by Stephen Smith
from Thunderbolts Website
The Boomerang Nebula.
Credit: Hubble Heritage Team, J. Biretta (STScI) et al.
Magnetic fields are sometimes invoked to
describe lobate celestial objects, but the electric current flow
needed for their generation is neglected.
Stars are born within twisting Birkeland currents that flow around a circuit through the galaxy.
The z-pinch effect squeezes plasma inside those filaments (above image), igniting stars and forming toroids of electricity around stellar equators.
It is actually the electrical current density that causes plasma in nebulae to glow, not reflections or thermal emissions. Nebulae often exhibit long tendrils and bubbles within their symmetrical hourglass shapes.
According to conventional theories, those features are the result of stellar winds blowing off the parent star, crashing into the slower material ahead of them. In the case of the (below) Boomerang Nebula (and others) the unmistakable appearance of Birkeland current filaments is clearly visible.
The overall configuration corresponds to the helices and pillars that electrical discharges in plasma can create. In the laboratory, plasma forms cells separated by thin walls of opposite charge called double layers.
Could separation of charges
also take place in nebulae? That question might take a long time to
resolve because the only way to detect a double layer in space is to
Langmuir probe into one.
Electric double layers resulting from
charge separation impelled Nobel laureate
Hannes Alfvén to suggest
that they have their own classification alongside stars and