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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16 Sep 2019
Turner's Paintings

Weather Eye (Paul Simons) in The Times has been writing about purple haze glowing in the twilight sky just after sunset. Not auroral though in spite of the colour but the result of volcanic eruptions during the summer months this year. Volcanoes are common occurrences but plumes of sulphurous gas rarely reach the stratosphere. This year two volcanoes have led to just that. The Railkoke volcano in the Kuril Islands in Russia's far east and the Ulawen volcanoe which blew in Papua New Guinea in August.

21 Sep 2019
Comet Tossing Boulders

This story takes us back to the ESA Rosetta Mission to Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014. Is it that long ago. Researchers are still sifting through and analysing data transmitted back by Rosetta - some 76,000 images in high resolution were captured using the OSIRIS camera - go to ... especially when it comes to the dust, gases, and plasma environment etc. Scientists have been looking at surface changes, from one image to the next ....

22 Sep 2019
Edom's Copper Industry.

At ... a paper on the emergence of the kingdom of Edom in the Iron Age has been published in the open access journal PLOS ONE by an Israeli team of researchers - see ... It concerns excavations of copper mines in the Wadii Arabah and central Timna Valley locations. They advance the theory there was a sudden and rapid 'leap' in 'technological knowhow' and seek to understand how it came about.

22 Sep 2019

A new study alters our understanding of how comets arrive form the outer limits of the solar  system and are funnelled into the inner solar  system. A so called orbital 'gateway' is proposed through which comets pass through before they approach the Sun. The gateway was uncovered by simulating centaurs, the small icy bodies travelling on chaotic orbits between Jupiter and Neptune. When icy bodies such as centaurs and comets approach the Sun they begin to release dust and gases and sport extensive tails.

23 Sep 2019
Another Neanderthal Die-Off Theory

At ... it begins by saying, 'It is one of the great unsolved mysteries of anthropology. What killed off the Neanderthals ....' etc. Was it some sort of a plague specific to Neanderthals that did not affect their successors, modern humans etc. A new study from a team of anthropologists and head and neck anatomists suggests a less dramatic but equally devastating cause - chronic ear infections. They even go so far as to say, 'it may sound far fetched ...'.

23 Sep 2019
Coral Reefs in central Europe

Back in the day, the Jurassic perioid no less, central Europe was covered by a shallow sea - the so called Tethys Sea. A study in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society (September 2019) describes a rich reef teeming with animals - fish, crabs, sea urchins, snails, clams, and oysters. They also include ammonites (squid with external shells) but the focus of the piece is on squat lobsters (which are lobsters that look like crabs, and are much smaller).

29 Sep 2019
Pearls and Meteors

William sent in the link ... a story I do believe I noted a few weeks back - but never mind. It is a good one and worth repeating. Researchers suggest that spherical structures, smaller than grains of sand, may be microtektites. The story describes how they reached this decision after going through various other explanations. They were found in fossilised clams in a Florida quarry back in 2006 - so this is no quick investigation. .

29 Sep 2019
Hadrosaurs and Turtles

At ... Robert forwarded this interesting post - another mass kill event with an out of place dinosaur. Each time a fossilised creature with legs is found mixed up with fossil marine life there is a quandary. When the same situation repeats itself several times over it becomes even more of a quandary. The author of the piece is referring to the discovery of a new and relatively complete skeleton of a hadrosaur that has been found in Japan (the so called duck billed dinosaur).

29 Sep 2019
Bottles and mortuary houses

William also sent in the link to a Viking age mortuary house found in central Norway . See for example ... the mortuary house was dug into an older burial mound suggesting the Vikings wanted their ancestors, and families, to remain in touch - assuming they believed they were descended from the people in the burial mound. This is in contrast to boat burials where it is imagined the idea was for the corpses to be transported to the land of the dead.

29 Sep 2019
Black Hole Feast

At ... in the image below, a turbulent disc of gas is churning around a black hole which appears to have a double hump. The black hole's gravity alters the paths of light coming from different parts of the disc - but what we see depends on our vision angle. The visualisation simulates the appearance of a black hole where infalling matter has collated into a thin hot structure dubbed an accretion disc.