by Wal Thornhill
The Very Large Array (VLA) of radio antennae in its most compact configuration ("D-array").
The VLA is 50 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico on U.S. Highway 60.
Image courtesy of
NRAO/AUI and Kristal Armendariz, Photographer.
A recent report from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) highlights the usefulness of radio astronomy in discovering some of the electrical secrets of galaxies.
However, it also demonstrates the
"uncanny inertia" of "erroneous theories."
An international team of scientists used more than 500 hours of observations with the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope to produce detailed sets of images of 34 galaxies at distances from 6 to 50 million light-years from Earth.
Their project, called The HI Nearby Galaxy Survey, or THINGS *, required two years to produce nearly one TeraByte of data.
* The THINGS project is a large international collaboration led by Fabian Walter of the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany, and includes research teams led by Brinks, de Blok, Michele Thornley of the Bucknell University in the U.S. and Rob Kennicutt of the Cambridge University in the UK. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.
HI ("H-one") is an astronomical term for atomic hydrogen gas.
The reference to "dark matter" in the outline of the THINGS project should be of concern to all taxpayers.
The invention of undetectable "dark" matter in a gravitational model of galaxies should be ringing alarm bells and flashing warning lights for anyone with commonsense.
It is saying that there may be something we don't know about gravity or that simple Newtonian mechanics does not apply to galaxies. Perhaps both are true. Clearly, we need a better explanation than "an invisible tooth fairy did it."
To be confident we understand galaxies
we need a working model that can be demonstrated in the laboratory.
Is there such a model?
But instead of using stars, gas and dust as the particles, subject to Newton's laws, the particles are charged and respond to the laws of electromagnetism.
This seems like an obvious approach when we know that more than 99.9 percent of the visible universe is in the form of plasma. Plasma is a gas influenced by the presence of charged atoms and electrons. Plasma responds to electromagnetic forces that exceed the strength of gravity to the extent that gravity can usually be safely ignored.
This simple fact alone suggests why gravitational models of galaxies must fail.
The interaction region, and hence the thickness of a galaxy is 10 kpc. By scaling the current flows in astronomical objects by size, it is determined that the average flow in a galactic Birkeland current is approximately 1019 amperes; the Alfvén galactic current.
The synchrotron radiated power is of the order of 1037 watts, that is, the power recorded from double radio galaxies.
And so that there can be no objection, the computer simulations have been backed up by experiments in the highest energy density laboratory electrical discharges - the Z-pinch machine.
The experiments verify each stage in development of the PIC simulations.
This important work demonstrates that the beautiful spiral structure of galaxies is a natural form of plasma instability in a universe energized by electrical power.
The observations of ‘motions of gas' in galaxies will be valuable to plasma cosmologists but will only serve to further confuse gravity models because it is not 'gas' that is in motion but plasma.
And as for star formation, the same electrical plasma processes that form galaxies are involved at the stellar scale. A later article will show that astronomers' understanding of stars is little advanced on the aboriginal ‘campfire in the sky.'
There will be no new light on astronomers' understanding of stars until electric light dispels the darkness.
There is an important lesson here.
The notion that gravity governs celestial mechanics has been "embedded within our culture" for hundreds of years and is as difficult to dislodge as was Ptolemy's epicycles. Science is essentially a cultural activity and is not as objective as we like to fool ourselves. It seems that the cultural imperative remains strong enough to deny prima facie evidence and defy logic and commonsense.
As Max Planck lamented,
But our growing generation is not being familiarized with important scientific innovation, that history shows often comes from outsiders to a discipline who have not been imbued with the culture of that discipline.
Innovation from outside a discipline is actively suppressed by academia and generally ignored by a lazy media. Meanwhile there is a blizzard of high-tech computer simulations ** presented to a growing generation as real science.
** The PIC supercomputer simulations referred to earlier are simply based on the known behavior of charged particles obeying Maxwell's laws of electromagnetism. So it is no surprise that the simulations mimic the lab results. However, most cosmological simulations are derived from a priori mathematical theory where there are no experiments or direct observations to serve as a brake on speculation. The result is continual astonishment at new data.
Science has entered the age of virtual reality.
And our understanding of the universe has become as contrived as a computer game.
The expectation of surprise has become a hallmark of astronomy.
