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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17 Sep 2020
Aliens on Venus

This was also sent in by Venus. William may also have sent in a link. At https://news.sky.com/story/signs-of-alien-life-detected-on-venus-12071625 ... signs of alien life detected on Venus. In spite of the headline, this is not true. Alien life has not been detected. What they have found, after actually setting out to search for it, is phosphine molecules - which consist of hydrogen and phosphorous atoms. You might ask why did they set out to look for phosphine. The obvious answer is to read the full article - rather than the offerings of a Sky pundit.

18 Sep 2020
Other stories in Mid-September

Buried Alive. At https://phys.org/news/2020-09-eternal-sleeper-dinosaurs-unearthed-china.... ... another case of sleeping dinosaurs, in a hidie hole, being overwhelmed, buried, and preserved as a stone fossil.

24 Sep 2020
Footprints in the Sand

Kevin sent in the link to www.sci-news.com/archaeology/alathar-footprints-08869.html ... human footprints going  back 120,000 years have been found in northern Saudi Arabia - together with those of animals. The were found on what was an ancient lake bed in the last interglacial period. They are said to be contemporary with the new date for Out of Africa but I dare say some would digress. Arabia has not always been a forbidding desert environment, especially not the northern zone. It has periodically been green with plenty of rivers and lakes.

24 Sep 2020
The River Monster, Spirosaurus

Sent in by Gary. At www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8757271/ ... Spirosaurus is known from its teeth as much as from its bones. It is reputed to be the larges carnivorous dinosaur - up to 50 feet in length. A trove of teeth has recently been found in the Sahara Desert of all places, in what is thought to have been an ancient river bed. Only a limited number of bones have been unearthed but the discovery of a fossil tail in the Kem Kem river bed in Morocco seems to show Spirosaurus was semi aquatic, hunting in the water. Hundreds of teeth have been found in the same river bed.

24 Sep 2020
Comet Aurora

At https://spaceweather.com [23rd September 2020] .. in a paper published in Nature Astronomy researchers describe how Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko was seen to turn vaporous jets of water into aurorae. The Rosetta spacecraft, launched by ESA, observed the aurora whilst orbiting the comet. As the comet does not have a magnetic field, or any other comet yet known, they were loathe to identify the lights as true aurorae. Yet, the glow was certainly there - but not necessarily visible to the human eye. They shine at ultra violet wavelengths.

24 Sep 2020
Fairy Circles

At https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2020/09/23/ecologists-confirm-alan-turin... ... which is said to solve the mystery. It seems Alan Turing's model explains the striking vegetation patterns that modify habitats and arid environments in Australia and the Kalahari in Namibia. A drone was used and a multispectral camera, mapping an area of Triodia grasses.

26 Sep 2020
Neanderthal Y chromosomes

At https://phys.org/news/2020-09-neandertals-male-sex-chromosome-modern.html ... the Neanderthal DNA sequence was first done in 1997 - but only on the skeletons of females. It was therefore based on mitochondrial DNA. Later, new molecular techniques were developed which led scientists in Germany to determine better quality sequences of the autosomal genome of several Neanderthals, resulting in the discovery of the Denisovans. However, no male specimens of Neanderthal had at that time been found with preservation allowing the extraction of DNA.

27 Sep 2020
Some interesting stories and of September

At https://phys.org/news/2020-09-venus-upstart-company-nasa-life.html ... Peter Beck of Rocket Lab has set is sights on launching a low cost probe into the atmosphere of Venus after learning of the discovery of phosphine in Venusian clouds. His copany puts small satellites into orbit but now he wants to expand his horizons. A small spacecraft and an even smaller probe of the atmosphere of Venus. The prize is the possibility of finding evidence of life on Venus.

4 Oct 2020
Pesky Details

At https://phys.org/news/2020-09-modern-humans-westernmost-europe-years.html ... modern humans, in a new study, are said to have arrived in the westernmost parts of Europe between 41,000 and 38,000 years ago, some 5000 years earlier than previously allowed. Stone tools normally associated with modern humans, in this instance the Aurignacians, have been found in Portugal. This implies there was a rapid dispersal from the Eurasian, or Russian Plain. At the same time, we are informed excitedly, that modern humans probably occupied Europe prior to the extinction of the Neanderthals.

4 Oct 2020
Oulton

Oulton, near Lowestoft, famous for Oulton Broad, a large lake formed by peat extraction, now sports an important Anglo Saxon cemetery with 200 graves. It is thought it dates contemporary to the Sutton Hoo ship burial in the 7th century AD - see www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-54177762 ... but unfortunately, it doesn't mean the cemetery was solely for the Anglo Saxon newcomers. It only means it was a cemetery in use during the early so called A/S period. The connection with Sutton Hoo may have no real meaning, but I don't want to spoil a good story.