Astronomy news


We've had a rash of fireball reports recently, in different parts of the world. We begin with one that ocurred  in September last year above Germany. At Flensberg a citizen found a stone weighing 24.5g on the lawn of his back garden, bearing a black fusion crust. It was carbonaceous - but not your usual sort. It contains minerals - silicates and carbonnites (see ) ...

Galactic Cosmic Rays

At ... the Atacama Telescope Array in Chile has been looking at Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. They found a chemical footprint in Titan's atmosphere that indicates that cosmic rays with an origin outside the solar system affect chemical reactions in the formation of nitrogen bearing organic molecules. This is the first observational confirmation of such a process and what is true of Titan is probably ture of other bodies in the solar system.

Rectangular Sun

Yes, this is really a picture of the Sun, as seen over the ocean near Rio de Janiero - see (February 10th 2020) ....

Meteorites from before the Sun came into being

At ... a chunk of a meteorite seems to contain interstellar material which is said to have formed before the Sun came into being (or that is the theory).

At ... concerns new outbursts from Magnetar 1E.

Heavenly Bursts of Energy

At ... Cosmic lightning is happening all around us we are told. Somewhere in the sky there is a pulse that flashes and extinguishes itself at the next moment. Such heavenly bursts are measured  with radio telescopes and have been one of the mysteries of astrophysics. They are also known as 'fast radio bursts'. It seems the frequency of these bursts actualy disposes of the standard idea they were created in catastrophic events such as novae (or supernovae come to that).

Solar Flares and Scorching Gases

At ... (and see ... at the back end of 2017 a massive new region of magnetic activity produced a series of potent solar flares causing turbulent space weather conditions on earth. These were the first flares to be captured, moment by moment, by the Expanded Owens Valley Solar Array radio telescope.

Jupiter chucking stuff at Earth

The two links below were sent in by Gary. At ... Mars is losing water faster than previously thought we learn. This may effect the search for life - as water is the assumed key. It is thought water on Mars was a fact - in the past. A residue is still locked up in polar ice caps. Indeed, NASAs Global Surveyor, a few years ago, found gullies that may have been created by flowing water - although that is an open question.

Mercury Strip

This story has been sent in by Gary - see ... and yes, it really does say the outer layers of Mercury may have been stripped off by the young planet Venus. However, the events are dated to the early solar system and there is nothing Velikovskian involved. The speculation is that Venus passed close to Mercury on several occasions, stripping it of its outer layers, and again this looks like a chaotic solar system.

Dark Energy doubts

At ... new evidence that a key assumption concerning the discovery of dark energy is faulty. We might even ask at this part if dark energy was really discovered - rather than an idea that was repeated and became de facto by due process. Anyway, here we have one idea of why it might have flown in cosmological circles - based on an assumption that might turn out to be an error.

Comets and X-rays

At ... telescopes around the world have been focussed on Comet Borisov, the apparent interstellar visitor. It is moving so fast it has not been captured by our Sun, yet still sports a tail of dust and debris.