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Electric Cosmos

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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.

See TPOD for July 01, 2004 Jets on Comet Wild 2
      TPOD for July 13, 2004  Jets on Hale-Bopp


David Talbott, Wallace Thornhill
Amy Acheson
  CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Mel Acheson, Michael Armstrong, Dwardu Cardona,
Ev Cochrane,   Walter Radtke, C.J. Ransom, Don Scott, Rens van der Sluijs, Ian Tresman
  WEBMASTER: Michael Armstrong

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