Astronomy news

Water

Yesterday we had a post on the idea a collision with a proto planet led to the formation of the Moon and provided the Earth with abundant water. Today, at www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7409 ... we are told NASAs SOFIA mission has found evidence that water in some comets is similar to water in Earth's oceans. This reinvigorates the theory that comets played a major role in delivery of water to Earth, many moons ago. SOFIA = the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, which made observations of Comet Wirkonen back in December of 2018.

Water on Earth

William sent in this link - https://phys.org/news/2019-05-formation-moon-brought-earth.html ... the formation of the Moon brought water to Earth, the latest idea on why there is so much water on earth compared to the other planets. The new theory involves a collision of the Earth with a proto planet - which is called Theia. This is the same collision that has been proposed as causing the actualy creation of the Moon - but with a difference. It brought lots of water to Earth rather than just gouge a great big hole out of the planet in which the bits reassembled themselves into the Moon.

Moon Differences

Sent in by William - go to https://phys.org/news/2019-05-giant-impact-difference-moon-hemispheres.html ... a giant impact caused the differences between the two hemispheres of the Moon. The topographic evidence, crustal thicknesses, the thorian distribution, etc, show a dramatic difference between the nearside and the farside. The farside is heavily cratered but the nearside, the earth facing side of the Moon, has lower lying open basins.

Anomalies on Jupiter

At jplnewsroom [at] jpl [dot] nasa [dot] gov we are told NASAs Juno mission has found changes in Jupiter's magnetic field. The discovery, it is hoped, will help scientists to understand Jupiter's internal structure (including its atmospheric dynamics) as well as changes in Earth's magnetic field (see also www.nasa.gov/juno and www.nasa.gov/jupiter

Meanwhile, at http://spaceweather.com (May 20th 2019) we have the Great Red Spoit unravelling. It seems amateur astronomers are monitoring a strange phenomenon at the edge of Jupiter's great red spot ...

Ultima Thule again

In the same week Thunderbolts had a post on Ultima Thule we now have a story at https://sciscomedia.co.uk/new-horizons-ultima-thule/ ... in January, NASAs New Horizons spacecraft did a flyby of Ultima Thule, a distant object orbing in the outer regions of the solar system. Now, less than six months later, scientists have presented first results from the data sent back.

 
 

Ultima Thule again

In the same week Thunderbolts had a post on Ultima Thule we now have a story at https://sciscomedia.co.uk/new-horizons-ultima-thule/ ... in January, NASAs New Horizons spacecraft did a flyby of Ultima Thule, a distant object orbing in the outer regions of the solar system. Now, less than six months later, scientists have presented first results from the data sent back
 

The Quaking and Shrinking Moon

At www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7023841/ ... the Moon has earthquakes - and is shrinking. Moonquakes occur because the Moon is tectonically active - and they cause it to wrinkle like a dried grape (a raisin). Its internal parts are thought to be cooling which cause its surface to contract - or that is the explanation. The brittle surface at the crust cracks and forms step like cliffs or scarps.

Telescopes in Space

At https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-05/run-tis050619.php .... the first image of a black hole has led to the next challenge - how to take sharper images in order to further test Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. ESA astronomers are putting together plans to launch radio telescopes in space (see Astronomy and Astrophysics May 2019). The idea is to place satellites into orbit in order to observe what is thought to be black holes. Sharper images of a black hole will provide better information in order to test Relativity (or that is the thinking).

Galaxy, Jets and Ionisation

At https://phys.org/news/2019-05-jets-galaxy-cores-common.html ... we are told astronomers have a rough understanding of how galaxies emit jets from their cores (presumably a reference to the jets emerging from what is assumed to be a black hole at the galactic core) but they also blow out winds of ionised gas - another word for plasma. There is currently no explanation for this. A study in Astronomy and Astrophysics (May 2019) starts by saying astronomers suspect every galaxy harbours a supermassive black hole.

Sun Spot with sound system

At http://spaceweather.com (May 7th 2019) we learn about a potential earth directed CME emanating from the sun spot that has turned around to face the Earth over the last day or two. The sun spot has already puffed out some minor CMEs (into space rather than towards the Earth) but now we have the possibility of a plasma cloud approaching our atmosphere in the next couple of days. Last month another sun spot strafed the Earth with not just the solar wind but a loud shortwave radio burst (s).