Dark Comets and WISE

Dark Comets - NASA and the WISE mission are being somewhat frugal with the information they are giving out, says George Howard over at http://cosmictusk.com and he is clearly getting a trifle ruffled due to frustration by some of the inane twaddle released by NASA press reports. He suggests NASA is finding lots of stuff that could hit the earth and that has never been acknowledged previously.

Are Venus and Earth in a long distance relationship?

This is the title of an article in New Scientist (you can also look at the online version at www.newscientist.com March 16th) and speculates on whether the earth is tugging at the core of Venus, exerting control over it's spin. Whenever Venus and Earth arrive at the closest point in their orbits Venus always presents the same face towards us. This may mean Earth's gravity is tugging subtly on Venus, an idea raised many years ago and now disregarded since it was realised Venus was spinning too fast to be in gravitational resonance.

Red Shift

Science Daily March 26th (www.sciencedaily.com id 100325091430) - Astronomers at Leiden Observatory conducted an intensive survey of 446,000 galaxies in what is known as the COSMOS survey. Hubble photographed 575 slightly overlapping views of the same part of the universe which took 1000 hours. Researchers also used redshift dta from ground based telescopes to assign distances to the galaxies (out to red shift 5) which confirms Einstein's Theory of Relativity and the idea of accelerating cosmic expansion.

Tushan

http://www.daytondailynews.com March 26th ... a brief item on a local Ohio man involved in the discovery and excavation of an ancient Assyrian city at Ziyaret Tepe = Tushan. It was located on the northern border of the Assyrian Empire and flourished between 900-600BC, when it was destroyed by an invading army (tablets record the immanent approach). Several thousand artifacts have been uncovered.

New Species of Hominid?

The Daily Galaxy March 25th (www.dailygalaxy.com) has a story that was also featured on Science News (www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/57573 ) a day or so earlier. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of a finger bone found in a cave high in the Altai mountians of southern Siberia suggests a group of unknown hominids ventured out of Africa less than a million years ago. Why?

Hole in the Ground

BBC News March 24th ... deforestation has revealed what might be a giant impact crater in central Africa - in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The findings of an Italian researcher was presented at a Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas and the shape of the crater is clearly visible from satellite imagery. It is unlikely to be recent as part of the structure has been eroded but future study on the ground is planned in order to place a date on the crater.

Ancient Wall

http://news.yahoo.com March 22nd ... a source in Greece has announced the discovery of a wall which stood at the entrance to a cave in Thessaly dating back some 23,000 years ago - at the height of the last glacial maximum.

New Dating Method

www.eurekalert.org March 23rd ... a new method to determine the age of ancient relics has been announced by the American Chemical Society. It will revolutionise radiocarbon dating and raises the possibility for analysing extensive museum collections that have previously been off limits because of their rarity and the destructive nature of the current C14 dating methodology. Don't expect any radical redating of Egyptian NK artefacts however or those of the Mycenaean Greeks as this is just a new way of performing radio carbon testing.

Plates and Tectonic Activity

At www.physorg.com/print188500078.html March 22nd ... a new model of the earth which took 20 years to construct offers a precise description of the relative movements of 25 interlocking tectonic plates over 95 + per cent of the surface of the planet. The model can be used to predict plate movement relative to any other plate. It is remarkably simple in a mathematical way, the research offers.

Mapping Venus

At www.physorg.com/print188466638.html March 22nd ... is another incredible piece of research. The article has a computer generated image of the surface of Venus created from radar images taken during NASAs Magellan mission during the 1990s. Peter James, a graduate student in the Earth and Planetary Sciences, has shown that plate tectonics do not seem to apply on Venus - or Mars and Mercury.