Astronomy news

Near Miss

At ... close stellar encounters. An analysis of our stellar neighbourhood is said to reveal more stellar traffic then recognised - stars that sideswipe our solar system. That potentially hurl hailstorms of comets inward and showering our planet with debris. Not just worlds in collision but stars and solar systems in collision.

Computer Modelling Hungry Black Holes

At ... modelling works well when applied to for example, geology (rates of erosion etc) but how reliable is it when applied to the theoretical concepts such as black holes? We are informed that a star that approaches too close to a black hole will be torn apart and gobbled up in a violent cataclysm known as a tidal disruption event. It produces a bright flare of radiation - picked up in space telescopes. A study published in Astrophysical Journal Letters presents a theoretical perspective on this theory - using modelling techniques.

Flares on an inactive Sun

This is a cracker NASA images of massive flares unleashed by the Sun. There is currently a lack of sunspots but the Sun is highly active at the moment - via coronal holes. Go to ... and we are told that while the Sun can influence atsmospheric activities and the climate on Earth only certain wavelengths of radiation are able to make it to the surface to actually heat it up.

Valles Marineris

Valles Marineris on Mars (see image below sent in by Michael) is 2500 miles long yet it is claimed it was carved out by water - but appears to be a straight line, or nearly so, along a good deal of its length. The Grand Canyon on Earth has a river running through it - but the canyon is 10 miles wide and the river flows which way it wants, back and forth. Electric Universe enthusiasts think both have an electric origin rather than water flow.

Interstellar Interloper

At ... (link provided by Jovan). In a study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society; Letter, astronomers announced the discovery of the first interstellar object known to have taken up permanent residence in the solar system, an asteroid. It has a peculiar yet stable orbit. It is almost in perfect resonance with Jupiter yet travels in the opposite direction.

Planet Nine Update

At ... sent in by Jovan this is an update on the search for planet 9 and why a group of astronomers think there is another planet out there beyond the orbit of Neptune, somewhere in the Kuiper Belt. There must be a very big something much further out - according to Brown and Betygin of Caltech. They speculate it is ten times the size of the earth and has a 20,000 year orbit. Indeed, if they fail to find it soon they are thinking it has an even more elongated orbit.


At ... physicists are currently speculating that decaying neutrons may be producing particles unknown to science - that make up the elusive dark matter. Exactly how long a neutron might live is also under debate. If neutrons decay into particles of dark matter it solves a big mystery as some cosmologists actually think dark matter makes up four fifths of all matter in the universe. Added to the protons and electrons the neutrons currently make up the visible universe, it is thought.

Rossby Waves

At ... the headline is, waves similar to those controlling weather on Earth have been found on the Sun. The research is published in Nature Astronomy this month, May of 2018. They are what is known as Rossby waves which propagate in the direction opposite to rotation, have lifetimes of several months, and maximise amplitude at the Sun's equator. Rossby waves also occur in the oceans and the atmosphere of the Earth.

Sun Halo

   ... This image was taken by Harlan Thomas of Bowness of a concentric sun halo. This is Bowness in the US as he claims he was working in the yard (garden in the UK). This is an odd-radius sun halo and they are caused by ice crystals in the shape of pyramids. Sunlight passing through these unusual crystals create rings with radii of 9, 18, 20, 23, 24, and 35 degrees.

Diamond from the sky

Another otherworldly theory - at ... the diamond from the sky may have come from the 'lost planet' (but they are not talking about Planet X or 9). In this instance the theory is that the solar system was full of planets, proto planets, or wannabe planets very early on (4.5 billion years ago). The diamond was in a meteorite found in the Nubian Desert of the Sudan and was created under extreme pressure.