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  2008-Year of the Electric Universe

Things have been happening. My companion website, THUNDERBOLTS.INFO, has a new managing editor of the Thunderbolts Picture of the Day (TPOD), Steve Smith, who has expanded the daily news coverage with much new material. The Thunderbolts website has grown to include a forum and weekly update. More features are planned. The impetus for expansion followed a June meeting in Las Vegas of talented people inspired by the first rate interdisciplinary science of an Electric Universe.

Miraculous Electricity Keeps Mars Rovers Moving

It has been said that "In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is King." In the world of space science, if a collective blindness has robbed investigators of their sight, it is their inability or unwillingness to ever think or speak in electrical terms, even when electrical events are impossible to deny -- or quite obvious to those who work regularly with electricity.

Electric Universe Continues to "Baffle" Astronomers

"The 19th century humorist Josh Billings once said, "There is no greater evidence of superior intelligence than to be surprised at nothing." One wonders how today's astronomers and astrophysicists might feel about this statement. Space scientists continually express surprise and perplexity over new discoveries -- from the energetic outbursts of comets, to the electric sun/earth connection, to the anomalous motions of galaxies, to the vast, filamentary jets seen stretching over intergalactic distances, our increased technological ability to detect space phenomena has only increased astronomers' surprise and confusion."

The Electric Sun/Earth Connection Confirmed

"The day of this writing, December 13, 2007, is the 140th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian-born physicist Kristian Birkeland. It was Birkeland who correctly hypothesized in the early 20th century that electric currents from the Sun power the earth's auroras."

Cassini Captures Best View Yet Of Saturn's Ring Currents

"Scientists have gotten their best "look" ever at the invisible ring of energetic ions trapped in Saturn's giant magnetic field, finding that it is asymmetric and dynamic, unlike similar rings that appear around Earth."

The Craters Are Electric

"The most fundamental "prejudice" that has directed the space sciences for decades is the belief that space is electrically inert. Throughout the Space Age, every new discovery has been interpreted through a lens that views gravity and gravity alone as the force that shapes the heavens."

Scientists See Nothing - Call It 'Parallel Universe'

"Why is cosmology in a state of crisis? Some might doubt the tenability of this loaded question, but to many critics of standard cosmology, the question must be asked."

Odd Little Star has Magnetic Personality

"A dwarf star with a surprisingly magnetic personality and a huge hot spot covering half its surface area is showing astronomers that life as a cool dwarf is not necessarily as simple and quiet as they once assumed."

Were The First Stars Dark? Study: Dark Matter in Newborn Universe Doused Earliest Stars

"Perhaps the first stars in the newborn universe did not shine, but instead were invisible "dark stars" 400 to 200,000 times wider than the sun and powered by the annihilation of mysterious dark matter, a University of Utah study concludes."

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope Sees An Embryonic Star With Jets Flaring

"A developing star wrapped in a black cocoon of dust is seen sprouting giant jets in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope."

Earth-like Lightning On Venus, European Space Probe Confirms

"Venus is a hellish place of high temperatures and crushing air pressure. The European Space Agency's Venus Express mission adds into this mix the first confirmation that the Venusian atmosphere generates its own lightning."

NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory Discovers Cosmic Fireball

"One of the fastest moving stars ever seen has been discovered with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This cosmic cannonball is challenging theories to explain its blistering speed."

How to make the brightest supernova ever: Explode,
collapse, repeat


"A supernova observed last year was so bright--about 100 times as luminous as a typical supernova--that it challenged the theoretical understanding of what causes supernovae. But Stan Woosley, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, had an idea that he thought could account for it--an extremely massive star that undergoes repeated explosions. When Woosley and two colleages worked out the detailed calculations for their model, the results matched the observations of the supernova known as SN 2006gy, the brightest ever recorded."

When Astronomers Fall Into a Black Hole

"The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once said, "The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice." The most fundamental "prejudice" that has directed the space sciences for decades is the belief that, across cosmic distances, space is electrically inert. Throughout the Space Age, every new discovery has been interpreted through a lens that views gravity alone as the force that shapes the heavens."

The puzzle of the variable radio period of Saturn

"The auroral radio emission of giant planets are usually used to estimate their rate of internal rotation. But in the case of Saturn, these emissions present important variations at the month scale, which cannot be due to the rotation. A team of astronomers, led by the LESIA, from Paris Observatory, just showed that these variations are controlled by external mechanism, certainly related to the solar wind."

White Dwarf "Sibling Rivalry" Explodes into Supernova

"Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have found that a supernova discovered last year was caused by two colliding white dwarf stars. The white dwarfs were siblings orbiting each other. They slowly spiraled inward until they merged, touching off a titanic explosion. CfA observations show the strongest evidence yet of what was, until now, a purely theoretical mechanism for creating a supernova."

