Solar alignments at Petra

At ... a monastery at Petra in Jordan is aligned to the winter Sun, which illuminates the position of a deity. At that same moment in time the silhouette of a mountain opposite, displays the shape of the head of a lion (or an outline resembling a lion). The Sun influenced the orientations of the Nabateans - who were extent in first century BC and first century AD.


This is an interesting observation by Peter Mungo Jupp at ... as in the uniformitarian model limestone is formed slowly, over long periods of time. Limestone rock contains all sorts of fossils - and it is recognised some limestones are actually relic coral reefs. If so this must imply a rapid process - how would you get a fossil reef to fossilise over a long period of time?

The Man on the Moon and Climate Science

First of all, a bit of a wake-up call, and the power of the Sun 

- see March 9th

Blue aurora

At ... on March 3rd, had a piece on aurora, sparked by a prominent earth facing sun spot. Aurora are usually green, and sometimes red. These are the colours produced by oxygen when it is excited by electrons raining down from space. On February 22nd, a viewer in Norway, Micha Boumi, witnessed a blue aurora. 'All of a sudden the sky exploded and the sky looked like a great flame' he said. Blue is a sign of nitrogen - energetic particles striking ionised molecules of nitrogen at high altitude produces a cold azure glow.

Another Stonehenge theory ...

We have had the healing properties of the blue stones and now we have the rocks that ring like bells. Paul Devereux, in an article in Time and Mind, reports on research into the blue stones, at Presceli (where they are a natural rock feature) and at Stonehenge (where some of them have survived). This week the BBC had a television programme on the research - with various people tapping on rocks to get their point across. Hence, we have what is being called the 'sonic properties' of the blue stones.


At ... there is a fascinating story that the mounds (ancient earthen pyramids) and plazas of a typical Meso-american town/city ritual layout, at what is now St Louis in N America, was destroyed by fire towards the end of the 12th century (between 1160 and 1189AD), and then continued in a reduced state until the 14th century - when it was abandoned.

Planets and Red Dwarf Stars

At ... and ... a paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, by astronomers from the University of Hertfordshire, and from Chile, report the discovery of eight small planets orbiting red dwarf stars. It is estimated by the researchers that a lot of red dwarfs, which make up three quarters of the stars in the universe, have planets in orbit.

Climate see-saw

At ... a team at University of Cambridge has demonstrated that the event around 2300BC involved a movement of the summer monsoon rains which resulted in drought - and this led to decline of the Indus civilisation. The research is published in the journal Geology (Feb 25th, 2014) and the inference is that climate change is responsible. Be that as it may - what caused the shift in the monsoon?


At for March 3rd (2014) there is some nice information on the recent aurora that could be seen as far south as the Channel Islands. The Greeks are interested into why at first the lights are somewhat placid and widely spread across thousands of miles of sky. The, for unknown reasons, the aurora will break up into highly structured and rapidly changing arcs, swirls, curls, pillars, even what look like flames of fire, with  changes occurring as quickly as a fraction of a second.

The Caribbean as a pristine environment ... and the Beringia Standstill.

At ... a study of plant and animals life in one part of the Caribbean, in the north of the Bahamas, and possibly representing a midden left behind by human hunter gatherers, has revealed some interesting information. The remains were buried in a layer of peat beneath beach sands deposits and include a tortoise shell C14 dated to just 900 years ago.