It is symptomatic of the non-predictive
nature of astrophysical theory based on the big bang and
gravitational cosmology. Successful prediction is the principal test
of a good theory, not surprises.
The inability of astrophysicists to accept the manifest evidence of intrinsic redshift (below image - a high-redshift quasar in front of a low redshift galaxy should be blatant enough) may be due to a reluctance to admit that modern physics has no explanation for the phenomenon of mass in matter and therefore cannot explain how subatomic particles like the proton and electron might exhibit the lower mass required to produce lower energy spectra (redshift).
Observations of connections between high- and low-redshift objects requires that the redshift is intrinsic to the matter in distant quasars and galaxies and cannot be due to some modification of the light on its journey to Earth.
It calls into question our understanding
of quantum theory because it has been discovered that the redshift
of quasars and companion galaxies is quantized!
Quantum theory is thought to apply exclusively to the submicroscopic realm of atoms and subatomic particles. But that is not so.
Redshift has been observed to be
quantized across entire galaxies - no galaxy has been found in
transition from one redshift to another.
Observations show that quasars are "born" (below image) from the nucleus of active galaxies.
They initially move very fast away from their parent, usually roughly along the spin axis.
As they grow older they grow brighter and seem to slow down as they gain in mass and evolve into companion galaxies.
This gain in massiveness points to a
process whereby normal matter can pass through a number of small
quantized increases in mass, which gives rise to the observed
quantized decreases in redshift. This discovery points the way, at
last, to an understanding of the phenomenon of mass.
In fact, "galactic collisions" are a recently popular catch-all to try to explain the formation of spiral galaxies and many of their anomalous features. Collisions are as unlikely and unnecessary as they are forbidden in an Electric Universe.
The following exceptional example clearly favors the Electric Universe explanation.
One simple electrical model fits all galaxies naturally.
In stark contrast to standard ad hoc attempts to explain Hoag's object in terms of a collision, the Electric Universe can point to a simple explanation, which fits neatly the plasma cosmology model of formation of galaxies in a magnetic pinch at the intersection of cosmic Birkeland current filaments.
Hoag's object shows the detailed features of the ‘penumbra' of a plasma focus discharge.
See also the earlier image of the active galactic nucleus of NGC 1097 as another fine example of a dense plasma focus penumbra. The astronomer Halton Arp has shown that NGC 1097 is one of the most compelling examples of quasar ejection from an active nucleus.
He describes it as "a busy quasar factory."
The Birkeland current filaments are caused by the magnetic pinch effect and they space themselves evenly apart in a characteristic number of 56 filaments.
With time, the 56 filaments coalesce in
two's and sometimes threes. The result is a sequence of 56 (by far
the most common), 49, 47, 41, 39, 33, 30, followed by a large number
of 28 filaments. The convergence continues through 20, 16, 8, 7, 6,
and 4, the latter being the minimum number of Birkeland filaments
The kink instability twists upon itself to form a tiny donut shaped ‘plasmoid' of extremely high energy density.
Eventually, the plasmoid breaks down and electrons and ions are accelerated from the plasmoid in opposite directions along the axis in intense, narrow beams (4).
The natural formation of highly focused jets from some stars and active galactic nuclei is now clear.
And the rapid motion of stars close to
our own galactic center may be explained by the assemblage of matter
there in the form of a dusty plasmoid constrained by powerful
The gravitational ‘explanation' of the galactic jet can be summarized in one word - "garbage."
The confident assertion that the galactic nucleus is hiding a supermassive black hole is nonsense. Black holes are a ‘school-kid howler' perpetrated by top scientists. It involves taking Newton's gravitational equation to an absurd limit by dividing by zero to achieve an almost infinitely powerful gravitational source. This is done by impossibly squeezing the matter of millions of stars into effectively a point source.
And then mysteriously available magnetic
fields are pressed into performing miracles to create something that
approximates a relativistic jet of matter from an object that is
supposed to gobble up anything that comes near.
If scientists were forced to defend their statements in a court of law under the rules of evidence, most of the misbegotten ideas that make up modern science would never have survived. Physics would have remained in the classical hands of the experimentalists and the engineers who have to make things work.
Countless billions of dollars could have
been saved in misdirected and pointless experiments.
So the commonsense question is simply,
I don't think so!