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Planet and Star

24 August 2016

The BBC pundits were full of it today (Thursday the 25th) and the science correspondent had on his 'very serious' face mask as he read out the script on prime time news. The story is all over the net but try this one for a change … http://astronomynow.com/2016/08/24/potentially-habitable-planet-discover… … which is basically the discovery of what is thought to be a planet orbiting the nearest star to our Sun, at a similar distance that is again thought to pose the possibility of life on the exo-planet. It has led to speculation there might be water on the exo-planet (assumed to be a prerequisite of life in some form or the other). The BBC got very excited but Astronomy Now is a bit more realistic in the way it describes what is 'thought' to have been found. Nobody knows as yet whether the cosmic body circling Proxima Centauri is rocky or a gas filled balloon which may undergo inflation – or just pop. 

At http://phys.org/print391153969.html … Chinese astronomers have detected what is described as a large cavity around a supernova. It exhibits stream like structures and you  can read the full version of the report at the arXiv.org pre-print web link. It seems the situation surrounding at least one supernova is not quite what mainstream expected.

At http://phys.org/print391176192.html … concerns what looks superficially like former river beds on Mars. This requires a warm and wet environment but are these channels instead, the leftovers of transient water movement.

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