keeping a track on what the Sun is doing .... ... Proba-2 is a small member of ESAs fleet of satellites but it is full of experimental technology. It has returned 90,000 images of the surface of the Sun in the last 8 months. It is capable of following coronal mass ejections as they leave the solar surface - although these are currently in short supply. In addition, a piece of Czech technology is able to measure the plasma environment around the satellite.

exploding stars June 30th ... supernovae are stellar explosions that can be seen across the entire universe. Type 1a supernovae are used by researchers to observe the acceleration of the universe. It has long been known they exhibit considerable variation in their spectra - but the reasons why this is so have been unknown, or certainly so, until now. Scientists at the Niels Bohr Institute think they have the answer.

Moon impact

At July 1st ... from a lunar sample collected by Apollo 17 astronauts 40 years ago scientists have detected and dated carbon on the Moon - in the form of graphite. It dates back almost 4 billion years ago (estimate) and formed during a meteorite impact event. The carbon came either from the inpactor, and as it was found near the Mare Serenitatus there is a good chance the depression was formed at the same time, or alternatively, it condensed from carbon rich gas released during the impact event.

The debate on dark matter

At June 30th, Casey Kazan is stirring things up again and needling some of his readers. The title is what they find upsetting, 'The Jupiter Effect: Is everything we know about the universe wrong?' - is in fact the story I posted a few days ago on In the News - the discovery that dark energy and dark matter may not exist. This version is worth another look to anybody so inclined as Kazan has a habit of stirring the pot - and by the tone of some of the comments at the end of the piece  they do not like his style.

Atlatl Dart recovered from melting glacier

This story is interesting as it involves melting mountain glaciers - alleged to be the result of global warming. A new field of archaeological investigation has developed over the last 8 years or so as it was realised some well preserved artifacts were being uncovered by melting ice - not just in North America, as in this instance, but in the Alps and other locations. It is a well established fact that some mountain glaciers melt on a regular basis.

Magnetic Stripes on Mars

Go to June 28th ... to discover the latest attempt to explain magnetic stripes on Mars. It is not getting much support at the moment.

Peopling North America

From the nature of the title it is obvious this is a study with a focus on North America - and basically, it has been found that mtDNA amongst Native Americans is more varied than earlier studies claimed. It also adhers to the favoured North American position on the date of entry (from Beringia), between 18 and 15,000 years ago (at the end of the Ice Age). This heavily loaded statement, the consensus opinion, is an influence on the arguments made - so one has to read between the lines.

Egypt's Pre-dynastic

At there is a report of a plan by Zahi Hawass to introduce museums that specialise - including one housing artifacts of the Pre-dynastic period which he intends to establish at Qena. The Pre-dynastic phase represent the period preceding unification. Neolithic people appeared around 5000BC, the general date, replacing earlier hunter-gatherer socieities on the Nile river terraces.

Ice Age face reconstruction

Excellent but long article on Ice Age Homo sapiens and Neanderthal interaction prompted by a Russian restoration of the facial features of a 30,000 years old skull (see It appears the mtDNA of the Ice Age man still survives in modern European populations - but there is the usual recital of the consensus theory concerning the origins and spread of humans and assumptions on migration routes based on the Ice Age theory of a c

Neutrino Experiments June 25th ... Neutrino experiments in an underground laboratory in Minnesota suggest neutrinos and anti neutrinos do not weight the same which might indicate the presence of an unknown force or a violation of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity.