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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11 Dec 2010
Worlds in Collision

At .... worlds in collision - actually bashing up against each other - is one hypothesis of the early solar system now being floated. An object the size of Mars, it is said, smashed into the earth and ripped out its guts - producing the Moon. Until now it was thought the Moon owes its existence to one random collision event - but why be shy?

10 Dec 2010
Lost World

At ... a paper in Current Anthropology speculates that the Persian Gulf was an oasis during the last Ice Age - and even in the early Holocene. It was not until around 6000BC that the floor of the Gulf was flooded - and it was dry land during the last Ice Age too. The actual Indian Ocean coastline during the Pleistocene may also have differed - but this is not mentioned. Suffice to say, Arabia was joined to Iran.

10 Dec 2010
Cosmic Fireworks

At there is suddenly a flurry of posts after a long period of inactivity - on meteorites and fireballs. For example, a fireball train in 1913 was recorded by a Canadian painter, Gustav Hahn. The story comes from and continues by saying the meteorite train was seen right across the praire States to the Atlantic coast. They appeared to an observer as slow moving, a perfect formation.

9 Dec 2010
The Gemenids

At ... the Gemenid annual meteor showers peaks on December 13th and 14th and is quite intense. It lasts for days, is rich in fireballs, and can be seen around the world. Most meteor showers come from comets but the parent body of the Gemenids is a small rocky asteroid - with the tag, '3200 Phaethon'.

9 Dec 2010
The Sleeping Beast at the heart of the galaxy ... and dark matter galaxies?

At December 7th there are a couple of further baiting posts to stir up conventional thinking. A super massive black hole is thought to lie at the centre of our galaxy - known as Sagittaurus A. Yet, it is quiet - in spite of the size. The energy radiated from around its edges is also very quiet in comparison to black holes that are thought to lie elsewhere in the universe. It is the energy that delineates a black hole, in most cases - but this one is very quiet.

8 Dec 2010
Solar flares -- and solar activity

The NASA website and various blogs such as December 7th have video clips of a massive flare on the surface of the Sun (see below). This follows the malfunction of one of NOAAs weather satellites a day or so ago - also as a result of solar activity.

8 Dec 2010
A Jupiter sized dark object lurking at the edge of the solar system ... and trillions of potential earths

These two stories come from December 7th ... and one begins by claiming comet data over the last hundred years suggests there is a dark Jupiter sized object lurking at the edge of the solar sysem - and it may be hurling ice and dust chunks towards the earth. Planetary scientist John Matese thinks there is a hidden companion to the Sun in the Oort Cloud that is responsible for the trajectories of comets.

8 Dec 2010
Australian fire history

A paper in Quaternary Science Review (see ) claims Aborigines were not responsible for landscape fires and other environmental impacts shortly after their arrival, assumed to be around 50,000 years ago - but in  reality, an unknown. On long timescales fire activity in Australia reflects prevailing climate - less during cold glacial periods and greater activity in warmer phases.

8 Dec 2010
Dogs and Maths

At,1518,732654,00.html 'Egyptian dog bones could help solve canine conundrum'. Scientists are trying to work out how the wolf evolved into 400 breeds of dog - and they have turned their attention on Egypt and the cult of Anubis, the Jackal god. Thousands of mummified dogs (as well as jackals, foxes, and hyenas) were placed in what is a huge cave. Other cemeteries exist of other cult animals - such as cats, snakes, baboons, mice, fish, crocodiles and bulls.

8 Dec 2010
City of David

At ... Robert Draper in the December 2010 issue of National Geographic has an article on the controversy around David and Solomon - was Jerusalem the centre of a glorious empire or was it just a small scale early Iron Age affair? It begins with Eilat Mazar and her claim that a low stone wall abutting an ancient terraced retaining wall some 60 feet high, was the work of Hiram of Tyre in the time of David.