Saturn's rings oscillate ... and more tales of salmon numbers

At http://jpl.nasa.gov/news/ November 1st .... images captured by the Cassini spacecraft and published in the Astronomical Journal (November) indicate the rings of Saturn behave in a similar way to the Milky Way galaxy - having an irregular and varying shape.

Temple of the Winds

New Scientist August 21st ... Thomas Hardy's temple of the winds, Stonehenge, might have been constructed to take into account sound effects - from voices and not just the wind whistling between the stones. Some archaeologists have taken an interest in acoustics - caves that sing, Maya temples that seem to chirp, burial mounds that hum,  and stones that reverberate like an echo chamber - even ring like a gong when banged. This is an emphemeral kind of archaeology and not everyone's cup of tea - but how much of it is in the head?

The Plasma Universe

At www.physorg.com/print207563537.html ... Princetown Plasma Physics Laboratory has released information on a Plasma Physics workshop - the fourth state of matter. It is a hot electrically charged gas that makes up the Sun and other stars, and fuels the production of fusion energy. Plasma physics governs much of the behaviour of the visible universe, from Tokamaki to extre-galactic jets that are 10 billion times larger than the solar system. A tokamak is a type of magnetic fusion energy experiment.

Rising seas around the shores of Holland in the late Roman period

Member Dick Gagel has written several articles on Albert Delahaye and his claim that a large part of what is now the Netherlands was under water from the 3rd century AD onwards for several hundred years - which means some historical events could not have happened where they are supposed to have taken place. This is particularly true of Nijmegen.

Water on the Moon and active Venus

NASA have released a couple of interesting stories at www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/ ... and in the first of these it is said Mars Rover Spirit became stuck last year in sand and the ground around it became a focus for a few days. It seemed to show evidence of recent water activity. In this instance, a film of the wet stuff. Possibly it was the result of frost or snow, according to an article in Journal of Geophysical Research (late 2007).

Mounds in North America

At http://archaeology.about.com ... at Watson Brake in NE Louisiana there are eleven earth mounds with interconnecting earth ridges in the Quachita River valley - dating back to 3500BC. There are other mounds in the Mississippi Valley dating between 4000-3000BC, contemporary with long barrows and mounds in NW Europe.

The Scutum

The Scutum is a constellation at the throbbing heart of the Milky Way. At www.dailygalaxy.com Oct 27th Casey Kazan reports that at the core of the Milky Way there is a monster star cluster. This is Scutum and it includes among its numbers fourteen red supergiants and they emit great bursts of X-rays and gamma rays that according to a new theory are being created by dark matter. Yes, the dark stuff that is so difficult to detect.

A new theory on Silbury Hill

At http://heritage-key.com/blogs/ann/silbury-hills-true-story-construction-process-was-more-important-than-design/ ... it seems the author of this piece has taken up the meme that it was the construction process that was important - not the finished monument. This rather weird deduction is made out of desperation it could be argued but bear with the facts - after all a book has been written on the new theory.

Buckyballs

At www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/ Oct 27th ... astronomers have discovered lots of buckyballs in space - small carbon spherules. The Spitzer Telescope has found them in association with dying stars (but see http://calderup.wordpress.com the blog of Nigel Calder who earlier in the year had a post on buckyballs).

Insects in Amber pose a few problems for geochronology

Again, at www.livescience.com/animals/Insects-in-Amber-Reveal-Ancient-Tropical-Forest ... in this instance, amber found in India. The cache of insects is said to indicate India was not isolated for millions of years out of reach of the rest of the world.