Category Archives: Geology

Iceland 2014 – Continued

Stacks in Vik

Geological stacks just off the coast in Vík í Mýrdal, South Iceland.

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Iceland 2014 – Continued

Layers

Layered Igneous seen in The Volcano House, Reykjavík, Southwest Iceland.

Iceland 2014

This January, I went to Iceland along with my university astronomical society. For the next couple of posts I’ll treat you with the spoils of the trip, including a photo of the elusive Northern Lights.

(The reason why they’re elusive was because we saw them only briefly and very faintly one night!)

Geysir

Geysir, Southwest Iceland.

Interview with Dr Ted Nield

We’re all killing each other, there is such a thing as the Brian Cox effect and hard hats cause more trouble than the rocks they supposedly protect from. These are just a fraction of what me and Dr Ted Nield chatted about during the interview.

So here is the interview with Ted Nield from the Edinburgh International Book Festival (though we weren’t actually in Charlotte Square).

The interview can be viewed here (or on the interviews tab).

Ted Nield

(Photo © Ann Giles)

Incoming! – Or Why We Should Stop Worrying And Learn To Love The Meteorite

This book is fantastic. If you’ve ever wondered where meteorites come from, ever been curious about what would happen if one hit the Earth or ever thought about just how many could have smashed into the skin of our planet in the past, then this is the book to explain everything to you.

Dr Ted Nield looks at the destructive past, the investigative present and the forever unknown future of meteorites. He covers the history, places they have landed and he describes in detail the accounts of the witness who saw them fall, be they peasants from the 18th century or car owners from the 20th. And then the theories to explain what they were and where they came from, including the possibility of a red dwarf star called Nemesis a couple of lightyears away having an effect on the Oort cloud, where the meteorites live on the very edge of the Solar System.

He also dives into the many theories involving meteorites such as: how a meteorite might have participated in the demise of the Dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous, known as the KT-boundary; or the biodiversity spike in the Ordovician when there was a sudden increase in fauna and how meteorites might have paved the way for these new species.

He delves into how evidence of the meteorite showers have been discovered over the past few decades from fossilised fragments of meteorite in Sweden, and how geologists have slowly pieced together extraterrestrial bombardments throughout time.

And he explores the implications of another massive meteorite shower, and what the likely outcomes for the planet and its inhabitants be. And I’m not going to tell you what he said, you’ll have to read the book for yourself to find out!

So if you want a good book to read that is both about meteorites, and about how such varied life may have come about on our planet, this is the book for you. He writes in an excellent, clear and simple way about complex geological theories and how they relate to the fire balls that fall from the sky. And no previous knowledge is required about geology, palaeontology or anything. It is just that well written!

My only problem with the book is that the dust cover feels weird. And I prefer the hidden cover of the book behind the dust cover. That’s it.

But that really is my only complaint so doesn’t that show you how good the book is?