Jupiter dynamo, Lunar sparking

At http://phys.org/print327822387.html ... we have a picture of Jupiter cut open in an attempt to explain why its magnetic field is similar to that of the Earth but the two bodies are so different - one has a rocky crust and the other is gaseous. It is inferred the structures of Jupiter and the Earth are radically different, but are they?

Life in Space

At http://phys.org/print327833513.html ... one of the big stories this week was the claim by the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS  that cosmonauts have discovered sea plankton on the outside of the International Space Station. Other organisms have also been found - such as bacteria. Plankton is known to get transported into the atmosphere by the process of evaporation of the ocean surface - and should not be too much of a surprise. It is the other organisms that have turned the light bulb on in some heads.

Loitering around second hand book shops

Last year, loitering around second hand bookshops while waiting for other members of the family to do their own thing, I came away with some interesting tomes wearing faded jackets. One of them was Hurrell's book 'Dinosaurs and the Expanding Earth' (see earlier post) but more importantly I purchased 'Bellamy's Britain' published by the BBC way back when. He used to be a regular on the small screen with his sense of humour and love of plants and the book is based on some of his programmes on biology and the environment.


In mainstream geology the Carboniferous (coal beds) were laid down 300 million years ago. At that time most of the ocean floor did not exist. Some of it did - but mostly, it didn't. What existed was a large continent, Pangeae, composed of all the major land masses of today - joined up. Some of this was covered by a shallow sea - it is thought. The Earth itself was much smaller according to Stephen Hurrell and due to the smaller size the gravity at the surface was much less than today.

Dinosaurs and the Expanding Earth Theory

In Dinosaurs and the Expanding Earth Stephen Hurrell (One Off Publishing) claims he was intrigued by the fact that dinosaurs were often massive - but so too were other forms of life such as dragonflies and various plants such as giant horsetails and club mosses the size of trees. A geologist, sceptical of the claims, checked out surface gravity during the Permian era and found it was 50 per cent what it is today. According to Hurrell this mans the Earth was smaller in the dinosaur era (which came later) and he decided the Earth must have expanded.

Dust in the atmosphere and climate

Gary Gilligan sent in the following link - www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2014/august/dust-and-t... ... and the title describes the contents at the link. Dust in the atmosphere can influence rainfall. The research used mass spectrometry which sample cloud droplets and ice crystals onboard research aircraft flying through clouds. An unintended consequence of the research is that they discovered a lot of material that is loaded with signs of life.

Models and Proxies

At http://phys.org/print326994700.html ... we have an interesting story sent in by member William Thompson. He was fascinated by the fact there is actually a conflict of opinion regards global warming - between models and reality. An article in PNAS by Zhengyu Liu of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a variety of co-authors. They seem to have done the research ostensibly at the instigation of the IPCC. Why? It all revolves around an article in the journal Science published last year which claimed that for the last 7000 years global temperatures have been cooling.

North Africa and the spread of early humans

Humans living in North Africa, including what is now the Sahara desert, are thought to have been at the vanguard of the Out of Africa movement, the consensus scenario of human origins. Modern humans, that is. They were ideally placed to enter Europe and western Asia. This fact can actually be turned on its head as North Africa is ideally placed for migration in the opposite direction, from Europe and western Asia into Africa, as happened during the Holocene period.

Japanese origins

At http://heritageofjapan.wordpress.com there are several interesting new postings, a flurry of activity after a long quiet period. One, 'Study reveals DNA link between ancient Peruvians and Japanese' is a story that surfaced a few months ago - but interesting from a Japanese perspective. Another, 'Ram's Horn motif on painted tomb murals of western Japan points to the identity of the immigrant groups' claims that Turkic tribes reached Japan and Korea, from central Asia, in the past. The motif first appears during the Kofun Period.

Russian mission to study the high atmosphere

At http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/satellite-mission-on-high-atmo... ... is due to launch in 2015 and a web site in English is scheduled to record what it finds. The satellite is named after Lomonosov. He lived between 1711 and 1765 and helped establish the Moscow University in 1755. The idea is to study cosmic rays (the solar wind), gamma rays bursts, transient luminous phenomena in the upper atmosphere, and magnetospheric particles. It's all getting very exciting - are we on the verge of a paradigm shift?