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8 September 2013

At http://phys.org/print297333060.html … is a piece on Brown Dwarf stars and why they might have failed to become bright Sun like objects. There are of course theoretical uncertainties in understanding brown dwarfs, we are told.

At http://phys.org/print297684912.html … a new microplasma source may be a boon to archaeologists, anabling them to date objects in the field rather than expensively send samples to laboratories for C14 analysis. However, the problem of contamination or improper use amy still be a coconut to throw at unwelcome dates (see the Journal of Applied Physics). It was developed in Sweden, at the Angstrom Space Technology Centre, which accounts for the small size – a picture of the device is shown sitting on the finger of a doctoral student. However, years of work are required to get such an instrument up and ready for your archaeologist to come out and play.

At http://phys.org/print297417512.html … we have a big piece on the Van Allen probes that have been investigating the Van Allen belts and their connection with the Sun.

At http://phys.org/print297417036.html … a new study of the Hawaiian Islands claimed they are formed principally by extrusion – magma from the volcano.

At http://phys.org/print297333035.html … we go all the way back to the Cosmic Dark Age, that strange period which lasted a millions of years after the Big Bang is supposed to have set it all in motion. There were no stars or galaxies to contain stars, no winking lights in the sky at night and hydrogen gas dominated the universe – we are assured. When these clouds of hydrogen started to collapse, as a result of gravity, the Dark Age was brought to an end and stars blossomed and galaxies emerged, and so on. The first billion years are somewhat murky, it appears, but they always give the impression they know what was going on. Why is this? Why not admit they do not know?

At http://phys.org/print297448056.html … we have a storms on Saturn, observed on camera.

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