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Electric Cosmos

The Universe

Plasma Cosmology

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Oct 06, 2005
Mysterious Ring of Stars

Although black holes are entirely constructed from theoretical assumptions, they are no longer questioned in conventional astronomy. But the plasma focus effect, which can be studied in a laboratory, better accounts for the cosmic effects attributed to black holes.

The caption to the above images explains:

“Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have identified the source of a mysterious blue light surrounding a super-massive black hole in our neighboring Andromeda Galaxy (M31). Though the light has puzzled astronomers for more than a decade, the new discovery makes the story even more mysterious. The blue light is coming from a disk of hot, young stars that are whipping around the black hole in much the same way as planets in our solar system are revolving around the Sun. Astronomers are perplexed about how the pancake-shaped disk of stars could form so close to a giant black hole. Andromeda and its complex core can be seen in the illustration and two images [above]. The illustration [lower, right] shows the disk of blue stars nested inside a larger ring of red stars. The Hubble photo [upper, right] reveals Andromeda’s bright core. The image at left shows the entire galaxy.”

Astronomers take for granted today that black holes are as real as apples in the supermarket. The long history of developing, modifying, adapting, amending, revising and redesigning the idea of a black hole goes unnoticed. This habit of not noticing was established early on when an announcement that a black hole had “at last” been discovered was quietly disregarded after the newly discovered object was found to have properties that contradicted those attributed to a black hole. Usually these properties involved the release of unexplainable amounts of energy.

But when finally the idea of a black hole was refashioned from an object that sucks everything in to an object that spits everything out, astronomers had an explanatory blank check with which they could pay for every ultra-high-energy event—galactic jets, quasars, ultra-luminous objects, even a ring of hot gas “whipping” around the black hole.

This ring of hot gas in the Andromeda galaxy, however, complicated the picture. It appears to have condensed into stars—over 400 of them. But condensations shouldn’t be able to form that close to a strong gravitational source: Tidal forces should tear any condensation apart.

The ring is only one light year across. It appears to be in the same plane as a larger (five light years across) disk of red stars. The speed of the blue stars is calculated to be about a thousand kilometers per second, which allows astronomers to declare that the mass of the black hole is “proved conclusively” to be 140 million suns, three times that of previous estimates. Astronomers wonder if these rings might be fairly common: They have discovered signs of similar stars close to the core of our Milky Way.

A fast-moving, blue-light-emitting ring of knotted material that’s a light year in diameter and situated at the core of a galaxy doesn’t perplex astronomers who are familiar with plasma. They can generate a miniature version of it in a plasma lab with the plasma focus device: It is the plasmoid that forms and stores energy at the focus of the discharge. When the plasmoid reaches a critical energy level, it discharges its energy in a collimated jet along its axis in the form of electromagnetic radiation and neutrons. Being unstable outside a nucleus, the neutrons soon decay into protons and electrons. The electrons are held back by the electromagnetic field, and the high-speed protons are beamed away.

At the galactic scale, this is the likely mechanism that produces the collimated jets streaming from the cores of active galaxies. The masses of ejected protons may make up the quasars that are associated with these galaxies and could be the basis for the quasars’ intrinsic redshifts.

This plasmoid at the core of the Andromeda galaxy is not now discharging. But this suggests that it has discharged in the past and could discharge again. In this regard, Halton Arp’s discussion of the Local Group of galaxies (in Quasars,Redshifts and Controversies, pp. 128-132) is of interest. The Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the largest member of the group (of which our galaxy, the Milky Way, is also a member). All the other members of the group, as well as several intergalactic hydrogen clouds, are strung out in a line along M31’s spin axis.

The Local Group is arbitrarily limited to objects whose redshifts are less than an indicative velocity of 300 km/sec. If higher values are admitted, over a dozen other objects in that quadrant of the sky come under consideration. All occur along the same line. One of these objects is 3C120, the radio galaxy with a jet that appears to be moving at six times the speed of light—if the galaxy is at it’s conventional redshift distance. But if the galaxy is a member of the Local Group and is one of the ejecta of M31 whose redshifts are intrinsic, the jet is moving at only four percent the speed of light.

 Are the Local Group objects—including the Milky Way—the “children” of M31, “born” by ejection from the blue ring at the center of M31?


David Talbott, Wallace Thornhill
Mel Acheson
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