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Can special consideration be shown to man with skin disorder: HC asks Centre        BJP files caveat in SC over 'rath yatra' in WB        'Won't hesitate from another surgical strike if need arises'        Kohli booed by Australian fans, Head, Ponting critical of crowd behaviour        Pujara, Rahane put India in driver's seat        Prabhu links creativity & business opportunities to cheap beverages in Goa        Merkel gets boost with ally's party win        Rouhani warns weakened Iran less able to fight trafficking        More than 225 terrorists killed in J&K so far this year: Army        Glad key people shedding fear, breaking silence on govt decisions: Chidambaram        Modi used surgical strikes for 'political capital': Rahul        Krishnamurthy Subramanian appointed as Chief Economic Advisor for 3 years        Indian Super League: Kerala Blasters' Hopes Hanging By A Thread After Defeat Against Pune City        31st GST Council to meet on Dec 22 in Delhi        Trump may nominate Heather Nauert as UN Ambassador: Reports        Qatar injects more cash into Gaza for Hamas employees        TN Governor meets Modi, discusses issues of state        Rajasthan records 74 per cent turnout        Start is Good, Need to Carry Momentum in World Cup: Sardar Singh        Man Utd fight back again but Arsenal extend unbeaten run in four-goal thriller        
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International News
Plane-sized 'void' discovered in Great Pyramid: scientists
 
(Paris, Nov 03, 2017):A passenger plane-sized "void" has been discovered in the middle of the Great Pyramid of Egypt, where it has lain secret and untouched for 4,500 years, scientists revealed today.

The space is one of four cavities, along with the king and queen's chambers and "Grand Gallery", now known to exist inside the giant monument constructed under pharaoh Khufu of ancient Egypt.

"It is big," said co-discoverer Mehdi Tayoubi of the ScanPyramids project, which has been exploring Khufu's pyramid since October 2015 with non-invasive technology using subatomic particle scans.

"It's the size of a 200-seater airplane, in the heart of the pyramid," Tayoubi told AFP of the discovery, published in science journal Nature.

Towering over the Giza complex on Cairo's outskirts alongside smaller pyramids for kings Menkaure and Khafre and the Great Sphinx, the Khufu's pyramid is the oldest and only surviving construction among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and one of the largest buildings ever erected on Earth.

The cavity is the first major structure found inside the Great Pyramid since the 19th century, the research team said.

"There have been many theories about the existence of secret chambers inside the pyramid," said Tayoubi. "But none have predicted anything this big."

The exact shape and size of the void is fuzzy -- its purpose and possible contents a mystery.

But it is thought to be at least 30 metres long, and located above the "Grand Gallery" -- a sloped corridor almost 50 m long and 9 m high which links Khufu's burial chamber at the pyramid's centre to a tunnel leading outside.

The monument -- 139 metres high today, and 230 metres wide -- was erected as a tomb for Khufu, also known as Cheops. To this day, nobody knows quite how it was built.

The void, said co-author Kunihiro Morishima from the Nagoya University in Japan, "was not known by anyone until now, from when the pyramid was built 4,500 years ago".

"The big void is completely closed," he added, which means anything inside it would not have been "touched by anyone after the pyramid (was) built".

The pharaohs of ancient Egypt built these monumental tombs for themselves, complete with sarcophagus to hold their embalmed mummies, and stocked with everything they could require for the afterlife -- food, clothing and jewellery.

Khufu's pyramid was plundered long before it was visited by modern archaeologists, and no relics remain from any of the known chambers.

For this reason, the new cavity may be "very exciting," said Morishima, though it is not known if it contains anything at all.

The team used a technique called "cosmic-ray muon radiography", which allowed them to visualise "known and potentially unknown" voids in the pyramid without having to touch a single stone.

Muons are charged, heavy particles formed from the interactions of cosmic rays with atoms in the upper atmosphere.

Similar to X-rays which can penetrate the human body and allow bone imaging, these particles can follow a mostly straight line through several hundreds of metres of stone before decaying or being absorbed, the team said.

By recording the position and direction of each muon as it travels through the pyramid, muon detectors can distinguish cavities from stone.

"We will continue to conduct muon imaging for revealing the detail" of the void, said Morishima -- including its dimensions and inclination, and whether it consists of a single, large cavity or a complex of several.

"Our muon imaging technology can't confirm (whether) there are some artifacts or not," he added. Anything inside would be "too small for muon imaging."

The team is already turning its attention to new technology for the next step -- possibly a miniature robot that can travel through tiny holes to examine the inside of the void without disturbing anything.

The discovery, named simply "Big Void", has been confirmed using three different muon technologies and three independent analyses, verifying its existence with "high confidence," the authors said.

"While there is currently no information about the role of this void, these findings show how modern particle physics can shed new light on the world's archaeological heritage," the authors wrote in Nature.


Merkel gets boost with ally's party win
Rouhani warns weakened Iran less able to fight trafficking
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Qatar injects more cash into Gaza for Hamas employees
Singer Mika Singh Detained in Dubai for Sending Obscene Messages to 17-year-old: Reports
Conditions Met for Assange to Leave Embassy in London, Says Ecuador President
Pakistan slashes non-salary budget by 10%
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PM Modi Meets Saudi Crown Prince, Investments, Defence Ties Discussed
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Stairs From Eiffel Tower Sell At Auction For 1,69,000 Euros
Sidhu can win election even in Pakistan: Imran Khan
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Vaikom Vijayalekshmi ties knot with Anoop
 Vaikom: Playback singer Vaikom Vijayalekshmi has tied knot with Anoop N. at Vaikom Mahadeva temple.  
Mohanlal's Odiyan: Official trailer launched
Mammootty narrates Odiyan's intro?
Sradha Kapoor as Saina Nehwal: First look poster is out.
KERALA NEWS
Activist Rehana Fathima, Who Attempted Sabarimala Trek, Arrested Over Facebook Post
 (Kochi, Nov 28, 2018): Model and activist Rehana Fathima, who tried to reach Kerala's Sabarim
Good news for Keralite Nurses: IELTS cut-off reduced to 6.5
BJP leader K Surendran, 71 others granted bail
Sabarimala protests: Arrests up to 2061, Kerala HC warns police
NATIONAL NEWS
Can special consideration be shown to man with skin disorder: HC asks Centre
 New Delhi, Dec 9 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre whether a man suffering from a rare
BJP files caveat in SC over 'rath yatra' in WB
More than 225 terrorists killed in J&K so far this year: Army
Glad key people shedding fear, breaking silence on govt decisions: Chidambaram
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