Astronomy news

A Towering Balloon like structure

A towering balloon like structure has been discovered near the centre of the Milky Way - a pair of radio emitting bubbles that are hundreds of light years tall. The centre of the galaxy is of course in the vicinity of the hypothetical black hole that resides there - currently slumbering. The enormous hour glass shaped structure is the result of energetic burst of energy that erupt near the black hole we are told. See ... and

Interstellar Comet

At (September 12th, 2019) ... another interstellar visitor is passing through the solar system it has been suggested. This time it is definitely a comet we are told - although it is very faint and the coma is by no means prominent. Comet Borisov (named aafter the person that first spotted it, hailing from the Ukraine), is approaching the inner solar system from beyond the orbit of Mars. It has what is called a hyperbolic orbit with an eccentricity greater than 3.5. This implies the comet is unbound to the Sun.

What is a sprite

At (August 28th 2019) ... following a period with a blank Sun, a couple of months, may be, but probably a question of a couple of weeks, we now have a major geomagnetic storm - issuing from two holes on the Sun's atmosphere. Hence, a double stream of solar wind struck in the first days of September. At the same site but on August 31st (2019) we have a gigantic jet over China ...

Solar Barycentre

The theory advanced by Rhodes Fairbridge in the mid 20th century appears to be on the verge of a revival, of sorts. This is the idea of a solar barycentre that affects the journey of the planets around our Sun as the latter spins on its axis and is influenced in turn by the bigger planets such as Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. A new paper by the controversial Valentin Zhakova has been published in the journal Nature - see ...

Jupiter Collision

I can't keep up with the stories coming out of late about collisions within the solar system. Although Velikovsky's book had the title, Worlds in Collision, it was at the publisher's suggestion. Velikovsky did not actually envisage a collision. What he suggested was a close shave - a large cosmic object passing close to the Earth. The new story about colliding planets (this one involving Jupiter) suitably has an origin at the web site of ..


Garys also sent in this link to ... which appears to be another manifestation of journalistic alarmism - humans setting loose life on the moon (and perhaps not a desirable form of life). The Israeli Beresheet probe, a lander, crash landed on the moon's surface - and it was carrying a cargo of tardigrades.

Jupiter Smack

Gary sent in a link to ... which is a video film of a bright flash on Jupiter captured by an amateur astronomer. It is thought to be an asteroid impact - but is pretty tame in comparison to the Shoemaker-Levy comet that crashed into Jupiter in the 1990s.

Kepler's Forgotten Idea

At ... Johannes Kepler was interested in symmetry - in such things as snowflakes as well as in space. Kepler suggested it was due to a morphogenic field. Science, we are told, had subsequently discarded this idea but the question of why snowflakes and similar structures are so symmetrical is not yet properly understood. Symmetry also exists in space - in spiral galaxies for example. A new theory published in Scientific Reports (August 2019) has combined information with entropy related to geometry.

Inverse Compton Mechanism

At ... short and intense flashes of energetic radiation, known as gamma ray bursts, were discovered back in the late 1960s by the Vela satellites sent to monitor man made nuclear explosions from space. Since then they have become a focus of great interest to astronomers. In the late 1990s it was discovered they had an association with what is thought to represent the death and collapse of stars.

Space Radiation

At August 10th 2019 ... a new source of space radiation  has been discovered by researchers from UCLA. A 'natural' particle accelerator just 40,000 miles above the surface of the Earth is producing killer electrons that move close to the speed of light. This means that astronauts leaving Earth for Mars could be peppered by radiation coming at them from behind - from the direction of their home planet. NASAs THEMIS spacecraft ran across the particles in 2008 not far from the place where the solar wind slams into Earth's magnetic field.