In The News

Welcome to our "In the News" page, featuring summaries of Internet news, relevant to Catastrophism and Ancient History.

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25 May 2019

Yesterday we had a post on the idea a collision with a proto planet led to the formation of the Moon and provided the Earth with abundant water. Today, at ... we are told NASAs SOFIA mission has found evidence that water in some comets is similar to water in Earth's oceans. This reinvigorates the theory that comets played a major role in delivery of water to Earth, many moons ago. SOFIA = the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, which made observations of Comet Wirkonen back in December of 2018.

25 May 2019
Taurid Swarm

At .... a study by the University of Western Ontario has investigated the potential risk from Taurid meteor swarms. Do they pose an existential threat to the inhabitants of the Earth. The 1908 Tunguska explosion is considered a one in a thousand years event but the Taurid swarm, a dense cluster within the Taurid meteoroid stream and through which the Earth periodically passes, provides a possible reason for the one in a thousand year time scale.

25 May 2019

Were the megaliths at Baalbek erected under King Herod? Go to ... The temple of Jupiter at Baalbek dominates Baalbek, in the Lebanon - but when were they constructed. The Romans built the final phase of the temple around 60AD but who began it. Some of the megaliths are around 500 tons in weight and were raised to sustain the upper course. Other blocks weigh a 1000 tons and there are still enormous blocks to be seen in the quarry.

25 May 2019
Fin to Limb

At ... about 400 million years ago vertebrates are said to have begun to crawl out of the sea on to the land. Last week, using a 'cutting edge' mathematical analysis technique an international team are said to have uncovered how a crucial stage in evolution made it possible (see Science Advances May 2019). How did the fins of marine creatures become the limbs of animals on dry land.

1 Jun 2019
Rhythm of the Planets

This story is at ... Tall Bloke was especially interested in this new research as he, and colleagues, have been saying something similar for a long time and have generally been ignored. The German study corroborates the influence of planetary tidal forces on solar activity. They claim the tidal influences of Jupiter, Venus and the Earth affect the solar magnetic field thus governing the solar eleven year cycle.

1 Jun 2019
Alfred and Ceolwulf

Sent in by Gary - ... police investigating an illegal trade in historical artefacts have seized a hoard of Viking coins that might rewrite a small piece of English history. Alfred the Great was popularised in the Victorian era as the man that repelled the Vikings and united the Anglo Saxon kingdoms. This is still true but one element of the story might be wrong - and that is that the king of Mercia, Ceolwulf, was a lap dog of the Vikings (who had made deep inroads into his kingdom).

1 Jun 2019
Le Tumulus de Sables

At ... the burial mound of Le Tumulus de Sables was discovered by chance in 2006 - in the playground of a kindergarten. The burial mound, located near Bordeaux, was in use between 3600 and 1250BC, a remarkably long time. The mound itself is unremarkable - not on a hill or at an obviously significant location. The site must instead have had something else that was special about it - but it is not known what. People were being buried in it over 2000 years - and long after other such burial mounds went out of use.

1 Jun 2019
Hiroshima Glass

Sent in by William - go to ... it has been discovered that the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in WWII left behind glass spherules - much like the asteroid at the K/T boundary event. The blast turned part of the city itself, its buildings, into molten glass - in the form of spherules that rained down around Hiroshima. To for material into glass - vitrification - temperatures need to be above 1800 degrees C. The atomic bomb caused sand and rocks in the Bay to reach such temperatures.

2 Jun 2019
How to find a mammoth tooth

This story is at ... where a 50 year old Londoner, one Alan Murphy, is the centrepiece. He is what is known in the archaeological world as a mudlark. He rummages around the muddy foreshore of the river Thames in London looking for historial material. On this particular occasion it is a tooth of a mammoth that he has found - possibly a milk tooth from a young specimen. It is almost intact with minimal damage which is remarkable if it has been swirling around in river water, tumbling amongst stones and things, for thousands of years.

2 Jun 2019
School of fossil fish

This one is remarkable - a school of fish, admittedly very small fish, are preserved in a block of limestone. They are  said to go back 50 million years ago but the fact a whole school of fish was fossilised in one event, necessarily very quickly, is astonishing as they were all still swimming in formation (at the point of extermination). The story is at ... and the post has lots of added information (of varying degrees of usefulness).