The World Won't End The Way You've Been Told

"Confronted on many occasions in the past by the prospect of world- end, national elites have often found themselves having to suppress public panic -- only to discover, too late, that usual means of control commonly fail. Thus an institutionalized science is expected to withhold knowledge of the threat; a self-regulated press is expected to make light of any disaster; while an institutionalized religion is expected to oppose predestination and to secure such general belief in a fundamentally benevolent deity as can be mustered."
Read more..

Two more active moons around Saturn

"Saturn’s moons Tethys and Dione are flinging great streams of particles into space, according to data from the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini mission to Saturn. The discovery suggests the possibility of some sort of geological activity, perhaps even volcanic, on these icy worlds."
Read more..

Did A Comet Hit Great Lakes Region 12,900 Years Ago?

"Two University of Oregon researchers are on a multi-institutional 26-member team proposing a startling new theory: that an extraterrestrial impact, possibly a comet, set off a 1,000-year-long cold spell and wiped out or fragmented the prehistoric Clovis culture and a variety of animal genera across North America almost 13,000 years ago."
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NASA Cassini 'Cat Scan' Maps Clumps In Saturn's Rings

"Saturn's largest and most densely packed ring is composed of tightly packed clumps of particles separated by nearly empty gaps, according to new findings from NASA's Cassini spacecraft."
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Scientists discover vast intergalactic cloud of plasma

"Combining the world's largest radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico with a precision imaging, seven-antenna synthesis radio telescope at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO), a team of researchers led by Los Alamos scientist Philipp Kronberg have discovered a new giant in the heavens, a giant in the form of a previously undetected cloud of intergalactic plasma that stretches more than 6 million light years across."
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Jupiter moon spews volcanic plumes in new images

"New volcanoes, dramatic volcanic plumes, a recent impact from a possible comet and the tops of thunderhead clouds are the highlights in a scrapbook of images from the New Horizons spacecraft's recent swing past Jupiter."
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Icy Volcanoes Likely Shape Saturn's Smooth Moon

"Saturn's icy moon Dione may have much in common with its active sibling Enceladus, new research using Cassini spacecraft data has revealed."
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Radio Active Brown Dwarfs Are A New Class Of Pulsar

"A study of brown dwarfs has revealed that these "failed stars" can possess powerful magnetic fields and emit lighthouse beams of radio waves thousands of times brighter than any detected from the Sun. The brown dwarfs are behaving like pulsars, one of the most exotic types of object in our Universe."
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PSI Scientists Find Migrating Regolith on Tiny Asteroid Itokawa

"Unprecedentedly high-resolution images from the Hayabusa spacecraft, the first Japanese asteroid mission, show unexpected evidence of the migration of gravels covering the surface of asteroid Itokawa."
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Cluster Sees Tsunamis in Space

"Cluster is providing new insights into the working of a ‘space tsunami’ that plays a role in disrupting the calm and beautiful aurora, or northern lights, creating patterns of auroral dances in the sky."
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Near-Perfect Symmetry Revealed in Red Cosmic Square

"If symmetry is a sign of splendor, then the newly discovered Red Square nebula is one of the most beautiful objects in the universe."
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Chandra sees remarkable eclipse of black hole

"A remarkable eclipse of a supermassive black hole and the hot gas disk around it has been observed with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This eclipse has allowed two key predictions about the effects of supermassive black holes to be tested."
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X-ray satellites catch magnetar in gigantic stellar ‘hiccup’

"Astronomers using data from several X-ray satellites have caught a magnetar – the remnant of a massive star with an incredibly strong magnetic field – in a sort of giant cosmic blench."
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Cassini Images Bizarre Hexagon on Saturn

"An odd, six-sided, honeycomb-shaped feature circling the entire north pole of Saturn has captured the interest of scientists with NASA's Cassini mission."
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Massive star burps, then explodes

"Tens of millions of years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a massive star suffered a nasty double whammy."
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Astronomers Puzzled by Titan's Missing Craters

"The Cassini spacecraft’s radar sweep of Saturn’s largest moon Titan in January revealed a portion of what appears to be a 110 mile (180 kilometer) diameter impact crater."
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Iron-Fisted Space Bullets Give Scientists a Glow

"THEY are cosmic "bullets", bigger than our solar system, far faster than the speed of sound and filled with enough iron to satisfy China's needs for eternity."
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Enceladus Geysers Mask the Length of Saturn's Day

"In a David and Goliath story of Saturnian proportions, the little moon Enceladus is weighing down giant Saturn's magnetic field so much that the field is rotating slower than the planet. This phenomenon makes it nearly impossible to measure the length of the Saturn day using techniques that work at the other giant planets."
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Kuiper-belt Object Was Broken up by Massive Impact 4.5 Billion Years Ago, Study Shows

"In the outer reaches of the solar system, there is an object known as 2003 EL61 that looks like and spins like a football being drop-kicked over the proverbial goalpost of life."
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NASA Mission Finds Link Between Big and Small Stellar Blasts

"Proof that certain double star systems can erupt in full-blown explosions and then continue to flare up with smaller bursts has been spotted by the ultraviolet eyes of NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer."

