Astronomy news

Water on Mars

Much ado in the media - water on Mars. However, when you dig into the story the water is a mile deep and unavailable for astronauts to exploit. At ... an underground lake on Mars, hiding beneath a layer of ice (and even worse, a mile under the surface). The lake is 12 miles wide - and life may exist (bacterial). The water may also be full of salts and minerals making it unfit for drinking purposes.

Where does all that dust on Mars come from?

At ... the dust that coats much of Mars come from a single thousand kilometre long geological formation near the Martian equator - or that is what has been deduced by researchers intrigued by the dust storm. What is further acknowledged is that global dust storms seem to engulf Mars around every 10 years or so.

Rogue Star

Sent in by William. At ... did a rogue star change the makejup of our solar system? A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute and Queens University in Belfast have been looking at a theory that claims a rogue star passed close enough to our solar system (millions of years ago of course) and changed its configuration. The research is published on the arXiv preprint server.


Sent in by Jovan. At .... a full array of 64 radio dishes that make up MeerKAT radion telescope was inaugurated on July 13th (2018). They released a streaming iamge of the Milky Way's central region, a panorama covering an area of 1000 light years by 500 light years ...

Guide to astronomy

Interesting guide to astronomy (but nothing controversial) - go to

Staring Down the Barrel of a Black Hole

At ... a blazar is like staring down the barrel of a black hole, we re informed ....

Neutrino Breakthrough

These linsk came from Jovan. Many thanks. At ... and concerns the discovery of a neutrino that is  project to have been emitted from a black hole four billion years ago. It finally ended up on the Antarctic ice sheet - landing in September. A neutrino detector planted by scientists in the ice recorded its presence - with a short blue flash of light. The research is published in Science journal (July 2018).

Lunar Dust, Io, and Pluto

Sent in by Robert - a new volcano on Io (recorded by the Juno mission) - got to ... Io is the most geologically active body in the solar system - and Juno is revealing new hot spots.

Asteroids and other things

Robert sent in the link ... the Dawn spacecraft is nearing the Ceres asteroid.

At ... the Japanese space mission to asteroid Ryugu, 3.2 billion km away

At ... the secret origins of asteroids and meteorites. Instead of a planet sized object splitting apart we now have five or six minor planets breaking up and creating 85 per cent of the 200,000 steroids in the so called asteroid belt.

Eta Carinae

Big news this week on the astronomy front - NuSTAR mission proves superstar Eta Carinae shoots out cosmic rays (see ... a study using data from NASAs NuSTAR space telescope suggests Eta Carinae, the most prominent and massive stellar system within 10,000 light years, is accelerating particles of high energy - some of which arrive in our solar system.