Dr Daniel Brown, Fabia Silvia.

Dr Daniel Brown of Nottingham Trent University is intending to bring archaeo-astronomy out from the shadows of the controversies engendered by Alexander Thom and an establishment unprepared for the fact that Neolithic people were not quite as rustic or backward as the orthodox consensus allowed in the late 20th century. A new generation of archaeologists are not quite the stuffed shirts of old and hence, archaeo-astronomy, at last, is getting a dust down and coming out of the closet, where it was swept away all those years ago, in the flower of our youth.

The lost army of Cambyses

At http://phys.org/print322466839.html ... a new slant on that story famously told by Herodotus. Egyptologist Olaf Kapar has a theory that has a ring of truth about it. According to Herodotus a column of 50,000 soldiers belonging to the king of Persia entered the desert west of Thebes - and was never seen again. They were swallowed up in a sand storm. The key is in the destination of the army, the oasis of Dakla. This is where an Egyptian leader in rebellion against Persian control of his country had set up a base to harry the foreigners - and their cohorts.

Swarm and Titan

The European Space Agency (ESA) is studying Earth's magnetic field - from space (see http://phys.org/print322463763.html). Meanwhile, NASA is organising a mission to Titan, the largest moon of Saturn - see http://phys.org/print322421695.html. It is described as an almost Earth like world, a frozen version of the Earth as it was several billion years ago. Titan is visualised as a carbon copy of the Earth prior to the oxygen dominated atmosphere.

Churyumov Gerasimenko

Churyumov Gerasimenko is a comet named after two Russian observers. It sparked into life in April and early May but the comet has now gone back to sleep - an extended dust cloud around the nucleus has vanished. It is the first time scientists have actually observed changes in cloud production around comets. It is assumed that as it progressively comes closer to the Sun there will be increasing warmth that will cause surface ices to sublimate and gas to escape from the body of the comet. As the gas flares away it carries with it tiny dust particles which expand into a coma.

Big Bang breakthrough breaks up

At http://phys.org/print322472069.html ... a team of astrophysicists who proclaimed a month or so back they had made a breakthrough in  confirmation of the Big Bang hypothesis have had to backtrack somewhat. It seems that they might have been premature in rushing to the PR microphone. In fact, they may not have witnessed cosmic inflation at all - or gravitational waves (via BICEP2).

Palaeolithic Plasma Images

Rens Van Der Sluijs has two posts at Thunderbolts this week. At www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2014/06/19/plasma-in-the-ice-age/ ... he refers to two engraved pendants fashioned out of reindeer bone which were discovered at a prehistoric site in France. The Magdalenian culture people followed and lived off reindeer herds much like the Lapps of northern Scandinavia in the modern world.

Giant inflatable wind turbines

Renewables are under development all the time. The cost of building wind farms, and installing concrete bases and access roads, and a general disturbance of the environment which is what most protestors have against them, has caused an American company to think of alternate methods of collecting energy from wind. Four prototypes exist according to the article in The Times (a couple of weeks ago). Giant inflatable wind turbines that float in the sky, held on long tethers like massive dog leads, is the latest idea.

Where did all that salt come from?

The Times of July 26th 1970 reported on findings by a group of French oceanographers, and this was that the Atlantic was much smaller in the Jurassic period, 160 million years ago. This is concomitant with continental drift, plate tectonics, and even with the expanding earth theory - so no surprise to a geologist. However, they added - conditions in the embryo Atlantic were similar to those of the Dead Sea in the modern world. It was salty. We may also note the Dead Sea is situated along the Rift Valley system that runs through Africa and the Levant.

Water and the Sun

At http://phys.org/print322235628.html ... an ESA Herschel image of the Helix Nebula has found some interesting molecules - the OH+ molecular ion which is a requirement for water. They say the molecule exists in the burning embers of dying sun-like stars. The molecule is a positively charged combination of single oxygen and hydrogen atoms - existing in former sun like bodies.

The Herschel telescope has traced water in various parts of the universe - in star forming clouds and now in dying stars. Even in the asteroid belt within our solar system.

The Dark Matter and the Dinosaur Demise

Dark matter meets catastrophism - courtesy of Harvard University researchers. At http://phys.org/print322123461.html ... a new theory is being aired and it involves a disc of dark matter at the heart of our galaxy - and presumably every galaxy. A group of Harvard researchers from the physics department have put forward a proposal, a gestating hypothesis, that began with the object that struck the Earth and wiped out three quarters of all species in the dinosaur era. It seeks an answer - where did this object originate.