Amazing Ammonites

This story is at ... you'd think they would already know as it was about the same time an asteroid struck the Earth - but apparently that is not enough as ammonites were such a successful sea animal and had existed for millions of years. Hence, scientists have pondered the whys and wherefores and come up with an explanation - they were too successful and had adapted to specific niches in the environment. When the asteroid strike caused mayhem in the natural world those niche ecosystems disappeared - and do did the ammonites.

Solar energy, Venus waves, and thermal maps of asteroids

At ... a NASA funded mission to study the Sun's energy output. Solar irradiance changes over the Sun's 11 year cycle and probably changes over longer periods of time as well. The launch takes place on Monday 14th July.

Amazon rainforest in the news

A piece of news that has been causing some feelings of grief can be found at ... which is all about human made earth structures, ditches and circular formations, found in the Amazon rainforest of Bolivia, and apparently were there before the jungle - which is the mystery.

Spanish magic

At ... a fly Spanish instrument, the IMaV magnetograph, has recorded how flux tubes are formed and evolve on the Sun. These are the building blocks of solar magnetism. It is a canny instrument designed to understand more about the Sun's magnetic field, the solar cycles, and sun spots.

Black Hole Fireworks

At ... a remote galaxy has a bright light on show, which appears to emanate from a black hole at the heart of the galaxy. It is said that energetic jets blasted from the black hole of the Messier 106 galaxy are heating up gases and making them glow - and the jets are spewing out gases, as energy, with power. We seem to be moving from a position where black holes eat cosmic gases to a position where it rejects said gases and spews them out. Perhaps they don't taste so nice and munchy anymore.

Fire from the Sky

Yes, it seems fire can rain out of the sky - that is what mythology appears to be saying - go to ... another exciting post by Rens Van Der Sluijs. The universality of myths involving fire raining out of the sky is remarkable. Was it actual fire - or great heat as in blast (an exploding bolide). The Egyptian goddess Sekhmet, a variation on Isis and Hathor, specifically caused fire to fall out of the sky - somewhat like the Indian goddess Kali.

Nicola Tesla

Nicola Tesla is one of those people very often sidelined in life but almost worshipped after his death. There is a review of him at ... and it seems Tesla most famously invented AC - in opposition to Edison's DC. Tesla's AC was eventually adopted in spite of all the money and influence that Edison was able to throw at his preferred system. AC was simply more reliable.

The Little Ice Age and the Sun

At ... there is a report on study that derives from an ice core section. It was analysed for various chemical traces in a laboratory (several cores from different locations on Antarctica) and the results are said to be an accurate and precise recontruction of historic volcanic sulphate emissions - in the southern hemisphere.

Human evolution

At ... scientists have revised the timeline of human origins after it was found Homo erectus sometimes overlapped their assumed ancestors by several hundred thousand years. This sounds an awfully long time but it is worked out from dating geological deposits and therefore may be subject to some revision itself in the future. Be that as it may it would seem to cast doubt on the evolution from one to the other - but that is not the outcome.

Sea Henge mark 2

It seems there were two timber henges discovered at Holme on the Norfolk coast. The New Age druid demonstrators made a lot of fuss about the removal of the first one (now preserved in a museum setting) and yet there was another one out there all the time, in its watery grave. Inroads by the sea are hastening its disappearance - and the kind of ending that would have occurred if the first henge had not been saved (as the demonstrators wished).