Astronomy news

October Comets

It is unclear if anything dramatic happened when Comet Siding Spring came within 87,000 miles of Mars. It seems the ion tail did not sweep across Mars atmosphere. However, as various NASA posts appear to show the various spacecraft hid behind the planet in order to avoid possible danger. We may expect information to dribble out over the next few weeks - that appears to be the norm. See for example http://phys.org/print333106813.html and http://phys.org/print333304301.html

sun spot the size of Jupiter

At http://spaceweather.com (scroll down to October 22nd) is reporting on a sun spot that is reputed to be as big as the planet Jupiter - which is very big. The same story pops up and http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/22/solar-flare-danger-massive-sunspot... ... where the comments are their usual knowledgeable kind and we learn that although the size of this sun spot is remarkable as far as the current sun cycle is concerned, historically it is no big deal.

Comets and Meteors

More down to Earth but up in the sky, go to http://spaceweather.com October 17th looks forwards to Sunday when the green comet (below) approaches Mars in what is thought

Rendevous at the vicinity of Mars

October 19th, one week from now and Comet Siding Spring will pass closely to Mars. NASA is prepared - go to http://phys.org/print332086289.html

small galaxies and dark matter

At www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2014/10/-tiny-fossil-galaxies-of-first-sta... ... is an article on the discovery of a couple of very small galaxies in the vicinity of the Milky Way that appear to be dim as they were not spotted by less powerful technology. Immediately they are being explained - as if they have to bed into the consensus model. They were looking for clumps of dark matter and found these fuzzy looking small galaxies. The big question is why they did not become larger galaxies - much brighter and visible.

Bolides over Southern Europe

At www.q-mag.org/anne-marie-de-grazia-my-encounter-with-a-bolide.html ... she describes the coincidence of a bolide lighting up the night sky at roughly the same time as a Near Earth asteroid passed relatively close to the Earth. This she compares with the Chelyabinsk meteor of February 2013 which also coincided with a close flyby of a Near Eart Object (an even bigger asteroid passing close to the Earth). It's all a bit of a mystery. The Chelyabinsk meteor was said to be a coincidence - but do such coincidences come in pairs?

SIS Forum

There are at least four posts on the Forum at this site in which nobody has responded to, even though the subject matter is very close to Velikovsky, as well as the general theme of neo-catastrophism. One is on the Hindu calendar, another on the Samson riddle, the words of which once adorned packets of Tale and Lyle sugar, another on Chinese calendrical oddities, and finally a Creationist take on the Mount St Helens eruption that formed instantaneously a very thick sedimentary like deposit. These are all good discussion points that members might like to add their pennyworth.

The news splash that went squish

At http://phys.org/print331284112.html ... the claim that gravitational waves from shortly after the Big Bang had been detected has turned out to be a dud squib. It seems the hullaballoo was premature.

Polarised microwave light in the Milky Way is produced by dust grains that spin on their axes and align like a mini compass with the interstellar magnetic field. The dust grains line up in the same general direction and this produces polarised light - exactly the same thing as theorised would have been produced by gravitational waves from the early universe.

Comet Pan STARRS K1

Come Pan STARRS K1 has been visible for over a year and is making a passage through the inner solar system that is reputed to involve an orbit 400,000 years long - see http://phys.org/print331286650.html. The dust tail and ion tail of the comet have been snapped in a succession of images (see link). The big question - is this 'the Special One' as a certain football manager might say.

Over at http://phys.org/print331546691.html ... we have an image of comet Churyumov-Girasimenko in the process of spewing out dust and gases from its neck. Below.

Water in the solar system

It seems water might have been present in the solar system even before the birth of the Sun - according to a paper in the September issue of the journal Science (http://phys.org/print330858863.html)

Water locked up as ice that formed in interstellar space is the key ingredient. It is now locked up in meteorites, comets, asteroids and moons etc. Why is there so much of the stuff on Earth?