Astronomy news

Water on the Moon id188149607 ... it was thought the Moon was the driest place in the solar system - but now we have reports of moon water 'pouring' in . Some 600 million metric tons of water distributed in 40 moon craters near the moon's north pole, have been discovered (possibly conjectural). NASA's mini-SAR radar imagining instrument onboard India's Chandrayaan spacecraft is responsible for the turn around in view.

Red Spot

The Daily Galaxy, March 17th ) - 'Unlocking the Secrets of Jupiter's Giant Red Spot' claims the red spot is a region of storminess, the reddest bits a warm core within an otherwise cold storm system. The findings come from an article in Icarus but see also where thermal images show the red spot in greater clarity than ever before.

Black Hole Fireworks

Daily Galaxy March 15th ( ) ... 'The Milky Way Monster Black Hole Awakes' is the headline to the story. It apparently fired a monster flare some 300 years ago (yes, just 300 years ago). An X-ray image of the centre of the Milky Way is dominated by Sagittaurus A, a massive black hole or chaotic region where young stars are surrounded by a layer of superheated gas visible only by X-ray imaging.

anti-matter lightning

Daily Galaxy March 8th ... anti-matter lightning has been discovered annihilating bits of earth's atmosphere, it is alleged. The Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope was launched to examine the universe and research gamma ray bursts of energy from black holes - as well as the mystery of dark matter. Strangely, they say, they found blasts coming from behind the spacecraft - from earth.

The case for significant numbers of extraterrestrial impacts through the late Holocene

George Howard, on his web site has posted this 2007 article as it appears to tie in with the latest offering from Bill Napier. 'The case for significant numbers of extraterrestrial impacts through the late Holocene' by Mike Baillie (a speaker at several SIS meetings and events). It can be downloaded in pdf format from the web site - see menu on LH side.

Utah in Space March 4th ... planetary scientists have been puzzled for years about the honeycomb patterns and flat valleys with squiggly edges evident from radar images of Saturn's moon, Titan. Now, it is recognised, the terrain is very similar to that of karst topography on earth - in Utah for example, or China and Indonesia (Cassini spacecraft data).

Palaeolithic Extinctions and the Taurid Complex

Palaeolithic Extinctions and the Taurid Complex, WM Napier, Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology, Cardiff University, available in PDF format for download to the general public but pending publication (which is agreed). George Howard was wondering, a few days ago, if the WISE space mission would find evidence of the Clube and Napier 'remnants' of a comet that broke up in the solar system during the Holocene period and gave rise to various meteor streams such as the Taurid complex.

Hyder Flares February 24th ... has a guest post that will interest members of the SIS. The subject is the Sun and an enormous magnetic filament that stretched more than one million kim from end to end - visible perhaps in amateur telescopes (but be careful with your eyes). For seven days in a row the filament hung suspended above the surface of the Sun. Charles Hyder, in 1964-7 did a doctoral thesis on these flares and has been the acknowledged expert since then. They are now known as Hyder Flares.