Astronomy news

The DART mission

At https://phys.org/news/2020-03-powerful-ion-nasa-dart-mission.html ... we have a report on NASAs DART mission which is designed to intercept a possible asteroid strike on Earth at an ill defined point of time in the future. Although it is a back seat mission a trial is due to begin in 2021 in order to test the NASA Evolutionary Exenon Thruster ion engine. A small asteroid has been chose as the target - 6.3 million miles away.

Comet Atlas Getting Bigger

At https://spaceweather.com/ (24th March 2020) ... the size of comet Atlas - nobody knows how big the icy core of the comet is but its atmosphere is huge. New images from amateur astronomers around the world show that Atlas's gaseous envelope has ballooned in diameter to 720,000 km (about half as wide as the Sun).

 

Molten Iron Rain

Gary sent in this link - https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/mar/11/scientists-identify-rain... ... and the same story has been all through the media and blogosphere. Gary makes a connection with his own theory that vapourised rock on Mars fell to Earth and condensed out of the atmosphere in the form of quartz grains = Sahara sand (as well as other sand deposits). This is outlined at www.godkingscenario.com/blog/sand-sahara-desert-come ... and he also wrote a book, 'Extraterrestrial Sands' Gary Gilligan, Matador:2016.

Mars Molecules

At https://phys.org/news/2020-03-molecules-curiosity-rover-early-life.html ... (see Astrobiology journal - https://doi.org/10.1089/ast.2019.2139 ) ... organic compounds known as thiophenes are found on earth resident in coal and crude oil, for example - even in truffles (a fungi wild pigs are keen to root out). Now, thiophenes have been found on Mars - which might be consistent with life on the red planet (bacterial in nature). On the other hand they may have arrived via meteors or comets (life from space perhaps, aka Hoyle and Ramasinghe).

Gary's choices

Here we have several link sent in by Gary. At www.newscientist.com/article/2235312-chinas-rover-has-discovered-what-li... ... China's rover vehicle has been peering into the far side of the Moon - going down as deep as 40m by using ground penetrating radar. The top layer consists mostly of fine dust - or regolith. Between 12 and 24m deep the soil is coarse with large rocks embedded in it (stones to you and me) and between 24 and 40m deep it is composed of alternating layers of coarse and fine soil.

Big Explosion Upstairs

I was expecting the Thunderbolts site to cover this by the weekend - but may be next week. The story is one that has hit a lot of blogs and news sources but this particular link is interesting as it comes with a lot of comments that are good and lots of comments that are not so good. Go to https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/02/28/astronomers-detect-biggest-explos... ... scientists studying a distant galaxy cluster have, it is claimed, witnessed the biggest explosion in the universe since Big Bang (a sort of mini version of Big Bang seems to be implied).

Meteors and Asteroids

William also sent in a link to a video ofa fireball streaking across the sky captured by a home surveillance camera in Phoenix Arizona - go to www.msn.com/en-us/video/science/giant-fireball-streaks-across-phoenix-sk... ...

This occurred at 5.33am local time. The American Meteor Society also received reports of a meteor over Arizona.

Armageddon

At www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00510-w .... archaeology at Megiddo - Biblical Armageddon. The last battle - the last conflagration etc. The mound of the city is SE of Haifa, not far from Nazareth. The mound is composed of 20 cities (built on top of each other, very often after one of them was destroyed in a conflagration). It began life around 5000BC. In other  words, Megiddo has experienced a number of armageddons - and a final one as the mound was abandoned in the 3rd century AD. Why did it become the focal battle of Revelation?

Jupiter Peering

From Earth to Mars - and now we have Jupiter. Link sent in by Robert - beginning with www.centauri-dreams.org/2020/02/21/juno-looking-deep-into-jupiters-atmos... ... which amounts to more results coming in from the Juno mission. The full paper, for those interested, is at www.nature.com/articles/s41550-020-1009-3.pdf

What a Beauty

   ... Denmark has been enjoying the huge amounts of rainfall we have been experiencing in the UK. The image shown was taken by photographer Ruslan Merzlakov on February 23rd, 2020, on a footpath that was flooded (near the Uggerby River). In fact, the footpath looks like a river, so much rain has fallen on sodden ground. In fact, the actual footpath is nigh on invisible - so much water on the surface of the ground.