Astronomy news

Was Venus Once Like Earth

This story is at https://phys.org/news/2019-10-venus-lava.html ... it was one of those things used by climate alarmists that once upon a time Venus was once warm and wet, just like the Earth (even though Venus is somewhat nearer the Sun than we are). The story continued by saying that runaway co2 led to runaway warming and now Venus is a hell hole. Velikovsky claimed Venus was young and had not cooled down but one thing is for sure and that is Venus is very active - with lots of volcanoes and lava flows.

Milky Way Explosion

Not long ago, the centre of the Milky Way exploded. Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope researchers calculated it took place 3 and a half million years ago (quite recent in geological terms) - see https://phys.org/news/2019-10-center-milky.html ... It is described as a titanic expanding beam of energy that sprang from near the super massive black hole at the heart of our galaxy. It has been labelled the Seyfest Flare which went on to create two enormous 'ionisation cones' that shot through the galaxy and beyond, expanding vastly as it fired away.

Steve is About

A 'Steve Storm' struck Scandinavia on 28th September rather than the expected auroral outbreak - see https://spaceweather.com (October 2nd 2019) ...

   ... a mauve ribbon of light caused by gas flaring through Earth's magnetosphere at high speed (plasma it would seem). At the same site, on Oct 1st, we had a story about a green flash on Venus ...

Organic Compounds Found on Enceladus

This is one of the big stories this week - on the origin of life (are scientists are on the verge of showing us how life developed on the Earth). Go to https://phys.org/news/2019-10-compounds-enceladus-ice-grains.html ...  For an added bonus you can also go to https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/10/03/new-organic-compounds-found-in-en... ... which comes with lots of interesting comments (and an equal number of not so interesting comments). Wheat and chaff and all that.

Cosmic Rays

A paper in Science Advances - see https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aav37693 ... uses data from a Chinese satellite system, the 'Dark Matter Particle Explorer', in order to masure cosmic ray protons up to the energy of TeV. The object of the satellite based telescope, nicknamed Wukong (the monkey king), is to study the proportions of dark matter by taking a closer look at high energy gamma rays and electrons.

Why Can't We See It

Why can't we see Planet Nine. Why is it hiding? The latest idea is that it is invisible. A black hole lurking in the outer reaches of our solar system. This one is a primeval black hole - and one of those missing black holes (small to medium). The new study is on the arxiv pre printer server - see https://phys.org/news/2019-09-planet-primodial-black-hole.html ... and https://arxiv.org/abs/1909.11090

Solar Corona

Below is a beautiful image of a so called coronal loop system on the Sun as seen by the ultra violet cameras on the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The image covers 50,000 miles of the Sun's surface and can be seen, again, at https://phys.org/news/2019-09-solar-corona.html ...

Black Hole Feast

At https://phys.org/news/2019-09-nasa-visualization-black-hole-warped.html ... in the image below, a turbulent disc of gas is churning around a black hole which appears to have a double hump. The black hole's gravity alters the paths of light coming from different parts of the disc - but what we see depends on our vision angle. The visualisation simulates the appearance of a black hole where infalling matter has collated into a thin hot structure dubbed an accretion disc.

Centaurs

A new study alters our understanding of how comets arrive form the outer limits of the solar  system and are funnelled into the inner solar  system. A so called orbital 'gateway' is proposed through which comets pass through before they approach the Sun. The gateway was uncovered by simulating centaurs, the small icy bodies travelling on chaotic orbits between Jupiter and Neptune. When icy bodies such as centaurs and comets approach the Sun they begin to release dust and gases and sport extensive tails.

Comet Tossing Boulders

This story takes us back to the ESA Rosetta Mission to Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014. Is it that long ago. Researchers are still sifting through and analysing data transmitted back by Rosetta - some 76,000 images in high resolution were captured using the OSIRIS camera - go to https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/09/comets-collapsing-cl... ... especially when it comes to the dust, gases, and plasma environment etc. Scientists have been looking at surface changes, from one image to the next ....