by Wal Thornhill
21 October 1999
from HoloScience Website
Why did the planetary gods dominate our imagination at the dawn of civilization?
nine out of ten people today could not identify bright Jupiter
in the night sky. And another question that is never asked, what was
really meant by Jupiter’s weapon, the
So, if Jupiter has had a shoot-out
in the dim past, what "smoking guns" should we expect to find?
Its surface is being spark
machined under the gaze of the Galileo spacecraft.
Geologists, handicapped by earthly comparisons, have had to resort
to volcanoes to explain what are clearly plasma jets on Io.
The dark feature is not a lava flow - it is subsurface material exposed and burnt by the wandering arc. There will not be a single hot caldera but rather a series of intensely hot cathode "spots" sitting on high points of the crater rim.
They give rise to the very fast "cathode jets"
seen as faint blue radial streaks in the picture.
It was not a target itself but it bears the scars from being caught in the crossfire.
Just as lightning looks for the easiest path to ground, Jupiter’s thunderbolts preferred to run across the surface of Europa rather than through the near vacuum of space.
The result is a filamentary pattern (click image left) of superimposed furrows running this way and that for hundreds and thousands of kilometers across the face of the moon.
As the surface lightning blasted its way across the moon, it heaped material to either side to form levees.
It ripped across earlier channels as if they were not there. Jupiter’s lightning was so powerful that it converted some of the oxygen in the water ice to sulfur - creating the dark coloration down the centre and to either side of the large furrows.
(The same process on Io over thousands of years has coated
that moon with sulfur so that it now looks like a "pizza").
And there is one strange pattern that has
defied sensible explanation - the hundreds of kilometers long cycloidal cracks called
We have already seen linear motion of the arcs recorded by the straighter furrows.
And circular motion of an arc can be demonstrated in the lab by having a magnetic field parallel to a cathode surface.
So when Europa became entangled
in Jupiter’s thunderbolt and the powerful magnetic fields carried
with it were momentarily draped over the moon’s surface, cycloidal
furrows were simply created by rotating travelling arcs.
But if geologists’ cracked ice models are so wide of the mark then they may be disappointed.
On the other hand, the electrical model suggests a far more interesting history of the solar system than textbooks allow!