Astronomy news

Planet 9 and the Scholz star

Jovan sent in a number of links. This one is on the search for Planet Nine - go to www.scientificamerican.com/article/looking-for-planet-nine-astronomers-g... ... Looking for Planet Nine astronomers gaze into the abyss (or that spot in the solar system that is hidden from our view). To begin with you need to go back to claims made a year or two ago that apparent motions of object beyon Neptune are being influenced by 'a very big something much further out', hidden from view save for its subtle gravitational tugs.

Exomoons and Planet Scatter

Jovan sent in the link www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/exoplanets/the-fate-of-exomoons-w... ... and once again we are back into mainstream worlds in collision. The title is 'The Fate of Exomoons when Planets Scatter' - planets interacting with each other on rogue orbits are thought to be a common phenomenon of our early solar system and therefore by extrapolation, other star systems as well. After all there are a lot of exoplanets out there. What happens to the moons when planets interact with each other?

Comet X-rays

At https://phys.org/print440153496.html ... scientists say they have solved the mysteroy as to why comets emit x-rays. Comets are regarded as cold objects whilst x-rays are normally associated with hot objects such as the sun or stars in general. However, in the solar system comets interact with the solar wind - and plasma. This creates a bow shock behind the comet. The key is therefore the Sun. The solar wind creates plasma turbulence and in turn this causes the electrons to become highly active and in this the bow shock plays a role, causing particles to speed up.

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.