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040813origin-rock-art.jpg
Credit: Anthony Peratt

 

Aug 13, 2004
Origins of Rock Art

The origins of rock art recede into prehistory. Images such as this one from New Mexico are commonly assumed to have shamanistic or spiritual meaning. But this only begs the question of origins. The Hopi, for example, attribute spiritual meanings to the images on the rocks, but they also claim the originators were the "Ancient People" who inhabited the mesas before the Hopi came. No one knows what meaning those Ancient People attributed to the images.

A suggestive light is cast on this question by Anthony Peratt's recognition that rock art forms are identical to forms generated by instabilities in high-energy plasma discharges. He presented this idea in the IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Special Issue on Space Plasmas, December, 2003. Peratt is one of a handful of experts who have studied plasma instabilities for many years. Such instabilities evolve through a characteristic series of forms regardless of the scale of the discharge: a centimeter-long spark in a laboratory will progress through a series in a fraction of a second; computer simulations indicate each phase of a planet-sized arc could last many months.

If the electric currents that produce auroras in the Earth's plasma sheath (magnetosphere) were to experience a severe power surge from unusual solar activity, visible instabilities of this sort could form around the Earth. If this happened in prehistoric times, the ancient sky would have come alive with glowing, writhing forms. Ancient people, awed by the appearance of these giant instabilities, would incorporate the images into their cultures. The themes of ancient art and myth that occur in common around the world would be explained by the common experience every ancient society had of the "enhanced  aurora" in their sky.



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040812universe.jpg
Credit: WMAP Science Team, NASA

 

Aug 12, 2004
Mapping the Universe

The fundamental substance of reality is experience. Not atoms, not energy, not dark matter. Atoms, energy, and matter are ideas with which we organize and understand selected parts of our experience. They represent our experience in the same way a road map represents the experience of traveling. We experience riding in a Chevy on an asphalt surface, and we know where we are by looking at lines of ink on paper. The ink is not the asphalt; the paper is not the surface of the Earth; knowing our location is not being there. The ink and the paper function as a metaphor for our experience. Ideas are the ink of the mind, and atoms, energy, and dark matter are profoundly metaphorical. At the same time as they enable us to understand some experiences, they hide others.

Different maps represent different experiences: Road maps help us to understand traveling on highways; topology maps help us to understand the lay of the land; political maps help us to understand conflicts among groups of people. Changes in our experiences require changes to our maps: A rerouted highway requires erasing old lines and inking in new lines; an earthquake requires drawing new contours; a conquest requires changing the color of an area.

The map above is the most detailed picture ever made of microwave "light" from all over the sky. Using ideas that have worked well for understanding past observations, astronomers conclude that the universe is13.7 billion years old  (accurate to 1 percent) and is currently expanding at the rate of 71 km/sec/ Mpc (accurate to 5 percent). But further experiences with details of the data encounter chasms in the middle of the freeway. Bridges are drawn in to span these gaps: The universe this map represents must be composed of 73 percent unobservable dark energy and 23 percent unobservable cold dark matter. Only 4 percent is left as observable atoms. To connect the few landmarks that are left with the assumptions about where it all began, additional metaphorical lines are inked in: This 96-percent-unobservable universe underwent episodes of rapid and slow expansion called "inflation" and "deceleration", and now it will "expand" forever.

This is a metaphor that no longer represents our experiences.

The map hides observations that don't fit this picture. Quantized redshifts detour around the idea of an expanding universe. Electric currents in space conquer dark matter. Galaxy/QSO associations correlate redshift with genealogy, not with distance. Braided filaments, axial ion beams, extended magnetic fields, non-gravitational orbits, cometary x-rays ... the space age has brought us experiences that defy representation with traditional ideas of gravity and gas. The discovery that the universe is composed mostly of plasma requires a new map:  We need a map inked with circuits that transmit power from clusters to galaxies, from galaxies to stars, from stars to planets.

This WMAP of tiny irregularities in the background microwave radiation will no longer chart the positions of unobservable phenomena. It will become a representation of the hum from the cosmic power lines that thread the universe.



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040811mars.jpg
Credit: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University

 

Aug 11, 2004
Etched Mars

Grooves of widely varying sizes appear etched on the surface of Mars. The grooves indicate a removal of material by forces unknown to planetary geologists. But a force familiar to plasma physicists -- electrical arc machining -- etches grooves with these exact characteristics.

Grooves such as these appear etched into the surface of Mars. Although their sizes vary enormously, their outstanding features are the same: parallel, steep sides, often scalloped; flat bottoms; sharp intersections that leave each groove undisturbed by the other; flat terraces; sudden terminations that sometimes skip over intervening terrain, leaving "land-locked" basins; and everywhere an absence of the debris that familiar erosional processes should leave. The grooves indicate a removal of material by forces unknown to planetary geologists.

But a force familiar to plasma physicists etches grooves with these exact characteristics: Electrical arc machining. The electrical forces constrain the arc to contact the surface at a 90-degree angle. Because the arc typically consists of one or more pairs of channels that rotate around a common axis, a stationary arc will etch a circular crater. Most of the etched material is lifted from the surface, and the material around the edge is pinched up into a sharp rim. If the rotating channels are sufficiently far apart, they may leave a "peak" of undisturbed material in the center of the crater. Fluctuations in the current may cause variations in the depth and diameter of etching, leaving terraces along the walls.

If the arc travels across the surface, it will etch away material to a uniform depth and leave a groove with parallel sides exactly the width of the arc's rotation. Uneven movement may result in a series of overlapping circular craters, producing scalloped edges, or a jumping of the arc, producing linear chains of craters. When a traveling arc crosses the groove etched by a previous arc, it will be unaffected by the change in terrain. Sometimes a "ghost" of the earlier groove will be preserved as the later arc etches its uniform depth down one side and up the other. (An example of such "ghosting" can be seen at upper right in the image.)  In a process similar to the jumping that produces crater chains, an arc may etch a groove and then jump a ways before etching more of the groove, leaving lines of isolated basins.

The two outstanding characteristics that distinguish electrical arc etching from mechanical erosion processes are the small amount of debris left by etching and the considerable melting of crater and groove floors.  The lack of debris in and around features on Mars has already been noticed. Landers should soon begin reporting evidence of glassification.



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040810mystery-cosmic-dragon.jpg
Credit/caption: a traditional Near Eastern dragon, based on a design
published by Ramona Jablonski (Traditional Designs of Armenia and the Near East

 

Aug 10, 2004
Mystery of the Cosmic Dragon

For several millennia, serpents and dragons have occupied the minds of storytellers the world over, and modern theories, explanations, and rationalizations are as abundant as the cultural variations on the theme.

Dragon-like monsters soaring across the heavens rank among the most enigmatic and fanciful icons of the ancient cultures. These mythical reptiles come adorned with feathers or wings, sprouting long-flowing hair and fiery, lightning-like emanations.  Every detail of such beasts defies naturalistic reasoning.  Yet accounts from widely separated cultures attribute many identical features to these biological absurdities.

When researchers seeking to resolve a mystery have explored every possibility they can imagine, but find no answer, it becomes increasingly likely that the truth is simply outside the boundaries of current assumption.  Until very recently historical researchers had no reason to think of plasma when considering the mysteries of the cosmic serpent or dragon.  Yet almost everything about the mythic archetype finds striking counterparts in the behavior of electrified plasma, now known to fill interplanetary, interstellar and intergalactic space.  Under the influence of electric currents, plasma produces filamentary, undulating, spiraling formations, with life-like attributes.  Indeed, it was this life-like quality of electrified plasma that inspired Irving Langmuir to borrow the term from biology (blood plasma).

Independent investigators, with an eye to electrical phenomena, suggest that our early ancestors saw heaven-spanning plasma discharge in the sky, when Earth moved through a more dense plasma environment. Earthshaking electrical activity not only decimated early cultures but dominated human imagination for thousands of years.  But only in recent decades have plasma experts identified complementary plasma formations in the laboratory and in remote space.

Is it possible that our cosmic environment was once alive with electrical activity? If so, it is essential that the cosmic serpent or dragon be investigated from a new vantage point, one that is open to the study of electrical phenomena in our sky not that long ago.



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040809-mon.jpg
Credit: NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA /STScI )

 

Aug 09, 2004
V838 Mon

When Australian amateur astronomer Nicholas Brown photographed a region in the constellation Monoceros in early January 2002, he noticed a 10th-magnitude star that wasn't there when he had photographed the same area about two weeks earlier. Over the next month, amateur and professional astronomers worldwide watched as this "new" star brightened to magnitude 6.5 and then faded away again. Now a meager 16th-magnitude star, V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon) was for a short time intrinsically brighter than any other star in our entire galaxy.

A few weeks after Brown's discovery, astronomers noticed that V838 Mon was surrounded by an expanding glowing cloud. On October 2, 2002, NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) announced another "mystery star": "Observations indicate that the erupting star transformed itself over a period of months from a small under-luminous star a little hotter than the Sun, to a highly luminous, cool super giant star undergoing rapid and complex brightness changes. The transformation defies the conventional understanding of stellar life cycles." [Italics added.].

