Astronomy news


At ... physicists are currently speculating that decaying neutrons may be producing particles unknown to science - that make up the elusive dark matter. Exactly how long a neutron might live is also under debate. If neutrons decay into particles of dark matter it solves a big mystery as some cosmologists actually think dark matter makes up four fifths of all matter in the universe. Added to the protons and electrons the neutrons currently make up the visible universe, it is thought.

Rossby Waves

At ... the headline is, waves similar to those controlling weather on Earth have been found on the Sun. The research is published in Nature Astronomy this month, May of 2018. They are what is known as Rossby waves which propagate in the direction opposite to rotation, have lifetimes of several months, and maximise amplitude at the Sun's equator. Rossby waves also occur in the oceans and the atmosphere of the Earth.

Sun Halo

   ... This image was taken by Harlan Thomas of Bowness of a concentric sun halo. This is Bowness in the US as he claims he was working in the yard (garden in the UK). This is an odd-radius sun halo and they are caused by ice crystals in the shape of pyramids. Sunlight passing through these unusual crystals create rings with radii of 9, 18, 20, 23, 24, and 35 degrees.

Diamond from the sky

Another otherworldly theory - at ... the diamond from the sky may have come from the 'lost planet' (but they are not talking about Planet X or 9). In this instance the theory is that the solar system was full of planets, proto planets, or wannabe planets very early on (4.5 billion years ago). The diamond was in a meteorite found in the Nubian Desert of the Sudan and was created under extreme pressure.

Gamma Ray Bursts

Various theories exist on why space telescopes capture images of gamma ray bursts, many of them literally flashes of light. In EU theory it is down to electricity in the universe but in mainstream it is not as clear cut (as far as an explanation is concerned). At ... which concerns a paper in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018) DOI:10.1093/mnas/sty013 ...

Ismenia Patera

Ismenia Patera means, in Latin, a 'flat bowl' - but the term was also used to describe a flat crater on Mars. Its origin has caused a bit of head scratching - as it looks nothing like an impact site. Go to ... we learn that Mars topography is open to differences of opinion, and no wonder. It is split into two parts. In the north we have what are called the lowlands while in the south we have the highlands. In general, the south is much higher in contour than the north. Why is this?

Sun's rotating core

Jovan sent in a raft of links - most of them dated. In case you missed them here is another opportunity. Ice on Mars is the subject at ... which is basically saying that if micro-organisms existed on Mars in the past where might they have survived. In icy regoliths is one idea.

Black Hole Swarm

At ... a swarm of thousands of black holes MAY surround the giant black hole believed to be at the heart of our galaxy, according to a new study. At the centre of the Milky Way lies Sagitarrius A (thought to be a 'massive' black hole). Cosmologists think black holes grow by engulfing smaller black holes - and the search has been on for them.

Transient Star phenomena

This one is at ... astronomers found 72 bright and fast bursts of light - gone within a week (sometimes lasting a month). They were discovered during the Dark Energy Survey Supernova Programme, a global effort to understand dark energy (assuming there is actually something to understand). They have a similar maximum brightness to supernova but they last a fraction of the time. Supernovas can last for many months and are thought to be stars exploding, a paradigm that is under pressure it would seem from these discoveries.

Life on Venus

Gary sent in this link - ... the temperatures on Venus surface is reputed to be as high as 465 degrees C - which is hot enough to melt lead. In the atmosphere the heat gets less the higher one goes (according to the theory). Most organisms could not survive on the surface of Venus (so it would seem). However, a study published in the journal Astrobiology suggests Venus may  harbour vast colonies of bacteria (in its atmosphere). Shades of Velikovsky and vermin out of the sky.