Friday, November 14, 2008

Ancient Rome on your Modern Computer

Google has added a new twist to its popular 3D map tool, Google Earth, offering millions of users the chance to visit a virtual ancient Rome.image


image Google has reconstructed the sprawling city - inhabited by more than one million people as long ago as 320 A.D..

Users can zoom around the map to visit the Forum of Julius Caesar, stand in the center of the Colosseum or swoop over the Basilica. 

Google's site

BBC link & Associated Press link



-- Robert

A planetary snapshot

Since Copernicus showed that the Earth orbits the Sun, we've known that we're not the only planet in the universe. 20 years ago was the first discovery of an exo-planet - a planet which orbits a different star. Over 350 of them have been discovered over the years. BUT... until this week, all these discoveries were made with various techniques which detected the planet, but did not show it. This is similar to knowing that an airplane is flying near you because you can see it on radar or see it's contrail, but not ever seeing one.

Last week the Hubble Space Telescope took a picture of Fomalhaut and saw .. really saw a planet.


Picture courtesy Astronomy Picture of the Day

For a better articulated explanation - and information about another stunning exo-planetary discovery, click here.


-- Robert