According to a group of observers who studied the star's spectra with the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope in Hawaii, V838 Mon appears to be the coolest super giant ever seen. At least 800 times larger than the sun, it had a surface temperature in March 2002 around 4,000 Kelvin--typical of a cool super giant star. But seven months later, it was much cooler. "It corresponded to a surface temperature little more than 1,000 Kelvin, well within the temperature range of brown dwarfs," says team member Mark Rushton of Keele University in the U.K.

In the Electric Universe view, it's also significant that V838 Monocerotis is a binary pair.

Binary pairs are not unusual. In fact, more than half of all stars have one or more companions. Because the stars are far apart and chance encounters are rare, this observation suggests that there must be something in the process of a star's birth or evolution that favors the formation of multiple stars. One possible electric mechanism is fissioning of a nova. The electrical stress of a star is concentrated on its surface. If there is more stress than the star can take, one response would be for the star to fission into two stars. The surface area of two stars is greater than the surface area of one, so the new system is able to accept more electrical stress.

V838 Monocerotis has all the basic characteristics of fissioning to relieve electrical stress: nova-like brightening followed by loss of luminosity and loss of temperature; changing to a different spectral type with marked changes in its surface chemical composition; discovery of a binary companion; and the appearance of an expanding nebulous cloud.

If stars are powered by electrical current filaments strung through the galactic plasma in which the stars are immersed, power surges in those circuits can suddenly brighten and dim them. The interiors of the stars will bear little resemblance to the presently accepted model based on the assumption of a thermonuclear core. The electrical generation of starlight explains the many anomalies that remain intractable to theories from the gaslight era of astronomy.



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040806asteroid-ida.jpg
Credit: Galileo Project, JPL, NASA

 

Aug 06, 2004
Asteroid Ida

The spacecraft Galileo, on its journey to Jupiter, snapped photos of asteroids Gaspra in 1991 and Ida in 1993 (photo above). These were the first two asteroids seen close up, revealing unexpected features. They were more heavily cratered than expected. Gaspra had two arrays of overlapping grooves. Some of Ida's craters were much larger than expected. But the biggest surprise was that 52-km (36 mile) Ida is orbited by a moon, Dactyl, an egg-shaped body about 1.6 km (1 mile) in its longest dimension. Since then, other asteroids with moons have been discovered.

The Electric Universe offers a different origin and history of the asteroids from conventional astronomy, so this is an opportunity to compare actual features of the asteroids with the expectations of the two theories. Conventionally, the asteroids are thought to be  condensations that should have accreted into a planet when the rest of the planets were formed but failed to do so because the pull of their giant next-door-neighbor, Jupiter, interfered. Craters accumulated one at a time by random collisions. Grooves were caused by large collisions that nearly tore the asteroid apart.

The Electric Universe sees the asteroids as the remains of the most recent major event in solar system history. Grooves (called rilles when they are found on larger worlds) and craters were carved in groups by one or several electrical discharge events.

The asteroids contain four belts and about nineteen families of bodies. Ida and Dactyl are members of the Koronis family, the largest asteroid family. The asteroids within this family follow similar orbits and have similar composition, indicating that they may have originated from catastrophic break-up of a single parent body.

The fact that Ida has a moon is also evidence of a catastrophic event. For an asteroid to capture another asteroid gravitationally is almost impossible unless the two bodies escaped together from a larger gravitational influence.

Another detail about the asteroids was pointed out by astronomer Tom Van Flandern. Analysis of their orbits (including the four belts and nineteen families mentioned above), taken in conjunction with the orbits of most long-term comets indicates that both the asteroids and comets had a common origin in a recent explosive event. ('Recent' is defined by the orbit analyses as about 3 million years ago.) The Electric Universe agrees with this analysis, if not with the event that Van Flandern postulates.

The asteroids were formed in a universe that is 99% plasma, but the standard theories about how they formed and evolved were developed by researchers who believe plasma has little to do with astronomy. So as we look forward to more detailed asteroid data from space missions, we should continue to expect the unexpected.



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040805electric-comet.jpg
Credit: Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

Aug 05, 2004
Electric Comet

Recent mages of comet Wild 2 may reveal the telltale sign of electric discharge in the form of unexplained “bright spots”.

Close-up photos of comet Wild 2 taken by the spacecraft Stardust reveal small bright spots.  Several of these hotspots are seen in the photo on the left, and two are seen together in the photo on the right.  A few have adjacent dark spots that may be shadows cast by the material shooting up from the surface.

From an Electric Universe point of view, these are the sparks where electric currents from the sun impinge on the more negatively charged surface of the comet.  This is where electricity is peeling away the surface of the comet's nucleus.  The material removed from the comet is funneled away in tight jets that twice surprise conventional expectations.  The conventional model expects to find an even distribution of evaporated volatiles in the coma and tail of comets.  Instead Stardust finds dense concentrations of particles in the jets themselves and fewer particles than expected in the coma and tail.

During the late 1800's, researchers noted the similarities between comet behavior and electrical phenomena in mainstream magazines such as Nature,Scientific American and English Mechanic and World of Science. But in the early 1900's, astronomers backed away from those ideas because they imply electric currents between the comet and the sun, something 20th century astronomers were not willing to consider. They instead developed the "dirty snowball" theory of comets, which says that comet displays can be explained by ice and volatiles (compounds with low melting points) evaporating under the heat of the Sun.

The Electric Universe researchers are ready to turn the tide of comet theory back toward electrical phenomena. Electricity, not heat, is at work on the surface of Wild 2. If this is true, then a second problem is solved. We don't have to wait for the rare impact to form the cratered landscape. The craters we see are being carved by electric arcs. These arcs also cause the (surprising) dark color of every comet we've seen up close. They produce the (surprising) x- rays that the ROSAT x-ray observatory discovered. And they create the (surprising) streams of rocky particles that pummeled the spacecraft, Stardust.

Textbooks will have to change. It is no longer important that comets be composed of mostly ice and volatiles. Electric arcs are strong enough to strip away rock. We use similar processes in industry here on Earth, both to remove material and to deposit it.

But the biggest effect of looking at a comet from the Electric Universe point of view is that it means we have to re-examine almost everything we know about the universe. Electric currents don't appear alone. They cannot flow unless there is a return current -- a complete circuit. So if the comet is electrically active, then the Sun must be a part of its circuitry. And if the Sun is electrically active, then so are all of the stars, in all of the galaxies, and what about the galaxies themselves? These tiny sparks on Wild 2 could light a fire of discovery for astronomy.



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040804moon-io.jpg
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

Aug 04, 2004
Io's Plumes

Jupiter's inner Galilean moon, Io, spews plumes of material into space from several hot spots. They have been called volcanoes. But are they?

The hot spots are unexpectedly hot. Probe sensors overloaded after registering temperatures higher than any lava on Earth. And some of the hot spots move over the surface.

Plume velocities are unexpectedly high and uniform. The plumes are tall, have an umbrella shape, and deposit material in a ring around the source. They also have a filamentary structure.

Io orbits inside a donut-shaped cloud of charged particles that come from the material in the plumes, and a tube of electrical current connects Io with Jupiter's auroras.

These discrepancies from Earth volcanoes prompted Thomas Gold (in 1979) and Anthony Peratt and A. J. Dessler (in 1988) to note the similarities of the unexpected features to electrical discharges in plasma.

An electrical arc is about as hot as the surface of the Sun. It would easily "blind" a spacecraft's sensors. And an arc often wanders over the surface of a cathode.

Arcs accelerate material to fairly high and uniform velocities. This produces uniform trajectories that deposit material a uniform distance from the source, explaining the rings around the "volcanoes." And the forces in the discharge channels pinch the arcs into filaments. Repulsive forces between filaments tend to space them equally, often in pairs, around the plumes. Peratt and Dessler remarked on the similarity of the filamentary umbrella shape to the shape discharged from a laboratory "plasma gun".

The cloud of charged particles flowing past Io constitutes an electrical current. Peratt and Dessler calculate that the power it should induce across Io is about equal to the energy of the "volcanoes".

The largest planet in the Solar System, with the most active magnetosphere in the Solar System, has its electrical circuits "shorted out" by its inner satellite. The million-Ampere currents flowing through Io's crust make it a unique laboratory for studying the processes of interplanetary-scale electrical discharges. The scars produced will help us to distinguish electrical from impact scars left on other moons, comets, asteroids and planets.



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040803composite.jpg
Credit: Optical: NASA/HST; X-ray: NASA/SRON/CXC/SAO
040803-spectrum-72l.jpg
Credit: NASA/SRON/CXC/SAO

 

Aug 03, 2004
Charge Separation in Space

One of the basic assumptions of astrophysics today is that electrical forces play no part in cosmology because “you can’t get charge separation in space”. But x-ray images of space objects tell a different story.

Standard phrases show up in astronomical lectures and debates, from elementary documentaries to the most advanced texts: "You can't get charge separation in space;" "The solar wind consists of ions [protons] flowing from the sun (with enough electrons to ensure neutrality;)" "... with the need for electrical neutrality paramount ...;" "The necessity for electrical neutrality then forces the details of the decays to be ...;" or even "Of course there's electricity in space, but it doesn't DO anything."

