Harvest Moon

6 Oct 2017

Full Moon this week. In the old days the harvest moon allowed farmers to bring in their ripening crops even after sunset. Nowadays they have big lights on the front of their combines.

At http://spaceweather.com (October 5th 2017) the subject is the September 10th solar star again and how it affected Mars. The X8 class flare produced a ground level event on Mars, detected by the Mars Curiosity Rover vehicle - as radiation suddenly doubled (and remained high over two days). On Earth the magnetic field in combination with our thick atmosphere deflected most of the stream - there was only a 6 per cent increase in radiation.

NASAs MAVEN spacecraft saw auroras ....

   ... since MAVEN went into orbit around Mars 3 years ago it has witnessed many auroral displays(even thought the current solar cycle is relatively quiet in contrast to the cycles that immediately preceded this one.

Meanwhile, Planet Nine is back in the news - go to https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2017/10/05/planet-nine-could-turn-out-to... ... planetary theorists say super earths are commonly found in other planetary systems but one is missing from our own solar system. Is Planet Nine a super earth?  See also www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6964

If a planet is there it is very distant. Signs of its presence are indirect - providing inconclusive inference of its gravitational footprints. It amounts to a compelling case, we are told - or does it? If you remove Planet Nine you are still left with 6 known objects in the far reaches of the solar that are behaving oddly. If you remove gravitational anomalies from the equation you create further problems. Basically, there are 6 objects in beyond Neptune with elliptical orbits, all moving in the same direction and all of them tilted 30 degrees. This is odd as the plane of most planets is flat as a pancake - although Pluto has a tilt of 17.6 degrees. One commenter sums it up - if we accept that they are seeing gravitational anomalies and then may be these observations are saying 'they don't know everything about gravity that they thought they did.' In other words, is there a Planet Nine or, in this case, is gravity not performing in the way theory suggests it should.