World News

Dublin patron saint’s preserved heart recovered by police


The 800-year-old heart of Dublin’s client saint has been recovered by police six years after being stolen from a cathedral within the metropolis. The relic – the heart of St. Laurence O’Toole was taken from Christ Church Cathedral in 2012. It has no financial cost but is “a priceless treasure” for the church, stated the cathedral’s dean, the Very Rev Dermot Dunne. The robbery of the relic, which has been kept in a timber heart-fashioned container within a small iron-barred cage, sparked six-yr research by way of gardaí. The dinosaur was offered to the archbishop of Dublin, Michael Jackson, on Thursday evening by Garda assistant commissioner Pat Leahy.

A choir sang to mark the coronary heart’s go back, with churchgoers queuing up to trap a glimpse and deliver prayers of thank you. Jackson thanked people who had helped get the object better and defined its return as a comfortable second for the town’s humans. Its return “brings remarkable joy to the human beings of Dublin as Dubliners,” he stated. “For those associated with the life of the dioceses, it brings once more to the fore the near relationship between Glendalough and Dublin, a relationship of more than 800 years. Laurence left the monastic metropolis of Glendalough, of which he became abbot, to the archbishop of Dublin, consequently cementing a vibrant relationship unabated to this day.”

Leahy recommended officers who had “stored their radars on and their minds open in this ongoing investigation.” No arrests have been made, gardaí said. The church said there could now be a shrine within the cathedral to St Laurence, who died in 1180. Far away in the semi-darkness of perpetual dusk, there is a frigid domain in our Solar System’s outer fringes where our Sun can shine with only a frail, faint fire. There resides a little world with a big heart in this region of icy, dancing bodies. The dwarf planet Pluto, a resident of the Kuiper Belt–the home of a swarming sea of frozen comet nuclei–has, ever since its discovery, captured the imagination and affection of humanity. Perhaps this is because it is so remote from Earth and our brilliant Star’s golden, melting heat.

On July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft finally reached this strange world, circled by an extraordinary quintet of moons, and began to uncover some of the very well-kept secrets of this icy world. In November 2016, planetary scientists announced that their new research reveals fascinating clues about Pluto, indicating that this frozen sphere at the outer limits of our Solar System is much more active than anyone had ever imagined–and may harbor a subsurface ocean beneath its secretive big heart.

Indeed, the presence of a liquid ocean deep beneath Pluto’s frozen, icy surface is the best explanation for certain mysterious features unveiled by New Horizons, according to two new studies. The possibility that Pluto contains a subsurface ocean is not a new idea. Still, this research provides the most detailed investigation of its possible starring role in the evolution of certain important and unexplained features on Pluto–such as its low-lying, vast plain named Sputnik Planitia (Sputnik Planum).

Sputnik Planitia is a 1,000-kilometer-wide basin within a big heart-shaped feature observed on Pluto’s surface. The new research suggests that it could be in its current location because an accumulation of ice made the ice dwarf planet that is Pluto rollover, thus forming cracks and tensions in the crust that suggest the possible presence of a liquid subsurface ocean.

Sputnik Planitia, which forms one side of Pluto’s famous big heart-shaped feature observed in the first New Horizons images, is mysteriously well-aligned with Pluto’s tidal axis. The probability that this is a mere chance occurrence is only about 5%. Hence, the alignment indicates that extra mass in that location interacted with tidal forces between Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, to reorient Pluto. This reorientation placed Sputnik Planitia directly opposite the side facing Charon. However, a deep basin seems unlikely to provide the additional mass necessary to result in that particular kind of reorientation.

“It’s a big, elliptical hole in the ground, so the extra weight must be hidden beneath the surface. And an ocean is a natural way to get that,” commented Dr. Francis Nimmo on November 16, 2016, University of California, Santa Cruz Press Release. Dr. Nimmo is an Earth and Planetary Sciences professor at UC Santa Cruz and the first author of a paper on the new findings published in the November 16, 2016, issue of Nature. A second paper, appearing in the same issue of Nature, led by Mr. James Keane at the University of Arizona in Tucson, also proposes that this reorientation occurred and points to fractures on Pluto as evidence this happened.

Dancing In The Dark

Pluto resides in our Solar System’s deep freeze; our Sun appears in its murky sky like a huge Star floating around in a strange sea of starlight. Mystery tickles the imagination, and Pluto has been an intriguing mystery for almost a century. Situated as it is, far from our Sun, Pluto remained unexplored until the New Horizons spacecraft accomplished its historic closest approach to Pluto, at about 7,750 miles above its secretive surface–about the same distance that it is from Mumbai, India, to New York City–making it the first space mission to explore this brave new world so far from Earth finally.

Dublin patron

Pluto, Charon, and the other four relatively small moons belonging to the Pluto system reside in the frigid Kuiper Belt–a dimly lit and distant domain beyond the beautiful dark blue ice giant planet Neptune, the outermost of the eight major planets orbiting our Sun. In this previously unknown and unexplored region of our Solar System, a dazzling and icy host of the tiny world, let’s do a mesmerizing ballet around our distant Star. Pluto is a relatively large resident of the Kuiper Belt, and it was originally classified as the ninth major planet from our Sun soon after its discovery in 1930.

However, a better understanding of the true Nature of the Kuiper Belt and its heavy population of icy inhabitants forced astronomers to realize that Pluto–a beloved, frozen, small “oddball”–is only one of the at least several large denizens of the Kuiper Belt. This realization prompted the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to define the term “planet” in 2006 formally–and, as a result, poor Pluto was unceremoniously booted out of the pantheon of major planets and re-classified as a mere dwarf planet–specifically, an ice dwarf due to its frozen Nature. Nevertheless, Pluto remains a small world of mystery and affection–and debate since its re-classification as an ice dwarf is not universally accepted among astronomers.

The Pluto saga began when a young farmer’s son from Kansas, the astronomer Clyde Tombaugh (1906-1997), had bestowed upon him the difficult task of hunting for the elusive and possibly non-existent Planet X. According to theory, Planet X is an elusive giant planet that keeps itself well-hidden from the prying eyes of curious astronomers, where it lurks in the cold twilight zone of our Solar System’s outer limits. Tombaugh, who used a telescope in Flagstaff, Arizona, discovered a faint, tiny pinpoint of light. However, Tombaugh did not find what he sought in one of the many instances of scientific uncertainty. He saw something else. What Tombaugh discovered was not Planet X–it was the little world now known as Pluto!

Carol P. Middleton
Student. Alcohol ninja. Entrepreneur. Professional travel enthusiast. Zombie fan. Practiced in the art of donating rocking horses for the underprivileged. Crossed the country researching hula hoops in Deltona, FL. Won several awards for supervising the production of etch-a-sketches in Nigeria. Uniquely-equipped for investing in bathtub gin in the financial sector. Spent a year building g.i. joes worldwide. Earned praise for deploying childrens books in Africa.