Stephen Hawking

Lots of tributes to Stephen Hawking out there after his recent death, last week. He is well known for his work on black holes for example. In the link at https://phys.org/print440413851.html ... we are told black holes were the remnants of supermassive stars that had fallen in on themselves, contracting to such a small size that gravity became so strong even light cannot escape. Hawking filled in some of the holes in the theory. Why do black holes exist? Answer. Because gravity exists and the speed of light is not infinite.

Extrapolating

Extrapolating seems to be the name of the game nowadays - and was probably ever thus. The whole gist of the climate alarm is based on models that extrapolate trends in the 1990s - an uptick in warming. The fact such trends do not continue to trend is by the way - studiously ignored. Reputations have been hung on such trends continuing - and by damn they will be seen to continue to go up (by what ever means is necessary to make that so). We have another example of extrapolation at https://www.sciencenews.org/article/ancient-climate-shifts-may-have-spar... ...

Exomoons and Planet Scatter

Jovan sent in the link www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/exoplanets/the-fate-of-exomoons-w... ... and once again we are back into mainstream worlds in collision. The title is 'The Fate of Exomoons when Planets Scatter' - planets interacting with each other on rogue orbits are thought to be a common phenomenon of our early solar system and therefore by extrapolation, other star systems as well. After all there are a lot of exoplanets out there. What happens to the moons when planets interact with each other?

Garnet

The assumption is that Plate Tectonics is a fact at https://phys.org/print440354779.html ... which must also pertain to the origin of garnet. This mineral or rock is said to help us understand how subduction takes place. As one plate moves under another one water is squeezed out of minerals to lubricate earthquakes and fuel volcanoes (or so we are told). A spectroscopic investigation of garnet containing fragments of quartz is said to have explained the puzzle.

Denisova SNA

At https://phys.org/print440339145.html ... the discovery of fossils belonging to a new group of people, the Denisovans (in central Asia) a few years back has led to some DNA linkages to modern people - but only in a small way. The first link was to Austronesian people - such as the inhabitants of New Guinea. DNA links have also been found in southern Asia in general - but now we are told the biggest genetic signature is among the East Asians (China, Korea, Japan etc).

James Mellaart

At www.livescience.com/61989-famed-archaeologist-created-fakes.html ... we are told that James Mellaart faked several of his finds at Catal Huyuk and may even have had a forgers workshop (of a kind). He created some of the ancient murals and went on to forge documents recording inscriptions found at Beybag, a nearby Turkish village. The story  came about as a result of Eberhard Zangger, himself a somewhat controversial figure, who had apparently been duped into accepting as genuine some documents passed to him by Mellaart (and written in the Luwian tongue).

A Purple Steve

   ... The thin ribbon of purple light can be seen with the green aurora in the background - apparently some distance behind the purple Steve. What causes the purple colour? The image comes from the Alberta Aurora Chasers - and one Notanee Bourassa (who was photographing in the garden with his children). The phenomenon is known as a Steve - see https://phys.org/print440264089.html .... Steve is what it is called in a study at Science Advances (March 2018).

Canaanite Tomb

At https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/03/megiddo-armageddon-dna-royal... ... an undisturbed tomb near a Bronze Age palace has been unearthed at Megiddo. The city dominated a strategic pass on a major trade route from 3000BC to the 20th century AD. It overlooks the Jezreel Valley and various military clashes have occurred in the vicinity - not least that of Thutmose III. Megiddo is currently being excavated by Finkelstein and Mario Martin (with Matthew Adams from the US). Palaces, temples, walls etc from both the Bronze and Iron ages have been uncovered.

Comet X-rays

At https://phys.org/print440153496.html ... scientists say they have solved the mysteroy as to why comets emit x-rays. Comets are regarded as cold objects whilst x-rays are normally associated with hot objects such as the sun or stars in general. However, in the solar system comets interact with the solar wind - and plasma. This creates a bow shock behind the comet. The key is therefore the Sun. The solar wind creates plasma turbulence and in turn this causes the electrons to become highly active and in this the bow shock plays a role, causing particles to speed up.

Shale Oil and Gas

The existence of shale oil and gas in rocks of different periods must have an origin somewhere in the natural world - unless it is abiotic. At https://phys.org/print440145555.html ... we learn that a massive volcanic flare-up during the Cretaceous era was responsible for some of the deposits. Other deposits such as the Marcellus date to the Ordovician era. Why volcanoes became so active is another problem.