Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Cassini closes in on the beautiful ringed planet - Saturn.
From the NY Times of June 15, 2004:
Scientists hope that the US$3.7 billion spacecraft will solve many of Saturn’s mysteries. However, if the Galileo mission to Jupiter is any guide, Cassini will discover more mysteries during its extended visit to Saturn. Scientists “dare not predict the discoveries waiting to be made” because their success rate in the past has been appalling. The catch phrase “it’s back to the drawing board” has been worn out.
The old drawings are merely scribbled over. The problem for scientists analyzing the flood of data to be returned from Cassini and its probe to Titan is the set of unshakeable beliefs they bring to the task. The belief in the nebular accretion theory of formation of the solar system colors every confident assertion.
For example, the official caption for this close-up of Saturn’s moon, Phoebe (click image below right), reads:
That the craters on Phoebe were formed by impact is stated as a fact. Instead, it is a supposition unsupported by observation or experiment.
The electric universe model explains the craters as Phoebe’s birthmarks. It is a model supported by examination of spark-machined surfaces. Just as stars are observed to do, gas giant planets may also expel a jet of matter during periods of electrical instability. Accretion of matter in the jet is mediated by the electromagnetic pinch effect and electrostatic deposition. Both of these mechanisms are far superior to accretion by impacts (tending to shatter and scatter instead of to accrete).
Electrostatic deposition easily creates the layering
seen in all rocky objects to date. Electrical discharges
parent and departing child carve out the circular craters. Because
they are not formed by a sudden mechanical impact, the craters are
neat and do not cause disruption to adjacent craters or fill them
with debris - as we see on Phoebe. That is not to say that
was born from Saturn. Its retrograde orbit suggests capture by
Newton’s famous law of gravitation relates the force between two bodies to the product of their masses and the square of the distance between their centers. But “mass” and its relation to matter remains a metaphysical concept.
However, we know
from particle accelerator experiments that the mass of a particle of
matter increases when subjected to acceleration in an
electromagnetic field. So the internal electromagnetic state of a
planet or a star may alter its apparent mass. Yet scientists
calculate the mass of Saturn or its moon, Phoebe, by measuring the
gravitational force and assuming a universal constant of
gravitation, written “G.” In an electric universe “G” is neither
universal nor constant. We cannot simply calculate the density of
celestial bodies by estimating mass using Newton’s law of gravity.
Their cores do not burn with a thermonuclear fire and they are much cooler than the hot plasma discharge that envelops them. The Sun is stone cold compared to its corona. That is why the interior of the Sun, seen through its sunspots, is much cooler than the electrical storms that rage above in its photosphere.
plasma shell of a star, particularly giant stars, may be much larger
than the solid core that is the focus of the cosmic discharge. Stars
and gas giants may occasionally reduce internal electrical stress by
ejecting some of their charged core, usually equatorially, in a nova
type outburst. The light curves of novae show the typical rapid
onset and slow decay of lightning. The result of the outburst is an
expulsion disk and closely orbiting companions.
Such rapid variability in the appearance of stars is well documented.
Before dimming forever, Saturn would have flared up to relieve the stresses caused by the sudden change in electrical environment. Saturn’s present low internal electrical stress, as indicated by its low apparent mass, suggests ejection activity. But even so, the core of the electric star has not completely cooled - Saturn still radiates more than twice the heat it receives from the Sun.
And we have a simple explanation for the origin of Saturn’s mysterious short-lived rings.
Credit: X-ray: NASA/U. Hamburg/J.Ness et al; Optical: NASA/STScI
Solar plasma donut viewed in UV light by the SOHO spacecraft
Saturnian storms Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
By this stage, cognitive dyspepsia will have taken its toll of those readers who have faith in the established fairytale of a solar system formed gravitationally 5 billion years ago, with the planets in the same order and roughly the same orbital spacing as we find them now.
For them there is much more that could be written to prepare the way for this radically new paradigm. That task will be undertaken by a new website called thunderbolts.info.
For the moment, a scenario follows that is so alien to any conventional theory of Saturn’s history that it should be easily tested against information gained from the Cassini mission. It shows striking connections between many seemingly unrelated facts about certain planets.
That is something that conventional cosmogony has not been able to do.
Saturn and the Recent History of the Solar System
The solar system is not supposed to have a recent history. We assume that the dinosaurs roamed under the same Sun we see in the sky today. But no, in round figures I am talking about changes in planetary orbits only 10,000 years ago.
The changes occurred during
the era of the earliest human art in the form of petroglyphs, or
rock carvings. The petroglyphs are not merely prehistoric doodles on
rock. They required a prodigious global effort by our distant
ancestors to produce. The breakthrough in decoding them came when
the strange petroglyphs were compared with powerful electrical
discharge phenomena. [My earlier news item,
Mystery of Mars’ Polar
Spirals, outlines some recent results in the search for the true
meaning of petroglyphs.]
With a real perspective of chaos in the solar system in prehistoric times we can see why the astronomer-priests of old were so powerful in their societies. They knew planets had had a dramatic impact on humanity and the Earth.
And Saturn was remembered as the most prominent.
The solar system as we see it today is less than 10,000 years old!
Cassini orbit insertion at Saturn
All being well, Cassini is due to arrive at Saturn on July 1.
Only a select few on Earth
recognize the event as a kind of homecoming; a homage to our most
ancient Sun god - Sol, Ra, Helios. All of these names were
originally given to the planet Saturn. Yet Saturn today is an
unremarkable speck in the sky, less bright than many of the
So how do we explain that Saturnian symbolism of the ring pervades our cultures?
