Physics news

dark energy - what is it?

At www.physorg.com/print228659903.html we are told that zombie stars are the key to measuring dark energy. At www.physorg.com/print228643916.html we are informed there is a cosmic Axis of Evil. Astronomers, it seems, are puzzled by the announcement that the masses of the largest objects in the universe appear to depend on which method is used to estimate their mass. At www.physorg.com/print228642235.html we are told there is proof dark matter actually does exist.

Dark Matter, Triton, the eating habits of black holes and rogue black holes

At http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv June 8th, there is a post on Dark Matter - the invisible stuff that is thought to fill the universe. It refuses to interact with light - and cannot be seen by optical instruments, does not reflect, emit, or absorb light. However, one garoup of scientists say they can see dark matter - searching for it in deep mines in Europe and North America. Rather, they think they have discovered a heartbeat - that may be dark matter.

The Sun and the climate

At http://joannenova.com.au/2011/06/study-finds-global-warming-over-past-40... which is a post that leans heavily on a paper in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. It claims current global warming is very similar in extent to earlier episodes and an increased in solar activity over the last 400 years can explain it without invoking the greenhouse model. There are links to video and other web sites focussed on solar flares - and the enormity of them.

The Big Bang dissenter

At www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/Cosmo/bang.txt is a review of Eric Lerner's book, The Big Bang Never Happened - a refutation of the Dominant Theory of the Origins of the Universe (Random House:1991). The review is somewhat negative and written in the context of defend the consensus at any cost, and damn the radicals, which is amusing really as the review was published in a journal with the hopeful title, The Skeptical Enquirer.

Decay Rates

An interesting piece at http://arxivblog.com/?p=596 'Do nuclear decay rates depend on our distance from the Sun?' ... is a question that came up in a recent Study Group meeting in London. Decay rates of elements have always been thought to be constant regardless of ambient conditions. However, at the same time it is long known that decay rates can be influenced by powerful electrical fields - and we can all see electricty in the atmosphere in the form of lightning.

Holographic Dark Information Energy

This story with the same title is at www.physorg.com/print225970694.html comes from Universe Today - which is a touch sceptical. A chap called Gough has suggested that in an expanding universe there is, concomitant, a loss of information. As such, this should release dissipated energy - and the dissipated energy is the dark energy component that is thought to exist in space. However, what is exactly being mathematically modelled?

Olivine falling as rain

At www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-161&cid=release_2011-161 ... tiny crystals of a green mineral called olivine are falling down like rain on a star observed by NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers aren't sure how such crystals got to be where they are - but jets of gas are projected as a likely culprit.

Volcanoes, Tornadoes, and Earthquakes - why the swarm?

On May 15th Piers Corbyn of www.weatheraction.com predicted an earthquake 'somewhere' in the world between 19th and 21st of May. On May 21st an earthquake in Iceland activated the Grimsvotn volcano (see image below) (go to http://klaengur.imgur.com/grmsvtn for further images) and see www.physorg.com/print225286069.html and http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/21/iceland-volcano-eruption-not-likel... which has some nice comments and links. Grimsvotn erupted 8 times in the 20th century and again in 2004.

Radio telescope captures Jets on lip of black hole

The story is at www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110520160607.htm ... researchers using radio telescopes throughout the southern hemisphere think they have an image (pictured) of particle jets erupting from a supermassive black hole in a nearby galaxy. It is thought the jets arise as infalling matter approaches the black hole but we don't know how they form, it was said. However, the findings involve 'advanced computer techniques' that allow data from several telescopes to yield images with the sharpness of a single giant telescope.

A storm on Saturn, dark energy is real, and a fractal Sun

At www.physorg.com/news/2011-05-deep-huge-storm-saturn.html we learn that ESOs Very Large Telescope and NASAs Cassini spacecraft have been looking at a huge storm in the upper atmosphere of Saturn (see also NASA news release May 19th 'Cassini and Telescope see violent Saturn storm' and the full story at www.jpl.nasa.gov/news.cfm?release=2011-150&cid=release_2011-150 and www.nasa.gov/cassini ). It created a gigantic violent and complex eruption of bright cloud material which spread to encircle the entire planet.