Astronomy news


At ... which was sent in by William Thompson. Stephen Smith explains that the discovery of solar wind erupting from the sun at around 700km per second came as somewhat of a surprised for mainstream gravity focussed cosmologist. Nowadays everyone takes it far granted - without a thought of contesting the issue. However, heat and radiation alone are not enough to explain how solar wind particles accelerate - but an electric field focussed on the sun may cause radical movement of charged particles.

Venus is Waving

At ... a massive un-moving structure has been discovered in the upper atmosphere of Venus (see the image below). Over 3 years ago a report from ESA reported something similar -which subsequently disappeared. Japanese scientists have now detected it again. It appears to be a bow shaped structure that measures 10,000km in length (brighter and hotter than the surrounding atmosphere).

Venus missions

Comprehensive account of the various missions to Venus (American, Russian and Japanese) from the October 2016 issue of Astronomy (kindly forwarded by Jovan Kesic). Go to

Gravity and Dark Matter

At ... is a science journalistic report of a controversial study that challenges Einstein, in the first instance, and goes on to say dark matter does not exist. That idea will appeal to some people - but criticism of Einstein will certainly not appeal to others.

Machinations of Black Holes

A good start is provided at ... which begins - what causes energetic emissions from galactic cores? This is the essence of the black hole hypothesis as a supermassive anomaly at the centre of our galaxy is apparently, in the modelling process, tearing stars apart and flinging their remains into space at speeds of 10,000km a second. Shredded stars then condense into planet sized objects etc.

Microbial Clouds Venus

Gary sent this one in - go to ... a story that comes from the Astrobiology magazine and raises the question of life on Venus. Apparently, a joint team of US and Russian scientists are working on a new mission to Venus and one of the aims is to seek out evidence of microbial life in the atmosphere of that planet. This is prompted by the occurrence of dark streaks in the dense clouds that spoil the view of the surface - and the surface is pretty inhospitable to life it is thought but what about the atmosphere?

atmospheric rivers

At ... we have a story that has been around the blogosphere all week - with lots of mirth aimed at the California governor and his self proclaimed CAGW inspired drought of epic proportions. However, this link is not about climate change and political shenanigins but about flooding events that dwarf what has occurred in California this week. These apparently have struck the region on and off for centuries - as far as geological evidence is concerned.

Super Bubble

At ... Japanese scientists have modelled the innards of the Earth and claim that silica exists as 5 per cent of the core. Whilst some 85 per cent of the core is reckoned to be iron and 10 per cent nickel the inclusion of silica is an interesting deduction/

NEO fly by

A Near Earth Object passed close to the Earth on Monday morning. It was the size of a ten story building but it wasn't noticed until the Saturday. It was travelling nearly ten miles a second and came within half the distance of the moon - which is pretty close (a few moments from the kind of close encounter of the noisy kind one hopes can be avoided). It also crosses the path of Venus as it orbits around the sun. Another 33 close approaches of rocks in space are expected during the course of 2017. See

something going on

At ... which appears to be a large area of ice and rocks and very deep.