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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3 Dec 2010
Comet Hartley2

The NASA web site had a collection of images as Deep Impact approached Comet Hartley2 and locked its cameras onto the comet nuclei. At www.physorg.com/print208086038.html there is a short piece written in the lead up to the encounter between spacecraft and comet. When it was some 12 million miles from earth Comet Hartley2 NASA meteorite experts claimed debris interacted with the atmosphere of the earth as there was a shower of fireballs on November 2nd and 3rd.

2 Dec 2010
Comets

At http://cosmictusk.com there is a report, published by the Royal Society, that says that some 4 years ago green fireballs streaked across the sky over Australia which led to a succession of UFO reports. However, it is now thought they might have been meteors or ball lightning caused by electrically charged shockwaves in a similar fashion to the way aurorae is created.

2 Dec 2010
Venus - new discovery

The European Space Agency (see www.esa.int/esaSC/SEM8270WXGG_index_2.html and see also www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130122-35.htm ) has discovered a high altitude layer of sulphur dioxide via the Venus Express spacecraft. Venus is blanketed in sulphuric acid clouds that block a view of the surface and this is because of volcanic activity there.

2 Dec 2010
Komodo Dragons

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101118093418.htm researchers have been studying a fossil that appears to be a direct link between an ancient lizard populating Africa and the famous Komodo Dragon of Indonesia - and various other lizards. It seems to have been a fresh water lizard so how did it swim across the Indian Ocean, it is being asked, as geology claims Africa was isolated between 100 and 12 million years ago, completely surrounded by oceans. It had yet to crash into Eurasia.

2 Dec 2010
Melanesians in the Americas and European genes among the Chinese

At http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html ... this is a post going back to October 26th 1999 and is probably out of reach of a simple click. A skull of a human fossil found in Brazil appears to have an origin in Melanesian people on the other side of the Pacific. In fact, there seems to have been a cemetery of them but only one of them was sent to the University of Manchester to be analysed.

2 Dec 2010
Australian megafauna demise

At www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/11/30/3080101.htm there is another story blaming humans for the demise of megafauna in Australia around 40,000 years ago. The paper was published in PNAS but was not entirely convinced by the human hunting argument and for once contained a lot of evidence indicating environmental changes occurred at this time that were pretty wide ranging. There was also evidence of huge landscape fires so this is perhaps a paper to be read to glean the small detail.

2 Dec 2010
Egyptian Wetlands

At www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/66507/title/Shuttle_images_reveal_Egypts_lost_giant_lake/ ... what is now a huge sand sheet to the west of the Nile was once a lake as large as Lake Erie before 80,000 years ago.

2 Dec 2010
Stone and Wooden circles in N America

See www.examiner.com for the full story 'Cahokia's woodhenges' - and this is the much advertised mound people of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys that flourished in what was the Medieval Warm Period. The roots go back to the mid first millennium AD but what is emphasised here by this newspaper is an assumed astronomical link between a ring of post holes and stone circles.

2 Dec 2010
Dead Sea sediment core

Israeli scientists are drilling into the sea bed of the Dead Sea in the hope of extracting a sediment core going back several hundred thousand years. This will provide geological and archaeological information that will take years to analyse piece by small piec as it should pigeon hole periods of drought and flood, and changing climate over time. Both Israeli and Palestinian scientists are said to be involved in the project and it is thought one thing that will show up quite clearly is a history of earthquake activity in the Jordan Valley as relevant layers will not line up.

2 Dec 2010
Star maps on megaliths?

At www.stonepages.com/nes/archives/004126.html there is a bit of speculation that might be just imagination. A standing stone in S Wales which has 75 cup marks gouged out of its surface may represent a section of the night sky, it is claimed, but how this is arrived at is not disclosed. In addition, they say the particular part of the sky can be pinpointed and includes Cassiopeia, Orion, Sirius, and the North Star - but how do they know this?