The above spectrum was obtained by the Chandra orbiting x-ray camera in December of 1999. The subject is a tiny point-source of x-rays (a small, coherent cloud or the top of a coherent stream) embedded in the nucleus of an active spiral galaxy named NGC 4458 (upper image.)

The elements in the x-ray spectrum are identified by their chemical symbols: O = oxygen, Mg = magnesium, etc. The roman numerals refer to the number of electrons that have been stripped from these elements. By consulting a periodic table of elements, you can calculate how many electrons are left.  In this very active region of space, we see:

    Mg XII  --  Magnesium with all 12 of its electrons missing
    Ne X  -- Neon with all 10 electrons missing
    Ne IX -- Neon with all but 1 electron missing
    O VIII -- Oxygen with all 8 of its electrons missing
    O VII -- Oxygen with all but 1 electron missing
    N VII -- Nitrogen with all 7 of its electrons missing
    C VI -- Carbon with all 6 of its electrons missing

Among the common arguments against charge separation in space is the calculation that it would take more energy than there is in the universe just to separate all the electrons from the atoms in a single teaspoon of salt. From an Electric Universe point of view, this is begging the question. We aren't starting with a teaspoon of salt and trying to turn it into a plasma universe; we are starting with a plasma universe in which charges are already separated. So we need to consider theories that don't begin with the assumption that you can't get charge separation in space. We don't need theories that explain how imaginary objects like black holes can separate charges; we need theories that explain how charges combine to produce what we see.



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040802quasar-m82.jpg
Diagram Credit: E. Margaret Burbidge, Geoffrey Burbidge, Halton C. Arp, and Stefano Zibetti
         Photo Credit: M. Westmoquette (UCL), J. Gallagher (U. Wisconsin-Madison), L. Smith (UCL), WIYN/NSF, HST, NASA/ESA

 

Aug 02, 2004
Missing Quasars of M82

Astronomers take closer and closer pictures of the disturbed galaxy M82, trying to fathom what's happening (image on right.) Stars are forming ten times faster than stars in our Milky Way. Frequent explosions of the short-lived giant stars give the galaxy a disaster area appearance. The usual interpretation of these fireworks is that M82 suffered a near-collision with neighboring M81 about 100,000,000 years ago.

The region around M82 has been ignored. Nearer to M82 than M81 (as seen on the sky), but beyond the photo-frame of the close-up images lies a group of QSO's [quasars] as unusual as the galaxy itself (see star map on left.) But because the principle that redshift equals distance is one of the basic foundations of the big bang theory, these quasars appear to lie at various distances, all far beyond M82.

Margaret and Geoffrey Burbidge, Halton Arp and Stefano Zibetti disagree. In their 2003 paper, _QSO's associated with Messier 82_, they point out many reasons why this this group of quasars must be associated with M82, in spite of their incompatible redshifts.

The quasar group is too dense to be accidental. The average distribution of quasars in any direction is about 10 per square degree. In M82's immediate vicinity, there are already more than 60 quasars per square degree. There may be more yet: several addition quasar candidates are identified but not yet confirmed. Some of these lie within the body of M82.

The distribution of quasars within this group is not random. Nine quasars form a tight cone stretching to the SE of M82 (left and down on map above: star maps are drawn from an stargazer's perspective, standing on Earth, looking up. Thus, North is shown at the top, South at the bottom, East to the left and West to the right.) This SE group all lie in a neat cone that traces to a point at the center of M82. The group to the NNW of M82 are spread in a wide arc. There are no quasars or quasar candidates to the SW of the galaxy (although this blank area was included in the "quasars per square degree" calculations above.)

The quasars on the NNW side of the galaxy are brighter and bluer than those on the SE side. Their redshifts, on average, are lower. They are distributed in a wide arc rather than the tight cone of the SE group. All of these qualities lead to the conclusion that the quasars to the NNW are between us and M82, while the ones to the SE are strung out farther from us than M82. The fainter, redder appearance of the SE group is because their light must pass through the outer regions of the M82 en route to us. The lower redshift of the NNW quasars is because they are traveling toward us, making a blueshift, that is subtracted from their intrinsic high redshift.

To sum up: if these quasars belong to M82, then we need to rethink the connection between M82 and its neighbor M81. Rather than a cosmic accident, we're looking at a cosmic birth event. M81 is the parent and M82 the 100,000,000 year old offspring. The quasars in turn are the children of M82. And since this configuration contradicts the big bang theory's fundamental assumption that redshift equals distance, it is evidence that the universe is not expanding and there was no big bang.



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040730nebula.gif
Credit: NASA/, HST, WFPC2, Jeff Hester
040730nebula.jpg
Credit: William P. Blair and Ravi Sankrit (Johns Hopkins University), NASA

 

Jul 30, 2004
Cygnus Loop

Aurora-like curtains and filaments of the Cygnus Loop, the aftermath of a supernova, suggest an electric event, perhaps the explosion of a plasma “double layer” in a galactic circuit.

The Cygnus Loop is thought to be a middle-aged remnant of a nearby supernova, the collapse of a star whose nuclear fuel has been used up.  From a plasma cosmology point of view, a supernova has nothing to do with the hypothetical nuclear engine. It is an electric event, perhaps the explosion of a double layer in a galactic circuit.

The aurora-like curtains and filaments seen here have more in common with electric currents in plasma than with mechanical models based on acoustic shocks. A Birkeland current can separate elements because the atoms of each element ionize at an energy level unique to that particular element. The strength of the currents vary where they twist and compress along their length. The result is concentrations of different elements in regions where the ionization potential matches the strength of the Birkeland current. The top photo illustrates this principle. It is color-coded to show regions of the nebula where different elements predominate. Blue is ionized oxygen, red is ionized sulfur and green is ionized hydrogen.

The bottom photo illustrates the intricacy of the twisted Birkeland currents. Other characteristics of the Cygnus Loop that support an Electric Universe interpretation include polarization of light, compression by magnetic fields, acceleration of relativistic electrons, and x-ray hotspots.

The cellular structure that confines and transmits electric currents in space is are not directly detectable from a distance. But we've seen them in action on Earth and in near-space. Here we observe many of the same behaviors. Do we dare assume that our own solar system is the only place in the universe where electric currents play an active role? No--it's much safer to assume that interstellar space beyond our solar system plays by the same rules we observe here. And those rules are electrical



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040729solar.jpg
Image Credit: ISAS, Yohkoh Project, SXT Group

 

Mar 09, 2005
Arc Lamp in the Sky

How could the Sun's surface--at only 6000 degrees--heat its atmosphere to a million degrees or more, hot enough to shine in x-ray light?

We take for granted that the Sun's light and heat come from nuclear reactions in its core. Although that theory is less than a century old, it fits so well with so many other theories and it's been verified so often--the theory predicts what we see -- that it must be true. But is this the whole story?

We overlook the intellectual work done in that past century to make the theory fit: Observations were selected and interpreted to conform to theoretical expectations. Theories were modified to account for non-conforming observations. Anomalies-- observations that were "not fully understood"--were set aside to await further elucidation. The million degree atmosphere is one such anomaly.

And we discount speculative work that explores other theories, that asks, "What else could it be?" We can do things with theories only in areas where they work, in domains of data where they are verified. Finding data that falsify a theory means the theory is useless in that larger domain. But it's in these domains of surprised expectations and anomalies that we discover new theories.

Most speculations don't work out. We forget them and the work that went into them. But a few survive the selecting, interpreting, and modifying to become taken for granted in another century.

The Electric Universe theory interprets the Sun as an electrode in a plasma discharge. From this point of view, the x-ray emitting atmosphere is not an anomaly. X-rays are a common signature of electrical activity. As early as the 1960's, Charles Bruce demonstrated how electric discharge phenomena explains five major and thirteen minor anomalies of solar surface behavior. Imagine the Sun not as a nuclear bomb in the sky but as an electric arc-lamp plugged into a galactic power grid.

The Electric Universe theory promises to encompass the unexpected discoveries of the space age and the mechanically explained phenomena of the past in a larger and more unified picture of our universe.



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040728electric-io.jpg
Credit: The Galileo Project, JPL, NASA

 

Jul 28, 2004
Electric Jets on Io

“Volcanic” plumes on Jupiter’s moon Io, up to hundreds of kilometers high, reveal features similar to those of electric discharge in the laboratory.

This photograph, taken by the Galileo space craft, is one of many images showing plumes of plasma jetting from the surface of Jupiter's closest moon Io and reaching up to hundreds of kilometers into space.  The first to suggest that these plumes were electrical discharge was Cornell University astrophysicist Thomas Gold, whose article on the "Electric Origin of the Outburst on Io," was published in the journal Science, November 30, 1979. In 1987 Gold's interpretation was supported by plasma physicists Alex Dessler and Anthony Peratt in an article published  in the journal Astrophysics and Space Science. Dessler and Peratt observed that both the filamentary penumbra and the convergence of ejecta into well-defined rings are characteristic plasma discharge effects that have no counterpart in volcanoes.

Further evidence was returned by the Galileo probe, which found the source of the plumes to be hotter than any lava on Earth--a predictable discharge feature in the electric model.  But perhaps the biggest surprise was that the "volcanoes" had moved tens of kilometers in a few years, another predictable feature of the electric model.

