Medieval sword found in Denmark

A plumber and a machine operator in Aalborg made a sensational discovery when they discovered an intact and well-preserved sword while at work on Tuesday.

Medieval sword found in Denmark
Credit: Nordjyllands Historiske Museum/Scanpix 2019

After making the remarkable find, Jannic Vestergaard and Henning Nøhr called the Historical Museum of Northern Jutland, which later confirmed the discovery via its website.

Kenneth Nielsen, an archaeologist from the museum, examined the 1.1 metre-long sword and quickly concluded it was of 14th-century Medieval origin.

The sword was found in ground on top of the oldest layer of paving on Algade, one of the northern city’s central streets.

“Discoveries from here generally point in the direction of the 1300s, so the sword must have ended in the ground in that century,” Nielsen said in the press statement.

The sword is described as having an “extremely high level of workmanship” with detail that only highly-skilled armaments makers could have produced.

That includes a fuller, or a rounded longitudinal groove, a feature designed to reduce the weight of the more than metre-long weapon, which weighs just over 1 kilogram.

Medieval sword found in Denmark
Credit: Nordjyllands Historiske Museum/Scanpix 2019

Swords were expensive items in the Middle Ages, and were only owned by wealthy segments of society such as the nobility.

As such, Nielsen said he was surprised by the location of the discovery in what would have been a normal town street, given the tradition for warriors to be buried with their weapons. Most swords of this kind are found at burial mounds.

The unusual placement of the discovery may be related to its being lost under violent disturbances, according to Nielsen, given that the 1300s were a period of instability in Danish history with a series of internal power struggles.

“The best explanation we can come up with is that the owner of the sword was defeated in a battle. In the tumult, it was then trod down into the layer of mud that formed the street back then,” the archaeologist said.

The sword will now be treated for conservational purposes with a view to being placed on display at the Historical Museum of Northern Jutland – which is in fact located in Aalborg’s Algade, the very street where the battle item was lost centuries ago.

Source: The Local [February 07, 2019]



55 Cancri e: Where Skies Sparkle Above a Never-ending Ocean of Lava

We’ve discovered thousands of exoplanets – planets beyond our solar system – so far. These worlds are mysterious, but observations from telescopes on the ground and in space help us understand what they might look like.

Take the planet 55 Cancri e, for instance. It’s relatively close, galactically speaking, at 41 light-years away. It’s a rocky planet, nearly two times bigger than Earth, that whips around its star every 18 hours (as opposed to the 365 days it takes our planet to orbit the Sun. Slacker).


The planet’s star, 55 Cancri, is slightly smaller than our Sun, but it’s 65 times closer than the Sun is to Earth. Imagine a massive sun on the horizon! Because 55 Cancri e is so close to its star, it’s tidally locked just like our Moon is to the Earth. One side is always bathed in daylight, the other is in perpetual darkness. It’s also hot. Really hot. So hot that silicate rocks would melt into a molten ocean of melted rock. IT’S COVERED IN AN OCEAN OF LAVA. So, it’s that hot (between 3,140 degrees and 2,420 degrees F).


Scientists think 55 Cancri e also may harbor a thick atmosphere that circulates heat from the dayside to the nightside. Silicate vapor in the atmosphere could condense into sparkling clouds on the cooler, darker nightside that would reflect the lava below. It’s also possible that it would rain sand on the nightside, but … sparkling skies!


Check out our Exoplanet Travel Bureau’s latest 360-degree visualization of 55 Cancri e and download the travel poster at


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Captioned Image Spotlight (7 February 2019): Wind FlowThe…

Captioned Image Spotlight (7 February 2019): Wind Flow

The atmospheric pressure on Earth at sea level is about 1 bar. On Mars, the pressure is 6 to 10 millibars, or 1/100th that of our planet. But even in this atmosphere, wind still flows around obstacles.

In this image the ripples in the sand tell us which way the wind was moving and how it was diverted around these rock formations.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona