Astronomy news

Big Bang Black Hole

Yes, shortly after Big Bang, a mere 900 million miles away, a huge quasar formed - with a central supermassive black hold for company - go to http://phys.org/print344084376.html

the small comet of no consequence that transmogrified into a bright one

At http://spaceweather.com ... track back to the page for February 19th. Here we find a story of a small comet, barely noticed, that went around the Sun and came out the other side shining brightly. A video of the transformation appears on the site.

At the same time we get the news that at the moment solar activity is very low and there are just a few small sun spots blemishing the surface.

dark matter and the galaxy journey

At http://phys.org/print343503264.html ... the question is asked - does dark matter cause mass extinctions and geological upheavals? What might we make of that. Well, it is a direct statement that recognises catastrophism as a fact of the planetary past. In that way it is interesting as not so long ago they may have avoided catastrophism altogether and stuck fast to the uniformitarian model in that nothing has happened in the past that does not happen in the present.

Plumes from Mars

An interesting story at http://phys.org/print343307323.html ... plumes seen rising from Mars, high above the surface. On two occasions amateur astronomers reported the plumes. Now, NASA astronomers had a look at some old images from the Hubble telescope and they found a really big plume from 1997. Now it is being taken seriously, we may well suspect, amateurs excluded. Sccientists are actually being forced to address the issue - and what might cause the plumes. One theory is a connection with auroral phenomena.

Big Bang by Dang

At http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/02/10/another-settled-science-topic-is-n... .... the settled science of global warming/climate change has another bedfellow (they are being collected in droves)  as the settled science of Big Bang theory is once again being criticised by dissenters of the faith.

comets and coated ice creams

I don't know what it is with NASA news releases that compare astronomical features with food and eating disorders but here we have another one at www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?features=4480&utm ... where comets are being described as deep fried ice creams. Mind you, they are said to have a soft centre. Ostensibly, they are saying the hard surface of comets is caused by a coating - somewhat like the chocolate on an ice cream lolly (I'm doing it as well, must be catching).

Ceres

At http://phys.org/news/2015-02-closer-view-ceres-multiple-white.html ... we have some images of Ceres from a distance of 90,000 miles away.

    Ceres is either a dwarf planet or a very big asteroid - take your pick of nomenclature. It is full of craters - and there are lots of white spots that are mysterious. Some of the craters have a central peak - see the Electric Universe web site for the significance of this.

Origins of the Solar System

The Gordon Research Conference on the Origins of Solar Systems is due to meet from June 28-July 3 2015 at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, an interdisciplinary meeting bringing together scientists from the fields of meteoritics (meteors), astrophysics, planetary science, extrasolar planets (or exo-planets) and the earth sciences. There are 32 invited speakers and 9 discussion leaders who will talk about the latest research findings - http://meteoriticalsociety.org

weibel filamentation instabilities

At http://phys.org/print341136762.html ... cosmic magnetic fields is the subject here and something called 'Weibel filamentation instabilities' - a plasma instability present in homogenous, or nearly homogenous. electromagnetic plasmas. It has attracted a fair amount of theoretical interest from plasma physicists and this news release follows the publication of a paper in Nature Physics published in January (2015). Laboratory produced weibels appear to conform to the hypothesis of magnetic field origins and growth.

Rosetta in 'Science'

At http://phys.org/print341155255.html ... the journal Science, January 23rd, has published four articles on the Rosetta Mission - so get down to WH Smith's. Mind you, they are still saying the comet is composed of ice, dust, and space debris, a left over of the early days of the solar system. The lens they are looking through may not have changed too much but they are dealing with lots of new information. Describing the visual outline of the comet they say it is roughly the shape of a rubber duck, two lobes connected by a thin neck.