Astronomy news

Solar Wind and Lightning

At ... provides a direct link between the Sun and weather on the Earth. Bassically, some scientists have found that when the speed and intensity of the solar winds increase so too does the rate of lightning strike. Solar wind streams are even predictable, it is said - see also

The Inflating Universe

At ... bigins, 'an orchestrated media blitz to push claims that spectacular evidence of cosmic inflation had been detected could be turning sour only a few weeks later ...' . The story broke in a furore of media hype - with journos donning a serious hat and trying hard to concentrate type expressions on their faces, obviously impressed by all the PR.

Comets in the Offing

At ... we have some interesting possibilities as Comet Siding Spring comes close to Mars in October. . The May 2014 issue of Icarus wonders how the atmosphere of Mars will react. However, Mars has a thin atmosphere and the comet will be 138,000 km away at its closest point - so we should not expect too much. It is not the nucleus but the tail and the coma of the comets that may prove more interesting, sweeping across Mars. Will the coma cause a reaction, especially if the atmosphere is breached.

Black Holes - clues on how they form?

This story is at ... an explosion at the outer reaches of the universe provides clues, it is said, on how black holes form - but you might take this with a pinch of salt. At ... which shos stars on the outskirts of clusters which appear to be older than the stars in the centre, differing from consensus views on star formation.

Comets and the crowns of Egyptian queens

Gary Gilligan at ... has some interesting images of what the link calls, 'comet like crowns' - have a look and make up your own mind. For example, an image of Ankhesamun clearly has a comet like crown on the back of Tutankhamun's throne. Whether the comet has anything to do with the planet Venus is a matter of personal taste I would suppose - but they do appear to be cometary in nature, a disc surrounded by cow horns and two tall plumes.

One for the mathematicians ...

At ... it is said that mathematicians have found a framework for the celebrated Rogers-Ramasujan identities and their arthmetic properties, solving a long standing mystery stemming from an Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramasujan. See also

A model of gravitation

At ... Raghu Singh has developed a gravity theory which accounts for gravitational radiation. The full paper is available at ... gravitational radiation accelerates a mass but does this mean the Sun is pushing the planets around their orbits as Kepler is said to have suggested. Is the Sun emitting gravitational radiation?

Rhodes Fairbridge and Sun Spot Minima and Maxima

At ... we have an interesting article by the redoubtable Rhodes Fairbridge, written when he was about 80 years of age. It was published in '21st Century Science and Technology' magazine and impacts directly on terrestrial climate and the current craze of some people to warn that we are descending into a Little Ice Age as sun spots seem to be in decline.

Electrictity and Flourescence and the Moon

At ... Tim Cullen wonders what, if anything, NASA isn't saying about its LADDE mission - which was recently terminated by crashing it on the far side of the Moon. What is the reality of electricity and flourescence on the Moon?

The Moon may have at atmosphere consisting of small particles constantly leaping up and down from and falling back to the surface, excited by the solar wind, an atmosphere of dust particles in constant motion.