Astronomy news


Upsetting Einstein's 'theory of gravity' is the headline at ... This follows research at the University of St Andrews (and elsewhere in Europe as it was a joint effort) which found a ring of small galaxies moving away from our galaxy at a faster rate than expected. They are expanding so rapidly it has been labelled a mini version of Big Bang.

Black Hole Choking

More on the feeding habits of black holes. This one is choking on the amount of material in its gullet - see ... The paper was published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters but the press release comes from MIT. What was recorded was a 'tidal disruption flare' (see earlier post on the subject) which is basically a dramatic burst of electromagnetic energy. This is thought to occur when a black hole shreds and digests a passing star.

Rogue World

At ... straight from the horses teeth, the source that Wikipedia refuses to accept as reliable. As they don't accept SIS as a serious society we have more than a little sympathy for the Mail. Their science stories come straight from science papers and university press releases, but that is not what the Wiki gestapo object to. It was a couple of articles by David Rose that fingered the CAGW cheats and claimed there was dodgy goings on.

Black Hole Modelling

The latest piece of modelling a black hole is said to show a black hole can grow rapidly at the centre of a host galaxy if a nearby galaxy emits enough radiation to switch off its capacity to form stars. See ... the collapse of the galaxy and the formation of a million solar mass black hole toakes100,000 years - a mere blip in cosmic time. A few hundred million years later it will have grown into a billion solar mass supermassive black hole.

Tidal Disruption Events

At ... are impact craters laid down at random or is there a pattern. Do they occur periodically? This study suggests it is random.

At ... warped meteor showers mean that meteors can hit the earth's atmosphere at all angles. Such showers can also last for weeks, or months. The study is published in Planetary and Space Review (2017). It is thought the orbital effect of Jupiter is responsible for warping. See below.

Black Hole Burp

At ... black holes feed on large discs of gas we are told but sometimes black holes eat too much of the stuff. They are then induced to burp out a burst of ultra fast wind (something like getting rid of the gripe in a baby) - which they call outflow. The study is published in Nature (March 2nd 2017) but the press release was issued by the University of Maryland. What the paper is about it the observation by scientists of an outflow event they think is emitted from a black hole.

Sun, volcanoes, and earthquakes

Interesting discussion going on at ... which was prompted by recent volcanoes on Hawaii and at Etna in Sicily, among other things. See also ... where some 35 volcanoes are said to be erupting right now or have recently done so, and dozens of others are stirring. See the comments at Tall Bloke as they are interesting. See also ...

Moon, Plates, Cracks

At (sent in by Jovan Kesic) ... references various studies such as a Nature Geoscience article'When and How Did the Moon Form?'. It seems that no one idea ticks all the boxes according to Kelly Beatty of Sky and Telescope. We have one huge collision and an opposite theory of multiple small impacts - but worlds in collision is the theme of both.

A Blobby

The EU response to the glowing blob. See

Then we their response to a crash between two clusters - see

Falling Particles

At ... cosmic dust particles on  their entry into the atmosphere save themselves from disintegration by creating a bubble of protection. Cosmic dust originates in comets and asteroids, in the former debris trails left behind by the passage of comets for example. There is a lot of it out there as comets regularly break up as they round the sun and earth's orbit crosses such debris trails fairly commonly.