Interesting Science Headlines of May 2007

Saturn RingsMay has been a busy month when it comes to some interesting science-related headlines to hit the news. Whether it is a newly discovered look into the past or the latest revealing information concerning one of the planets in the solar system, this article will shed additional light on a handful of newsy juice tidbits.


A Misconception About Saturn’s Ring Revealed


If you have a habit of following the latest changes in the solar system, then you might appreciate knowing that scientists have been long underestimating the total mass of Saturn’s rings. Recent research and findings suggest that the massiveness of the rings may actually be two or more times its previous mass. While the largest ring of Saturn often appears as solid when telescopes pick up its view from Earth. According to those reviewing findings from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, closer analysis suggests that the ring is comprised of “tightly packed clumps of particles in constant collision with one another.”


For many years, researchers have always viewed Saturn in one way, which is now shattered by this recent finding. As previously thought, Saturn’s B ring particles are not presented in a uniform manner. Additional details will be revealed in an upcoming issue of the journal titled, Icarus.


Archeological Discovery in Greece


The central part of Greece is rejoicing this month after archeologists have discovered thousands of mini-clay pots and statues that were once part of an ancient sanctuary that may have paid homage to the Three Graces.

The significance of such a find is said to be one of the richest that has surfaced in recent years. The excavations took place close to Orchomenos, which is located 80 miles northwest of Athens. It was here that remains of retaining walls were found that protected a small rural shrine.


Inside the rock-carved site, thousands of pottery remains were uncovered, which date back to the early 5th century BC or at least to the 3rd century BC. The miniature pots were quite impressive, as were the clay figurines that depicting animals and women. The find also included clay busts and lamps in the lot. The identity of the deities that the artifacts represented is not concrete as of yet, but it is quite clear that the pottery showcased goddesses associated with fertility and plant growth.


Researchers are hoping that they have uncovered the famous sanctuary of the Three Graces, which was noted to have existed in ancient Orchomenos. One of the offerings bears an inscription with the name of Eurynome, who was the mother of the Graces.


Who Are the Three Graces?


Many a Neo-Classical marble sculpture pays homage to the Three Graces, who existed as the mythological charities of three , Aglaea, Thalia, and Eurhrosyne , all daughters of Zeus. These great beauties were known to represent charm and joy (among other attributes). In Greek myths, the Graces were often noted as presiding over banquets and gathering while others entertained.