Agriculture
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Silk’s superpowers
Watering the Air
Amphibians
Salamanders
Tree Frogs
Newts
Animals
Feeding School for Meerkats
New Mammals
New Monkey Business
Behavior
Homework blues
The Disappearing Newspaper
Brainy bees know two from three
Birds
Kookaburras
Macaws
Mockingbirds
Chemistry and Materials
A Diamond Polish for Ancient Tools
The chemistry of sleeplessness
Makeup Science
Computers
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
The science of disappearing
Hubble trouble doubled
Dinosaurs and Fossils
An Ancient Spider's Web
Hall of Dinos
Early Birds Ready to Rumble
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Recipe for a Hurricane
Less Mixing Can Affect Lake's Ecosystem
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Environment
Improving the Camel
Toxic Cleanups Get a Microbe Boost
The Down Side of Keeping Clean
Finding the Past
Salt and Early Civilization
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
Fish
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Skates and Rays
A Jellyfish's Blurry View
Food and Nutrition
Strong Bones for Life
The Essence of Celery
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
GSAT English Rules
Order of Adjectives
Capitalization Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Mastering The GSAT Exam
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
Setting a Prime Number Record
Math of the World
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Human Body
Taking the sting out of scorpion venom
Cell Phone Tattlers
Disease Detectives
Invertebrates
Jellyfish
Lobsters
Oysters
Mammals
Rabbits
Jaguars
Miscellaneous Mammals
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
How children learn
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
Road Bumps
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Black Hole Journey
Plants
A Giant Flower's New Family
Fungus Hunt
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Reptiles
Boa Constrictors
Gila Monsters
Cobras
Space and Astronomy
A Very Distant Planet Says "Cheese"
Super Star Cluster in the Neighborhood
Unveiling Titan
Technology and Engineering
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
Young Scientists Take Flight
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Preposition?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Flying the Hyper Skies
Middle school science adventures
Ready, unplug, drive
Weather
A Dire Shortage of Water
Arctic Melt
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
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™