A 25 Year Theory bears fruition

At www.physorg.com/print199363299.html ... in 1984 space pioneer Dr Robert Forward proposed a way of improving satellite telecommunications using a new family of orbits. His critics claimed it was impossible but now, engineers at the University of Strathclyde have proved Forward was right according to a paper in Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics. Satellites normally follow orbits based on Keplers law of orbital motion but a new family of orbits do not follow the same rules.

A New Greenland Ice Core in the offing

At www.physorg.com/print199550264.html we learn that a drilling team has reached bedrock in Greenland after 5 years of boring through 2.5km of solid ice. What they want are sample from the core dating between 130,000 and 115,000 years ago during what is known as the Eemian warming (the last inter-glacial period). It is thought temperatures were a few degrees warmer than they are now so they want to know to what extent the Greenland ice cap shrank.

No big bang ... no beginning ... and no end.

At www.physorg.com/print199591806.html July 29th (see www.dailygalaxy.com July 30th) ... Wan-Yi Shu has proposed a new class of cosmological model that may bit observations of the universe better than the current big bang model.

Swarms of black holes and small rock earth like planets in the Milky Way galaxy

At www.dailygalaxy.com July 28th there are two interesting stories. The first concerns the claim the Milky Way is rich in small rocky earth like planets (with a video clip of the sky in support of the text). Hence, there are lots of earth like planets out there which might harbour life - which explains why Martin Rees, elsewhere, the Astronomer Royal and Royal Society bigwig, was confident that life would be found in the not too distant future.

The Dead Sea Scrolls

Is this another important discovery - or rather, interpretation (see http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/07/100727-who-wrote-dead-sea-scrolls/ July 27th. The mystery is solved according to the headline - but is it? New clues suggest the scrolls my have been the textual treasure of a number of groups that were hidden away during a time of war between Jews and Romans.

Homo erectus

At www.nature.com/news.2010/100728/full/news.2010.377.html there is a news report issued by Nature on attempts to date, both geologically and historically, a cache of Homo erectus fossils discovered in the 1930s, together with 25,000 vertebrate remains, in Java. Homo erectus in Indonesia potentially lived until the Late Pleistocene at the same time as Homo sapiens inhabited other parts of the world. An expedition back to the site has been made and the bone bed reopened and extended.


The Daily Star (of the Lebanon - not the red top with the big thingies) (see www.dailystar.com.lb July 28th) says a British Museum delegation to the Lebanon announced it had discovered significant archaeological remains at Sidon during what is their 12th year of excavations. The finds are important chronologically, it continues, as well as for what they are, as various successive historical eras have been unearthed, as far back as 5000 years ago. It doesn't say when a report will be published.

Donkeys and the Royal Society

At www.eurekalert.org/pub_release/2010-07/uof-adi072810.php there is a report from a paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society on the domestication of donkeys which claims mobile pastoral peoples required animals that could survive the dry landscape of the Sahara over 5000 years ago.

Marden Henge update

The Guardian says archaeologists peeled back a thin layer of turf covering the henge which has miraculously escaped being ploughed up over the last 4,500 years and were astounded to find the undisturbed original surface just as it had been left when the people had tidied up after the ceremonial or community meal described a couple of days ago.

Impact craters on the Moon

Go to http://cosmictusk.com/moon-to-earth-new-lro-lunar-crater-analysis-has-potential-to-revise-impact-frequency-for-terrafirma/ ... by comparing modern images of the surface of the moon with images collected by Apollo missions in the 1970s it has been found five new craters have appeared in the past 40 years.