Astronomy news

sniffing Pluto

At www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/2016/04/06/new-horizons-... ... the solar wind generates fast moving space particles and cosmic rays and these have been recorded in the vicinity of Pluto - heading towards the boundaries of the solar system. You can also see the story at www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2016/04/beyond-pluto-nasa-ventures-into-ou...

all the light in the universe

This is one of those odd postings, with the question being asked - is there more light and energy out there in space than astronomers can account for - go to www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2016/04/all-the-light-in-the-universe-is-i...

Moon and Earth's magnetic field

Scientists are speculating as to why Earth has a magnetic field - and what generates it. At http://phys.org/print378630214.html ... the gravitational effects associated with the presence of the Moon and the Sun cause cyclical deformation of the Earth's mantle and creates wob bles in Earth's rotation axis. This mechanical forcing as applied to the planet as a whole affects the strong currents in the 'outer' core - what is thought to be made of a liquid iron ally of low viscosity.

Planet X

Planet X is back in the news - as noted last week. However, some old proponents of Planet X have now had a say - go to http://phys.org/print378535345.html. We even have an article on Planet X in the prestigious journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society . Caltech researchers have revived the idea that Planet X may periodically cause mass extinctions on the Earth. How? Apparently the idea is that it periodically triggers a shower of comets, as it journeys the far reaches of the solar system.

Jupiter Bash

At www.cnet.com/news/see-something-smash-into-jupiter-causing-an-explosion-... .... where you can access a video of a comet or asteroid striking the gas giant Jupiter. Even Phil Plait acknowledges an 'actual impact' but the video sequence was recorded by Gerrit Kernbauer of Austria (an amateur astronomer). He put the sequence on You Tube on March 17th and it has taken that long for mainstream astronomers to catch up. It was also verified by John McKeon of Ireland and therefore was confirmed at an early stage.

March Comet

The March comet is in the news - at http://phys.org/print378114038.html ... http://phys.org/print378112389.html ... and http://phys.org/print378112444.html ... but there is little to report. Both sections sailed right on past the Earth with apparently no effect at all. The comet is green ...

Not So Old

At http://phys.org/print378052215.html ... we are told that some of the moons of Saturn, such as Rhea, may in fact be just 100 million years old. The figure of 100 million years is fabricated by modelling - so we may assume there is a possibility the orbits of these moons can be calculated even closer to our time. Having said that it is a move in the right direction, in that every change in the solar system is not automatically dated 4 billion years ago.

modelling

At www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/news/2016/3/23/modelling-gravitational-waves/ ... NASA tells you how to create a model to demonstrate gravitational waves travelling through space time using gelatin, marbles, a mirror and a laser pointer.

not surprised but shocked

At www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/2016/03/22/pluto-may-hav... .... we learn that NASA scientists are still puzzling over Pluto - and data is still arriving from the mission. Lots yet to come. Here is one quote, 'what the data revealed did not surprise us. It shocked us'. It seems Pluto once hosted liquid lakes and rivers.