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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22 Dec 2010
Cosmic Microwave Background - what is going on?

A post at www.dailygalaxy.com December 20th has the title, 'Epic Discovery Update: We are One of Many Universes', a story taken from a paper available at arXiv:1012.1995v1 on The Physics arXiv Blog, which purports to show four circular patterns in the cosmic microwave background. The authors suggest they are 'bruises' that occurred when our universe was expanding and bumped up against four other universes.

22 Dec 2010
A comet coming back into life?

At www.physorg.com/print212167881.html ... an asteroid with an orbit within, or crossing, the main asteroid belt, appears to be showing signs of revived life - leading to speculation that it might be a quiescent comet. The Catalonia Sky Survey Telescope was aimed on the asteroid belt when it came across a faint wispy tail surrounding a bright star like core. It was an asteroid known as Scheila, discovered over a hundred years ago.

22 Dec 2010
The Drying up of the Sahara

At www.physorg.com/print212152097.html ... a study of lake sediments from a dried up lake in northern Chad in the Sahara has shown evidence that the lake was dessicated by a slow process and progressively, beginning in around 6000 years ago (4000BC) and reaching the present condition around AD900. Geochemical and the analysis of sediments were done on a yearly basis to determine when the Sahara went dry.

21 Dec 2010
Some results from the Large Hadron Collider

At www.physorg.com/print211983845.html ... the large hadron collider has found no signature of microscopic black holes produced in high energy proton-proton collisions. They are predicted to exist in some theoretical models that unify General Relativity with Qantum Mechanics.

21 Dec 2010
A Deep Sea waterway

At http://geology.com/noaa/sulawesi-sea/ .... this is an interesting piece of reseach as the Sulwesi Sea even during the Ice Age was a water-way and a barrier between Sunda Land, the part of Indonesia to the west that was joined up with SE Asia, and the large landmass that comprised Australia (somewhat larger than it is now) and New Guinea - and possibly the Solomon Islands too.

19 Dec 2010
All quiet on the front - the latest survey at Stonehenge has gone silent

At www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1337890/ ... it's all gone quiet on the geophysical survey around Stonehenge  which just a couple of months ago was all over the media. The Daily Mail may have a story that explains why - embarrassment. There was perhaps a bit of a gaff by Vince Gaffney, the project team leader.

19 Dec 2010
Dusty Plasma ... and tribulations of an EU proselytiser

The Plasma Universe Wikipedia-like Encyclopedia has some interesting entries (see www.plasma-universe.com/Dusty_plasma/ ). This one, with the title 'dusty plasma', sets out to describe precisely what this phenomenon is - and it raises some interesting possibilities. It is apparently a combination of plasma and micrometre sized particles. Such dusty particles can be charged and combined with plasma they will behave like plasma - and even acrete into larger particles, or grains.

18 Dec 2010
The Magnetic Field of the Earth

At www.wired.com/wiredscience/2-1-/12/magnetic-copper-slag/ .... it seems that copper slag from Iron Age smelting activities at Khirbet es/Nahu in NE Jordan and from Timna in what is now southern Israel has been C14 dated to the 10 and 9th centuries BC, and a magnetic field that spike twice during the 180 years they studied, has been dated at 980 and 890BC. On both occasions the magnetic field jumped up in strength but within 20 years had fallen back down again.

16 Dec 2010
Plasma and Magnetic Fields

NASA has another story to delight - the Cassini spacecraft took images of enormous clouds of plasma periodically blooming around Saturn, moving the planet 'like an unbalanced load of laundry on a spin cycle' and words to that effect. The hot plasma, they continue, producing a repeating signature like a thump in the rotating magnetic field. The big question now being asked - why are these plasma explosions happening in such a periodic manner?

16 Dec 2010
Mars - spreading volcano

At http://specialpaper.gsapubs.org/content/470/115.abstract 'Is Tharsis, Mars, a spreading volcano?' - it is thought Tharsis Rise on Mars is spreading outwards and that has produced rifting at the summit with radial tear-fault systems associated with folding round its periphery. It is said by this geological attempt at understanding the feature to be analogous to a terrestrial mid-ocean ridge - without the corresponding subduction zones.