Astronomy news

Galaxies Spin like Clockwork

At https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/astronomers-discover-galaxies... ... Astronomers discover that galaxies spin like clockwork, and are in tune with each other. Regardless of whether a galaxy is big or small if you sit on the extreme edge of its disc it would take around a billion years to go all the way round, we are told. By using simple maths you can demonstrate all galaxies of the same size have the same average interior density. You won't find a dense galaxy rotating slowly and a lesser densiity one slower.

Water and Moon

At https://phys.org/print438947055.html ... how does water change the Moon's origin story? What a beautiful question. Mainstream claims the Moon was formed 4.5 billion years ago when an object collided with proto-Earth and ripped out a hot and partly vapourised blob that became a disc of material. It proceeded to orbit around the Earth - and eventually accreted into what is now our Moon. Hydrogen, it is thought, seeped from the disc, along with other volatile elements, and were lost in space.

Black Hole Gas Outflow

Black Holes continue to make waves it would seem. At https://phys.org/print438421789.html ... a Taiwanese astronomer, Yashiki Toba, and his team, have established that ionised gas outflow driven by a super massive black hole does not necessarily affect its host galaxy - impacting on the molecular gases in the galactic disc.

Growing Black Holes

Like the five magic beans of Jack the Giant Killer, black holes just keep on growing, threatening to outgrow their galaxies (out performing the production of new stars). For this see https://phys.org/print437928259.html

Sun Spot Erupts

Sun spots have been in short supply of late and even when they have provided a CME it has been weak. Same may  be true of this one - go to http://spaceweather.com for info. The sun spot exploded a couple of days ago and will arrive today, 15th February 2018. See the short video below ...

Leaky Atmosphere Mars

This is the headline in a couple of news sources - the leaky atmosphere of Mars. See for example https://phys.org/print437390658.html ... is about the way Mars lacks a magnetic field of note and that is generally thought to be the reason why it has a thin atmosphere - most of it lost to space as a result of being buffeted by the solar wind. New data from ESAs Mars Express spacecraft shows how ionisation plays a prominent role in safeguarding the planet. Magnetic fields are thought to protect planets - but is this just an assumption that may be overstated.

Plasma Universe

At https://phys.org/print437373834.html ... the universe is highly magnetic - with everything from stars to planets to galaxies producing their own magnetic fields. The researchers created a hot turbulent plasma (quite small and short lived) in the laboratory - just the size of a penny. The looked at how the turbulence and its motions was able to amplify a weak magnetic field to the turbulence seen on our Sun. It is the first laboratory experiment of a theory explaining the magnetic fields of various cosmic bodies, the plasma working like a dynamo.

Halley's Comet

One from William. Why Halley's Comet may be linked to famine 1500 years ago. Sounds almost like Patrick McCafferty and Mike Baillie in their book, 'The Celtic Gods' - but it comes from Dallas Abbott. Did a piece of the comet slam into the Earth in AD536? This is already attributed to two volcanoes - now conceded by Baillie. However, Abbott approaches it slightly differently - and combines volcanoes with impact (did one spark the other?) The theory evolved after Abbott was looking at Greenland ice cores laid down between 533 and 540.

Revising solar system history

Sent in by Robert - go to https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-01074-6 ... which questions the idea of the Late Heavy Bombardment, a theory which has had a somewhat extended life. The bombardment is thought to have occurred half a billion years after our planet was formed. In the process all hell was let loose as a barrage of asteroids remodeled the surface of the Earth. Only after this stream of space debris had quietened down was Life able to evolve. However, it seems mounting evidence has caused a body of researchers to question the hypothesis.

Windy Black Holes

This story is at https://phys.org/print435824324.html ... new research shows evidence of strong winds around black holes - throughout the bright outburst events. This is the point where black holes are thought to be feeding - rapidly gorging on material that has been dragged into their vicinity. This, in turn, is said to show how mass transfers to black holes and how black holes can affect the environment around themselves. The winds are hypothesized to blow away matter the black hole cannot consume.