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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13 Aug 2019
Giant Parrot

New Zealand is known for some unusual birds, from flightless (such as the kiwi) to over large (such as the Moa). It once harboured giant geese and a giant eagle. Now, it has a giant parrot - see https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/08/meet-herculesthe-gia... ... the fossil remains are said to go back 19 million years - to the Miocene period. In fact, the site has offered up a rich assemblage of fossil birds. One may wonder how birds come to be fossilised intach and buried in the earth. Why don't they just fly away.

11 Aug 2019
co2 and plants

A few weeks ago, Weather Eye in The Times of London had a short piece beginning, 'something strange is happening to plants: their leaves seem to be growing thicker. And the cause is increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the  air.' You may be a keen gardener, or even a farmer or small holder, and you might have noticed this. On the other hand you might not have noticed anything unusual as we are talking about a very thin layer of thickness. Never the less - it is a nice story.

11 Aug 2019
Jupiter Smack

Gary sent in a link to www.space.com/jupiter-impact-flash-photo-august-2019.html ... which is a video film of a bright flash on Jupiter captured by an amateur astronomer. It is thought to be an asteroid impact - but is pretty tame in comparison to the Shoemaker-Levy comet that crashed into Jupiter in the 1990s.

10 Aug 2019
Fossil Forest China

Gary sent in the link to www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/fossil-forest-asia-devonian-period... ... the oldest fossil forest in Asia (or the oldest until an older one is uncovered). It goes back to a remote geological period, the Devonian. It was discovered in the walls of a clay quarry in China and is made up of 250,000 square meteres of fossilised lycopsid trees. Other Devonian forests are known from North America and Norway. See https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.06.053

10 Aug 2019
Spanish Bronze Age Building

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/08/spanish-archaeologis... ... a large building dating to the middle of the Spanish Bronze Age (between 2100 and 1500BC) is associated with new settlers who established themselves on a craggy hillside, or cliff, at what is known as La Cava. It measures 70 square metres and is surrounded by a settlement (houses) and rampart and there is also some strange holes carved out of the base rock. The site was later used by Christian hermits.

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.