For the proponents of the "electric universe", the arcing on Io, in its electrical connection to Jupiter, is analogous to the arcing on a comet nucleus as it penetrates deeply into the electrical field of the sun. The one produces streams of plasma and dust that flow from the Jovian domain into the rest of the solar system, while the other produces the familiar comet tail.




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040727stellar-nursuries.jpg
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/E. Churchwell (University of Wisconsin)

 

Jul 27, 2004
Stellar Nurseries

New, high resolution images challenge the traditional “nebular theory” of star and planet formation, revealing turbulent plasma and magnetic fields, the markers of electric currents.

The nebular theory of star and planet formation from a cloud of gas and dust that collapses under its own gravity was proposed in the 18th century by Kant and Laplace. It was modified in the 19th century and again in the 20th century to accommodate objections. Because gravity is a very weak force, to collapse under its own weight the cloud needs to be cool and free from magnetic fields which might disturb the process. But in the stellar nurseries that have been identified, the new stars are embedded in turbulent regions of hot dust, glowing plasma and magnetic fields.

A quick tweak of the theory is all that was needed to adjust it to this requirement: The abundant shockwaves from stellar winds and supernovas in star-forming regions can then trigger the gravitational collapse that begins the star-and-planet forming process. But this ignores other problems. The origin of stellar "winds" remains a mystery. And shock-heated gases should quickly disperse, not collapse.

Nevertheless, these newborn stars are surrounded by what appears to be the disks from which the nebular theory expects planets to be born. This observation is encouraging theorists to look for mechanisms to dissipate the heat and magnetism during the collapse phase.

The Electric Universe sees a contrary picture. The turbulent plasma and magnetic fields are side effects of the formation of electric stars. How does this work? The Birkeland currents that power and define the shape of the galaxy are constricted by the magnetic fields they generate. The hot gas and dust cannot disperse. When the current density gets high enough, the plasma that carries the current begins to glow and to pinch off into stars. The form this takes is a sphere with polar plumes surrounded by a toroid (donut shape). This has been reproduced in laboratory experiments.

When the electrical stress is low and the plasma less dusty, as it is for our single star, only the star "lights up." Where the stress is greater, as in stellar nurseries, equatorial "disks" (toroids), polar "jets" (plumes), and the surrounding gas and dusty plasma can also be "lit up". [Cold dust clouds can also shine by the reflection of starlight or can be silhouetted in front of brighter clouds.] The glowing cosmic plasma formations show the characteristic filaments, arcs, spirals and cell formations seen in plasma labs and in computer simulations of plasma behavior.



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This is a more obvious example where scientists have made an obvious, bright as day mistake and then attempted to shoot down anyone who pointed out their errors.  As I said, nowadays ego is more important than actual science and discovery.

It's time for explanations from our scientists.  Logical, believable ones, not ad-hoc explanations and patches to hold together already disproven theories.



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040726nebula.jpg
Credit for dated inserts: Geraint Lewis and Michael Irwin, William Hershel Telescope

 

Jul 26, 2004
The Einstein Cross

Is the Einstein Cross a gravitational lens (a galaxy-sized fun-house mirror), or is it a redshift anomaly, proving that the “redshift-equals-distance” assumption is fatally flawed?

In the mid-1980's, astronomers discovered these four quasars, with redshifts about z = 1.7, buried deep in the heart of a galaxy with a low redshift of z = .04. (The central spot in this image is not the whole galaxy, but only the brightest part of the galaxy's nucleus.) This could have been seen as a crucial verification of Halton Arp's discordant redshift associations. It could have been proof that the redshift-equals-distance relationship is fatally flawed. Instead, Einstein's space-warping principle was invoked, and astronomers announced they had discovered a single distant quasar split into four images by the gravity of the foreground galaxy. A galaxy-sized fun-house mirror!

But how well does the image fit the theory? Einstein predicted that light from a distant object that was gravitationally warped around a massive foreground object would form arcs or even a full circle. Here we see four bright spots and no ring-like elongations. In fact, all four of the bright spots are elongated in the wrong direction: they stretch toward the galaxy center.

More observations were undertaken. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, a friend of Arp's documented that quasar D (right side of photo) is physically connected to the nucleus of the galaxy. Later, a high redshift connection was discovered between quasars A (bottom) and B (top) which passes in front of the connection between the nucleus and quasar D. But these observations went unnoticed: the journal which usually prints results from the Hubble Space Telescope rejected this announcement twice.

Mathematical analysis, too, casts doubt on the gravitational lens theory. The faint foreground galaxy would need to be much bigger and brighter in order to accomplish this lensing feat: In fact, it would have to be 2 magnitudes brighter than  "conventional quasars," the brightest objects known.

These two photos show brightness changes observed over a period of three years. The lensing explanation is that the warping of the light varies when individual stars pass in front of the quasar. Arp's explanation is that the galaxy has ejected four quasars, which are growing brighter and moving farther from the nucleus as they age.



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040723galactic-filaments.jpg
Combined VLA and GBT image of the Galactic center           Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF Yusef-Zadeh, et.al.

 

Jul 23, 2004
Galaxy Filaments

In an Electric Universe, the observed association of non-thermal radio filaments (NRF's) with star-forming regions is expected.

The region within 900 light-years of the Milky Way Galaxy's core is crisscrossed with glowing filaments 1 to 3 light-years thick and 10 to 100 light-years long. They are a recent discovery, known only since the invention of modern radio and infrared telescopes that can "see" through the visually opaque dust clouds shrouding the galaxy core. The latest radio telescope probes of this region show that the filaments are associated with pockets of star-formation. Researchers admit that the exact mechanism that creates the filaments remains to be discovered, but they suggest that one possibility is the collision of winds blown off by individual stars.

For the Electric Universe, the association of non-thermal radio filaments (NRF's) with star-forming regions is expected. However, the argument is turned on its head. The filaments are gigantic Birkeland Currents--transmission lines feeding electric energy into star-forming regions and the galactic center. They are the prime cause of star formation and other activity at the galactic center, not an effect. All star-forming regions--even all individual stars--have similar filaments. The majority of the filaments are not seen in normal light. They are detectable only by their influence on the gas and dust stretching between the stars. But in a few places, including the region near the galactic core, electric power is concentrated so that the star-feeding currents glow. Since the power source is electrical, a gravitational black hole is not needed to explain the energy pouring from the focus of galactic currents at Sgr A.




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040722crater.jpg
Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

 

Jul 22, 2004
Rampart Craters

Rampart craters and pedestal craters  on Mars  are difficult to explain with the impact model.

Pedestal craters, including their bottoms, stand above the elevation of the surrounding terrain. Rampart craters, like the one shown in the above THEMIS image, are surrounded by a "moat" (red arrow) that's deeper than the original ground level and an outer "rampart" (blue arrow) that's higher than both the moat and the surrounding terrain. The outer rampart seems to have "flowed" away from the crater, rather than to have been ejected.

From an Electric Universe point of view, these craters are enormous fulgamites, raised blisters like those found on the metal caps of lightning arrestors after a lightning strike. Because the whole blister is lifted above the surface by the lightning arc, the crater at the top is not necessarily deeper than the elevation of the original surface around it. The material forming the raised fulgamite is scavenged from the surroundings, leaving a "moat" below the surface level.

The radial flow features have been produced in the laboratory when an arc strikes a moist clay surface. The arc appears to draw water to the surface and then to drive it away from the crater, generating a distinctive flow pattern. Thus, the rampart craters, combined with laboratory experiments, add to the evidence that Mars had water in the past.



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040721cometaryknots.gif
Credit: NASA Hubble Space Telescope

 

Jul 21, 2004
Cometary Knots

Astronomers have named these features of a planetary nebula "cometary knots" because of their resemblance to giant comets. From an Electric Universe point of view, the resemblance may be more than visual.

As long ago as the 1940¹s, an electrical researcher, Dr. Charles Bruce of England, identified planetary nebulae as stellar electric discharge phenomena.

Although the heads, or comas, of these "comets" are twice the size of our solar system and much dustier than our comets, their electrodynamics is essentially the same. The coma of a solar system comet is generated by the difference in electrical potential between the nucleus and the surrounding plasma. A charged body placed in plasma forms a cocoon around itself, called a Langmuir sheath or plasma sheath. The cocoon isolates the charge on the body from the surrounding plasma. At the sheath boundary, two layers of charge, called a |"double layer," take most of the electrical stress. If the electrical stress is high enough the plasma sheath may glow.

The changing electrical stress on a comet is due to its highly elliptical orbit. The Sun has a weak radial electrical field. A comet spends most of its time far from the Sun and becomes adjusted to the voltage there. As it zips in for a quick fly-by of the sun, the voltage and charge density of the solar plasma changes rapidly, generating increasing electrical stress on the comet. When the electrical stress is high enough, the comet¹s plasma sheath lights up to form the classic cometary spectacle. The comet nucleus begins discharging and the resulting cathode jets sweep back to form a tail that is "blown" in a direction aligned with the Sun¹s electric field.

The same thing would happen to an object of any size on a cometary orbit through the Sun's electric field. If the Earth, which is a charged body, were on a cometary orbit, its magnetosphere would glow. Similarly, the objects forming the cometary knots of the Helix Nebula are responding to the strong electric field centered on the star outside the picture at bottom right.