The halo of the saints, the royal crown, and the ring given in marriage are Saturnian symbols, as are the circled or Celtic cross, the Egyptian ansate cross, or ankh, the "Eye of Ra," and the star inside the crescent. The star at the top of the Christmas tree, covered in lights, is pure Saturnian imagery. It is truly amazing that we are still haunted by prehistoric archetypes.
It helps us to understand the extraordinary subconscious attraction of Tolkien’s fantasy of Lord of the Rings. J. R. R. Tolkien was well versed in mythology.
In December, 1999, I wrote in Other stars, other worlds, other life?
As the ancients observed, Saturn was our primordial parent star. Of course we must be careful in our identification.
But there is one physical characteristic that links the parent with its offspring. It is the axial tilt. Like our moon, satellites tend to orbit their primary with the same face always turned toward it. If they orbit in the equatorial plane, their spin axis will be aligned with that of the primary.
As gyroscopes, the satellites will retain the same tilt
even if jolted from their orbit, although the process may induce a
wobble of the spin axis. It is therefore highly significant that two
key planets identified by the ancients - Saturn and Mars - have
axial tilts closely similar to that of the Earth. The tilt of
Saturn, at 27 degrees to the ecliptic plane, is itself an enigma - unless it formed independently from the Sun.
The voltage drop across the Sun’s plasma sheath would almost equal the full driving potential of the Sun, measured in tens of billions of volts. Rather than being an anode in the galactic discharge, Saturn would become a cathode in the Sun’s environment and subject to forming cathode jets. Saturn could be expected to “spit the dummy” in such a circumstance! Venus was one such “dummy,” ejected from the equator of Saturn.
Saturn’s swift rotation delivered a “slap on baby’s
bottom” to Venus giving it a slow retrograde spin. The magnitude of
the axial tilt of Venus to the ecliptic is much less than
which suggests that the Venusian orbit was tilted away from Saturn’s
equatorial plane due to electrical capture forces acting on that
dying star. We have abundant pictorial evidence that Venus was
wrenched from its orbit in a polar direction shortly after it was
born. (See the Egyptian "Eye of Ra" above).
Venus carried away significant charge from its parent so that it still has a “cometary” magnetotail and its mountains glow with plasma discharges. Venus also shows a surprisingly young surface that gave rise to ad hoc theories of resurfacing events.
They are unnecessary. Venus is a baby.
Planet-girdling filamentary scars on Venus
are due to equatorial cosmic discharges
through a thick atmosphere.
What can we expect Cassini to find, based on this dramatic recent history of Saturn?
We should expect to see family traits amongst the members of the Saturnian family - including the departed Earth, Mars and Venus. For example, the moon Titan, which is larger than the planet Mercury, seems to be a close sibling of Venus, probably born from Saturn at about the same time.
That Titan may be young is hinted at by its eccentric orbit, which cannot have persisted for billions of years. So we should be alert to similarities between Titan and Venus. It is already known that Titan has the densest atmosphere of any terrestrial planet, after Venus. That is a huge puzzle for scientists. After all, two of Jupiter’s moons, Ganymede and Callisto, have no atmosphere yet they are of similar size.
So it would not be surprising if Titan had warm spots over the poles, like Venus. Titan also has a global layered haze like Venus. (Haze layers seem to be the condensed form that non-polar molecules take in an electrified atmosphere. They are quite distinct from the vertically moving clouds that polar molecules, like water, form).
And just as Mars has a whiff of the Venusian atmosphere, with carbon dioxide and nitrogen as major constituents, we may expect to find that the Titan atmosphere has some of the smell of Venus about it.
Both Venus’ and Titan’s atmospheres, being very young, will not yet be in equilibrium. So calculations about atmospheric constituents that assume equilibrium as a starting point will be wrong. The methane found in Titan’s atmosphere is quickly destroyed by sunlight so it has to be replenished.
That has led to the suggestion that Titan must have a hydrocarbon ocean for the methane to have lasted for the conventional age of the solar system.
However, radar, infrared and radio observations of Titan have not found signs of a hydrocarbon ocean. In fact one radar return was,
Titan is most
likely a baby brother of Venus!
That raises the obvious question; why doesn’t Venus have much water? When performing comparisons, we must allow for the fact that the Venusian atmosphere is being modified continually by electric discharge activity on the surface of that planet. It has increased the carbon dioxide content of the Venusian atmosphere at the expense of nitrogen and water vapor.
Scientists think that most of Venus’ water must have split into hydrogen and oxygen and all the hydrogen was lost to space. But if so, where is the oxygen that was left behind? The four Pioneer probe craft didn’t find it in the atmosphere.
The answer is that it has combined with carbon monoxide to form a heavy atmosphere of carbon dioxide.
The process I envisage is this:
Like Venus, surface temperatures are globally uniform on Titan within a few degrees.
It is thought that there is a greenhouse effect operating on Titan. However, the heat of Venus is due to its origin and has nothing to do with a greenhouse effect. The same will likely be true for Titan. Like Venus, Titan seems not to have a magnetic field and yet it has a distinct magnetotail.
electrical plasma interactions may be like those of Venus.
shines on the dayside in UV light too brightly to be explained by
solar radiation. It should be very interesting as Titan swings in
and out of Saturn’s magnetosphere. The plasma sheath crossings could
provide some surprises.
There is much more that could be written about Saturn’s other moons.
But there are enough outrageous claims here to add spice to the anticipated revelations from Cassini’s extended visit to Saturn and the Huygens probe to Titan.