Astronomy news

sun spots rising

At November 1st (2015) we have a monster sun spot looming. It has quadrupled in size since it first appeared on October 29th. The photo is by Phillippe Tosi from a back garden observatory in Nimes in France. The sun spot has a dozen dark cores some of which are as large as the Earth. This is why they can be seen in telescopes of enthusiasts - they stand out on the golden surface.


At ... astrophysicists at the University of Toronto are saying that after a close encounter with Jupiter another, an unknown and unnamed planet was ejected from our solar system after a bumping session. How to eject a planet is interesting as Jupiter has moons and Voyager 1 is struggling to escape from the helio-sheaf. The astrophysicists appear confident it can be achieved as a result of a close encounter causing one of the bodies to accelerate to such an extent which allows it to break free of the gravitational pull of the Sun.

774/5 and 993/4AD

At .... the fear of solar storms wrecking communication systems is troubling space scientists and almost every week the subject appears in articles and news flashes - or so it would seem. Probably my imagination but it is often broached by the journos on both ends of university press releases. A study in Nature Communications is saying they can be far bigger than previously imagined - and therefore destructive.

the heliopause

At ... what is happening with Voyager 1? A paper in Astrophysical Journal Letters, Oct 28th 2015, claims to know the secret that has puzzled astronomers as it was thought by now the spacecraft would have broken through the helio-sheaf, or protective bubble, of our Sun and should be flying like an arrow into space beyond our solar system - but this has not happened. Voyager 1 appears to be caught up in a snare of magnetism at the boundaries of the solar system, still chugging through a clogged up region.

halloween hello

At ... also at ... the asteroid or dark comet has been picked up by NASA on Hawaii and by ESA at an observatory near Tenerife. Not a lot is being said. At ... there is a peculiar post taken from 'The Conversation' which seems to be worried that people might be worried about the Halloween space rock, mainly because of the time of year (when you are apparently supposed to feel a little scary).

oxygen surprise

At ... and ...we learn that oxygen has been found on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko which came as a surprise to scientists as it challenges theories on the formation of the solar system. In other words, another consensus idea is getting the belly ache.

solar storms

It seems Swedish researchers at Lund and Uppsala universities are saying a rapid increase of radioactive carbon in tree rings at 774/5 and 993/4AD are due to some very big solar storms. They say that have found corresponding increases for the same periods in ice cores. As a result of this they say this means they can rule out other sources for the injections.

the Halloween asteroid

At ... the asteroid will pass Earth on October 31st, just at about the date of traditional Halloween and Diwali celebrations. It has already earned the title Halloween asteroid but at .. a whole new identification might be about to come to light as one distinct theme of the Clube and Napier hypothesis is that a comet with an orbit of between 3 and 4 years came close to earth near Halloween (at some interesting points in history and prehistory).

comet sugars, alcohol

Comet Lovejoy released large amounts of alcohol and sugars into space late last year according to new observations by an international team - see ( and published in Science Advances, Oct 23rd 2015).

Quite apart from the Velikovskian parallel of food arriving out of space in association with a comet it also suggests comets could indeed have seeded life, or some forms of life, on Earth. The team actually found 21 different organic molecules in the gas associated with the comet.

black hole rethink

At ... the recent announcement that an eleven year search had failed to find the gravitational waves from two black holes in the process of merging has provided a bonus - a rethink on black holes.