Panspermia - some cold water

At http://lifeunbounded.blogspot.com/2010/08/panspermis-paradox.html is a post on panspermia, 'The Panspermia Paradox' (August 19th) ... the notion of panspermia, the transfer of viable organisms between planets and even star systems is discussed from what appears to be a neutral position. Planetary surface material such as dust grains and rocks is continually being shipped around moons and rocky planets in the solar system or ejected by comets and asteroids.

A Sun Spot

At http://www.cieletespace.fr/node/5752 the website of Ciel et l'Espace, a French astronomy magazine, has published a picture of a sun spote (below)

It is the most detailed ever taken in visible light - and the website intends to publish further images. They have an origin in the US, at the Big Bear Solar Observatory, a unique location on a lake (see http://wattsupwiththat.com )

Jupiter smacked again

At www.dailygalaxy.com August 23rd ... we have a story that is repeated at many other internet sources but I like this one as it includes further information. Jupiter was hit again by an object, caaptured on film this time by an amateur Japanese astronomer. When he made the claim, with a an image to back it up, the Hubble space camera swang around and various terrestrial space telescopes (and no doubt amateur back window ones too) homed in on Jupiter and confirmed that an impact had probably occurred (the aftermath).

Mush

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100823131743.htm there is a piece on archaeology in Utah some 10,000 years ago (early Holocene) which shows a distinct change in diet that may be significant. People living in a rock shelter adopted grinding stones in order to mill the very small seeds of sage brush, making a flour that was cooked into a mush - or porridge. It therefore has analogies with the adoption of oat porridge in Europe at an indeterminate point in time.

Solar Flare and radio-active elements on earth

At www.physorg.com/print201795438.html ... researchers at Stanford have discovered a link between solar flares and the inner life of radio-aactive elements on earth, which sparked a hunt to find out why as it was important for the wellbeing of space walking astronauts of the future. The radioactive decay of some elements on earth seemed to be influenced by activity within the Sun - but why? It is generally thought the decay rate of radioactive materials is a constant.

Another henge found ... near Letchworth

BBC News August 24th ... archaeologists have discovered a henge near Letchworth in Hertfordshire. It would have been visible from another henge on what is known as the Western Hills. Henges tend to occur in clusters so there may be others not far away. This one was discovered by an aerial photograph that revealed an extensive ring of chalk fill which had been ploughed out and on the ground it was not discernible. Archaeologists dug out a couple of trenches and found the remains of the encircling chalk bank - which had massive ditches inside and out.

Some further catastrophic web sites

At http://craterhunter.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/infernignite/ ... Dennis Cox suggests naming post impact plasma vortice of large airburst impact events which are commonly mistaken as ignimbrite, or volcanic tuff, as infernignite. This, he says, is impact melt formed when a terrain is flash melted, ablated, and forged by intense heat and the pressure of the vortice. Infernignites, he goes on, are formed and emplaced in an atmospheric pressure driven scenario and resemble a pyraclastic flow.

Sea Level around the coast of Britain in the Holocene

Ian Shennan of the Sea Level Research Unit at Durham University has written and co-authored a number of books and articles on the subject but as with all modern science, computers have predictably been seconded to provide a knowledge base, and modelling, as always, has been developed as an aid to see how small changes over many years may have panned out at different points in time. There is of course nothing wrong with that - it is an extremely useful tool, supposing all the information is fed into the models.

Nebra Speculation

At www.monstersandcritics.com/science/news/articl_1579505.php/Nebra-sky-disk-discarded-because-of-volcanic-ash-scientists-say/  August 23rd ... German scientists think a volcano was responsible for the burial of the Nebra sky disc at roughly 3600 years ago. Amazingly, they are talking about the eruption of Thera in the Mediterranean, many miles distant from Saxony-Anhalt where the astronomical device was found. Now, it might be that the scientists were having a bit of fun - but no, they were very serious.

Numbers

At http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1548-1433.2010.01245.x/full there is a longish piece about a lost language and the discovery of a numbering system from coastal Peru that was lost after colonisation by Europeans.