Agriculture
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Got Milk? How?
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Amphibians
Bullfrogs
Tree Frogs
Salamanders
Animals
Young Ants in the Kitchen
Putting a Mouse on Pause
Ants on Stilts
Behavior
Making Sense of Scents
The Snappy Lingo of Instant Messages
A Recipe for Happiness
Birds
Parakeets
Robins
Eagles
Chemistry and Materials
The Taste of Bubbles
Scientist Profile: Wally Gilbert
A Butterfly's Electric Glow
Computers
Graphene's superstrength
Galaxies far, far, far away
Computers with Attitude
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Some Dinos Dined on Grass
Dino-bite!
A Living Fossil
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Detecting an Eerie Sea Glow
Warmest Year on Record
Earth Rocks On
Environment
Island Extinctions
Lessons from a Lonely Tortoise
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Finding the Past
Of Lice and Old Clothes
Chicken of the Sea
Words of the Distant Past
Fish
Dogfish
Salmon
Mako Sharks
Food and Nutrition
The Essence of Celery
Turning to Sweets, Fats to Calm the Brain
A Taste for Cheese
GSAT English Rules
Whoever vs. Whomever
Who vs. That vs. Which
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Tarrant High overcoming the odds
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Mathematics
How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
Monkeys Count
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Human Body
Flu Patrol
Sun Screen
Fighting Off Micro-Invader Epidemics
Invertebrates
Dust Mites
Sponges
Walking Sticks
Mammals
Domestic Shorthairs
Ponies
Sun Bear
Parents
How children learn
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Physics
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Gaining a Swift Lift
Road Bumps
Plants
Assembling the Tree of Life
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Stalking Plants by Scent
Reptiles
Garter Snakes
Cobras
Geckos
Space and Astronomy
Killers from Outer Space
Holes in Martian moon mystery
Catching a Comet's Tail
Technology and Engineering
A Clean Getaway
Searching for Alien Life
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
Pronouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Middle school science adventures
Where rivers run uphill
Weather
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
A Dire Shortage of Water
Add your Article

Secrets of an Ancient Computer

Computers go back farther in history than you might imagine. A mysterious mechanism found in a 2,000-year-old Greek shipwreck may have been used to calculate the positions of planets, predict when eclipses were to occur, and do other astronomical chores. Known as the Antikythera (pronounced an-tee-KITH-air-uh) mechanism, the device is about the size of a shoebox. When it was found underwater about 100 years ago, the mechanism was in poor shape. Its metal pieces had congealed into one mass, then broken into pieces. People who studied what was left of the mechanism suspected that it had something to do with astronomy. To find out more, researchers recently used advanced imaging methods, including X-ray computer tomography, to look inside the metal fragments and to check for ancient writing on the device. "The computer tomography images of the mechanism have literally opened the device up to us to see how it worked," says John M. Steele, who studies ancient astronomy at the University of Durham in England. The researchers discovered that the mechanism had at least 30 bronze gears with as many as 225 teeth, likely all cut by hand. This fresh look provided clear evidence that the device could have been used to compute eclipses of the sun and moon. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into Earth's shadow, and a solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth. Scientists suspect that the mechanism was also able to show the motions of the planets. A user could pick a day in the future and, using some sort of crank, work out a planet's position on that date. The new images doubled the number of engravings that the scientists could read. These inscriptions revealed uses for the machine that were previously unknown. With the added information, the researchers came up with a new model for how the mechanism operated. The model takes into account 29 of the 30 known gears and adds five more that were probably there but never found. The new picture adds a previously undiscovered spiral dial to the back of the device near the bottom. A hand moving around the dial could have pointed to eclipses over a period of 18 years. All these findings show that the Antikythera mechanism was perhaps 1,000 years ahead of anything else discovered from its time period.—E. Sohn

Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Secrets of an Ancient Computer








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™