Near Earth Objects

At www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1306555/Our-terrifyingly-crowded-solar-system/ is a short post with a video clip of the asteroids that fly close to the earth - and only those discovered by telescope. It excludes the additional near earth objects found by the WISE mission. It was compiled by astronomer Scott Manley over the last 30 years. He is a former research student at Armagh Observatory.

Early Americas

Daily Mail August 25th ... the remains of a prehistoric child were found in an underwater cave in Mexico - dating back over 10,000 years ago. Scientists hope the skeleton will offer clues to ancient human migrations into the Americas - from SE Asia. Anthropologists think the body was placed in the cave in a funeral ceremony performed when the sea level was some 488 feeet lower than it is today.

Electricity in the brain and electricity in the weather

At http://opa.yale.edu/news/article_print.aspx?id=7646 July 14th 2010, Yale University press release - scientists at Yale have a paper in Neuron which claims electrical fields can influence the activity of brain cells - the little grey cells of Monsieur Poirot perhaps? It is known that transcranial magnetic stimulation and deep brain stimulation are effective in the treatment of neurological disorders.

Arrows give the game away

BBC News August 26th ... archaeologists in South Africa have unearthed stone points dated 64,000 years ago which were probably arrow heads. A microscope revealed traces of blood and bone. They also found traces of a glue - a plant based resin that was possibly used to fasten them to a wooden shaft. The use of bows and arrows as a hunting tool enabled humans to kill from a distance where previously they had used ambush tactics in order to move in with spears at fairly close quarters.

Radio emissions from sun spots

At www.physorg.com/print201972151.html ... professor Jeongwoo Lee (see also www.csun.edu/physicsandastronomy/IAUS273/) seeks to explain why sun spots are a source of radio emissions because hot electrons gyrate in the coronal magnetic field. As they gyrate they produce an efficient radiation called gyro-resonant emission. This serves as an indicator of the magnetic field and of temperature in the coronae above sun spots.

Shrinking atmosphere

Yes, the atmosphere is shrinking - as a result of low levels of solar radiation - a lack of sun spots. At www.physorg.com/print202054025.html there is a report on a paper in Geophysical Research Letters from research funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation which sponsors the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) at Boulder, Colorado. It is now thought the Sun's magnetic cylce may vary much more than previously considered possible.

The birth of black holes

At www.physorg.com/print201957102.html ... a paper in Nature purports to have discovered the origin of the universe's first super massive black hole - by computer simulation of dark matter, stars, gas, and black holes. They were born when early galaxies collided and fused together - quite simple really. However, it is not quite simply simple as it means the old hypothesis that gravity draws small pieces of matter together and these then go on to form large structures is - well, redundant.

Neutrinos and decay rates - ongoing

At http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/27/folow-up-on-the-solar-neutrino-radioactive-decay-story/ --- which is the story that broke a few days ago concerning research that seemed to show a variation in radioactive decay rates on earth - is being reopened after a cascade of criticism. The real shocker is they attributed it to solar neutrinos - and they aren't supposed to react with matter and ar particularly difficult to detect. In fact, they might even not exist.

Archaeology in the Western Desert

At http://yalealumnimagazine.com/issue/2010_09/egypt3841.html ... Yale University press release. Egyptologists have barely explored the western desert, an expanse the size of Texas, but recently some intrepid archaeologists with links to Yale have been tracking back along old roads crossing the desert, fanning out from Thebes. They have found a lost pharaonic complex with administrative buildings, garrison quarters, and small industries and workshops.

Maya archaeology updates

At www.usatoday.com August 26th .... it is claimed archaeologists are near to finding out why the Maya abandoned their cities - in the 9th century AD. It was very rapid it seems - pottery and tools were left behin, and grinding stones used to mill corn. The interior of houses appeared to suggest people had left quickly - leaving behind some of their belongings. We know when they went, it continues, as many of them still live in the north or along the coast.