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J. Paul Getty Museum
J. Paul Getty Museum

Getty Museum and Yale Art Center Release Thousands of Images for Scholars to Study Online

J. Paul Getty Museum
J. Paul Getty Museum

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Yale Center for British Art are making it much easier for scholars (and the public) to compare images of artwork from different museums side-by-side.

The Getty Museum just published 30,000 images using the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), an API that allows researchers to compare images across different collections and institutions so that they can analyze them side-by-side. The release coincides with the publication of 70,000 public domain images from the Yale Center for British Art that are also IIIF-compatible. There are now millions of images from institutions all over the world available to study and compare using this technology.

Screenshot of a listing in the Yale Center for British Art's online collection
Screenshot, Yale Center for British Art

All you have to do is click the IIIF logo (the red and blue logo below the painting in the image above) on an image in the Getty or the Yale Center’s online collections to pull the artwork into the open-source image viewer Mirador. You can drag and drop multiple images from multiple institutions to look at together in Mirador. Other institutions in the IIIF consortium include museums, libraries, universities, archives, and research institutions like the National Library of Norway, the Kyoto University Library Network, the British Library, and ARTstor.

"By adopting the IIIF, our images can now travel beyond the confines of our own website and become fully interoperable with images from other collections, greatly enhancing the ability to pursue research in the digital environment," as the Yale Center’s chief curator of art collections, Matthew Hargraves, explains in a press release [PDF].

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Courtesy of Gem Diamonds Ltd.
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This Just In
Fifth Largest Diamond in The World Discovered in Southern Africa
Courtesy of Gem Diamonds Ltd.
Courtesy of Gem Diamonds Ltd.

The Letšeng diamond mine in the southern African nation of Lesotho is known for producing large, high-quality gems. As Bloomberg reports, a massive diamond uncovered there recently is the mine's most impressive yet. The 910-carat stone is roughly the size of two golf balls and weighs more than a billiard ball.

The diamond is thought to be the fifth largest ever discovered on Earth. Gem Diamonds Ltd., the company behind the discovery, said in a statement [PDF] that the "exceptional top quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date and highlights the unsurpassed quality of the Letšeng mine."

Beyond its size, the diamond is also remarkable for its purity. The D color Type IIa status means there are little to no nitrogen atoms muddying its color. Though Gem Diamonds hasn't revealed their price, the diamond is likely worth a huge amount: up to $40 million, analyst Ben Davis tells Bloomberg.

That's a steep price, but it's nowhere near the highest ever paid for a diamond at auction. Rare colored diamonds tend to fetch the highest bids: In 2015, the Blue Moon diamond sold for $48.5 million, and in 2017 the Pink Star was auctioned off for $71.2 million, making it the most expensive diamond of all time.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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New Largest Known Prime Number Has More Than 23 Million Digits
iStock
iStock

Prime numbers come in all sizes: They go down to single digits and grow infinitely larger. But calculating the exact quantity of the largest prime numbers in existence takes serious time and effort. Now, thanks to help from a volunteer and his computer, the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) has identified the newest largest prime number we know of.

The prime number has 23,249,425 digits, surpassing the previous record holder by 1 million digits. It can be written as 277,232,917-1 or M77232917. Like other prime numbers, the quantity can only be divided by one and itself. But unlike some smaller primes, this one joins a special category called Mersenne primes.

Mersenne primes are found by calculating numbers to the second power and subtracting the value of one from the total. Only 50 prime numbers have been found this way, and a lot of computing power is required to uncover them.

Since 1996, GIMPS has been crowdsourcing computers to discover larger and larger prime numbers. Anyone can download their program and dedicate their unused processing power to churning out algorithms in search of the next record breaker. Volunteers whose computers successfully identify a new prime number are eligible for a cash reward of up to $3000.

The most recent winner was Jonathon Pace, a 51-year-old electrical engineer from Tennessee. His computer calculated the number M77232917 on December 26, and its prime status was independently verified by four separate computers.

GIMPS is constantly outdoing itself, with the previous largest prime announced just two years ago. If you'd like to join the effort, their prime-hunting software is free to download. But don't expect instant results: Pace was volunteering with GIMPS for 14 years before his altruism paid off. 

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