Eratosthenes and the Trojan War

At NewChronology [at] yahoo [dot] group [dot] com ... the dating of the Olympiad is being discussed as presented by Shaw in her book, 'Discrepancies in Olympiad Dating and Chronological Problems of Archaic Peloponessian History' (2003) which was reviewed by G Huxley, somewhat unfavourably, at 'The Classical Review' 56 (2006) and 'Hermathena' 184 (2008).

Vanuatu and Florida

At ... we have Polynesians (the Lapita culture) arriving in Vanuatu around 3000 years ago. Was this migration spurred on by events in the sky - the events that brought Late Bronze civilisation to an end in the Near East, Anatolia, and the Aegean. The thrust of the research in Vanuatu is on the switch towards a diet that relied mostly on cultivated plants such as taro, jams, and bananas.

Space Weather

At ... asks, what is the difference between a coronal mass ejection (CME) and a solar flare. NASA has produced a video that explains it all in pictures - and in context. They are both explosions on the Sun. A CME is a giant cloud of particles blasted far out into space. Flares are flashes of light on the face of the Sun.

Black Holes do not exist, according to a mathematical calculation

This might go down like a lead balloon but a physics professor in the US, Laura Mersini-Houghton, has proven, mathematically, that black holes can never come into being in the first place -but, but, but I've seen them - a big flash of light captured via a space telescope. Does this mean scientists will now have to re-imagine the fabric of space time (quoting the article). This seems to imply they imagined black holes in the first place. See

Mesolithic star gazers

We have had cave artists from the Palaeolithic era (during the Ice Age) obsessed with the Pleiades and the Hyades. Now we have evidence of early Holocene interest in the sky - go to ... a site in Pomerania dating back 9000 years or so, in effect a series of huts that have been preserved intact with their contents, is being excavated. One of the huts is thought to have belonged to a shaman as so called ritual objects were found there - including a meteorite..

Utah, sand dunes and marbles

  At ... Utah has some spectacular geology - not least the remarkable sandstone formation above, found in the Zion National Park. These are cliffs of sand and are thought to have originated as sand dunes a very long time ago - in the era of the dinosaurs (the Jurassic).

a cold spot in the universe

At ... we have some nice images of a pock marked surface of Mars provided by ESAs spacecraft the Mars Express. These have of course been dated very long ago.

The bigger feature is interesting as on the floor there are rocky ridges (yardangs) and flat topped mesa like structures, buttes and hills. It appears as if the ground has collapsed, leaving sections still intact (hence the mesa like formations).

Towers in the Sky

Rens van der Sluijs has a look at Hebrew myths at ... and how they affect tribal myths as a result of missionary activity in the 19th century. He sees this as a matter of bits grafted on to original similar stories - and recounts one from Tanzania. In this tale there are distinct differences to the Biblical Tower of Babel. The builders are beligerent, thee is also an earthquake, and the sky is lifted away from the Earth, motifs not in the Genesis version. There is also an absence of the confusion of tongues.

Stonehenge - white as objects in the night sky

Channel 4's TV show on 'The Hidden Landscape Project' at Stonehenge (part two) came up with some fascinating insights today - plus a lot of speculative thinking. That the outward facing sides of the stones were dressed by stonemasons is pretty common knowledge - but the fresh news is that when pounded and worked the surface whitens. These are blocks of sandstone (sarsen) that nowadays look dull and grey. In their heyday they were dressed in order not just to smooth their outlines, but to produce a white colour.