A Hot Start Might Explain Geysers on Enceladus

"A hot start billions of years ago might have set into motion the forces that power geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus."

Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says

"Simultaneous warming on Earth and Mars suggests that our planet's
recent climate changes have a natural—and not a human- induced—cause,
according to one scientist's controversial theory."

The Milky Way’s Pinball Wizard

"In a cosmic game of pinball, black holes fling high-energy protons into space, where they zigzag around at near light-speeds before smashing into low-energy protons, finds a new study."

Unlocking the Mysteries of the Northern Lights

"A team of scientists from the University of Calgary is helping unlock the mysteries of one of nature’s great spectacles, the northern lights."

Rethinking last century's closest, brightest supernova

"Twenty years ago next month, the closest and brightest supernova in four centuries lit up the southern sky, wowing astronomers and the public alike."

Black hole boldly goes where no black hole has gone before

"Astronomers have found a black hole where few thought they could ever exist, inside a globular star cluster. The finding has broad implications for the dynamics of stars clusters and also for the existence of a still-speculative new class of black holes called 'intermediate-mass' black holes."

A New View of Kepler’s Supernova Remnant

"NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory has created this amazing image of one of the youngest supernova remnants in the galaxy. The supernova that created it blazed in the sky more than 400 years ago, before the telescope had even been invented. No problem, though, it was bright enough that you didn’t need a telescope - it reached the brightness of Jupiter at its peak. And one of the greatest astronomers in history, Johannes Kepler was there to see it."

Chandra discovers light echo from the Milky Way's Black Hole

"Like cold case investigators, astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to uncover evidence of a powerful outburst from the giant black hole at the Milky Way's center."

Stardust Mission Findings Override Previous Beliefs

"Contrary to a popular scientific notion, there was enough mixing in the early solar system to transport material from the sun's sizzling neighborhood and deposit it in icy deep-space comets."

Thunderstorms Could be the Cause for Saturn's Spokes

"The spokes that come and go on Saturn's rings could be the result of thunderstorms in the planet, according to German researchers."


Astronomy by Press Release - News from a Black Hole

Astronomer Halton Arp takes a light-hearted look at today’s carnival of mathematical speculations—with an emphasis on supposed “Black Holes,” a favorite subject of popular scientific media.

"Hourglass Figure" Points to Magnetic Field's Role in Star Formation

"Long predicted by theory, the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array has found the first conclusive evidence of an hourglass-shaped magnetic field in a star formation region. Measurements indicate that material in the interstellar cloud is dense enough to allow it to gravitationally collapse, warping the magnetic field in the process."

A Comment by Wallace Thornhill (updated 8/17)

Tornadoes as Electrical Machines

Wallace Thornhill writes: "Thanks to Ian Tresman (  for finding this gem from R.A. Ford, in his book Homemade Lightning. I find the mention of a  clay containing iron oxide required to form the fireball as especially interesting following upon my ideas on the formation of extreme ball lightning in the presence of a heavy element catalyst."

See also Dust Devils—or Tornados?

See also Extreme Ball Lightning

Electric Universe: A Cosmology for the 21st Century
Michael Goodspeed

Is it possible that science is not just mistaken on some interesting theoretical possibilities, but wrong on the most fundamental questions science can ask? The Electric Universe changes the big picture and leaves almost nothing as science once perceived it.

Why Neutron Stars are Impossible
Don Scott

The concept of the "neutron star" was a baseless invention. It was proposed because only such a dense material could make up a star that could stand those outrageously high rotation speeds.

See also: Neutron Star Refutes Its Own Existence

The IEEE, Plasma Cosmology, and Extreme Ball Lightning
Wallace Thornhill,

It is engineers who have made space exploration possible, and their precision probes and navigation skills have returned data that routinely surprises space scientists.

Still Chasing the Ghosts of ‘Dark Matter’ and ‘Dark Energy’
Michael Goodspeed

Space Age technology has achieved wonders. But according to critics, many theoretical adventures undertaken to explain unexpected Space Age discoveries have set the theoretical sciences on a dead-end path.


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