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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21 Aug 2010
What makes a Black Hole?

This is one of those uncomfortable pieces of emerging evidence that might result in an upset. At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100818085938.htm is a story that is being widely reported - it's just too good to ignore. European astronomers have demonstrated that a magnetar, an unusual form of a neutron star, was formed from a star with at least 40 times the mass of our Sun. The result presents a challenge as a star as enormous as this was thought to become a black hole - but that did not happen.

20 Aug 2010
Boats in History

At www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-08/1103-nwt081910.php is a news report on archaeological and maritime history. Tall waves and storm surges can destroy coastal archaeology so two Norwegian archaeologists have developed a method to combine meteorological phenomena into their chosen field. Temperature, precipitation, wind direction and wind force are factors - and each locality is in its way novel (there are lakes, fjiords, valleys, and mountains in Norway).

20 Aug 2010
The Hambledon Valley villa - a news update

At www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/localpress/marlow/8337839.print/ there is an update to a story posted a couple of weeks ago about a Roman villa complex found in a field at Hambledon, between Marlow and Henley, in the valley of the Thames. Over 90 skeletons of newly born infants was found and they were boxed up by the excavator and deposited in Aylesbury Museum.

20 Aug 2010
Bose-Einstein condensates and superatoms

At http://calderup.wordpress.com August 18th .. Nigel Calder looks at very cold rubidium atoms combining together to make superatoms known as Bose-Einstein condensates. A team in Germany added more rubidium atoms and this brought order and a neater pattern which was probably aided and abetted by reason the superatoms became wider overall.

20 Aug 2010
Probing Dark Energy

At www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/ August 19th (NASA newsletter) ... claims astronomers hav e devised a method to measure dark energy - the mysterious force purported to be pushing the universe apart at an ever increasing speed. They homed in on a huge cluster of galaxies at the extreme point of vision of the Hubble Space Telescope and they hope to be able to calculate the speed of energy involved - accurately. In turn, they hope this will eventually lead to an explanation of what dark energy actually is.

20 Aug 2010
Secrets of the vanished landscape

The story is at www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100817143818.htm and concerns a five thousand year old fossilised landscape beneath the Fens of what is now Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and the NE corner of Norfolk. It has been a giant wetlands for centuries - not quite land and not quite the sea. In the Bronze Age people hunted and fished there much like they did in the similar environment of the Middle Ages.

19 Aug 2010
Pompeii

At www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38729085/ns/technology_and_science-science/ there was a story going the rounds a week or so ago which I passed over at the time. However, for anyone interested, the common opinion was that most people in Pompeii died from suffocation due to a combination of ash and volcanic gases. A vulcanologist from the Naples Observatory has now shown they died from an extreme heat surge produced by the volcano - between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

19 Aug 2010
The Obsidian Trade in North America

At http://geology.com/press-release/obsidian-artifacts/ is a story with some potential for the future (and like the previous story is also available at Science Daily). Obsidian, or volcanic glass, was prized for making tools, and an archaeologist in Idaho has plotted and catalogued obsidian pieces from his patch as he has devised a clever way of using them to shine a little window on the habits of Native Americans over the last 13,000 years.

19 Aug 2010
Impact on Antarctica

At www.dailygalaxy.com August 17th ... there is a post on the impact crater discovered beneath the ice of Antarctica. At 500km across it is the biggest yet known. It dwarfs the Chicxulub crater in the Yucatan (demise of the dinosaurs) so it must equally have been associated with geological and biological changes - so the reasoning goes. However, dating something under the ice is difficult but scientists have looked around for a suitable 'big' event and noted one at 250 million years ago, at the Permian-Triassic boundary.

19 Aug 2010
'Natural Nucleur Accelerators'

At www.physorg.com/print201279930.html there is a report on a paper in Physcial Review Letters with some interesting discoveries, one of which is that high energy cosmic rays were thought to come from remote galaxies that contained huge black holes capable of eating stars and accelerating protons like a bullet shooting out of a gun barrel. These protons, referred to as cosmic rays, travel through space and eventually enter our galaxy - the theory assumes.