Astronomy news

Flares on Brown Dwarf

At https://phys.org/print447490481.html ... astronomers have spotted two super flares issuing forth from a brown dwarf star. The discovery is detailed in a paper published on May 26th on the arXiv pre-print server. The flares had a duration of around two days and heightened by a factor of 48.

At https://phys.org/print447402266.html ... layerd deposits have been found at the south pole of Mars. The poles of Mars have ice caps - like the Earth. They are also composed mainly of water ice, deposited in layers that contain varying amounts of dust.

Origin of Pluto

Also sent in by Jovan. Busy man. At https://astronomynow.com/2018/05/26/evidence-found-for-giant-comet-theor... ... what is the origin of Pluto? Is it a planet - or something else. It is being suggested Pluto is a great comet - of sorts. They say it is an agglomeration of a billion comets (in other words an inestimable number of comets). Another idea is that Pluto formed from coldices with a chemical composition similar to the Sun (but the giant comet theory is gaining traction it is alleged).

Near Miss

At www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/close-stellar-encounters-surge/#.... ... close stellar encounters. An analysis of our stellar neighbourhood is said to reveal more stellar traffic then recognised - stars that sideswipe our solar system. That potentially hurl hailstorms of comets inward and showering our planet with debris. Not just worlds in collision but stars and solar systems in collision.

Computer Modelling Hungry Black Holes

At https://phys.org/print446798161.html ... modelling works well when applied to for example, geology (rates of erosion etc) but how reliable is it when applied to the theoretical concepts such as black holes? We are informed that a star that approaches too close to a black hole will be torn apart and gobbled up in a violent cataclysm known as a tidal disruption event. It produces a bright flare of radiation - picked up in space telescopes. A study published in Astrophysical Journal Letters presents a theoretical perspective on this theory - using modelling techniques.

Flares on an inactive Sun

This is a cracker NASA images of massive flares unleashed by the Sun. There is currently a lack of sunspots but the Sun is highly active at the moment - via coronal holes. Go to www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5784685/NASA-spacecraft-spots-ma... ... and we are told that while the Sun can influence atsmospheric activities and the climate on Earth only certain wavelengths of radiation are able to make it to the surface to actually heat it up.

Valles Marineris

Valles Marineris on Mars (see image below sent in by Michael) is 2500 miles long yet it is claimed it was carved out by water - but appears to be a straight line, or nearly so, along a good deal of its length. The Grand Canyon on Earth has a river running through it - but the canyon is 10 miles wide and the river flows which way it wants, back and forth. Electric Universe enthusiasts think both have an electric origin rather than water flow.

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.