Astronomy news

Interstellar Interloper

At www.astronomy.com/2018/05/the-first-interstellar-immigrant#.WwkdtRo80vA.... ... (link provided by Jovan). In a study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society; Letter, astronomers announced the discovery of the first interstellar object known to have taken up permanent residence in the solar system, an asteroid. It has a peculiar yet stable orbit. It is almost in perfect resonance with Jupiter yet travels in the opposite direction.

Planet Nine Update

At www.scientificamerican.com/article/looking-for-planet-nine-astronomers-g... ... sent in by Jovan this is an update on the search for planet 9 and why a group of astronomers think there is another planet out there beyond the orbit of Neptune, somewhere in the Kuiper Belt. There must be a very big something much further out - according to Brown and Betygin of Caltech. They speculate it is ten times the size of the earth and has a 20,000 year orbit. Indeed, if they fail to find it soon they are thinking it has an even more elongated orbit.

Neutrons

At www.insidescience.org/news/what-can-death-neutrons-tell-us-about-dark-ma... ... physicists are currently speculating that decaying neutrons may be producing particles unknown to science - that make up the elusive dark matter. Exactly how long a neutron might live is also under debate. If neutrons decay into particles of dark matter it solves a big mystery as some cosmologists actually think dark matter makes up four fifths of all matter in the universe. Added to the protons and electrons the neutrons currently make up the visible universe, it is thought.

Rossby Waves

At https://phys.org/print444929150.html ... the headline is, waves similar to those controlling weather on Earth have been found on the Sun. The research is published in Nature Astronomy this month, May of 2018. They are what is known as Rossby waves which propagate in the direction opposite to rotation, have lifetimes of several months, and maximise amplitude at the Sun's equator. Rossby waves also occur in the oceans and the atmosphere of the Earth.

Sun Halo

   ... This image was taken by Harlan Thomas of Bowness of a concentric sun halo. This is Bowness in the US as he claims he was working in the yard (garden in the UK). This is an odd-radius sun halo and they are caused by ice crystals in the shape of pyramids. Sunlight passing through these unusual crystals create rings with radii of 9, 18, 20, 23, 24, and 35 degrees.

Diamond from the sky

Another otherworldly theory - at https://phys.org/print443181994.html ... the diamond from the sky may have come from the 'lost planet' (but they are not talking about Planet X or 9). In this instance the theory is that the solar system was full of planets, proto planets, or wannabe planets very early on (4.5 billion years ago). The diamond was in a meteorite found in the Nubian Desert of the Sudan and was created under extreme pressure.

Gamma Ray Bursts

Various theories exist on why space telescopes capture images of gamma ray bursts, many of them literally flashes of light. In EU theory it is down to electricity in the universe but in mainstream it is not as clear cut (as far as an explanation is concerned). At https://phys.org/print443091109.html ... which concerns a paper in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018) DOI:10.1093/mnas/sty013 ...

Ismenia Patera

Ismenia Patera means, in Latin, a 'flat bowl' - but the term was also used to describe a flat crater on Mars. Its origin has caused a bit of head scratching - as it looks nothing like an impact site. Go to https://phys.org/print442754485.html ... we learn that Mars topography is open to differences of opinion, and no wonder. It is split into two parts. In the north we have what are called the lowlands while in the south we have the highlands. In general, the south is much higher in contour than the north. Why is this?

Sun's rotating core

Jovan sent in a raft of links - most of them dated. In case you missed them here is another opportunity. Ice on Mars is the subject at http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2017/11/15/life-on-mars-ice/ ... which is basically saying that if micro-organisms existed on Mars in the past where might they have survived. In icy regoliths is one idea.

Black Hole Swarm

At www.space.com/40196-black-hole-swarm-milky-way-heart.html ... a swarm of thousands of black holes MAY surround the giant black hole believed to be at the heart of our galaxy, according to a new study. At the centre of the Milky Way lies Sagitarrius A (thought to be a 'massive' black hole). Cosmologists think black holes grow by engulfing smaller black holes - and the search has been on for them.