1861 Punch Dinosaurs & Comet cartoon 1861 Punch Dinosaurs & Comet cartoon
From Punch 41 (1861) page 34, July. "The age of the comet ascertained to a nicety. The antediluvians recognise an old acquantance of A.M. 1372". Prehistoric reptiles (modelled after Waterhouse Hawkins' Crystal Palace reconstructions at Sydenham), stare through telescopes at "the Great Comet of 1861". The comet was visible to the naked eye for three months in that year. The comet is now formally designated C/1861 J1 or 1861 II. The cartoon supposes the dinosaurs saw the same periodic comet during their reign on earth. This comet came within 0.1326 AU of the Earth - during which time the earth was within the Comet' tail. By day the comet's gas and dust even dimmed the sun. The cartoon gains poignance in light of the comet's near approach and recent theories about the dinosaurs' demise. The closest dinosaur is modelled after Hyaeolosaurus, mid distance Teleosaurus, furthest away iguanodon.
© PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Convair JC-131B O-53-7791
Convair JC-131B O-53-7791 (MSN 243), (the letter O denotes Obsolete), modified as JC-131B test-bed. Assigned to Aeronautical Systems Division, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in January 1971 and sed for zero gravity astronaut training, named Sine Gravitate. With windows removed and two Solar T41 APUs in underwing pylon-mounted pods, this JC-131B was the original Vomit Comet. Disposed of to MASDC (Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center) at Davis-Monthan Air Base in Arizona, sold and placed on the civil registry as N3782V. The registration was cancelled on 12 August 2003. Date: 1970s
© The Peter Butt Aviation Collection / Mary Evans
Tunguska event stamp, 50th anniversary
Tunguska event stamp, 50th anniversary. This Soviet stamp of 1958 depicts the Russian mineralogist and Tunguska event researcher Leonid Kulik (1883-1942) at right, with the Tunguska event fireball shown at left. This event, a massive explosion that took place at 07:17 on 30 June 1908, in Siberia, Russia, is thought to have been a meteorite or comet exploding. The Cyrillic and other text on the stamp includes Kulik's initials, surname and birth and death years, his profession, the Cyrillic for USSR (CCCP), the stamp's price (40 kopeks), the name and date of the Tunguska event, and 50th anniversary commemoration text.
© DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY