Step Pyramid

A 4600 year old step pyramid has just been uncovered in Egypt - see (link provided by Jovan). It once stood 43 feet high, one of seven scattered but similar pyramids from the same period, of almost identical dimensions. The new pyramid, at Edfu, is new just 16 feet high having been robbed of its stone blocks and as a result of weathering over the centuries. The similarities between the seven pyramids are said to be amazing but for some reason by the 5th dynasty these pyramids had been abandoned.

One Step Closer

Again, this is astrophysics rather than astronomy but never mind, its the universe. The claim is that scientists are one step closer to defining dark matter - go to ... where  we are told the search is on for dark matter - where it is and what it might be. Dark matter, we are led to believe, makes up to 85 per cent of all matter in the universe. We are apparently another step closer to discovering how to detect dark matter and to define it more accurately. What kind of particles are involved?

Speed of Gravity

At ... Gravitational waves have allowed astrophysicists to confirm with greater precision what Einstein predicted in his Theory of General Relativity - that gravity does not act instantaneously as Newton thought but propagates at the speed of light. Is this circular reasoning.

Pyramid Void

This is the big story this week - the discovery of a big void in the Great Pyramid of Khufu. See for example .... a hidden chamber has been found in Egypt's Great Pyramid at Giza, courtesy of an article in November's issue of Nature journal. A scan of the pyramid, looking for chambers, has found a large void directly above the Grand Gallery. Is it simply a gap in the pyramid's architecture or did it have a function of some kind?

Female Leadership

An amusing story sent in by Robert at ... it seems the feminists are providing a new way of doing science - looking at gender issues. You might not be surprised to learn it comes courtesy of the Swedish Museum of Natural History. The pun on feminism appears to be deliberate and no doubt they are perfectly serious. Apparently, 70 per cent of mammoth remains found buried in Siberia (from 98 samples analysed) were male.

Scamming the People

At .. yes, the headline reads, energy customers footing the bill for our failed climate policy - as perpetuated by the politico class steered on such a course by the Green Blob (via lobbying and countless doom mongering articles by so called scientists). Obviously, he that can afford a few roof top solar panels avoids being scammed, to some extent, but we all pay the costs passed on to business by the price we pay for goods made in this country. No wonder Chinese prices look so attractive.

Jupiter's Aurorae

Also sent in by Robert - ... Jupiter's intense southern and northern aurora pulses independently of each other according to UCL led research using NASAs Chandra X-ray observatory and EPAs XMM-Newton observatory. Again, this is published in Nature Astronomy. The research found X-ray emissions pulsing every 11 minutes at the South Pole whilst those at the North Pole were said to be erratic.

Water and Mars

At ... scientists still explain land features on Mars by water flow. Experiments seem to show that because of Mars thin atmosphere during warm temperature periods water on the surface may actually boil - which is then able to move large amounts of sand and sediments. This idea has been dreamed up because the geology of Mars is done by Earth geologists where water is thought to shape landscapes and be able to move sediments around.

Saturn's Radiation Belts

The radiation belts of Saturn and the Earth are both affected by the solar wind. Belts of energetic particles move around the planets at high velocities - captured by the respective magnetic fields. On Earth the solar wind controls the intensity of the radiation belt - directly and indirectly. On Saturn it differs. The moons of Saturn play a role.

Black Holes in the News

NASAs NuSTARR probes black hole jet mystery is the headline at JPL NASA News - see ...Black holes famously eat lots of material. They are described as ravenous by astrophysicists and the news outlets. However, it seems they cannot consume everything - for a simple reason which appears to contradict the idea they consume anything. Material is required as energy in order to shoot out powerful jets of hot gas (plasma).