Friday, 30 September 2016

Down to Earth - October Extra

Get the latest Down to Earth HERE

Piltdown Man and Teilhard de Chardin

Eoanthropus dawsoni

Was it a hoax gone wrong and who was the hoaxer?

I thought it might be a hoax when I read that accompanying the bones was a piece of wood remarkably like a cricket bat.

More Cambrian Fossils

Anomalocaridid.  H Zell/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

All you want to know about Penis Worms

Apparently they get their name from their shape.

Fossil from China may reveal the origin of legs.

This millimetre-long fossil is the oldest to preserve muscle fibres. Zhang Xiguang, Author provided

The origin of legs?

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

New water plumes from Jupiter’s moon Europa raise hopes of detecting microbial life

Composite image of suspected water vapour plumes erupting at the seven o’clock position off the limb of Jupiter’s moon Europa. NASA

The Hubble Space Telescope has obtained evidence of Jupiter’s moon Europa erupting plumes of water vapour, NASA reports. Hubble first caught a glimpse of the jets in December 2012, but now more plumes have been revealed using a different technique.

Shorter version of the story

Monday, 26 September 2016

Our Atmosphere is Leaking Oxygen!

 Field site where the famous Vostok ice cores, which the present study uses, were drilled in Antarctica. Image: Michael Bender

Researchers discovered that over the past 800,000 years, atmospheric oxygen levels have dropped by 0.7 percent. How exactly did they discover the leak? By observing ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica, which contain trapped air bubbles representing snapshots of our atmosphere over the past million-odd years.

Link to Gizmodo

Link to Science article abstract. Subscription needed for full article

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Friday, 23 September 2016

News from North West Highlands Geopark

As Channel 4 puts Britan's geological heritage firmly in the lime light the North West Highland's is given special attention in a three part series presented by Dr Tori Herridge.  Episode 1 was shot in the Geopark and features one on one discussion with our own Dr Laura Hamlet.
An anonymous source has brought this to our attention. Note that the first programme is this Saturday.

What is Magma?

“Magma,” definition 5: A confused or disordered body or mass of something.
—Oxford English Dictionary Online (20 September 2016)

Lava forms ropey pāhoehoe textures. How molten must the subsurface rock that fueled this lava be to get classified as “magma”? Credit: Reznick
The authors of this article argue that we need a more precise definition of magma.

Defining Magma

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

WEGA Lecture

The first WEGA Lecture of the session will be on Tuesday 11th October at 7:30 PM. It will be held in the Earth Sciences Department of Bristol University. The speaker will be Professor Brian Williams and his topic will be "Deserts and Diamonds in South West Africa"

Mendip Rocks

We have recently heard about this. You can get the poster from THIS link. There are lots of interesting events from now to the end of October.

You can find details and times of these events, and others, on the Bristol Geology Calendar.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

The most interesting thing to have happened in Lairg EVER

Did a meteorite impact Lairg in Torridonian times?

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Climate history in cartoon form 

My thanks to Elizabeth Devon for the link!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Earth Heritage 46 now available

Download this as a pdf HERE

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Down to Earth September 2016

You can download the above by clicking on the link

Is it really best for the environment to remove all traces of oil and gas production in the North Sea?

The authors argue that restoring the North Sea to a 'pristine' state isn't necessarily the best thing for its eco-systems.