The Lost Fabergé Egg

In Imperial Russia, Easter was special, even more special for the Empress, who was the recipient each year of an amazing present, a Fabergé Egg.  Each year, a new, unique egg was given to the Empress by the  Tsar, (First Alexander III, then Nicolas II) and made by Peter Carl Fabergé, a Russian jeweller who made his creations of precious metals and gemstones, in the style of Easter eggs.

In 1885, Tsar Alexander III commissioned Fabergé’s  company to make an Easter egg as a gift for his wife, the Empress Maria. The Tsar placed an order for another egg the following year. Beginning in 1887, the Tsar apparently gave Carl Fabergé complete freedom with regard to egg designs, which then became more and more elaborate. According to Fabergé Family tradition, not even the Tsar knew what form they would take—the only stipulation was that each one should contain a surprise. The next Tsar, Nicholas II, ordered two eggs each year, one for his mother and one for his wife, Alexandra.  Wikipedia- Carl Fabergé

The Russian Revolution changed everything and In 1918, The House of Fabergé was nationalized by the Bolsheviks and Fabergé fled to Switzerland. He never recovered from the shock of the Russian Revolution and died in Switzerland on September 24, 1920. His family believed he died of a broken heart. according to his family.

Some eggs were lost in the transition from Imperial Russia to the Soviet Union. Some eggs were sold the Soviets to the west. Eight of them are missing, and only three are believed to have survived the revolution. Now, one of the missing eggs has been found. Here is the story of an egg that was lost, only to show up in an unlikely place…

The Lost Third Imperial Easter Egg By Carl Fabergé- LINK

Easter is the most important of all Russian Orthodox festivals and it’s a long-established tradition to exchange Easter eggs. Carl Fabergé, goldsmith to the Tsars, created the lavish Imperial Easter eggs for both Alexander III and Nicholas II from 1885 to 1916. The Eggs are his most prized creations and have become bywords of luxury and craftsmanship.

The Third Imperial Egg
The Third Imperial Egg is a 1887 Fabergé egg rediscovered in 2012. It is a Vacheron Constantin Lady’s watch, with white enamel dial and openwork diamond set gold hands.

 

This egg was last seen in public over 112 years ago, when it was shown in the Von Dervis Mansion exhibition of the Russian Imperial Family’s Fabergé collection in St. Petersburg in March 1902. In the turmoil of the Russian revolution the Bolsheviks confiscated the Egg from the Empress. It was last recorded in Moscow in 1922 when the Soviets decided to sell it as part of their policy of turning ‘Treasures into Tractors’. Its fate after this point was unknown and it is was feared it could have been melted for its gold and lost forever.

It was only in 2011 that Fabergé researchers discovered that the Third Imperial Egg survived the revolution, when it was discovered in an old Parke-Bernet catalogue. Its provenance had been unknown and so it was sold at auction on Madison Avenue, New York on 7th March 1964 as a ‘Gold watch in egg form case’ for $2,450 (£875 at the time). This discovery started a worldwide race to discover the whereabouts of the egg, which was now worth tens of millions of dollars….

Continue with the link: The Lost Third Imperial Easter Egg By Carl Fabergé

 

 

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Tracking and Mapping Space Junk

More than 500,000 pieces of debris, or “space junk,” are tracked as they orbit the Earth. They all travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft.

In the 50-plus years that humans have been zipping through space more than 6,000 satellites have been launched. While some have made their way back down to Earth, more than 3,600 remain in orbit.

 

  • It’s estimated that between 100 and 150 tons of space junk re-enters our atmosphere each year — with the vast majority of it burning up before it hits the ground.
  • Scientists are looking to develop methods of removing some of the space junk that’s currently in orbit.
  • Some worry that if we don’t act fast enough, the Kessler syndrome will be observed. This would occur if space debris continues to pile up, eventually reaching the point where it would be impossible to launch new objects without creating a collision.

SourceInteractive map shows how much space junk is flying around Earth

Stuff in Space

Stuff in Space.- Key-Legent

Stuff in Space
Stuff in Space is a realtime 3D map of objects in Earth orbit, visualized using WebGL. (Shown above)

The website updates daily with orbit data from Space-Track.org and uses the excellent satellite.js Javascript library to calculate satellite positions.

Stuff in Space on GitHub, by James Yoder.: https://github.com/jeyoder/ThingsInSpace

The US. department of Defense maintains an accurate log of all the objects in the Earth’s orbit that are larger than a softball — and if you’d like to get an idea of what all that might look like, you can — via an interactive map called Orbital Objects.  http://www.alexras.info/code/orbital_objects/

The rising population of space debris increases the potential danger to all space vehicles, but especially to the International Space Station, space shuttles and other spacecraft with humans aboard.

NASA takes the threat of collisions with space debris seriously and has a long-standing set of guidelines on how to deal with each potential collision threat. These guidelines, part of a larger body of decision-making aids known as flight rules, specify when the expected proximity of a piece of debris increases the probability of a collision enough that evasive action or other precautions to ensure the safety of the crew are needed.

Space debris encompasses both natural (meteoroid) and artificial (man-made) particles. Meteoroids are in orbit about the sun, while most artificial debris is in orbit about the Earth. Hence, the latter is more commonly referred to as orbital debris.

Orbital debris is any man-made object in orbit about the Earth which no longer serves a useful function. Such debris includes nonfunctional spacecraft, abandoned launch vehicle stages, mission-related debris and fragmentation debris.

There are more than 20,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. They travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft. There are 500,000 pieces of debris the size of a marble or larger. There are many millions of pieces of debris that are so small they can’t be tracked.

Continue reading Tracking and Mapping Space Junk