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040720blushing-asteroid.jpg
Credit: NASA/JPL

 

Jul 20, 2004
Blushing Asteroid

Proponents of the electric universe believe that standard age estimates of asteroids are spurious because they depend on unchanging planetary orbits.

NASA caption: This enhanced false-color image of Ida with its small satellite, Dactyl (right), is a vivid example of the effect of space weathering on asteroids. Blue regions on the asteroid tend to be associated with fresh, young craters where subsurface material recently has been exposed to space. Red regions on the surface correspond to old craters and flat surfaces that have not been disturbed in a very long time.

The electric universe interpretation considers standard age estimates of asteroids spurious because they depend on unchanging planetary orbits and the belief that gravity is the only force ever operating in the solar system.

Many asteroid families are red because they were torn from Mars during planetary electrical close encounters. The craters were not formed by impacts but were "machined" by electric discharges between the asteroid and Mars as they separated. Hypothetical low-velocity mechanical impacts in the asteroid belt will not produce neat circular craters. The craters with bluish bottoms were probably the last formed by electric arcs. Earlier craters (by hours or minutes) were covered by later excavated material. Our prehistoric ancestors were witness to the events so the asteroids have been in space for thousands of years, not millions.



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So, in other words, they aren't volcanoes.  That would explain why instead of seeing lava and magma shooting up into space from there, we see these blue, glowing jets.



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040719io-mountains.jpg
Credit:  Galilea Project, JPL, NASA

 

Jul 19, 2004
The Mountains of Io

Mongibello Mons, on the far left of this image, is a sharp ridge rising so high it would rank among the highest mountains if it were on Earth. The existence of mountains like this poses a mystery for traditional astronomers.

Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system. This activity is supposed to be caused by tidal forces from Jupiter and its other large moons. In order to produce so many fast-changing and sometimes moving volcanoes, Io must be nearly molten. The temperatures in the active regions were higher than the spacecraft Galileo's thermal sensors could measure, far hotter than any volcano on Earth. Yet ridges like Mongibello Mons require a rigid crust to keep them from collapsing.

From an Electric Universe point of view, the volcanoes on Io are electrical arcs driven by charge differentials between Io and the plasma sheath (magnetosphere) that envelopes Jupiter. The discharge channels are very small and very hot. But between them, Io is not melted. The mountains left standing after the arcs have cut and melted their way around them remain supported by cold and firm bedrock.



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040716eta-carinae.jpg
Credit: NASA, HST, WFPC2, J. Hester (ASU)

 

Jul 16, 2004
Eta Carinae

The star Eta Carinae suddenly became the 2nd brightest star in the sky from 1837 to 1856. Then it dimmed to invisibility. In 1940 it began to brighten and has again become visible to the unaided eye.

Astronomers expected to see the remains of an exploded star, a small bright core in the center of an expanding shell of gas. But when the Hubble Telescope turned its eye on Eta Carinae, astronomers saw an hour-glass-shaped dust cloud more than a light year wide. (Because it's not a star, the cloud is named Eta Carinae. The star assumed to be at the center is hidden in the cloud.) The two lobes of the cloud are hurtling away from a central disk at more than a million kilometers an hour (600,000 miles per hour). The cloud is the most luminous object in our galaxy. It sheds energy at several million times the rate of our sun, mostly in infrared wavelengths, but also in x-ray.

What lies at the center is as unexplained as it is unseen. The traditional sources of a star's energy--gravitational collapse and nuclear fusion--are unable to account for a 3-million-degrees-hot cloud so far from the central star.

However, in 1968 Dr. Charles Bruce of the UK Electrical Research Association proposed that planetary nebulas, such as Eta Carinae, are electric discharges. Because the discharge is part of a galactic current feeding power into the stars, the nebula will take on the characteristic bipolar form along the axis of the current with a toroid around the equator. In the case of Eta Carinae, most of the power is intercepted by the surrounding dust. This "electric furnace" effect explains both the high temperatures far from the star and the diminished radiation of the star. The onset of such a cosmic thunderbolt would have been heralded by just such a galaxy-illuminating flash as was seen in the 19th century.



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040715sgra-xray.jpg
Credit: NASA/CXC/UCLA/MIT/M.Muno et al.

 

Jul 15, 2004
Temperatures in Space

The Chandra X-Ray Telescope has found anomalous temperatures at the core of the Milky Way, but the anomalies disappear in the light of plasma lab experiments.

The Chandra news release announcing this new image of the center of the Milky Way said that the X-ray spectrum of the gases "is consistent with a hot gas cloud that contains two components--10- million-degree Celsius gas and 100-million-degree gas."

This result was unexpected and difficult to explain. The press release describes the problem in greater detail: "Shock waves from supernova explosions are the most likely explanation for heating the 10-million-degree gas, but how the 100-million-degree gas is heated is not known. Ordinary supernova shock waves won't work, and heating by very high-energy particles produces the wrong spectrum of X-rays. Also, the observed Galactic magnetic field appears to rule out confinement and heating by magnetic turbulence."

Plasma cosmologists expected temperature discrepancies, because they've seen the same thing in plasma experiments. In the opening paragraph of his 1981 monograph, _Cosmic Plasma_, Hannés Alfvén discusses some of the oddities of plasma behavior that showed up in the lab but not in the simplified theories of physicists and astronomers: "The plasma exhibited striations, double layers, and an assortment of oscillations and instabilities. The electron temperature was often found to be one or two orders of magnitude larger than the gas temperature, with the ion temperature intermediate."

What Chandra has discovered is that the temperatures of plasma at the core of the Milky Way behave exactly the way they behave in plasma experiments on Earth. Some measurements show temperatures as expected, but others indicate temperatures ten to a hundred times higher. If astronomers had taken plasma lab results as seriously as they take hot gas cloud models, they wouldn't have been surprised.



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Oh yes, and quasars, according to EU, are the beginning stages of new galaxies being ejected from older, larger galaxies.



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I am unsure of what, if anything at all, this particular article will contribute, but it is nice to know.  EU theory contends that redshift in quasars has more to do with the quasar's youth than it's distance.  Big bang theorists (it's a shame to even call it a theory at this point) should have realized that with their modeling of an expanding universe based on redshift, that it was peculiarly Earth-centered, and this should have been a huge red flag for them.  Yet, as usual, they ignored the problem.  Kind of like people thinking the Earth is flat despite going beyond the horizon.



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040714ngc1232.jpg
Credit: FORS1, 8.2-meter VLT Antu,ESO

 

Jul 14, 2004
Galactic Perspective

If redshift is the effect of an expanding universe, it must be related to distance. Yet three galaxies with very different redshifts are the same distance from Earth.

Astronomer Halton Arp studied this galaxy, NGC 1232, in 1982. He called it "one of those rare and thrilling moments when you can look down a long corridor into the future." What he saw was three galaxies with three very different redshifts. The primary galaxy has a redshift of z = .005. Its first companion (left side of photo) has a redshift of z = .021. The tiny companion on the upper arm has a redshift of z = .1.

Arp was sure that these three galaxies are next-door neighbors. The small galaxy on the left is the archetypal "companion galaxy," not the type observed as an independent galaxy. Its star-forming regions and gas clouds are similar in scale to those of the large galaxy, and the influence of the small galaxy can be traced in disturbances along the larger galaxy's arms.  Arp's Catalogue of Discordant Redshift Associations presents similar in-depth documentation that the tiny knot on the upper arm is also a galaxy connected to NGC 1232.

Why were these observations so thrilling? They directly contradict the assumption upon which big bang cosmology is based. Because redshift is interpreted as an effect of the expansion of the universe, it must be related to distance. Yet here are three galaxies with very different redshifts that are at the same distance.

The astronomical community responded by dismissing his evidence and taking away his telescope time. But in the years since he made these observations, Arp has added hundreds of similar discordant associations to his collection. These associations will change our view of the distribution of galaxies, their ages, and the size of the "known" universe. And that will require a new theory of cosmology.



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The deleting issue was something like this:  If it will say all of the exact same things here and then some, why waste the other forum space?

Anyway, if I had to choose an explanation you said, it would probably be the geyser one, provided there was an explanation as to why there is an obvious discrepancy between colors in surface images and those from space that have been correctly colored.  The ones from space always show a blue atmospheric haze, which I would assume translates to a blue sky down on the planet surface (then again, there is some blue atmospheric hazing on Saturn, too, so maybe it doesn't mean anything).  They also show a lot of different shades of browns, whites in the dust storm clouds, tans across much of the landscapes, some reds, lots of greens around the poles, small bits of blues also around the poles, and white at the poles.  The only color of these ever repeated from surface photos is red, red, and more red.  And it even is the wrong shade of red.  The geyser thing sounds more logical if the colors from the space photos would be correct, and less plausible if, in fact, the ground colors are correct.  I have yet to see any Mars image that looks anything in appearence like a dust storm on Earth (limited visibility, the right tan-orange shade, etc.)

But then again, color doesn't seem to be the main focus of what the rovers image, anyway.  But if you ever have seen Mars from Earth on a nice, clear night, you know it isn't just a pure red ball.  It DOES have brown and tan all over it, with blue atmospheric hazing.  It's just my beef with the color images we get all the time - the lack of consistency and complete ignoring of Rayleigh Scattering.

