Pluto's Moons

At http://phys.org/print377424973.html ... dazzling red flashes emitted from a distant galaxy are being associated with a theoretical black hole. No other phenomenon in mainstream cosmology would seem to fit the bill. Each flash witnessed by space cameras was very intense - short and sharp. What is going on at the heart of distant galaxies? (see also www.ras.org.uk/images/stories/press/Black_Holes/mnras.stw571.full.pdf

At http://phys.org/print377433496.html ... Hubble spots massive stars

soft tissue

Robert Farrar sent in this link, http://crev.info/2016/03/triassic-reptile-soft-tissue/ ... which concerns a paper in the online journal PLoS One which documents the survival of soft tissue preserved in ancient reptiles from the Triassic. Soft tissue from Jurassic dinosaurs is also known - but we are going back over 200 million years ago.

Reformation

Not really ancient history - just a few centuries ago. At http://phys.org/print377269015.html ... we have a post on the Reformation of the English Church, a fascinating subject (for some) but of no interest to others. It seems there is a Great Bible of Thomas Cromwell, a fore runner of the King James version (which was for mass consumption). It has been in the library of Lambeth Palace, just across the river from Westminster Abbey, and has some secrets - annotations that interest scholars.

mountain mischief

I hadn't thought of this but as most mountain chains are assumed to be the result of continents colliding causing the crust to fold, how do they get around the odd mountain belt that isn't anywhere near another land mass - such as the mountains in the SE of Australia. Of course, the idea of folding is one of those theories that has got stuck into mainstream as nobody has really come up with an acceptable alternative. It is repeated because geologists feel they have to 'know' why mountains form - and the folding idea is a way to get questions on the subject.

spotty ceres

At http://phys.org/print377326641.html ... the spots on Ceres are continuing to puzzle. They are very bright, reflecting more light than the much darker surroundings. New observations have found some puzzling variations. Are the spots volatile? Is Ceres internally active?

At http://phys.org/print377335630.html ... the Sun's magnetic field ....

Green Comet

It serems there is a green comet approaching the Earth and it will be the fifth closest encounter in modern times - just 5.4 million km away. Therefore there is no chance of the recent Mars encounter with Siding Spring - see www.spaceweather.com ... It is already brightening and it seems to have a smaller companion comet that will also buzz the earth - on March 22nd

weirding

The more we get to know about Mercury the weirder it seems - this is the headline at http://phys.org/print376910716.html ... and it seems the planet closest to the Sun does not live up to expectations. It is a puzzle. NASAs MESSENGER space probe has revealed it is rich in elements one would have thought had been driven from the planet in its continued brushes with the solar wind - but no. They are still an important part of the planet's make up. Mercury is also thought to have had a violent birth - not elaborated upon. Sounds a bit like Velikovsky - but probably not.

is it melting?

... here is a view of the Antarctic from space. Does it look like it is melting? It seems the Dr Strangelove types involved in CAGW doom mongering are suggesting sea water is thrown on the ice cap to stop rising sea levels - apparently in an attempt to save the world from the melting Antarctic. Have they got their knickers in a twist?

electric comet encounter

This is an interesting encounter between a comet and a planet and it could be used to conjecture on what might have occurred on Earth if a comet came close enough. At http://astronomynow.com/2016/03/10/close-flyby-threw-mars-magnetic-field... ... as a result of a close encounter with Comet Siding Spring. It flooded the planet with an invisible tide of charged particles from the coma of the comet. The dense inner coma is said to have washed the surface of the planet - or nearly so.

planet smashup

Another violent episode in  the history of the solar system is currently being projected - this time involving Venus (shades of Velikovsky). At http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/giant-planetary-smashup-may... ... we are told this may account for the hot temperatures of Venus and its thick atmosphere. Does this mean scientists are now thinking in terms of co2 being inadequate to account for the warmth of Venus?