Astronomy news

Diamond Encrustment

Sent in by Jovan - interesting claim - go to ... a space rock known as the Hypatia Stone, is diamond encrusted. It was found in SW Egypt in 1996 - little more than pebble size but it seems to belong to no known meteor category. Naturally, some lateral thinking has been applied and it has now been suggested it formed before the solar system. The stone consists of a carbon rich matrix shot through with a variety of rare minerals.

Wrong on Jupiter

Sent in  by Robert - ... which concerns a couple of admissions that have already been aired on the News. Space exploration is throwing up all kinds of discoveries many of which contradict mainstream astronomical thinking. However, astronomers generally admit they are wrong - unlike some other fields of science. They have been proved wrong on many occasions over the last 40 years or so but they are out there in space finding out new things all the time - and testing theories.

Ice Veil

Anyone who can remember Isaac Vail's idea of a vast ring of ice around the earth (that subsequently collapsed leading to lots of water falling out of the sky)will be surprised to learn, if they had been sceptical of the idea, that Saturn's rings in an image beamed back by the Cassini spacecraft, are a translucent ring of ice and rocks draped around the gas giant. See

Black Hole Burping

This story is at ... a black hole caught burping. This rather strange tone of language goes on all the time in cosmological wonder worlds. If black holes aren't munching or feasting they are letting out wind from their bellies. It is all related to the assumption that black holes gobble material - and lick their lips afterwards, pat their bellies with a note of contentment, burp and fall asleep (become inactive once again). All clever stuff. This particular black hole has been active recently on two occasions.

Misbehaving Comets

At we have 3 stories on comets currently visible with binoculars (posts dated 10th and 11th January). One concerns a strange blue comet beyond the orbit of Mars - comet Pan Starrs. Active jets of gaseous material are streaming from the comet nucleus and feeding a tail that is full of swirls ...

Head up a Black Hole

At ... Funny old world. Apparently, if you do not studiously follow the mainstream in science you should be shut up and and sacked. In taking the Michael out of his virulent critic he was able to call the bluff. He had made the point that black holes have never been proven and are basically a hypothesis. He was immediately targeted by an irate blogger and accused of being anti-science (among other things). Have a read - and a smile.

Saturn's Rings

Robert sent in the link ... from January 3rd. Cassini's experiment, the Cosmic Dust Analyser, has found the micrometeorite flux of Saturn's rings is 'inconsistent with an old age' and they are estimated at between 150 and 300 million years ago. In other words, they could be much younger. The link favours a much younger age.

Cosmic Filleting

At ... space telescopes aimed at the heart of the Milky Way, the thought to be location of a giant black hole, have discovered a filament like a filleting knife, cutting a long snake like tube of energy through the clouds of gas surrounding Sagittaurus A. See the image below - instead of a black hole a giant filament has been found ...

Mars and Jupiter

Robert sent in the link at ... which tells us Mars and Earth may not always have been neighbours. Another dose of worlds in collision - in the solar system on this occasion. Mars migrated to its current position according to new theory (they've been saying that for years in Velikovskian circles).

Collisions in the Universe

At ... a nearby neutron star collision could cause a catastrophe on earth - which begins with the collision of two neutron stars in a far away galaxy as captured in a recent gravitational wave experiment. The merger was so violent it shook the universe we are told - and they said Velikovsky was mad for claiming planets collided. The collision emitted large amounts of energy into space - via gravitational waves.