You have every right to question things.

As for the spherules not being blown into huge piles, I do recall an image or two in which there WERE spherules making up "dunes" themselves, and I think Skipper may have had a copy of that image in his report, so I think I can find it there.

http://origin.mars5.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/opportunity/20051205c/Sol634B_Olympia_L257atc-B634R1.jpg

I stand to be corrected.  These are piles of dark sand with spherules on top of them.  Never mind.



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The dust storms idea has been given more credence because of the video which has been bandied about made from the images captured by the Rovers on Mars.

There may be dust storms, but there is no evidence in the close-up images of landscape to support it. There is not much bunching-up of sand around rocks, and given that there is supposed to be a fair number of sand/dust storms, you would have thought there should be very obvious signs of leeward and windward build-up. There is a bit, its true, but nothing like the amount there should be if there are all these storms. The other evidence I do not see, comes from spherules. These are not 'blown' into huge piles which is what you would have expected if there were any wind at all.

The Rovers apparently rely on dust storms to clean their solar panels we are told. However, the panels and other machinery looks pretty clean for vehicles which have been out and about for years without anyone to clean them. 

Looking at the cars around where I live, the dust on Earth makes things pretty dirty and people normally have their car cleaned occasionally too. How do the Rovers solar panels get cleaned, is a question which no-one has yet answered and leads to conspiracy theories in themselves.

Yes, I realise that the wind is supposed to be a weak pathetic cousin of our wind s here on Earth, but a wind strong enough to create dust devils which can be captured on film, should also be strong enough to blow millimetre-sized granules around.

Forgive me for questioning these things, but they do not make sense to me.

Someone, maybe it was Skipper, has suggested that these images of dust devils from above, could actually be water/steam geysers (similar to Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park) and not dust devils at all. The result would probably look the same. 

The other thing to consider which is more controversial, is that we have more than once, found localised small-scale steam or smoke made by the Martians (if you believe in them, of course). This means that if, what we have found is actually steam/smoke, then these dust devis could be something generated by the beings living there and not dust devils at all.



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Also, before anyone says they see buildings and stuff in this image,... When we report buildings or structures, we should be using the as-close-to-source images as we can find, so I hope that if any buildings ARE found, they will be visible in the NASA/ESA original images too. If you want to see buildings or structures though, (haha) check out the other threads specific to the individual small bodies concerned.

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040713comet.gif
Credit: N. Thomas (MPAE) et al., 1.5-m La Silla Telescope, ESO

 

Jul 13, 2004
The Jets of Hale-Bopp

When the comet Hale-Bopp began discharging beyond the orbit of Jupiter, it marked the beginning of the end for standard comet theory.

One of the observations leading to the dirty snowball theory of comets was that most of the periodic comets begin to grow tails at about the same distance from the Sun: between Jupiter and Mars. The determining factor was thought to be the distance at which the comet became hot enough for water and other volatile substances to evaporate into space, creating the coma, or "head," and tail of the comet.

But not every comet obeys even this tenuous "dirty snowball" criterion. Hale-Bopp in particular broke many of the rules. In the photo seen here, it is still too far from the sun for a "snowball" to melt, but it already displays seven jets.

Four years after Hale-Bopp left the inner solar system, it was still active. It displayed a coma, a fan-shaped dust tail, and an ion tail -- even though it was farther from the Sun than Jupiter, Saturn or even Uranus. The comet's tail was shrinking, but it was still about five times longer than the distance between the Earth and the Moon. At this distance, the Sun's heat will not melt ice. If it could, the icy moons of Saturn and Jupiter would be as dry as our own scorched Moon.

From an Electric Universe point of view, a comet's tail arises from the INTERACTION between the electric charge of the comet and the solar discharge plasma. The comet spends most of its time far from the Sun, where the plasma charge density is low. The comet moves slowly and its charge easily comes into balance with that region. On the other hand, as the comet approaches the Sun, the nucleus moves at a furious speed through regions of increasing charge density and varying electrical characteristics. The comet's surface charge and internal polarization, developed in deep space, responds to the new environment by forming cathode jets and a visible plasma sheath, or coma. The jets flare up and move over the nucleus irregularly, and the comet may shed and grow anew several tails. Or the comet may explode like an overstressed capacitor, breaking into separate fragments or simply giving up the ghost and disappearing.

The dirty snowball model was never tenable and has been discredited.  This has profound implications for theories of the origin of the solar system.



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I just have to make a hypothesis:  If most asteroids are actually chunks of rock debris from the surfaces of bodies that have been involved in electrical events, then we can expect to find one or two with at least one more flat face, assuming arc machining doesn't smooth out the edges.

Also, before anyone says they see buildings and stuff in this image, please note that it is obviously a composite, apparently taken at different positions and times, creating vertical lines.

Anyway, if EU theory is correct (and it would appear that way in most cases), shouldn't these asteroids be more solid than previously thought?



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040712crators.jpg
Credit: NASA/NEAR Shoemaker

 

Jul 12, 2004
Craters on Eros

The NEAR-Shoemaker probe of the asteroid Eros revealed a non-random cratering pattern that continues to baffle astronomers.

Craters on asteroid Eros were expected to show a typical random distribution. There should be a few large craters, more medium-sized craters and many more small craters, because impacts of smaller objects should happen more often than impacts of large objects.

But when NEAR-Shoemaker passed close to Eros in 2000-2001, researchers discovered that the craters don't follow the expected distribution curve. The few large craters and the many medium-sized craters appear as expected, but craters smaller than 100m in diameter are rare.  This is a problem for the impact-model: how can most of the small rocks in space have consistently missed the asteroid for billions of years?

A lower limit to the size of craters is an expected feature from an Electric Universe point of view. The size of craters is related to the strength of the arc discharge that carves them. Below a specific threshold, the arc cannot be maintained. It quenches, so smaller craters are not produced.

Arc discharges, and the conditions which ignite and quench them, will vary with the size, composition, charge, and other factors unique to each individual world. The number of times a surface is electrically etched can vary, too. Comets experience arcing every time they pass through the inner solar system. Asteroids may have received most of their craters during the event in which they were born. A single episode of arcing would leave craters characteristic of the conditions prevailing at that one time. The record may or may not be "overwritten" depending on whether further arcing episodes occur under different conditions.



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I really wish this article would elaborate more.

I am wondering if you would see lightning a lot during dust storms on Mars.  If so, it would add far more credence to this particular theory.

Something looks...strange about the image.  Anyone else see it?



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040709marsdust.gif
Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

 

Jul 09, 2004
Martian Dust Storms

MOC PICTURE OF THE DAY CAPTION: From time to time, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) catches--in action--an afternoon dust storm, dust devil, or other dust-raising event. The dust-raising event shown here, probably the result of a sudden strong gust of wind, occurred in November 2003 in a crater located near 57.5°S, 60.6°W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left, so the dark area below the dust plume is its shadow. The picture covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across.

On Mars, the air is 100 times thinner than on Earth—too tenuous to raise dust. Yet Martian dust storms are larger than any seen on Earth.

What makes a Martian dust-storm? On Earth, we think dust storms are raised by the wind, and we think we know what makes the wind blow -- sunlight heats the ground; conduction heats the air above it, and convection makes the air move. If the air moves violently enough, as you see in thunderstorms, it can even separate charges and create lightning.

On Mars, the air is 100 times thinner and 75 degrees colder. Yet Martian dust storms are larger and taller than any seen on Earth. Occasionally, when Mars is closest to the sun, billowing dust envelopes the whole planet. The viking landing craft discovered the Martian sky was pink from all the dust in it. Scientists expected the sky would be dark because the atmosphere is so thin. They expected Martian winds would be too weak to raise dust, let alone to generate dust devils.

NASA scientists studied the dust devils in Arizona in order to understand more about what causes them on Mars. They discovered an unexpectedly high electric field of up to 10,000 volts per meter associated with dust devils on Earth. This suggests that dust devils on both planets are an atmospheric electric discharge phenomenon akin to the electric winds produced by air ionizers.

If all planets are involved in a solar electric discharge their atmospheres must be forced to conduct electricity. Mars does not have thunderstorms like the Earth. Instead, in its extremely thin and dry atmosphere, it produces a scaled up version of discharges in the dry air of earthly deserts – dust devils.



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I normally would say that it would not be doing justice not to present the official view on the matter as well, but given the supporting evidence, it really puts the mainstream view on the fringe (at least in my world).

file.php?id=1478

I felt it necessary to provide a visual explanation of how the EU theorizes the currents and double layers in galaxies work.  Its secondary purpose is eye candy, so feel free to stare at it aimlessly when devising a reply.

Question:  As usual, there is a small thing in the article that is interesting but feels like an attention-getter as it lacks fleshing-out and explanation with evidence: the claim about a hyper-explosion a few thousand years ago.

How do you know this?



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040708mwforces.jpg
Radio image of Sagittarius A taken with the VLA by Y. Farhad-Zadeh & M. Morris

 

Jul 08, 2004
Driving Forces of the Milky Way

The core of our galaxy is a region full of mysteries, including flares that can brighten the central area by a factor of four in a few days or by a factor of two in forty minutes.  From an electric universe point of view, this is the most active expression of the electric power of the Milky Way.

