IC 1396: Emission Nebula in Cepheus : Stunning emission nebula…

IC 1396: Emission Nebula in Cepheus : Stunning emission nebula IC 1396 mixes glowing cosmic gas and dark dust clouds in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. Energized by the bright central star seen here, this star forming region sprawls across hundreds of light-years, spanning over three degrees on the sky while nearly 3,000 light-years from planet Earth. Among the intriguing dark shapes within IC 1396, the winding Elephant’s Trunk nebula lies just below center. Stars could still be forming inside the dark shapes by gravitational collapse. But as the denser clouds are eroded away by powerful stellar winds and radiation, any forming stars will ultimately be cutoff from the reservoir of star stuff. The gorgeous color view is a composition of image data from narrowband filters, mapping emission from the nebula’s atomic oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur into blue, green, and red hues. via NASA

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Man charged for theft of fossil footprints in Crete

Greek police arrested on Friday a 55-year-old man in connection with the theft of 10 fossilised footprints which were stolen on earlier this week from the site where they were uncovered in Kissamos, Western Crete, authorities said.

Man charged for theft of fossil footprints in Crete
The vandalised site, showing fresh sand along the edges of the slab where it has been lifted and the holes left 
by the removal of two blocks in the centre [Credit: Babis Fassoulas]

The suspect faces charges of violating laws on protection of cultural heritage. Authorities were able to locate quickly in regions of Kissamos and Thessaloniki all ten fossils. The objects will be send to Chania to be examined by experts.

Man charged for theft of fossil footprints in Crete
The site has been buried in haste to avoid further thefts [Credit: Babis Fassoulas]

Ten of some 40 footprints on the site were cut away and removed from the rock where they were found by a Polish paleontologist in 2002. The 5.7-million-year-old fossils are believed to belong to a hominid ancestor of modern humans and their discovery could upend established theories of human evolution.

Man charged for theft of fossil footprints in Crete
The buried site [Credit: Babis Fassoulas]

The theft was reported by a member of the public that visited the site on Tuesday and alerted local police, and was later confirmed by the Natural History Museum of Crete. The investigation of the case is continuing.

Source: ANA-MPA [September 15, 2017]

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