ENEA, the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, has recently published a report on five years of experiments conducted in the ENEA center of Frascati on the “shroud-like coloring of linen fabrics by far ultraviolet radiation”

I have written before about the Shroud of Turin which I believe to be the actual cloth that covered the body of Jesus in the grave. The face of Jesus as shown on the shroud is the only representation of Jesus that I like. I am pleased with the conclusions reached by this latest study.

One of the assumptions related to the formation of the image was that regarding some form of electromagnetic energy (such as a flash of light at short wavelength), which could fit the requirements for reproducing the main features of the Shroud image, such as superficiality of color, color gradient, the image also in areas of the body not in contact with the cloth and the absence of pigment on the sheet. The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”.

“However, Enea scientists warn, “it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts )”.

However the Shroud image “has some features that we are not yet able to reproduce – they admit – for example, the gradient of the image caused by a different concentration of yellow colored fibrils that alternate with unstained fibrils”. And they warn: “We are not at the conclusion, we are composing pieces of a fascinating and complex scientific puzzle”. The enigma of the image of the Shroud of Turin is still “a challenge for intelligence”, as John Paul II said. (Read more).