Nov 23, 2004
copyright: John Smith
satellite measures the distance to stars the same way a surveyor
measures the distance to your property line. It takes readings from
different angles plus the distance of the baseline between the
angles, then uses these to calculate how far away the object is.
Since its launch in 1989, the Hipparcos satellite has
calculated distances to 100,000 stars more accurately than any other
Most of Hipparcos' observations of individual stars agrees
with previous distance calculations (where available). The notable
exception to that rule is the familiar star-cluster in the
constellation Taurus called the Pleiades (see
photo above). Hipparcos measured the distance to 50 of
the brightest stars in the Pleiades and came up with a
distance of 118 parsecs from Earth.
Previous distance measurements
converged around the value of 132 parsecs. That's a significant
difference; about 12%, or almost 3 quadrillion miles. The older
measurements were re-examined, but they still produced the same 132
What is happening here? Why is there a discrepancy in the Pleiades' distance, but not in the distances of
All of the older methods of determining the distance
to the stars involve assumptions based on either the theory of
nuclear stars or the theory of gravity (or both). But from an
Electric Universe point of view, stars are powered by galactic
electric currents, not nuclear furnaces. And gravity isn't a
constant, but a variable dependent on electrical characteristics.
The question we need to ask is how the electric currents of a
cluster of stars are different from those of single stars. With many
stars to share a current, will the individual stars seem brighter or
dimmer than their non-clustered neighbors? Will the double stars in
a cluster orbit each other under the influence of a different
The stars of the Pleiades also have a different
metallicity (amount of materials heavier than hydrogen and
helium) than nearby single stars. This is interpreted conventionally
as the cluster stars being younger than their neighbors. But
metallicity may be related to electric currents as well as
(or instead of) age.
This discrepancy in the calculations of how far away the
Pleiades are may also cast light on the cosmological
question of redshift. In his book, Seeing Red,
Halton Arp has shown physical connections between galaxies and
quasars of different redshifts. The higher redshift
objects are smaller and fainter and appear to be younger.
showed that this excess of redshift in younger objects
applies to a smaller extent to stars - bluer, hotter stars have
higher redshifts than redder, cooler stars.