate of reversals; more careful analyses show that the reversal record is not periodic. It may be, however, that the ends of superchrons have caused vigorous convection leading to widespread volcanism, and that the subsequent airborne ash caused extinctions.

Tests of correlations between extinctions and reversals are difficult for a number of reasons. Larger animals are too scarce in the fossil record for good statistics, so paleontologists have analyzed microfossil extinctions. Even microfossil data can be unreliable if there are hiatuses in the fossil record. It can appear that the extinction occurs at the end of a polarity interval when the rest of that polarity interval was simply eroded away. Statistical analysis shows no evidence for a correlation between reversals and extinctions.>>
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