Cassini Final Descent

At ... results from Cassini's final mission phase show protons of extreme energies between the planet and its rings. A series of 6 article in the journal Science (5th October 2018) describe the initial results and thoughts - by a vareity of authors.

Voyager 2

At ... the Voyager 2 spacecraft probe has detected an increase in cosmic rays that originate outside our solar system - which suggests it is fast approaching interstellar space. Since 2007 it has been travelling through the outer layers of the heliosphere. Voyager 1 is already in interstellar space it is thought. It is unclear if the general lack of solar activity has caused the heliosheaf to retract (as we in between two solar cycles).

Holding Back the Desert

In this story humans are not the environmental bad guys it would seem. The preaching bit takes a back seat as they are exonerated of blame. Indeed, they managed to hold back the onslaught of desertification in the Sahara (and presumably also in Arabia) even though we are talking about cattle herding pastoralists. Does this mean that the farting of cows in the proto desert environment  was not as awfully bad as has been made out in temperate parts of the world? At ... we have a study into how humans impacted the global desertification of the Sahara.

Distant Objects

At ... a new very distant object found in the hunt for Planet X, far beyond the orbit of Pluto. Full details are available in October's issue of Astronomical Journal (2018). It has an elongated orbit and never comes anywhere near the gas giants (such as Neptune) so cannot be influenced by gravity pull. However, Planet X (currently invisible) is said to affect the orbit of the object.

Phosphate from Space

At ... did building blocks for life arrive on earth from space (from comets and meteorites, it is suggested). This article is published in Nature Communications (September 2018), 'An Interstellar Synthesis of Phosphorus Oxoacids' by Andrew Turner and Ralph Kaiser. According to this theory phosphate and dephosphoxic acid, two elements required in the building blocks of molecular biology, came out of the sky. They are the main constituents of chromosomes, the carriers of genetic information in which DNA is found.


Svante Arrhenius was a Swedish chemist (they didn't have climate scientists in his day) and he investigated the effect of doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide and how it may affect the global climate. This was read as a paper at an 1895 conference in Stockholm (and duly published). It was a defining moment for modern climate scientists of a certain persuasion that believe greenhouse gases are capable of causing catastrophic global warming. However, Arrhenius wrote his paper in an effort to understand the swings and roundabouts of the Ice Age.

Weather Balloon v Models

The recent McKitrick and Christy paper on measuring warming in the atmosphere via weather balloon data (over 60 years) in comparison to the results from modelling. The paper was written in the lead up to the next, 5th, IPCC Report on global warming (the report that keeps the alarmism on track). The latest report uses research from MCIP5 (The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5) which consists of 20 climate modelling groups, worldwide.


At (september 22nd 2018) we learn that the Sun has just crossed the equator and is heading south and changing seasons. This event seems to be what causes the crack in Earth's magnetic field.

Geological Instant

At ... we have an interesting headline - Chinese led team (from the Chinese Academy of Sciences) shows mass extinction happened in a geological instant. Of course, what they mean by a geological instant is nothing like the real meaning of that word. They are claiming the end of Permian mass extinction event took place between 30,000 years ago and a few thousand years ago (leaving an option open for an even smaller instant in time). The end of Permian event took place around 250 million years ago.


Evidence of people living in western Australia 50,000 years ago has been discovered in the remote Carnavon Ranges. They lived in the region during a long part of the so called Ice Age - see ... and a similar, but longer report can be found at ... where it adds, '.. more than 50,000 years ago). The findings are published in PLOS One, an online journal, and the excavations are taking place in a rock shelter (with some deep diggings into the floor area).