Astronomy news

Saturn's Rings

At www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jan/31/saturns-rings-contain-millions-m... ... Saturn's rings contain millions of moonlets - or should that say pieces of debris. Yes, the news flash does say millions of moonlets - who are we to argue. It seems the rings themselves are made up of ice, dust, and rocks (from tiny specks to the size of a house). Gaps in the material are known to astronomers as 'propellers' and these are created, it is thought, by moonlets. They are the bigger debris, from the size of double decker bus to a kilometre across.

Frenzied eating habit

The black hole feeding frenzy theory is back, hot on the press at https://phys.org/print405603958.html ... and not only that the feeding frenzy is breaking records. This meal has been going on for nearly ten years - and the x-rays have yet to dim. It is imagined a black hole has trapped a massive star into its gaping mouth and is busy munching away. The star is so big it is taking a decade to shred it and consume it. It sounds a bit like one of those gob stopper's that you kept sucking as it gradually got smaller and didn't fill up the whole of your mouth.

Red Spot

At https://phys.org/print405251294.html ... Japanese researchers have been looking at a red spot on Pluto. It may have developed, they suggest, after a collision. It is speculated that an object thumped Pluto and using computer simulation they suggest it may have created Charon (which is almost the size of Pluto).

At https://phys.org/print405259316.html ... we are at the asteroid Ceres on this post - and the ice volcano. Lots more speculation.

Gravity and That

After looking at (last week) the explanation for rapid bursts of x-rays and ultra violet light from the Electric Universe perspective (courtesy of Stephen Smith) we have the mainstream view for rapid bursting events - and what they are all about. Go to https://phys.org/print405155937.html

Iron meteorite

At http://www.msn.com/en-us/video/wonder/the-mars-rover-found-a-meteorite-m... .... a video of an iron meteorite found by the Mars rover trundling over the surface of Mars

At www.msn.com/en-us/video/wonder/the-milky-way-is-being-hurled-through-spa... ... another video. This time it is the Milky Way being hurled through space.

Seeding the Moon

A https://phys.org/print405072203.html ... 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 www.msn.com/en-us/video/wonder/asteroid-whizzing-by-earth-six-tiems-clos... ... 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 www.youtube.com/watch?v=CItDiuBWP5I

Polish and the Taurids

At http://scienceinpoland.pap.pl/en/news/news,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 www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2017/01/25/black-wreckage/ ... 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.