Astronomy news

The Moon's Flat Spot

At http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/a-busy-week-for-moon-theories/ ... opens by reporting on new research that claims the Moon's core is surrounded by liquid which in turn is caused by Earth's gravity. The blog author then moves on to the report from a week or so ago that held the gravitational tug of the Earth has produced a tidal feature in the rock face of the Moon - see www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28565730

Mystery of the slowing rotation of Saturn

The Cassini spacecraft took readings of the day length of Saturn - and the length of time it takes Saturn to complete each rotation. It is six minutes longer than the rotational period measured by Voyager I and Voyager 2 in 1980 and 1981. Go to http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/apparent-six-minute-slowdown-i... ... and then do to a post of last years, http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/scientists-baffled-to-discover...

Saturn Aurora

NASA have released an animation of an aurora on Saturn which is fascinating to watch - a link is provided by Tall Bloke at http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/image-of-the-day-animation-of-...

Nearly toasted

At http://phys.org/print325476995.html ... we have an analysis of a solar flare in 2012 that just missed the Earth and NASA, after examining the data, are saying that we are lucky people. If the sun had erupted on week earlier the Earth would have been in direct line of fire. They are now saying it was as big as the 19th century Carrington Event. However, it missed us so we do not really know if it really would have been as disastrous as NASA are projecting. Some say the Carrington Event is overdone and overblown - but opinions vary.

Has Voyager really escaped the heliosphere?

Lots of hype around over the fact Voyager 1 and 2 are on the edge of the heliosphere - but have they really escaped the influence of our Sun? Even Electric Universe have posts on the Voyager ! spacecraft leaving behind the solar wind. Just where is the boundary - and what kind of layers can be found on the edge of the solar system. Go to http://phys.org/print325338763.html

Dwarf galaxies that orbit big galaxies

At http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2014/07/dwarf-galaxies-challenge-ou... ... which stems from the discovery of dwarf galaxies surrounding the Andromeda Galaxy, orbiting it in an immense plane. Everywhere astronomers looked they saw a coherent and co-ordinated system of dwarf galaxies rotating around Andromeda. Afterwards, they looked at other galaxies and found the same thing - observable in 50 per cent of them. The very fact that dwarf galaxies are in harmony with neighbouring big galaxies seems to defy current cosmological consensus.

Solar energy, Venus waves, and thermal maps of asteroids

At http://phys.org/print324263317.html ... a NASA funded mission to study the Sun's energy output. Solar irradiance changes over the Sun's 11 year cycle and probably changes over longer periods of time as well. The launch takes place on Monday 14th July.

Spanish magic

At http://phys.org/print323592013.html ... a fly Spanish instrument, the IMaV magnetograph, has recorded how flux tubes are formed and evolve on the Sun. These are the building blocks of solar magnetism. It is a canny instrument designed to understand more about the Sun's magnetic field, the solar cycles, and sun spots.

Black Hole Fireworks

At http://phys.org/print323585559.html ... a remote galaxy has a bright light on show, which appears to emanate from a black hole at the heart of the galaxy. It is said that energetic jets blasted from the black hole of the Messier 106 galaxy are heating up gases and making them glow - and the jets are spewing out gases, as energy, with power. We seem to be moving from a position where black holes eat cosmic gases to a position where it rejects said gases and spews them out. Perhaps they don't taste so nice and munchy anymore.

Noctilucent in the News

At http://spaceweather.com of July 4th 2014 (you will have to scroll down) we have a nice image of noctilucent clouds and a short explanation. They have been particularly common across Europe in recent days, beginning on July 3rd. The northern horizon was filled with electric blue ripples, coils, and tentrils of light. These clouds are said to be caused by meteor smoke, forming at the edge of space 83km above the surface of the Earth, where sun light strikes the small icy crystals left behind by nature.