Primary Water

This should perhaps be under physics but here goes with geology. The blog ... is the home of Louis Hissink, a geologist (but something of a maverick). He reports on a finding that was in the News a few weeks ago, waves monitored from the Mantle that appear to affect geology and long term sea levels. Seismologists identified a velocity change under the seas and under the continents known as the Mohorovicic Discontinuity. It is inferred from the different arrival times of P and S waves.

Bees and Flowers

Bees and electricity feature in this month's Thunderbolts videos - go to ... but we also have the same subject but more nuanced at ... in which the aforesaid Dr Wile, a Creationist rather than an EU advocate, begins by saying that flowers attract bees by a variety of means including flower shape, scent, colour and ultra-violet reflection patterns. The point is that electricity is one of several factors that make up the relationship between flowers and pollinating insects.

Expanding Pluto

We have an expanding universe, the possibility of an expanding earth, and expanding planets in deep space - and now we have the possibility that Pluto is expanding. That sounds a bit crazy as it is not all that big - but scientists have noticed signs of stress on Pluto's surface that might mean there is internal pressure cracking the crust as a result of expansion. At ...

Measuring a black hole

The black hole concerned in this instance is at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy, our very own. At ... we are told that at the heart of the Milky Way there is a supermassive black hole - which is quiet. However, it is faint - probably because it is not accreting material, unlike some way out in the universe which have been captured on modern telescopes. It is also faint, we are told, because it is shrouded in dust and clouds of gas.


At ... supercomputers on the trail of dark matter is the headline.

Magnetic Pigs

At ... some fish have evolved the ability to live on land, such as blennies. One can see fish adapting in an environment of seasonal water holes or streams that dry up in high summer. Sme of them of course bury themselves in the mud at pond and lake bottoms - waiting for the rains to come round again. On islands the situation differs and it seems blennies can live in water and on dry land - which is quite remarkable.

sugary meteorites

Sugars in meteorites - go to ... a paper published in PNAS (June 2016) has been looking at carbonaceous meteorites - so called chemical time capsules. It is assumed they formed at the beginning of the universe (following Big Bang). Researchers from NASA have analysed sugar acids and sugar alcahols in meteorites. The paper describes the research and its conclusions

Expanding Planet

A real life expanding planet has been found - who says an expanding earth is out of the question? Go to ... Expanding planets have been known about by astronomers for nearly 20 years (but nobody seems to have told the geologists). What causes them to expand is a mystery. The planet in question appears to be a giant gas type similar, shall we say, to Jupiter. Can gas giants expand but rocky ones not so?

Cretaceous Warming

One feature of geology that seems to have become entrenched in recent years is the idea that during the Cretaceous era global warming was rampant. Initially, this was theorised in order to explain trees growing on Ellesmere Island and other unlikely places where it is dark for almost six months of the year. It also explained the apparent semi tropical habitat that appears to have prevailed in southern Britain, and so on. At ... this is expanded to inlcude palms growing in Canada and lily pads within the Arctic Circle etc.

Water Planet

More evidence of the dominance of water on our planet - see .... and the missing words to that are 'without water'. A study in June's issue of PNAS provides evidence that proteins are folded by smaller water molecules. Protein molecules fall into particular shapes to enable biological reactions - but they can't fold themselves. Water molecules are able to do that for them - and the process has been observed (it would seem).