Astronomy news

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.

dark energy again

Attempts to explain dark energy persist. At ... 'violations of energy convection in the early universe may explain dark energy' we are told. You might struggle with the use of the word violation but it is in keeping with modern changes in meaning heaped upon us by clever people using smoke and mirrors to cloud what they really mean. In this instance, there is a problem with Big Bang and the idea is to both provide an explanation but create obfuscation so that a casual reader may not see all the trees in the forest.


At ... which was sent in by William Thompson. Stephen Smith explains that the discovery of solar wind erupting from the sun at around 700km per second came as somewhat of a surprised for mainstream gravity focussed cosmologist. Nowadays everyone takes it far granted - without a thought of contesting the issue. However, heat and radiation alone are not enough to explain how solar wind particles accelerate - but an electric field focussed on the sun may cause radical movement of charged particles.

Venus is Waving

At ... a massive un-moving structure has been discovered in the upper atmosphere of Venus (see the image below). Over 3 years ago a report from ESA reported something similar -which subsequently disappeared. Japanese scientists have now detected it again. It appears to be a bow shaped structure that measures 10,000km in length (brighter and hotter than the surrounding atmosphere).

Venus missions

Comprehensive account of the various missions to Venus (American, Russian and Japanese) from the October 2016 issue of Astronomy (kindly forwarded by Jovan Kesic). Go to

Gravity and Dark Matter

At ... is a science journalistic report of a controversial study that challenges Einstein, in the first instance, and goes on to say dark matter does not exist. That idea will appeal to some people - but criticism of Einstein will certainly not appeal to others.

Machinations of Black Holes

A good start is provided at ... which begins - what causes energetic emissions from galactic cores? This is the essence of the black hole hypothesis as a supermassive anomaly at the centre of our galaxy is apparently, in the modelling process, tearing stars apart and flinging their remains into space at speeds of 10,000km a second. Shredded stars then condense into planet sized objects etc.

Microbial Clouds Venus

Gary sent this one in - go to ... a story that comes from the Astrobiology magazine and raises the question of life on Venus. Apparently, a joint team of US and Russian scientists are working on a new mission to Venus and one of the aims is to seek out evidence of microbial life in the atmosphere of that planet. This is prompted by the occurrence of dark streaks in the dense clouds that spoil the view of the surface - and the surface is pretty inhospitable to life it is thought but what about the atmosphere?

atmospheric rivers

At ... we have a story that has been around the blogosphere all week - with lots of mirth aimed at the California governor and his self proclaimed CAGW inspired drought of epic proportions. However, this link is not about climate change and political shenanigins but about flooding events that dwarf what has occurred in California this week. These apparently have struck the region on and off for centuries - as far as geological evidence is concerned.