Astronomy news

Solar Seismic Waves

At ... the title says it all - NASA sees solar seismic waves travel up through layers of the Sun into it atmosphere. The magnetic field is compared to railway tracks - guiding the waves as they move up to the surface. However, the author then can't himself as he reverts to mainstream theory. He goes on to tell us the Sun produces energy by fusing hydrogen at its core.

Ghost Planet

At ... NASAs Kepler Observatory has spotted lots of planets that orbit cool small stars - and they are the most common kind of stars in our galaxy. As such, there should be zillions of planets out there - but the observatory is only catching the big ones at the moment. Resolution needs to improve. So far they have found 63 planets smaller than Neptune and one of them is in a 'habitable'zone.


At ... we are told researchers have worked out how planets like Jupiter form. Astronomers set up 'two theories' and then set about simulating each of them to arrive at the truth. Number One was the accretion of a substantial core that consensus thinks might have then attracted gases and kept them. Number Two was a top down formation beginning with the gaseous disc that seems to accompany star formation.

Another Strike from ...

At ... which is a strange web site to find an article about comets striking earth (as they were less than sympathetic with the Younger Dryas boundary event hypothesis). Normally, Watts is quite sceptical of anything involving objects from outer space - but apparently the scientists behind the study came up with the global warming add-on (which is obligatory if your funding relies on mentioning a connection even though fossil fuel emissions were in short supply at the time).

The Dark Side

At ... when the Venus transit took place (Venus passing between Earth and the Sun) opportunities existed to get a better view of the planet (Venus). In June of 2012 scientists discovered a discrepancy (which they at first thought might be attributed to a technical fault in their telescope). X-rays and ultra-violet emissions were coming from the dark side of Venus. Naturally, this intrigued them and they checked out the details with data from another telescope. the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

making sun spots spin faster

At ... a study in October's Nature Communications (2016) by Chang Liu et al based on images of the sun by HINODE and other telescope arrays. The rotation of sun spots builds up magnetic energy that is released in the form of solar flares., However, they have also observed that flares can cause sun spots to rotate up to ten times faster - which tends to accentuate the magnetic nature of flares.


At ... giant rings around an exoplanet.

At ... a team of astrophysicists at the University of Portsmouth have created a map of voids and super clusters in the universe - which is said to solve a mystery. The map can be used to measure the effect of dark energy 'stretching' the universe. This is said to confirm Einstein's theory of gravity we are told.

hot earths

At ... when scientists began cataloguing exoplanets they compared them to solar system bodies. Hence we have terms such as hot Jupiters and super Earths. We also have hot Earths. They have now found hot earths can exist further from their home sun/star than previously thought (and are still classified as hot earths) - so what is going on? Out of 144 hot earths identified researchers estimate 24 if them orbit without a close planet.


According to scientists the universe is not rotating or being stretched in any particular direction - see ... we are told the cosmologic consensus is that the universe should be uniform in every direction. This assumption fuels the many calculations made about our universe so it is an important point. If it is not true it throws a spike in the wheel of mainstream theory - but scientists from UCL and Imperial College in London have confirmed the consensus view (Physical Review Letters, September 2016).

water everywhere

At ... NASAs Cassini probe seems to show liquid water 20 miles deep on Saturn's moon, Dione (following on from its discovery on two other moons of Saturn, Titan and Enceladus). Water has also been found on Europa and Ganymede and even on Pluto. The possibility of life on other cosmic bodies is thought to depend on water -and there is water being found everywhere in the solar system.