- Over a Cup of Coffee
- The fossil that wasn't and how Einstein was right
The fossil that wasn't and how Einstein was right
Thank you for reading this edition of this newsletter. Two interesting stories this week. Let's get to them right away.
The Fossil that wasn't
In an extremely interesting turn of events, a 'fossil' believed to be of an early animal from the Ediacaran period in India's Bhimbetka caves turned out to be a bee hive instead.
The Bhimbetka caves are located in the modern-day central state of Madhya Pradesh and are part of the youngest strata of the Vindhya Basin.
A study published in 2019 called the "fossil" Dickinsonia, an early animal from the Ediacaran period (635-539 million years ago). This had created quite a buzz since it was India's only reported specimen of Dickinsonia. However, further research into the specimen revealed something that nobody expected.
Imprint spotted in Bhimbetka caves in 2019 (L) and weathered remains as seen in 2022. Photo credit: Nature
Earlier in March this year, S. K. Pandey and his team at Birla Sahni Institute of Paleosciences in Lucknow had raised doubts over the finding since the "fossil" was found along a crack along the bedding of the cave, while Dickinsonia is always found in the bedding.
Using X-ray and spectroscopy, the team identified waxy residues in the "fossil" and high-resolution photographs revealed a honeycomb structure inside, further confirming that it was a bee hive.
For more information about the geochronology of the Vindhya Basin, read this report.
How Einstein was right
It was only in 2015 that scientists detected the first gravitational waves created by the collision of two black holes. Their existence had been predicted by Albert Einstein more than a century ago and in 2015, we only managed to detect some "high-frequency" waves created by a single violent event.
Since then, researchers put radio telescopes across countries such as North America, Europe, China, India, and Australia to work on detecting "low-frequency" gravitational waves, that are thought to ripple through everything in the universe at the speed of light.
The researchers were looking at pulsars, the dead cores of stars, for the subtle squeeze and stretch of these waves as they passed through. Since some pulsars spin at speeds of 100 times a second, these waves can be detected at regular intervals.
Artist's depiction of gravitational waves. Photo credit: Corey Powell/ Twitter
Data collected from 115 pulsars throughout the Milky Way, showed that low-frequency gravitational waves exist and the sound of these waves is approximately 27 octaves below C.
While one can not obviously hear them, there are definitely some things you must listen to if you are interested in the world of science and sciences of the world.
We have compiled a list of the Top 10 podcasts that you simply cannot miss.
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Until next time then,