New fangled computer modelling and science

Apparently, the BBC have recently issued a response to a complaint by the Green lobby, complaining about an interview in which Lord Lawson allegedly led listeners astray. This is all part of the campaign to silence dissent on CAGW - as so much money is riding on the scam and it must continue if wallets are not to be depleted. The complaint appears to be that Lawson was unqualified to speak on the climate - even though he had written a best selling book on the subject.

Slowing the Speed of Light

At http://phys.org/print322989757.html ... physicist James Fransen of the University of Maryland has a paper in New Journal of Physics in which he claims he has found evidence the speed of light as described in Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, is actually slower than thought. His argument actually rests on observations of a supernova event from 1987 - and how long it took photons to arrive. They turned up later than expected.

Space Weather

At http://spaceweather.com ... the site is updated daily and is  always worth a brief snatch of your attention. Today it has a video of sprites in the sky above Oklahoma on June 23rd. One of themis 40 miles tall and 46 miles wide - hardly a sprite in the literal meaning of the word. It was bigger than Mount Everest.

Sprites have been recorded over a long period of time but scientists did not believe they existed and ignored them until after 1989 when they were photographed from the space shuttle. Basically, sprites are upward rising lightning bolts

Sand dunes in Antarctica

Earth and Planetary Science Letters 209 (2010) page 30-42 is an article on the age and migration of dunes in Antarctica - they are thought to have been caused by sublimation

Skyscape Archaeology

Following on from yesterday, this story can also be seen at http://phys.org/print322808453.html --- and comes with some nice images. Stone chambered tombs in the northern part of the Cotswolds appear to be astronomically orientated while on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall the three stone circles known as the Hurlers are reputed to be based on the three stars in the Belt of Orion. Further information is available at www.ras.org.uk/nam2014 - the web site of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Titan again, and coronal rain

At http://phys.org/print322807085.html ... anomalous amounts of nitrogen detected in the atmosphere of Titan have caused some scientists to have a rethink. Does it indicate Titan's raw materials might have been locked up in ices that condensed before Saturn was formed? The study, a collaboration between NASA and ESA, says they have found 'firm' evidence nitrogen on Titan originated in conditions similar to those of comets (assumed to have an origin in the Oort Cloud on the outer rim of the solar system).

Dr Daniel Brown, Fabia Silvia.

Dr Daniel Brown of Nottingham Trent University is intending to bring archaeo-astronomy out from the shadows of the controversies engendered by Alexander Thom and an establishment unprepared for the fact that Neolithic people were not quite as rustic or backward as the orthodox consensus allowed in the late 20th century. A new generation of archaeologists are not quite the stuffed shirts of old and hence, archaeo-astronomy, at last, is getting a dust down and coming out of the closet, where it was swept away all those years ago, in the flower of our youth.

The lost army of Cambyses

At http://phys.org/print322466839.html ... a new slant on that story famously told by Herodotus. Egyptologist Olaf Kapar has a theory that has a ring of truth about it. According to Herodotus a column of 50,000 soldiers belonging to the king of Persia entered the desert west of Thebes - and was never seen again. They were swallowed up in a sand storm. The key is in the destination of the army, the oasis of Dakla. This is where an Egyptian leader in rebellion against Persian control of his country had set up a base to harry the foreigners - and their cohorts.

Swarm and Titan

The European Space Agency (ESA) is studying Earth's magnetic field - from space (see http://phys.org/print322463763.html). Meanwhile, NASA is organising a mission to Titan, the largest moon of Saturn - see http://phys.org/print322421695.html. It is described as an almost Earth like world, a frozen version of the Earth as it was several billion years ago. Titan is visualised as a carbon copy of the Earth prior to the oxygen dominated atmosphere.

Churyumov Gerasimenko

Churyumov Gerasimenko is a comet named after two Russian observers. It sparked into life in April and early May but the comet has now gone back to sleep - an extended dust cloud around the nucleus has vanished. It is the first time scientists have actually observed changes in cloud production around comets. It is assumed that as it progressively comes closer to the Sun there will be increasing warmth that will cause surface ices to sublimate and gas to escape from the body of the comet. As the gas flares away it carries with it tiny dust particles which expand into a coma.