In The News

Welcome to our "In the News" page, featuring summaries of Internet news, relevant to Catastrophism and Ancient History.

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24 Dec 2017
Christmas Aurorae

At  24th December we have news of a sprawling coronal hole that has sent us a nice Christmas present - an auroral display. It is not however a major geomagnetic event - but a rather minor one. More interesting is the meteor shower emanating from the asteroid Phaethon, described by Space Weather as a rocky comet. Phaethon came within 10 million km of the Earth  and the Pue space telescope picked up the images below. The arrow is pointing at a large concavity or depression. It also seems it is a bigger object than thought - with a diameter of 6km.

23 Dec 2017
Men in Black

The former head of a secret US government programme set up to investigate UFO sightings has told the media that extraterrestrial life may exist - as some UFOs defy explanation. See for example ... and ... We may not be alone he said as a lot of strange aircraft (or flying objects) have displayed characteristics not currently within the US military (nor that of any other earth based society).

23 Dec 2017
Electric Saturn

Robert sent in the link to ... electrical and chemical coupling between Saturn and its rings - Swedish research results published in the journal Science. The Langmuir probe was developed by the Swedes and was onboard the Cassini spacecraft. It seems it has made some exciting discoveries on the atmosphere of Saturn - a strong coupling, chemically and electrically, between Saturn's upper atmosphere and its ring system.

23 Dec 2017
Habelia optata

   This is an image of Habelia optata, a marine predator which feeded on trilobites (see ). Geologists as well as palaeontologists have long collected many examples of trilobites, their eggs and their offspring, in a variety of shapes and forms. Some scientists specialise in trilobites and so do fossil sellers in countries like Morocco in North Africa, selling their touched up specimens to tourists.

23 Dec 2017
Defending the Sedentary

At ... reports on the discovery from aerial photography and satellite images of the discovery of more than a thousand sites across eastern Syria that seem to be a military network defending Middle Bronze Age urban and sedentary kingdoms in the west - and their hinterlands (the rural farmland). The defence system was clearly aimed at controlling intrusions from the Syrian steppe zone (or semi desert region of tribal habitat).

21 Dec 2017

Worlds in Collision is making a dramatic comeback. What with collisions on Earth creating the Moon, and variously theories regarding Venus and Jupiter we now have Uranus as part of solar system billiard balls - see ... the crash that tilted Uranus made its moons. Uranus is tilted on its side. A new study claims an impact bowled Uranus over, sideways, and may have created its moons in the process - solving two problems with a single theory. Uranus possesses 27 moons 18 of which orbit its equatorial zone.

21 Dec 2017
NASA and the Sun

At ... newly analysed images could help solve mysteries about solar wind and the superhot corona. The outer corona may appear smooth and calm but freshly analysed images from NASAs STEREO spacecraft show an unexpected texture. It is full of knots, whorls and blobs.

17 Dec 2017
Kech Cosmic Re-ionization Mapper

At ... on the 'things are getting interesting' cavalcade this one is worth looking at. The Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI) has been operative since September (2017) and detects light in the blue spectrum, or pattern of the visible wavelength. KCWI has been quite successful to date. However, when the second part of the project takes off, the Kech Cosmic Re-ionisation Mapper, it will map emissions of hydrogen at 'very high red shifts' in order to understand the environments of the first stars that formed.

17 Dec 2017
Impact Site

At ... geologists exploring volcanic rocks on the Isle of Skye have exposed a meteorite impact zone - containing rare minerals with an origin in outer space. Some of them are known from the Stardust mission to Comet Wild2 and other bits seem to belong to the actual meteorite itself. A 2m thick ejecta layer confirms the impact - date way back to the Paeolocene era (60 million years ago) and nary a thunderbolt in sight. See the journal Geology (2017) DOI:10.1130/G39452.1

17 Dec 2017
Decorative Celtic Books

At ... excavations at a Viking site in Trondheim in Norway has uncovered a decorative fitting from a book pilfered from Ireland (or the Celtic fringe). It is gold plated on silver and seems to have come from a religious book - probably from a monastery in Ireland at some point in the 800s. Hence, such embellished books really did exist in the pre-Norman era, contrary to what is inferred in MJ Harper's book, Meetings with Remarkable Forgeries.