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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29 Sep 2010
The Magnetic Moon, Lightning on Earth and Venus, and the Ring of Saturn that was invisible until now

Magnetised regions on the far side of the Moon have been found to deflect the solar wind, shielding the Moon's surface (presented last Friday, 24th September, at an EPS meeting in Rome). Airless bodies interact with the solar wind quite differently than the earth, for example.

29 Sep 2010
Is our universe in the interior of a giant black hole?

This is another post from Casey Kazan at 27th Sept ... a paper available at 'Cosmology in Torsion - an Alternative to Cosmic Inflation' by Nikodem Poplawski, who claims that a small change to the theory of gravity might imply our universe has inherited its arrow of time from the black hole in which it was born. Black holes are the cosmic mothers of new universes is a natural progression from a new and simple assumption about the nature of space time.

29 Sep 2010
Hazards from Space .... including a relook at the Tunguska event

At we learn that the Panoramic Survey Telescope has discovered an asteroid that will come within 4 million miles of the Earth in mid-October (a couple of weeks to go). It's a bit early for 2012 predictions and the object is just 150 feet in diameter. It will not strike the Earth, we are informed - and just as well, but scientists suspect there are many more of them under a mile across that have not yet been discovered - and you never know.

29 Sep 2010
Dating and Chronology in the Middle East

A conference on archaeoastronomy at Tartu in Estonia in 2002 had a paper by Goran Henriksson on the 'absolute chronology' of the ancient near east which is framed around a solar eclipse in 763BC as seen from Nineveh. Earlier epochs rely on astronomical dating as provided by the Venus Tablets of Ammisaduqa, 10th king of the First Dynasty of Babylon - to a lesser degree nowadays but certainly a factor in the Low Chronology, for example. In this paper Henriksson dates the above dynasty by a previously unidentifed total solar eclipse mentioned in a text.

29 Sep 2010
Journal of Cosmology

An interesting web site is at 'Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: The Role of Astronomy in Ancient culture' and as yet I have not explored anything else at the site - but will when time allows. It has an interesting image of a Venus figurine cut out of limestone and dated between 30 and 25,000 years ago - holding what appears to be a large horn.

28 Sep 2010
Mars and Venus

At we have on Sept 24th 'More Martian Enigmas'  which concerns, among other things, those strange hematite spherules nicknamed blueberries by some wag at NASA who likes his muffins with the wrinkled variety. They were discovered by the Mars Exploration Rovers and have yet to be explained. There are also 'vast fields of iron oxide dust' gathered into dune like shapes that lie of top of quartzite slabs of rock - or more practically, on top of the surface.

27 Sep 2010
Comets and the Bronze Age collapse

George Howard, at September 26th ... has posted an article by Bob Kobres that acknowledges it is based on an artilce published by SIS in C&C Workshop 1992:1. This version has some additional images. One interesting point made by Kobres comes from Martin Brennan's The Stars and the Stones (Thames and Hudson: 1984) (reviewed by SIS a number of years ago) and concerns Tara, a ritual complex of the gods 10 SW of Newgrange.

26 Sep 2010
Archaeological Chronology in eastern and central Europe

See ... this post, by Lolita Nikolova, is basically about prehistoric culture - and its spread. In this context, the route of the spread, from A to B, or from B to A.

26 Sep 2010
Einstein and Gravity

At Sept 24th ... there is a post on General Relativity and Einstein which is a favourite theme of Nigel Calder. In the current issue of Science magazine James Chin-Wen Chou et al detected the well known effects of relativity on the rate of time passing  and at the scale of ordinary human activities. Chou's team used laser light in a pair of aluminium-27 optical clocks to show that time can pass more slowly via the effect of motion on time.

26 Sep 2010
Fishing the Mesolithic way

This story comes from the Irish Times Sept 23rd ... an archaeologist happened to be out walking and came across some weirs and dams constructed to trap smelt on Connemara's Errislannan peninsular (see ). He looked at what appeared to be a series of stone ponds, channels and dams that linked the bay to several inner lagoons, as if channelling the fish into them.