Astronomy news

electric stars

At ... and at ... seems like the Electric Universe is hitting mainstream between the eyes. Scientists are 'surprised' as strong magnetism has been discovered in the majority of stars ... and you can't have one without the other, electricity. We live in exciting times, on the cusp of a new kind of science and yet what occupies the minds of most young enquiring minds - CAGW.

Giant Comets

A team of astronomers from Armagh Observatory and Buckingham University say that the discovery of hundreds of giant comets in the wider planetary system over the last 20 years implies these objects pose a greater hazard than asteroids. The key here is that mainstream astronomers have calculated the asteroid threat over hundreds of thousands of years. The implication is that the threat from giant comets is over thousands of years - but are these numbers just drawn out of a hat.

a monster trail

The outer universe is looking more and more like a larger version of near space. A ribbon of hot gas trailing behind a galaxy has been spotted by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, looking for all the world like a tail (as in an ion tail in the wake of a comet). The problem here of course that ion tails are the result of inter-action with the solar wind - but what is inter-acting with this galaxy?

Ceres up close

   NASAs DAWN spacecraft has delivered images from its lowest orbital angle which shows up some peculiar cup shaped craters. Many of the troughs, grooves, and cup marks are thought to have an origin in impacts. Electric Universe would otherwise. Dawn was just 240 miles above the surface of Ceres when the pictures were  taken and Dawn will remain at this altitude for the rest of its mission.

antipodal moon

Robert Farrar sent in this link on planet morphology at ... which begins by saying mainstream is puzzled by the moon for a variety of reasons. For example, the near side crust is 60km thick and is overlaid by 3 to 5km of regolith. The far side is much thicker, some 100km thick and covered in 10 to 15km of regolith. It then goes on to pull apart past and current ideas on the moon, one by one - and expands the critique by looking at Mars and other rocky planets and moons.

bus that didn't stop

At ... a bus sized asteroid buzzed past the Earth on the morning of December 19th - almost unannounced. It didn't stop. In fact it was not sighted until 2 days prior as it was a dark object. The scary bit is that it came within 36,800 miles of our planet, well within the orbit of the moon. Satellites fly above the surface at 22,000 miles high and the moon orbits at 239,000 miles away - so this was a relatively close flyby.

flares 'a'comin'

  the Sun is not quiet. It is brewing up a storm. Go to ... and just beyond the Sun's eastern horizon it is crackling. Image taken from NASAs Solar Dynamics Observatory on 21st December, the longest night of the year (in our neck of the woods). The crackling monster will rotate over towards a more direct location in the coming days - just in time for Christmas.

Mark Bailey

Our Autumn speaker in Watford, Mark Bailey, is in the news - see

Cerus and Rosetta

Robert Farrar sent in four links, the first of which concern findings from the DAWN spacecraft visit to the asteroid Ceres - now written up and published in the journals. See for example .... .... and


At ... we are told Comet C/2014 S2 PanSTARRS will be visible in binoculars in late December, as it crosses the circumpolar northern skies. A Christmas comet - but will it provide a show and spring to life.

Meanwhile, Comet Catalina can still be seen with binoculars and this will remain so into January. We shall also hae a full moon of 25th December. If it is dry and the clouds are absent for a few hours you might get to see the comet - and the moon.