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.
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.