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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10 Aug 2019
Space Radiation

At http://spaceweather.com August 10th 2019 ... a new source of space radiation  has been discovered by researchers from UCLA. A 'natural' particle accelerator just 40,000 miles above the surface of the Earth is producing killer electrons that move close to the speed of light. This means that astronauts leaving Earth for Mars could be peppered by radiation coming at them from behind - from the direction of their home planet. NASAs THEMIS spacecraft ran across the particles in 2008 not far from the place where the solar wind slams into Earth's magnetic field.

10 Aug 2019
Inverse Compton Mechanism

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/08/mechanism-for-gamma-... ... short and intense flashes of energetic radiation, known as gamma ray bursts, were discovered back in the late 1960s by the Vela satellites sent to monitor man made nuclear explosions from space. Since then they have become a focus of great interest to astronomers. In the late 1990s it was discovered they had an association with what is thought to represent the death and collapse of stars.

10 Aug 2019
Kepler's Forgotten Idea

At https://phys.org/news/2019-08-kepler-forgotten-ideas-symmetry-spiral.html ... Johannes Kepler was interested in symmetry - in such things as snowflakes as well as in space. Kepler suggested it was due to a morphogenic field. Science, we are told, had subsequently discarded this idea but the question of why snowflakes and similar structures are so symmetrical is not yet properly understood. Symmetry also exists in space - in spiral galaxies for example. A new theory published in Scientific Reports (August 2019) has combined information with entropy related to geometry.

8 Aug 2019
Magnetic Pulses

Scientists have discovered previously undetected observational evidence of frequent energetic pulses transporting energy from the solar surface to the higher solar atmosphere. Magnetic plasma waves or pulses have long been suggested as one of the big mechanisms in order to explain why the temperature of the solar atmosphere rises quickly, from thousands to millions of degrees. These are short lived Alfven pulses which seem to be generated by photospheric plasma swirls. They are said to be at least as many as 150,000 of them in the solar photosphere at any given point in time.

8 Aug 2019
Maya Burning

At https://phys.org/news/2019-08-maya-warlike-previously-thought.html ... we have the concept of total warfare during the Classic Maya period. The evidence for this is said to come from lake sediments close to the abandoned city of Witzna (formerly Bahlam Jol) as well as a thick charcoal layer in the city itself which seems to indicate a scorched earth attack. The idea of total warfare has previously been broached but until now has been confined to the final stages of Maya civilisation - in the 10th century AD. Dropught and famine are usually said to have led to such a situation.

6 Aug 2019
Sahara Dust

Gary also sent in a link to www.newscientist.com/article/2211699-the-amazon-rainforest-depends-on-fi... ... it seems the Amazon rainforest gets most of its phosphorous from cooking fires and landscape fires in Africa, via dust whipped up from the Sahara desert and wafted across the Atlantic. How it got its phosphorous, a vital nutrient, when the Sahara was a green and wet landscape 10,000 to 5,000 years ago, is left unmentioned.

5 Aug 2019
Scottish Neolithic settlers

Interesting set of links and news items in the September issue of Current Archaeology 354 - which begins with the Mesolithic site at Blick Mead near Stonehenge (change in climate in the 5th millennium BC) - see www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X18301871 - while we have 'rethinking Scottish crannogs' (see earlier posts on the News). Divers dsicovered they go back to the Neolithic era and were reinhabited in the Iron Age (but as artificial islands).

5 Aug 2019
Graves in Wales

Gary also sent in this link - https://mol.im/a/7317361 .. which is from his mobile (see www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7317361/) and concerns a graveyard discovered during building work at a Welsh college. Some 86 skeletons have been unearthed (and no doubt there are plenty more of them as this is a graveyard that has only had the corner unearthed). They seem to date from the late Roman era or shortly thereafter - the 5th and 6th centuries AD. We are told they have diverse origins - from across Europe.

5 Aug 2019
Church of the Apostles

This is one of those things most people would be unaware of - a church dedicated to Peter and Andrew, two of the apostles in the New Testament. They were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee and their home town became the venue of a Byzantine church (last recorded in AD725). Go to www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7303247/ ... Israeli archaeologists think they have homed in on the church of the apostles, dedicated to Peter and Andrew, two of the earliest disciples (and later, apostles).

28 Jul 2019
Oldest church in Russia

Sent in by Robert. Researchers have used scanning technology to make sense of a mysterious subterranean structure - and it may be the oldest church in what is now Russia. See https://curiosmos.com/mysterious-underground-structure-found-in-russia-i... oldest-churches -on-earth ... archaeologists have been investigating the Nasyn-Kala fortress at Derbent in Russia and were flummoxed by a mysterious buried structure. They have been eyeing it up for a while but decided to try muon radiography.