Astronomy news

A Train of Meteorites on a visit to the Earth

In 1913 there was a grand procession of over a hundred meteors, all following each other in a well regimented manner, that blazed its way across the sky - see http://phys.org/print278228415.html ... over North America and down the middle of the South Atlantic (recorded in various ships logs). In the Feb 2013 issue of Sky and Telescope some recent research will be published by astronomers Olson and Hutcheon. They document evidence of the train of meteorites across 7000 miles in a clear line of trajectory.

Chandra Wickramasinghe

One of our favourite scientists has claimed extraterrestrial life has been found in a meteorite - see www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/18/extraterrestrial-life-exists-chandra-w... and predictably not everyone is happy about this - see www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/01/15/life_in_a_meteorite_claims_... Another interesting facet of this story is that Wickramasinghe claims the meteorite came from the Taurid complex and is specifically associated with an impact on Sri Lanka, at Polonnaruwa - see also www.journal

Them Holes are munching heavily

At www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/01/black-holes-of-the-universe-growin... ... scientists have assumed black holes in the hearts of galaxies increase mass in step with the growth of the host system. New observations seem to indicate this idea is false. Black holes grow faster than imagined - but what are they feeding on? It seems that for each 10 times increase in galaxy size there is a 100 times increase in the size of the black hole.

Monster sun spot coming your way

At http://phys.org/print277374125.html ... we are informed a giant sun spot is slowly turning towards the Earth, like a cannon revolving around to point its barrel at us. It has the potential to blast a solar flare - predicted to be of moderate capacity.

There are asteroid belts around other stars

A NASA telescope has yielded evidence of an asteroid belt around the star Vega - see www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-012&cid=release_2012-012

Lunar cycles

Chiefio is playing around with ideas concerning lunar cycles at http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/lunar-cycles-more-than-one/ .... and suggests they affect the weather ... and various other things. He describes its orbit around the Earth as a co-orbit around the Sun rather a simply one in which the Moon circles the Earth.

Primordial Star

The title sounds a bit like a Dwardu Cardona book but this story is at www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/12/the-primordial-star-at-the-edge-of... ... this subject, has I think, already been posted but here is a different take on the story. The blog writer calls it a primordial star at the outer edge of the Milky Way which should not exist since it lacks the materials cosmologists think necessary for how new stars come to form.

The Peculiar Motion of Sirius

Chiefio has been dipping his fingers around Sirius - is it a binary star? Go to http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/siriusly-pondering/ ... I like the bit where he says, 'the Wiki says it's moving, but then again, that's a Wiki and subject to consensus corruption where new ideas go to die, murdered by the preponderance of small minds - and the excess zeal of the smallest of them ...'. Ooh Ah, I wonder who he means.

Comet Ison, the first post

George Howard at http://cosmictusk.com/comet-ison-solar-flares-and-the-775-ad-eichler-event/ ... says he has just learnt about the discovery of Comet Ison which has been exciting astronomers over the last couple of months. Ison is as large or larger than Comet Hale-Bopp and is headed for a close encounter with the Sun - promising a dazzling display late in 2013. Howard adds, he is fascinated by the relationship between the orbit of Ison and Newton's Great Comet of 1680 (mentioned in an SIS paper a few years back).

The Maya Calendar

Having avoided the Mayan calendar doomsaying it is now worth taking a look at what it all might mean - and Bob Johnson has done just that - see www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2012/12/20/will-the-world-end-on-21st-december-... .... with a piece reflecting on Thoughts on the Origins of the Mayan Calendar, which is based on cycles of 260 days and 360 days, neither of which figure coincides with modern cycles of the Sun, or Venus. Does this imply these cycles differed in former years? Nice one for Lawrence to browse and make a comment.