Black Holes

At https://phys.org/print435551406.html ... new research challenges existing models of black holes as recent findings seem to show magnetic fields associated do not come up to scratch. However, for a different view of the nature of black holes go to www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2018/01/19/electric-nodes/ ... we are told astronomers know black holes exist because they can see energetic radiation and collimated jets erupting. The latter are thought to result from matter falling into a black hole's gravity field.

White Cuterthun

Current Archaeology 335 (January 2018) has a small piece on a massive hill fort at White Caterthun on the periphery of the Grampian Mountains in the eastern Highlands of Scotland. Go to www.topofly.com where there is a video of an aerial excursion over the site.

Update on Meteor

At https://www.space.com/39431-michigan-meteor-explosion-shook-earth.html ... we learn that although it was just a few feet across its speed was enough to shake the ground as it exploded above ground. It was an explosion in the atmosphere rather than an earthquake but it registered as a magnitude 2.0 seismic event according to the National Weather Service. Larry Ruff, a seismologist at the University of Michigan, said that in 35 years he had never seen an atmospheric event produce such a strong signature. It was a much smaller object than the meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk in 2013.

A wonderful wonder

Terrific story reported by the Guardian (January 18th 2018) - go to www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/18/complex-engineering-and-metal-work... ... but don't be tempted to donate (they have a begging message on the page) as these people use an offshore acccount to avoid paying taxes. See also www.tornosnews.gr/en/greek-news/culture/29502-cambridge-university-archa... ...

Cave Men

Apparently, in Norway schools still teach pupils that in the stone age people lived in caves. I suppose the same is true in the UK and elsewhere. Go to http://sciencenordic.com/houses-reused-over-1000-years-during-stone-age ... smallbut ample earthen dwellings from the Mesolithic stone age in Norway were re-used over and over again - even after periods of abandonment. They were spruced up again and re-occupied. The Mesolithic in NW Europe was pretty similar in the first half of the Holocene. In Norway the Mesolithic is dated between 9500 and 4000BC.

Virgin Weather Station

A German blog reports that in Germany there is one weather station that is intact and unchanged for 138 years. It has never been moved nor has it been corrupted by the urban heat island effect. Moreover, it has consistenly used the same instrumentation and computation method over that 138 years. This weather station is at the St Stephens Abbey in Augsburg - NW of Munich. Veteran German meteorologist Klaus Hager says there has been considerable temperature fluctuations from year to year - because nature is constantly changing, year to year.

The Big Brexit

I like the headline on this story - Britain's first departure from Europe (in this case a geological brexit) - go to www.nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/ncomms15101 ... which concerns a paper attempting to pin down when the chalk ridge between Calais and Dover was first breached. It is assumed a large glacial lake had formed during or at the end of the Anglian Ice Age in what is now the North Sea basin. This tudy proposes the breach came in two stages.

Tabular Flint

The seams of nodular and tabular flint at the base of the Upper Chalk on the South Downs were mined for axe production during the early Neolithic period (around 4000BC) whilst flint dug out of the 'clay and flints' and 'river terrace gravels' geology provided raw material of varying quality through the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. In East Sussex, the clay and flints produced high quality nodules.

Titan Sea Level

At https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2018/01/saturns-moon-titan-sports-earth... .... using Cassini data Cornell astronomers have created a topographical image of Titan. It revealed several new features - such as mountains (no higher than 700m so perhaps better to describe them as hills). Two locations in the equatorial region are depressions. Titan also has three seas (on the surface) and they have a common sea level (just like the Earth). They are measuring Titan's geoid - the shape that the surface would take under the influence of gravity and rotation.

Coesite

At https://phys.org/print435394061.html ... international study identifies the process of rock formation by meteor strikes (or nuclear blasts). Nice headline but coesite is a polymath of silica that only forms under extremely high pressure -ten thousand times greated than normal atmospheric pressure. The presence of coesite indicates either that the material has pushed up through earth's crust from the Mantle - or that a comet or meteor struck the site. Lightning bolts as perceived by EU people are not mentioned.