Astronomy news

Speed of Gravity

At ... Gravitational waves have allowed astrophysicists to confirm with greater precision what Einstein predicted in his Theory of General Relativity - that gravity does not act instantaneously as Newton thought but propagates at the speed of light. Is this circular reasoning.

Jupiter's Aurorae

Also sent in by Robert - ... Jupiter's intense southern and northern aurora pulses independently of each other according to UCL led research using NASAs Chandra X-ray observatory and EPAs XMM-Newton observatory. Again, this is published in Nature Astronomy. The research found X-ray emissions pulsing every 11 minutes at the South Pole whilst those at the North Pole were said to be erratic.

Water and Mars

At ... scientists still explain land features on Mars by water flow. Experiments seem to show that because of Mars thin atmosphere during warm temperature periods water on the surface may actually boil - which is then able to move large amounts of sand and sediments. This idea has been dreamed up because the geology of Mars is done by Earth geologists where water is thought to shape landscapes and be able to move sediments around.

Saturn's Radiation Belts

The radiation belts of Saturn and the Earth are both affected by the solar wind. Belts of energetic particles move around the planets at high velocities - captured by the respective magnetic fields. On Earth the solar wind controls the intensity of the radiation belt - directly and indirectly. On Saturn it differs. The moons of Saturn play a role.

Black Holes in the News

NASAs NuSTARR probes black hole jet mystery is the headline at JPL NASA News - see ...Black holes famously eat lots of material. They are described as ravenous by astrophysicists and the news outlets. However, it seems they cannot consume everything - for a simple reason which appears to contradict the idea they consume anything. Material is required as energy in order to shoot out powerful jets of hot gas (plasma).

Velikovsky and Comets

At ... seems like another one on the atomic comet - which begins with Velikovsky (and Venus ejected from Jupiter as a comet). It passed near the Earth but no collision (in spite of the title, Worlds in Collision) - which caught out a few of its critics napping, at the time and even long afterwards, showing up who read the book or did not read the book.

Electrifying Phobus

At ... electricity in space is now out into the mainstream open as indicated in this post. Solar eruptions could electrically charge areas of the Martian moon Phobus to hundreds of volts, presenting a complex electrical environment that could possibly affect sensitive electronics used by future robotic exploreres (NASA report). Phobus has been considered a possible base for human exploration on Mars because of its weak gravity that makes it easier to land spacecraft - but there are problems. Eruptions on the Sun that drive streams of solar wind.

Moon Atmosphere

Still running with the Moon, subject wise, we ... (link sent in by Jovan) where we are told that for 70 million years the Moon had an atmosphere formed by gases as a by-product of volcanic activity.

Sea of Sand

Another interesting article by Tim Cullen in the Atomic Comet series - go to .. the Sea of Showers is a vast lava plain on the Moon. It sits within the Imbrium Basin, one of the larger craters. Molten lava produced within the crater has formed a relatively smooth surface ...

Gold in 'them thar twinkles'

The BBC news teams were full of it on Monday (the 16th October) and on Five Live on Tuesday morning they got excited all over again. Newspapers were also in on the hype but the story in the Mail was buried a few pages back from Front Page in your face position. What got their knickers in a twist? Gold. Yes, the very mention of shed loads of gold appears to have got the media luvvies hyper ventillating at a crazy angle.