the colours of light

I like, now and again, to have a delve around Malaga Bay, sticking a finger in to find a plum to extract. At ... which is all about the mainstream dismissal of the idea that sunlight has the ability to magnetise objects on the surface of the earth, and its remarkable resuscitation in 2011, an experiment that promises to make technology cheaper to produce and therefore more readily available to human beings.

stretch marks

TimCullen is no respecter of settled science and the big wigs that pontificate - and the academics that prevaricate (but some of his alternative views are quite startling) - for example at ... he is his usual irascible self when he says, 'the scientific literature is littered with hypothetical magnetic poles, hypothetical geomagnetic poles, hypothetical geodynamics, hypothetical magnetic reversals and very little of scientific substance.

mission extended

The Philae Lander has woken up (last week) and now we have an announcement from ESA that the Rosetta mission is being extended and that the spaceship will eventually land on the comet (on its way out of the inner solar system) as the solar power will not be enough to bring it back home to earth. It will thus also have the opportunity of studying the comet close up - rather than through the eyes of Philae (see

string theory

Tim Cullen turns his attention to String Theory - and he is not exactly being friendly (see .. and begins his blast with the words, 'string theory is a theory of quantum gravity' and goes on to say it 'is a problem that is stuck at the bottom of a very deep rabbit hole'.


At ... the magnetic complexity inside and outside the Earth has been modelled (see three images below) using data from the SWARM satellites. At the same time a special issue of Geophysical Research Letters has several papers on the subject. However, the results are preliminary. This is not an end product by no means as SWARM is still in the process of collecting data.

36 years and counting

The Royal Society, that august body that is fond of admiring itself in the window and bending the forelock towards the upper echelons, mouthing platitudes and disregarding anything scientifically novel, has come up with an absolute classic. A professor of note doesn't know where Nepal, India and Pakistan get their drinking water.

Mars, solar wind

This story is at ... we have a computer simulation of the interaction of the solar wind with ions (electrically charged particles) in the atmosphere of Mars. The most energetic ions occur at the poles. The lines represent the paths of individed ions and the colours the intensity of their energy

uplifting times

The sheer power of geological forces is displayed in the picture below, an area of land that was dredged up above sea level during an earthquake in 2010 on an island off Chile


At .... in Shanxi Province, it is being suggested, was the place where China began, around 2200BC. The capital of the Yao period has been found, it is thought, in the middle reaches of the Yellow River. Palaces, royal tombs, ceremonial buildings, storage areas, fortifications, as well as copperware and porcelain, have been dug out of the ground. The site is thought to be Pingyang, capital of the Yao emperors.

solar filaments

    Still there. The above is a image of solar filaments, one taken on May 28th and the other in June, a month later. The filaments have gone round the sun in one revolution and show signes of change.