The universe keeps getting stranger! New Space stuff from SEED and other linked sources.
New mega ring around Saturn discovered using Spitzer on Dave Strickland's Superwinds blog. [October 18, 2009]
'Infrared observations using the Spitzer Space Telescope, published by Verbiscer et al (2009, Nature), have revealed the largest known ring around Saturn, an annulus of very tenuous material extending between 6 million and 18 million kilometers from Saturn, and tilted by 27 degree from the plane of the traditional rings (which only extend out to ~240,000 km). The material in the new ring comes from the battered and cratered moon Phoebe.'
Saturn’s Strange Children Research Blogging / by Dave Munger / October 21, 2009
Spacecraft observations of giant tenuous rings, two-toned moons, and methane fogs are showing Saturn’s moons to be even more alien than previously believed.
The Cassini Mission has revolutionised our knowledge of Saturn. Visit the fantastic NASA Cassini mission site to learn all about it and view fantastic images, animations and videos.
University of Minnesota astronomers have found an enormous hole in the Universe, [known as the WMAP Cold Spot] nearly a billion light-years across, empty of both normal matter such as stars, galaxies and gas, as well as the mysterious, unseen “dark matter.” While earlier studies have shown holes, or voids, in the large-scale structure of the Universe, this new discovery dwarfs them all.
“Not only has no one ever found a void this big, but we never even expected to find one this size,” said Lawrence Rudnick of the University of Minnesota astronomy professor. ( Source: University of Minnesota/August 23, 2007)
Source: Quasar 9
DARK FLOW, DARK MATTER, DARK ENERGY
'The acceleration of the Universe's expansion, and thus dark energy, were discovered less than a decade ago. The physical properties of dark energy are unknown, though it is by far the most abundant form of energy in the Universe today. Learning its nature is one of the most fundamental current problems in astrophysics.' (Source: University of Minnesota)
Intergalactic Controversy by Dave Munger / December 2, 2009
New observations of galactic clusters have revealed a controversial phenomenon called “dark flow,” which could be a sign of parallel universes.
hey, where are those galaxy clusters going? by gfish on the worldofwierdthings blog.
'One of my first posts on this blog was about something referred to as a dark flow, a strange current carrying galaxy clusters to the edge of the visible universe. But last year it was just a speculation based on preliminary data. Today, the results have been double-checked, and it looks like about 1,400 galaxy clusters are drifting some 3 billion light years at an impressive 1,000 km per second according to a detailed survey of WMAP data which offers a map of the microwave background radiation left after the Big Bang, and measuring the redshift of those galaxy clusters. It seems that an event right after the Big Bang itself set the galaxy clusters in motion. The big question is what this event was and current explanations range from the mundane to the bizarre…'
the tricky business of universe counting by gfish on the worldofwierdthings blog. 2009 October 20
'You can never accuse cosmologists of thinking small. To them even galaxies are like tiny little molecules and complex formulas govern the behavior of manifolds measuring hundreds of millions of light years. And if you thought that one universe was complicated and difficult enough, some cosmologists are actually tackling the idea of multiple universes branching off into infinity, or the multiverse. According to this theory, our universe is just one of countless others. Or, as two Stanford physicists are proposing, one of a very large, but ultimately finite set of recognizable classical regions of the cosmos we would define as their unique universes. The big question of course, is how exactly they came up with their numbers and what definitions they were using.'