Lunar Dust, Io, and Pluto

Sent in by Robert - a new volcano on Io (recorded by the Juno mission) - got to ... Io is the most geologically active body in the solar system - and Juno is revealing new hot spots.

Rice and Water

At ... rice is grown in rice paddies - a wetland environment. Why? Plants do not like excessive waterlogging - and some plants actively dislike it. On the other hand there are plant variants that adapt to watery conditions. For example water forget me not is a variation on the forget me not. Rice, I suppose, is a grass - a variation in related grasses. In S and SE Asia periodic flooding comes with the annual monsoon season - and can last several months at a time.

Miraculous Disposal

At ... wind energy's big disposal problem. Germany has 28,000 wind turbines but many are nearing the end of their lives. Within the next few years a third will have been taken out of service - but disposing of them is a headache (we are told). It seems their concrete bases are 30m deep in the ground. No wonder David Bellamy was upset about wind turbines destroying the plant life of his beloved moorland habitats. The rotor blades contain glass and carbon fibre - and burning them creates toxic gases.

Gault Revolution

At ... Clovis First dominated archaeology for years - but now we have archaeologists exploring below Clovis layers (at Gault near Austin in Texas for example). Here the finds go back to 16,000 years ago, possibly as early as 20,000 years ago at the height of the Late Glacial Maximum. Gone are the days when humans are thought to have been inhibited by the ice sheet in the north. Somehow they got to the Americas - and the evidence is now being taken seriously (instead of being hushed up).

Green Flash on Mars

At ... (13th July 2018) a green flash on Mars as it is approaching the Earth on the nearest point of its orbit. Mars is now an especially bright object in the night sky. Not quite as bright as Venus but still the brightest object apart from Venus, the Sun, and the Moon. See video evidence of the green flash.

Volcanic Twin

At ... evidence of two volcanoes in Japan connected through a common subterranean magma source.

At ... sound waves appear to show the existence of diamonds 100 miles below the surface of the earth.


In Current World Archaeology 90 (August edition, 2018) (see we have news of ongoing research (post Iraq war) at the Sumerian ancient city of Girsu - and the temple of its tutelary god, Ningursu, the Eninnu. The temple Eninnu is recorded by Gudea of Lagash (late 3rd millennium BC). Gudea left behind many inscriptions and statuary. More resilient however is the Birdge of Girsu which seems to have suvived intact (albeit, buried) for over 5000 years.

2300BC in Spain

At ... an archaeological site near Seville in Spain was occupied between 3200 and 2300BC - two dates of significance as they coincide with two major narrow growth tree ring events. Where the people arrived from in the first place is unknown - but so too is their fate as the site was abandoned between 2400 and 2300BC (the narrow growth event is dated by Baillie at 2345BC). This was a megalithic culture site - with a funerary function.

Triassic Dinosaurs

At ... giant dinosaurs lived on Earth much earlier than thought. The recently discovered dinosaur graveyards in Argentina are throwing up facts not envisaged as we now have a very large herbivore dinosaur dating from the Triassic period. Gigantism originated earlier than the Jurassic it would seem. Some clarification on gigantism is necessary as it cannot occur as a gradual process - unless the Triassic has been underestimated.


Robert sent in the link ... (but see also ) ... new research from NASAs Cassini spacecraft's final orbits show a powerful and dynamic interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its moon Enceladus. The waves are said to move onmagnetic field lines connecting Saturn directly to Enceladus - an electrical circuit between to cosmic bodiews, as the energy flows back and forth.