Dust veils most of the core of the Milky Way from optical observations, but today's radio, infrared, ultraviolet and x-ray telescopes uncover intriguing images and data about the activity at the center of our home galaxy. It's a region full of mysteries, including the remnants of an unexplained hyper-explosion a few thousand years ago and flares that can brighten the central area by a factor of four in a few days or by a factor of two in forty minutes.

From an electric universe point of view, this is the most active expression of the electric power of the Milky Way. This is where currents are focused from the spiral arms down into a tiny donut-shaped plasmoid. From the center of this plasmoid, electric currents spray out from the axis of the galaxy, then return along the spiral arms, inducing magnetic fields and lighting up the stars. The energy stored in the plasmoid is released in  prodigious outbursts of high speed particles and radiation, heralded by explosive flares.



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Ok.  Just admit it when you don't know.  Don't just tell me you have a reasonable explanation without saying "But we don't know for sure."

The idea expressed in the article, though, is supported by laboratory experiments, and there is little reason to suspect that it works too much different up there than it does down here in controlled environments.

My question is whether or not this is implied to be an ongoing discharge or is this stable?



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050426bug-nebula.gif
Credit: A. Zijlstra (UMIST) et al., ESANASA

 

Jul 07, 2004
NGC 6302: Bug Nebula

A hundred years ago astronomers assumed that any body larger than an asteroid would be constrained by gravity to a spherical shape. But as telescopes got better, reality intruded.

Planetary nebulae in particular, now thought to be the final explosive stage of large stars, fail to live up to spherical expectations. Over 60 years ago, Dr Charles Bruce, of the Electrical Research Association in England, began to note the similarities between planetary nebulae and electrical discharge phenomena. In this Hubble Telescope image of the planetary nebula known as the Bug Nebula, you can see many examples of these electrical characteristics. The overall shape is an hourglass, not a sphere. The central star is hidden by a dark dust torus. The light of the star is rich in ultraviolet, one of the signatures of electric discharge. And the shapes within the nebula mimic the twisted filaments, spirals and pillars typical of electrical discharge in plasmas.

Plasmas in the lab form cellular structures separated by thin layers of opposite charge called double layers. Does the same thing happen in nebulas? That's a tough question to answer, because the only known way detect a double layer is to send a probe through it, and nebulas are far beyond the reach of our spacecraft. But everywhere we've sent probes in our solar system, we've found cellular structures separated by double layers, just as we found in the plasma lab. We call these structures magnetospheres, magnetotails, bow shocks, comet heads and tails.

Hannes Alfvén says, "... it is unpleasant to base far-reaching conclusions on the existence of a structure which we cannot detect directly. But the alternative is to draw far-reaching conclusions from the assumption that in distant regions, the plasmas have properties which are drastically different from what they are in our own neighborhood. This is obviously far more unpleasant ... " Although the answers are not yet known, Electric Universe researchers begin by assuming that the behavior of plasma will be the same whether you encounter it in the plasma lab or in a far-away stellar formation like the Bug Nebula. And that assumption offers a whole new viewpoint for the universe we live in.



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This is the first thing that annoys me.

"The Electric Universe may explain this mystery."

Really?  Well, I guess it is more intellectually honest.  It just allows you to question its validity more, which I think is good.  But it makes it seem uncertain of itself, which is definitely not good in the current scientific warzone today.

Anyway, to the actual content.

It may seem strange to some that it is talking about ancient mythology in a scientific article.  Proponents of the Electric Universe theory and plasma physics do not tend to overlook and underestimate the ancient civilizations of the Earth as unintelligent, completely imaginative folk.  They acknowledge that the ancients did not just invent all of their religious ideas out of thin air, and that they did have some basis in real experiences, be it from electrical discharge events in the sky, comet sightings, perhaps even extraterrestrial contact - we can't rule out anything.

Ego is a major problem with most scientists today.  Especially in western science.  They don't like admitting when their wrong, and they especially don't like not being first in knowing/figuring out something.  Corporations' agendas don't help, either.



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040706TPODSaturnPic.jpg
Credit: NASA/JP//SSI

 

Jul 06, 2004
Saturn's Spokes

When Voyager I and Voyager II flew past Saturn in Nov 1980 and Aug 1981, astronomers were surprised to see that the middle ring had dark "spokes".  But when the more recent Cassini probe reached Saturn, astronomers were surprised again: the spokes were gone.

The Electric Universe may explain this mystery. The spokes are caused by radial discharges from Saturn¹s magnetosphere into the planet¹s ionosphere. Such low-latitude discharges are observed in the laboratory when a magnetized sphere is immersed in an electrified plasma. In Saturn¹s case, the rings provide a more easily ionized, "dusty" plasma that would tend to concentrate the discharges in the plane of the rings. The effect on the ring particles is to temporarily alter their polarization and to move them out of the plane of ring. This change in optical properties causes the "spokes" to appear.

But why was Saturn's magnetosphere discharging then and not now? In 1980-81, the Sun's electric activity, the solar sunspot cycle, was at its maximum and Jupiter, Saturn and the sun were in a line. Today the solar cycle is approaching minimum and the planets are separated by about 75 degrees. We already know that the activity of solar maximum produces global electrical effects on Earth: the auroras brighten and move toward the equator, radio communications are disrupted, power grids and satellites may be affected.

Are the spokes of Saturn another electrical expression of the solar cycle? Is Jupiter's giant magnetosphere, which stretches almost to Saturn's orbit, a factor? Since Cassini is scheduled to orbit Saturn for much longer than the brief fly-bys made by the Voyagers, it may observe the rings long enough to learn more about the relationship between Saturn's spokes, the solar electric cycle and the relative positions of the giant planets.

Cassini's journey to Saturn promises new insights for the growing field of plasma cosmology. But there's another Saturn question related to the history of human culture. Saturn is the dimmest of the planets visible to the unaided eye. Few people today know how to find it in the night sky, and even Galileo's telescope-power was so low that the rings appeared only as ear-like extensions. In spite of this, ancient cultures cast Saturn in central role. They spoke of him as a supreme ruler, king of the sky, master of time, and lord of the rings. Can Cassini solve this mystery, too?



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This annoys me a lot when scientists look at an issue like this and simply shrug their shoulders and look in the other direction.  What kind of person like that can call themselves a true scientist?  You don't just look at a strange shape on a planet surface, see no similarity to an impact crater and assume it's a volcano, despite loads of observational evidence to the contrary, and then shrug it off as if it isn't a problem.  As if the laws of physics just don't apply there.

News flash.  They do.

Of course, I don't know how reasonable the timeframe of a few minutes is, but it doesn't seem too rediculous.  Just hits the believability factor when you don't know much about the science involved, as far as actually seeing it in action.  But I can see through that as my own shortcoming at the moment, given the great similarity of the experiment and actual "blisters" on the planet surface.

I dig this type of science, where experiments abound and thus not everything is completely hypothetical and imaginary.



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040705olympus-mons.jpg
Mars photo credits: MSSS/THEMIS                           Lab photos on upper right by Wal Thornhill

 

Jul 05, 2004
Olympus Mons

Olympus Mons on the planet Mars defies categorization as a "volcano," but bears a striking similarity to a lightning blister.

Olympus Mons on the planet Mars is taller than three Mount Everests and about as wide as the entire Hawaiian Island chain. But it¹s almost as flat as a pancake. Its edge is nearly as abrupt as a pancake, too, ending in a scarp up to 6 kilometers (almost 4 miles) high.

The huge mound rises amidst several lesser regions of the Tharsis Bulge. Planetary scientists call Olympus Mons a volcano. But when examined in detail, it bears only a superficial resemblance to some earthly volcanoes.

Olympus Mons has all the characteristics of a lightning blister. Such raised bell-shaped blisters can be found on the caps of lightning arrestors after a cloud-to-ground strike. They are called "fulgamites". The material that forms the elevated fulgamite is scavenged from the surrounding surface to produce an encircling depression or moat. Olympus Mons has such a moat, which does not match the bulge expected from upwelling magma beneath a volcano.

Earthly lightning usually consists of a number of strokes in quick succession along the same ionized path. So the discharge that creates a fulgamite is often followed by successive lesser strokes that may excavate overlapping pits on the top of the fulgamite. The six overlapping circular craters on the summit of Olympus Mons display this pattern.  The smaller craters center on the walls of the larger and are cut to different depths, as if with a cookie cutter. Such a pattern is not volcanic, where the caldera floors are supposed to be due to collapse or draining of magma from beneath.

A laboratory example of an electric arc scar on a clay anode surface is shown on the right. At moderate power, the electric arc rotates (top right) and raises an extensive circular blister, seen clearly in the middle right image. As the power is increased, the arc briefly stops moving and burns a small circular crater, seen as a glowing spot in the top image and at 4 o¹clock in the bottom image. The tendency for the arc to "stick" to one spot on the anode creates localized very high temperatures, sufficient to vaporize some of the anode surface to form smooth circular crater floors and steep terraced walls ­ exactly as seen in the Olympus Mons calderas.

