Astronomy news

What do you make of this?

At ... space telescopes have shown up a swirl of stars with a central emission with two jets - seeming to be coming out of what is regarded as a black hole. The star clusters are normally not observed due to clouds of dust but infrared radiation is able to penetrate that dust. The black hole is represented by a dot on the image - it cannot actually be seen. However, in spite of this the black hole is said to be a hundred times the size of the Milky Way black hole (which has also not been seen) and the latter is four million times the size of our Sun.

Aromatic hydrocarbons from Space

At ... researchers are looking at aromatic hydrocarbons (dimenthylnepthalene) which they hope will identify violent events in the history of the universe. Aromatic hydrocarbons can  be found in meteorites, for example, and appear to have experienced great heat and pressure.

magnetic crochet

At (scroll down to March 30th, 2014) we have a solar flare causing a 'rare magnetic crochet' (on March 29th). Radiation in the flare caused a surge in the ionisation of Earth's upper atmosphere - and this led to the magnetic crochet. This is a ripple in Earth's magnetic field caused by electrical currents flowing in air 60 to 100km above our heads. Unlike geomagnetic disturbances that arrive with CMEs days after a flare a magnetic crochet occurs while the flare is still in progress.

Siding Spring

At ... comet Siding Spring is on course to come within 84,000 miles of Mars (closer than the Moon is to the Earth) in the autumn of this year. Siding Spring is not expected to become bright - now, I wonder.

The Spherical Universe

Tall Bloke's Talk Shop has an interesting post at ... which is a matter of patterns, I suppose, as we have spherical planets and spherical stars - and elliptical galaxies. The post, by PA Semi concerns Curvature Cosmology and Einstein's hyper-spherical universe. Einstein was persuaded by his contemporaries that his curved universe was incorrect - and he dropped the idea. Looks like others have picked up the baton.

Why do astronomers insist comets are dirty snowballs?

The reason is that this is the consensus mainstream theory - but why do they insist on keeping strictly on song when all the evidence appears to contradict it. Or does it?

Cosmic Inflation

This story is still on the boil and is bound to develop further. At ... and various other science sites on the Internet as well as news outlets such as the BBC, which seems to suggest a well orchestrated press release, with everyone falling into line with the announcement. It was announced, it would seem, with a great fanfare - and a bevvy of hosannas, the first direct evidence that gravitational waves rippled through the infant universe during an explosive period of growth known as the Big Bang and inflation.

Sun Spot AR2003

A sizeable sun spot is attracting the attention of astronomers - go to March 11th (scroll down to the page of that date). It has tripled in size in just a week and may have more than a dozen drk cores across the face of the Sun - see image below. This was sent in bny Karzaman Ahmad from the Langkuwi National Observatory in Malaysia. He photographed it using an 11 inch Celeston telescope capped with a Glass Filter. NASA took a movie, over 48 hours, of the sun spot growing in size, rapidly.

Planets and Red Dwarf Stars

At ... and ... a paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, by astronomers from the University of Hertfordshire, and from Chile, report the discovery of eight small planets orbiting red dwarf stars. It is estimated by the researchers that a lot of red dwarfs, which make up three quarters of the stars in the universe, have planets in orbit.

Gerald Hawkins

Gerald Hawkins, who recently died, generally had a bad press in mainstream. They never liked the theory in his book 'Stonehenge Decoded' and neither am I saying it was or that it had anything to do with an eclipse predictor, a most unlikely effort for such a humdrum event. In 1974 Hawkins surveyed the Karnak Temple alignment, following on from Norman Lockyer in the early 20th century.