Astronomy news

Near Miss

At ... is another link provided by William Thompson. This concerns a small cosmic body that went unseen until it was one quarter of the distance from the moon - but passed by without incident. It was reported at during the same week (last week of August 2016)  but it is remarkable that sizable pieces of space rock can come that close to the Earth without being picked up by the many cameras and telescopes scanning the sky.

Maunder Minimum

William Thompson provided a nice link to an article by John A Eddy in Science journal 192 (4245) June 18th 1976, that is still worthwhile reading and digesting nowadays as we have a fairly quiet sun and some people are predicted an even quieter sun in the next solar cycle. These last eleven years (roughly) and are watched and catalogued by astronomers in order to see if a pattern exists. Go to

Comet Outburst

Both WISE and FERMI have revealed a correlation in emissions from a black hole that is so wide it is detectable on both infra red and gamma ray telescopes. The field of light is so wide that it is now being called a blazar (something extraordinary bright and energetic). See

Jupiter's Poles

The image of Jupiter's north pole has been released by NASA - ... and it seems to show hot spots at the poles ....

   ... the link was sent in by Robert Farrar.

  ... so what is going on at the poles?

cosmic rays

At August 29th 2016 ... the 'Earth to Sky Calculus' experiment (using helium filled balloons) has been monitoring cosmic rays in the stratosphere above California. There has been a 13 per cent increase since 2015. This appears to coincide with a quieter Sun - less sun spots = less solar wind flaring = less solar radiation to deflect incoming cosmic rays from space (beyond our solar system). Cosmic rays, we are told, can seed clouds - so are we in for cloudy, and by implication cooler weather in the coming months?

Mars and Water channels

Mars and water channels as highlighted in a post this week prompted William Thompson to point out that Donald Patten predicted something like this decades ago. Patten's books are freely available on the Internet - and can be purchased second hand at a snip. Surprisingly, he anticipated a number of facts that have since emerged via the space age - and water on Mars was one such thing. In Velikovskian studies as opposed to 'catastrophist figures of stature' Patten is very much under valued.

Venus and Jupiter conjunction

A fantastic picture by Yuri Beletsky of the conjunction of Venus with Jupiter this holiday weekend (28th to 30th August 2016). Enjoy. Clark Whelton posted news on the upcoming event but (August 28th) came up with the photo sent in by Yuri. It was taken from the Atacama Desert in Chile.

Planet and Star

The BBC pundits were full of it today (Thursday the 25th) and the science correspondent had on his 'very serious' face mask as he read out the script on prime time news. The story is all over the net but try this one for a change ... ... which is basically the discovery of what is thought to be a planet orbiting the nearest star to our Sun, at a similar distance that is again thought to pose the possibility of life on the exo-planet.


Speaking of rings (yesterdays post) the same subject is uncannily the feature of an article today at Universe Today (see ). It is an interview with Kevn Gill who does computer enhancement imaging. His latest work is on Daphnis, a moon of Saturn, embedded in one of the rings. In the past he has made models of Earth with a ring system and what Mars might have looked like if it had vegetation and surface water.


At ... the signature of a supernovae has been found in deep ocean cores from the Pacific Ocean. German scientists have had their findings publishd in PNAS (August 2016) and they have dated the supernova to 2.7 million years ago at what is thought to be the boundary of the Pliocene with the Pleistocene. The interesting point they make is that supernovae material continued to rain down on the earth for 800,000 years. Is this a relic of uniformitarian dating methodology?