Astronomy news

Galaxies powered by black holes

That is the inference in a story at .... and opens with the statement, all matter of fact, 'quasars- are young galaxies powered by massive black holes, extremely bright, extremely distant, and highly red shifted ...'

Ptolemy and Astrology

For those interested in Ptolemy and the origins of astronomy, or just astrology, one might be interested in the post at

More on Mercury as a newer member of the solar system

The original research has now reached the pages of New Scientist - go to ... although they aren't calling it a loose canon, or an exo-planet  that has been captured by the solar system, astronomers are thinking in terms of Mercury migrating from elsewhere in the solar system - the how and why is not mentioned. Volcanic blasts have rocked Mercury over a long period of time which seems to contradict the consensus view on the formation of the solar system.

The Green Sun

At ... reports from beachcombers around the world are sought for the purpose of understanding the ocean currents and winds.

A video at ... shows a hail storm engulfing the Barj Khalifar in Dubai, the tallest building in the world.

Space News Bites

At ... is all about bacteria from space and a possible future threat to life on earth.

At ... a new study of gamma ray light from the centre of our galaxy seems to indicate some of these emissions may derive from dark matter

What do you make of this?

At ... space telescopes have shown up a swirl of stars with a central emission with two jets - seeming to be coming out of what is regarded as a black hole. The star clusters are normally not observed due to clouds of dust but infrared radiation is able to penetrate that dust. The black hole is represented by a dot on the image - it cannot actually be seen. However, in spite of this the black hole is said to be a hundred times the size of the Milky Way black hole (which has also not been seen) and the latter is four million times the size of our Sun.

Aromatic hydrocarbons from Space

At ... researchers are looking at aromatic hydrocarbons (dimenthylnepthalene) which they hope will identify violent events in the history of the universe. Aromatic hydrocarbons can  be found in meteorites, for example, and appear to have experienced great heat and pressure.

magnetic crochet

At (scroll down to March 30th, 2014) we have a solar flare causing a 'rare magnetic crochet' (on March 29th). Radiation in the flare caused a surge in the ionisation of Earth's upper atmosphere - and this led to the magnetic crochet. This is a ripple in Earth's magnetic field caused by electrical currents flowing in air 60 to 100km above our heads. Unlike geomagnetic disturbances that arrive with CMEs days after a flare a magnetic crochet occurs while the flare is still in progress.

Siding Spring

At ... comet Siding Spring is on course to come within 84,000 miles of Mars (closer than the Moon is to the Earth) in the autumn of this year. Siding Spring is not expected to become bright - now, I wonder.

The Spherical Universe

Tall Bloke's Talk Shop has an interesting post at ... which is a matter of patterns, I suppose, as we have spherical planets and spherical stars - and elliptical galaxies. The post, by PA Semi concerns Curvature Cosmology and Einstein's hyper-spherical universe. Einstein was persuaded by his contemporaries that his curved universe was incorrect - and he dropped the idea. Looks like others have picked up the baton.