Astronomy news

SIS Forum

There are at least four posts on the Forum at this site in which nobody has responded to, even though the subject matter is very close to Velikovsky, as well as the general theme of neo-catastrophism. One is on the Hindu calendar, another on the Samson riddle, the words of which once adorned packets of Tale and Lyle sugar, another on Chinese calendrical oddities, and finally a Creationist take on the Mount St Helens eruption that formed instantaneously a very thick sedimentary like deposit. These are all good discussion points that members might like to add their pennyworth.

The news splash that went squish

At http://phys.org/print331284112.html ... the claim that gravitational waves from shortly after the Big Bang had been detected has turned out to be a dud squib. It seems the hullaballoo was premature.

Polarised microwave light in the Milky Way is produced by dust grains that spin on their axes and align like a mini compass with the interstellar magnetic field. The dust grains line up in the same general direction and this produces polarised light - exactly the same thing as theorised would have been produced by gravitational waves from the early universe.

Comet Pan STARRS K1

Come Pan STARRS K1 has been visible for over a year and is making a passage through the inner solar system that is reputed to involve an orbit 400,000 years long - see http://phys.org/print331286650.html. The dust tail and ion tail of the comet have been snapped in a succession of images (see link). The big question - is this 'the Special One' as a certain football manager might say.

Over at http://phys.org/print331546691.html ... we have an image of comet Churyumov-Girasimenko in the process of spewing out dust and gases from its neck. Below.

Water in the solar system

It seems water might have been present in the solar system even before the birth of the Sun - according to a paper in the September issue of the journal Science (http://phys.org/print330858863.html)

Water locked up as ice that formed in interstellar space is the key ingredient. It is now locked up in meteorites, comets, asteroids and moons etc. Why is there so much of the stuff on Earth?

Space Weather

At http://phys.org/print330680543.html ... asks, what is the difference between a coronal mass ejection (CME) and a solar flare. NASA has produced a video that explains it all in pictures - and in context. They are both explosions on the Sun. A CME is a giant cloud of particles blasted far out into space. Flares are flashes of light on the face of the Sun.

Black Holes do not exist, according to a mathematical calculation

This might go down like a lead balloon but a physics professor in the US, Laura Mersini-Houghton, has proven, mathematically, that black holes can never come into being in the first place -but, but, but I've seen them - a big flash of light captured via a space telescope. Does this mean scientists will now have to re-imagine the fabric of space time (quoting the article). This seems to imply they imagined black holes in the first place. See http://phys.org/print330767292.html

a cold spot in the universe

At http://phys.org/print330336215.html ... we have some nice images of a pock marked surface of Mars provided by ESAs spacecraft the Mars Express. These have of course been dated very long ago.

The bigger feature is interesting as on the floor there are rocky ridges (yardangs) and flat topped mesa like structures, buttes and hills. It appears as if the ground has collapsed, leaving sections still intact (hence the mesa like formations).

Planet formation

At http://phys.org/print329463697.html ... the question is, how do planets form? Okay, we have the mainstream model in which the idea is that dust from the remnants of supernova acretes into discs around young stars. Such dust is thus thought, over time, to clump together in order to form pieces as big as pebbles, and over time, into even bigger and bigger pieces that eventually gell into a planet size body. However, at the point the pebbles form the consensus view is not entirely sure just how they expand into bigger objects.

Mapping Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

The point of the map is to differentiate different morphological sections of the comet - hence the bright colours. This has been achieved in a few short weeks, since Rosetta arrived in the vicinity of Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The images shows areas of the comet dominated by cliffs, depressions, boulders and grooves, a surprising number of different terrains - and no sign of a dirty snowball.

alcohol in space, and other stories

At http://phys.org/print329463869.html ... astronomers have detected a great cloud of alcohol in space - all to do with molecular chemistry in molecular clouds (which includes dust and various chemical compounds). Alcohol, in this instance, is a combination of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen so the reality is not that surprising. However, adding energy to the mix can result in a stimulated emission of light.