Astronomy news

Iron meteorite

At .... a video of an iron meteorite found by the Mars rover trundling over the surface of Mars

At ... another video. This time it is the Milky Way being hurled through space.

Seeding the Moon

A ... the Japanese moon orbiting spacecraft, Kaguya, has found evidence of oxygen from Earth's atmosphere ending up on the surface of the moon for a few days each month. The moon is continually bombarded by particles from the solar wind but once a month the earth is situated between the moon and the sun. It is therefore temporarily protected from the solar wind - but just for a few days each month. At the same time it seems that oxygen ions from earth are able to invade the moon.

asteroid you didn't see

Whilst the media was all lathered up yesterday an asteroid passed by the earth six times closer than the earth. Go to ... good job William was paying attention. Another fly-by that wasn't seen until the last minute.

Earth Rings

If earth had rings, the title of a You Tube video. Moe Mandelkehr thought earth may well have had a temporary ring around it as the theme is strong in mythology. See

Polish and the Taurids

At,4128a3,taurids-can-be-a-sourc... ... Back in the 1990s David Asher of the Armagh Observatory studied the Taurids as part of his work on a doctorate. He noted that sometimes observers reported on Taurid maximums (higher density than at other times) that contained a large number of very bright meteors.

Black Holes fighting

Black holes again - clashing black holes (what is that all about) - see ... which is a reference to the wreckage left behind when two galaxies collide and the black holes at their hearts merge forcefully together (see earlier posts on the black hole subject). NuSTAR was launched by NASA in 2012 and one of its roles is to look for x-ray flashes out there in the deep universe.

Moon, Mars, and Flares

At ... isotopic similarities in material that formed the earth and the moon. Where did it all come from and when did they arrive? In Nature (Jan 25th) we are told earth accreted from an isotopically homogenous reservoir. Soon after the earth formed 4.5 billion years ago, and as its core grew, that same core attracted metals (arriving from space). The material that makes up enstatite meteorites (also defined as chondritic) make up a great part of the earth. In addition, the moon is isotopically similar also.

Someone must be ...

Someone must be reading New Scientist on a regular basis as at ... they are once again blinking in the headlights according to the chap at this link. This time the story involves the origin of the oceans - where did all that water come from. We might well ask as the dominant theory for some time has been that it was delivered by comets and meteorites.

Bombarded Earth

Worlds in Collision is becoming quite a popular theme in modelling circles. Gary sent in the links below. At ... a massive bombardment event occurred 4 billion years ago and this involved disintegrating failed planets smashing into each other and causing debris to fly around the solar system.

Ceres Camouflage

Asteroids might be camouflaged, we are told. I can't think they mean anything like tieing pieces of plastic to nets in order to camouflage tents, equipment and vehicles. This is a different kind of camouflage mechanism - go to ... where we learn this is about the dusty dry layer found on cosmic bodies such as small planets and asteroids. They appear to be covered with material with an origin beyond the asteroids and small planets - space dust perhaps. It's a bit like the addition or deletion of glacial till and drift from geological maps.