Do we see any volcano on Earth produce such a configuration on its summit now? We can find none. Yet the pattern is repeated more than once on the Martian Tharsis Bulge (row of pictures below), including the summit of neighboring Ascraeus Mons (lower left), a striking replica of the Olympus Mons "calderas".

The electrical hypothesis maintains that within minutes successive strokes from a cosmic lightning bolt lifted the peak and carved the craters on the summit. It seems likely that the Tharsis Bulge will also trace to the same period of Martian history, when the planet must have engaged another charged body at close range. If so, evidence of such an exchange must be pervasive on the Martian surface, and all the major features of the planet must be reconsidered from this new viewpoint. Though geologists have never entertained the electrical scarring of rocky planets and moons, rapidly accumulating evidence has the potential to change this situation dramatically.



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Naturally, this would lead to one wondering why Earth is nearly crater-free.

To add on to that, the lack of most of the electrical geology associated with other worlds in the solar system either would imply a much greater age (exception of Mars), or simply a lack of events like that occuring nearly as much on Earth for whatever reasons.  There are not many electrical craters visible on the Earth's surface today, and that specifically pertains to small and meduim-sized ones.  In my honest opinion, I would think this has to do with the erosion of the surface in the eons since Earth's formation.

Although semi-off-topic, I think the Earth may be a little bit younger than 4 billion years old, but definitely older than 1 billion years.  Thing is, electrical events can mess with dating.



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040702craters.jpg
Photo Credit: Mel Acheson, C.J.Ransom

 

Jul 02, 2004
Craters in the Lab

Planetary scientists have long assumed that most craters in the solar system are due to impact. But laboratory experiments reveal that electrical discharge can replicate observed cratering patterns in surprising ways.

How do you make a crater? Scientists have been asking that question ever since Galileo turned his telescope on the moon in 1610. The discussion was between those who thought craters were made by volcanoes and those who thought craters were made by impacts. In the late 20th century, geologists on Earth and astronauts on the moon showed that they weren't volcanic. The impact hypothesis won by default.

But there is a third possibility, one that has now been explored in detail by advocates of the "electric universe." The craters in the photo above were made in a laboratory by electric discharge. This cratered surface duplicates many characteristics of planetary geology. The craters tend to clump according to size, to fall in lines and arcs. Notice also that the ground appears burnt or discolored where the discharge was strongest and the craters the densest-not unlike the surface of Mars and other rocky bodies in the solar system. The centers of some of the craters have bumps, as do many enigmatic craters on the Moon, Mars, and other surfaces. Also of interest are the dark streaks from two larger craters close to the center of the picture, a pattern similar to the "wind"-streaked craters found on Mars.

This third possibility was first voiced in the 1960's. But astronomers have had little interest in such lines of investigation because they have long assumed that electric forces cannot reach across the vacuum of space. However, numerous space age findings have contradicted that belief. From the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts in 1958 to the latest discoveries of galactic magnetic fields and x-ray galactic clusters, it has become increasingly clear that charged particles fill what once was called the "void" of space. Electrical activity is pervasive across both interplanetary and interstellar space.

Is it possible that our solar system was once more active electrically than it is today? When electric sparks strike a solid surface, they can produce not only craters but many other common geological features as well. Experimental research on the electrical etching of rocky surfaces must therefore be a priority. According to the electrical theorists, most of the large-scale geological features in our solar system can only be generated by electric arcs. And if this is true, then the actual history of our solar system bears little or no resemblance to textbook descriptions.



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040701comet-wild2.jpg
Credit: Stardust Team, JPL, NASA

 

Jul 01, 2004
The Jets of Comet Wild 2

The jet structure on comet Wild 2 is radically different from what orthodox comet models anticipated. Such jets pose no problem for the electrical model.

NASA's Stardust spacecraft snapped these photos of Comet Wild 2 on January 2, 2004. On the left is the comet nucleus and on the right a composite of the nucleus and a longer exposure highlighting the comet's jets. According to a recent press release, project scientists expected "a dirty, black, fluffy snowball" with a couple of jets that would be "dispersed into a halo". Instead they found more than two dozen jets that "remained intact"-they did not disperse in the fashion of a gas in a vacuum. Some of the jets emanated from the dark unheated side of the comet-an anomaly no one had expected. Chunks of the comet, some as big as bullets, blasted the spacecraft as it crossed three jets. Wild 2's surface was covered with "spires, pits and craters" that could only be supported by rock, not by sublimating ice or snow. The discovery was more than surprising, "it was mind-boggling".

When a theory's predictions are constantly discredited by new discoveries, it is "falsified". The unexpected blast of particles hitting Stardust is one small ding for the spacecraft's shield, but the Wild 2 anomalies are one giant fender-bender for the dirty snowball theory.

For many years now, the theory itself has obstructed the view of evidence, including close-up photographs of comets and asteroids. The NASA press release claims the comet "is unlike any other type of solar system body". Unlike Comet Borrelly, which sported unexpected "mountains, faults and grooves"? Unlike comet Halley, with its hot jets and diverse landscape? Unlike the steep-edged and flat-bottomed craters on asteroids Eros and Mathilda and Ida? Unlike the scarred surface of the Martian moon Phobos, virtually all the Jovian moons (especially the little ones), and now Saturn's little moon Phoebe? Every small solid body we've approached has surprised scientists with such sharply-defined surface relief.

The cascade of discovery has not surprised scientists investigating electrified plasma in space. But astronomers and astrophysicists are unaware of this century-old field of study. The structural details of the craters, grooves, cliffs, and other landforms, as well as the collimated jets, match those produced in plasma labs.

In the electrical hypothesis, a rock moving rapidly through the electric field of the Sun will develop a plasma sheath that stretches into a coma thousands of kilometers across and a filamentary tail that remains coherent over millions of kilometers. Arcing to the surface will generate high temperatures in small areas. The electrical activity will produce X-rays and ultraviolet light. The predictions of the model are testable, and the implications reach far beyond modern comet theory.



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Posted by Eaol:

val_marinerisFS.gif
Look at me with a straight face and in all honesty and tell me that looks nothing like the sidewalks in my previous post.  The electric universe theory may not be supported by mainstream science, but it has been scientifically verified beyond reasonable doubt (lab experiments and , much unlike the gravity-only theories that mainstream "science" so desperately clings to.

1)How do you know that these hexagonal structures are formed by huge lightning bolts rather than for example, as a result of some aliens warring between themselves in the ancient past?
Well, I don't. Not for certain, however, I am not afraid to admit that tiny uncertainty. But then again, their weapons would have to be working on a similar principle, given that the events leading to Mars looking as it does now have been experimentally proven to be caused electrically. Whether that was natural or unnatural is uncertain at this time, but may be known in the near future.
 
B
y the way, the electric universe model can easily explain how a flying saucer might work, using antigravity and a virtually unlimited power source, and it would also explain faster-than-light travel, and almost gurantees that there must be a few extraterrestrial civilizations that must already know of our existence.  While it is speculative, it is based in science in the EU model, and on at least one publicly-known experiment (as far as antigravity goes).

2) It is not recognised by mainstream science and cannot be proved. 
Just please remember that there is a difference between being accepted by mainstream science and being proven.  The geocentric model was accepted by mainstream science.  So was creationism.  And so is the Big Bang, right now.  It doesn't remotely mean that it is true (much as some less-free minded individuals would like you to think).
And things that have been "proven" (really only better theories) qaren't necessarily supported by the mainstream scientific community out of fear, ignorance, and greed.



-- Edited by qmantoo on Monday 28th of March 2011 01:41:53 AM

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Currently your theory of the electric universe is as un-recognised by science as our theories on Martian lifeforms. You cannot prove anything - just like we cannot. You can point to images which give credence to your hypohesis and so can we. Somehow, I do not think you feel that your theory is in the same league as our crack-pot theories but it suffers from the same problems. It is not recognised by mainstream science and cannot be proved.

How do you know that these hexagonal structures are formed by huge lightning bolts rather than for example, as a result of some aliens warring between themselves in the ancient past?

Small spherules maybe formed by lightning on both Mars and Earth, and your electric universe theory sounds good to me, but what do I know? I am just a normal human with possibly some alien ancestry.

Your pictures show the results of lightning strikes here on Earth, but I have not seen any lightning strikes on Mars at all, and we certainly do not know how large they are if they exist at all. Therefore, we do not know if it is lightning which is forming the spherules either.

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My post :P



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Posted by Eaol:
--------------------

 

Electrical Hexagon-shape at Saturn's poles.


I don't need to explain this much more.  Hexagons don't form from the tiny lightning strikes on Earth any more than miniature impact craters.  It takes a huge discharge to form a hexagon shape on most natural surfaces.  On Earth lightning strikes only form spherules and shapes mimicing those found on Mars and few other bodies in the Solar System:


Lightning Strike on Earth
3879117887_c1dfb370e3.jpg
IMG_0392.JPG 

 Hexagon shapes are not just characteristics of discharge but electric currents in general.

http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/00subjectx.htm

I know it's in there somewhere, but I have some stuff to do. If you have some time on your hands, check it out.

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-- Edited by qmantoo on Monday 28th of March 2011 01:40:24 AM

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